One of our favorite rigs joins the fleet
Having won our 2010 Pickup Truck of the Year competition (Mar. '10), the staff highly anticipated getting our hands on a Ram Power Wagon for our long-term fleet. Our Bright Silver Metallic truck arrived to replace our much-loved '09 Ram TRX4 and gave us an opportunity to sample Ram's light-duty and heavy-duty lineup, back-to-back.
Ram's HD line-up was refreshed for the 2010 model year with a new body style, a true Crew Cab option and an interior based on the light-duty trucks, however, much of the underpinnings remained the same. One important change that makes a very big difference in comfort is the addition of hydraulic body mounts that smooth out ride motions and recalibrated suspensions. The 5.7L Hemi V-8 also received a power bump from 355 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque to 383 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
Other than being 7.5 inches longer overall by virtue of an 8.5-inch-longer wheelbase to support a true Crew Cab, the 2010 version of the Power Wagon will be familiar to any Power Wagon fan. The Power Wagon still features 4.56:1 gearing, front and rear selectable lockers (the rear is a helical limited-slip when not locked), an electronically disconnecting sway bar, precisely tuned Bilstein shocks, and a hidden 12,000-pound Warn winch behind the front bumper. A set of 17x8-inch forged aluminum wheels and 33-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires round out the package. New to the Power Wagon for 2010 are retro-style graphics that will ensure no one mistakes this truck for a common-man Ram. The Power Wagon still offers big time capability with a 1,940-pound payload capacity and a 10,300-pound tow rating.
In addition to the Power Wagon package ($6,350), we ordered our truck with Power Premium Cloth 40/20/40 seats ($900), Luxury Group ($345), Technology Group ($495), Security Alarm ($150), Media Center 730N Radio ($1,255), Power Adjustable Pedals ($125), Remote Start System ($185), Under-the-Rail Box Bedliner ($245), and the Rear Seat Video System ($1,696). Realizing that we had failed to order the backup camera, something we have found is a necessity on such a large truck that is regularly used in the city, Ram added that after delivery for us. The option price on the ParkView backup camera is an additional $200.
Some of the options we wish we could have gotten, but were not available on the Power Wagon, are heated leather seats (hey, they are easier to clean, and our aging backs enjoy a little heat at the end of the day) and the RamBox option that we so thoroughly enjoyed on our 1500 long-termer. Rumor has it, though, that the RamBoxes will be available on the heavy-duty trucks next year.
As soon as our Power Wagon arrived, it was immediately put to work. So far it has appeared in the Raptor versus Power Wagon comparo (Jan. '10), being crowned the winner in that head-to-head matchup, as well as used to tow our Project 4Runner Backcountry around for its pre-SEMA build up. In addition to all of that, we used it to prerun our 2011 Truck of the Year routes.
With the extra 1,200-pounds of weight the Power Wagon is carrying over our 1500 TRX4, power delivery isn't as immediate, but we have found the Hemi is up to the task of everything we have thrown at the it so far. The five-speed transmission does a good job of gear selection, and is very responsive. Brakes feel is good with a firm pedal and steering feels quicker than and has better feedback than in the Super Duty.