2013 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Review

A truck for the backwoods explores the big city.

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February 22, 2013

2013 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Review

Introduction
It's no secret that trucks are the favorite choice of the man or woman who works or plays outdoors. Ram is playing to that image with truck that's meant to be a hit with hunters and other outdoorsy-types--the Outdoorsman edition of its 1500 full-size pickup.

The Outdoorsman is a truck marketer's fever dream come to life, with features like skid plates, unique exterior trim (such as blacked-out 17-inch wheels and a Mossy Oak Package, which has outdoor-themed trim), front bucket seats, tow hooks, a higher ground clearance, mud-proofed floor mats, a single exhaust outlet to avoid off-road obstacles, and an 8.4-inch touch screen for the radio. It's available in all bed and cab configurations, and it comes with the Ram Box bed-side storage system and a honkin' Hemi V-8. In short, it's a truck person's truck.

For a more lighthearted take, check out our video review of the Ram 1500, featuring Sarah.

2013 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 On the Road The Outdoorsman doesn't deviate from the traditional Ram 1500 in terms of driving dynamics, although we appreciate the power boost from the 5.7-liter Hemi over the last Ram 1500 we drove, which was a V-6 model. All that extra power--395 horsepower and 407 lb-ft of torque--go a long way. This is the standard engine for the Outdoorsman (transmission choices are a six- or eight-speed automatic, we had the six-speed), and it does wonders for the macho truck image.

Ride and handling were truck-like, because, well, this a truck, but both were acceptable, if not ideal, for urban use. Steering feel was surprisingly taught and accurate, but that's the only thing that will soothe enthusiasts.

Our biggest beef was the extra wide mirrors, which made driving in tight quarters extra scary.
2013 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Interior The lack of a navigation system dismayed us, but otherwise we found the cabin to be comfortable, modern, and well-designed. Trucks have caught up to cars when it comes to creature comforts.

Space wasn't an issue, as each passenger gets his or her own ZIP code, and we dug the heated steering wheel and front seats. Forget the duck blind, just camouflage the truck when hunting, it will be more comfortable.
2013 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Exterior Other than the cool-looking blacked-out wheels and wide mirrors, our tester looked like a normal Ram 1500, which is to say it carried on the distinctive styling that the truck has been known for since the mid-90s, cross-hair grille and all.
2013 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Final Thoughts We like the Ram overall, but there's no reason to buy the Outdoorsman unless you plan on off-roading often. It was a handful to handle in the city, thanks to its large size and wide mirrors, the Hemi drink through gas (13 mpg city/19 mpg highway) at a prodigious rate, and the non-Outdoorsman is a perfectly capable truck.

If your idea of a good time involves a rifle or a fishing rod and helpless animals, this truck will be fine for you. If you prefer your truck to simply haul stuff while staying on-road, there's plenty of other choice in the 1500 lineup.
2013 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Specs, Features, Prices Engine: 5.7-liter V-8

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Drive Wheels: Four-wheel-drive

Fuel Economy: 13 mpg city/19mpg highway

Base Price: $36,740

As-Tested Price: $45,070 (includes $995 destination fee)

Available Features: UConnect infotainment system, rear parking assist, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Rambox side storage, height-adjustable suspension, fog lamps, rearview camera, spray-in bedliner, trailer brake control, tow hooks, front suspension and transfer case skid plates, heated steering wheel, heated front seats.

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