A Quarter Of Being Impressed
In this quarter, we have put 5,354 miles on our Ram. The big Crew Cab has taken us to the desert for press launches, the Bay Area for work, and to Las Vegas for the annual SEMA Show. During these long jaunts, the Ram has proven it can outlast our personal needs by consistently delivering an over-500-mile highway range from its 32-gallon tank.
With its Multi Displacement System (MDS) version of the 5.7L Hemi V-8, our Ram has averaged 12.75 mpg in mostly city driving conditions. We have seen MDS activate at highway speeds, and the result is notable fuel economy, with our best tank being 17.56 mpg. Not bad, considering the 32-inch tires and 3.92:1 gearing.
Speaking of MDS, it is not as imperceptible as you might think. It can be felt on engagement, especially when the engine is cold, and the result is a slight change in engine note and some increased NVH. Most people will never notice, but if you are in tune with your vehicle and are looking for it, you'll know.
Another area worth commenting on is the size of the bed. With the Ram Box option selected, the bed opening shrinks to 5-foot 5-inches by 4-foot 5-inches, leaving us to wonder if this truck had enough bed space for our needs. The truth is that after using the Ram Boxes on a regular basis, we'd never go back. They are so useful that the trade-off in bed space for exterior lockable storage is worth it, in our opinion. Besides, if we wanted more bed space, we would have ordered the Quad Cab model with the 6-foot 4-inch box.
Speaking of storage, did we mention that the Ram has gobs of it? The interior is full of cubbies, pockets, and holes to put stuff. We especially like the hidden compartments in the rear floor. Very trick, Ram.
During this quarter, we had our first service by the great people at Orange Coast Dodge in Costa Mesa, California. We had an oil service and tire rotation performed, as well as a host of factory updates. Our only warranty issue to date has been a loose door hinge in the back of the cab that was causing a creak. It was re-torqued and the noise has not returned.
We'll keep on rolling the miles on our Ram and enjoying the comfort of the coil-sprung rear suspension. In fact, it's possible that this truck is spoiling us for any other 1/2-ton. It's that good.
Report: 2 of 4
Previous reports: Oct '09
Base price: $35,100
Price as tested: $44,960
Four-wheel-drive system: Two-speed, part-time electronic, shift-on- the-fly
Miles to date: 10,046
Miles since last report: 5,354
Average mpg (this report): 12.75
Test best tank (mpg): 17.56
Test worst tank (mpg): 10.05
This period: 6,000-mile service: $102.47
Problem areas: Re-torque door hinge: No charge (covered under warranty)
What's Hot, What's Not
Hot: Storage galore, incredible ride, highway range
Not: MDS vibration, bed may be small for some
"Why can't I see Distance To Empty and Fuel Economy at the same time on the information display?"
"Visibility is outstanding for a large truck."
"The back seats have been given kudos by all who have ridden back there."
"I just drove a competing 1/2-ton that I used to think rode great - the Ram has spoiled me."
"I had to stop twice on a long trip, and neither stop was for fuel."