One of many trick features on the 2009 Ram is the RamBox, which makes use of the pickup's
Gripes? A few, though nothing serious. The Ram's new scalloped front end makes over-the-hood visibility a little challenging, particularly on off-camber sections of trail. (This could be partly perceptual, however, and we suspect we'd likely grow accustomed to this as we spent more time driving the truck.) We also wondered about the availability of an incab trailer brake controller such as Ford will offer with the new F-150. (Dodge reps later told us, they're still working on one.) The Ram's sub-20 approach and departure angles, while improving aerodynamics, suggest leaving this truck at the trail head for more difficult 'wheeling chores-or lifting it, to which the new suspension would seem to lend itself readily. And while the optional Trac-Lok rear limited-slip engaged as needed during our off-pavement fun in some tree-lined Tennessee hollers, we'd still like to see an honest-to-goodness locker back there as part of the TRX4 package.
Whether the new Ram-or any other fullsize pickup truck-becomes a runaway hit at dealerships this fall is doubtful, given current market conditions, but Dodge has at least managed to stay abreast of the competition-and perhaps even pull slightly ahead of it-in what is shaping up as one of the most competitive seasons for fullsize truck sales, ever. The new truck has been substantially upgraded in so many ways over the old model, we can only scratch the surface in the space we're allotted here, but we'll have a new Ram in our test stable for our 2009 Pickup Truck of the Year in the March '09 issue, and it's bound to be a serious title contender.
Exceptional on-road ride and drive; surprisingly good mileage; minimal road noise for a pickup truck; tons of storage space, inside and out..
Poor approach and departure angles; no rear locker available with the TRX4 package; where's the trailer brake controller?
By any measure, a quantum leap in refinement from Dodge. Will consumers respond in an era of $4.50 gas?
Sayonara, covered wagon springs. The new-for-'09 Ram utilizes a five-link/coil-spring rear
Vehicle/model: 2009 Dodge Ram
Base price: N/A
Engine: 5.7L 90-degree DOHC V-8
Max hp & torque (lb-ft): 390/407
Transmission(s): 545RFE five-speed automatic
Transfer case(s): NVG 243 (part-time), NVG 246 (full-time)
Low-range ratio: 2.72:1
Frame type: Ladder-type
Suspension, f/r: Upper, lower A-arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar/Solid axle, five-link, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Ring and pinion: 3.92:1
Max crawl ratio: 32.0:1
Steering: Power rack-and-pinion
Brakes, f/r: 13.2x1.1-inch vented disc/13.8x.87 disc
Wheels (tested): 17x8 cast aluminum
Tires (tested): P265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler GSA
Wheelbase (in): 120/140
Length (in): 209/226.9
Height (in): 74.3
Base curb weight (lb): 5,390 (4x4 with 5.7L)
Max approach/departure angles (deg.): 17/19
Minimum ground clearance (in): 8.1
Max GVWR (lb): 6,800
Max payload (lb): 1,850
Max cargo volume (cu ft): 74.9 (longbed)
Bed width x length x height (in): 96.3 x 66.4 x 20.2 (longbed)
Max towing capacity (lb: 8,550
EPA mileage figures, city/hwy (mpg): 13/18
Max Fuel capacity (gal): 32.0