Not Sure About the Shifter - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test
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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Not Sure About the Shifter

June 30, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I've always liked the idea of alternative shifters for cars. Rather than have a giant lever taking up all that space on the console, why not make it a switch like everything else so you can put it anywhere that's convenient? Sure it takes some getting used to, but eventually you're glad to have the extra space.

I'm not so sure it works as well for trucks.

For one, it seems too fragile even though it's probably not any less robust than a lever sticking out of the steering column.

More importantly, it just doesn't feel like it belongs in a truck. Try jamming the transmission from gear to gear when you're making a quick three-point turn, it's not the same. Not that I make a habit of doing that, but sometimes the need arises and that knob doesn't feel right doing it.

Turning the knob probably doesn't actually take any longer. In fact, it might even be faster. But it's easier to grab a handle and yank without looking while the knob requires you to glance down at the dash to find the right gear. Maybe I'll get used it, I usually do, but this might be an instance of technology taken too far.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 4,121 miles

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