1998 Pickup Truck of the Year
Anytime there's more, we're on board: more trucks, more cubic inches, more low-range gearing, even more doors. We like it all. When Ford and Chevy came out with their third-door options, it took a single road trip to see the inherent beauty of the design. It's one of those innovations that get you looking at everything else that doesn't have one as somehow "less than." Enter the 1998 Dodge Ram Quad Cab-four door. As they like to say at Chrysler, the rules have changed. And indeed, we have to agree that the bar is raised.
In "suicide door'' fashion, as in '60s Lincoln Continentals, the Dodge Ram Quad Cab is the first pickup truck to offer an access door to the rear seating/storage area on both sides of the truck. How they accomplished this structurally was no small feat. Heavy steel bracing reinforces all four roof pillars, as well as entire door rail and roof lines. From the outset, we were suspicious of what effect the lack of a rigid B-pillar would have on interior noise; however, Dodge fully sealed each door individually, double-sealing the roof seams. We found very little wind noise leaking in from the doors. The Quad Cab seems quieter than the previously doorless Club Cab (no longer available). The rear doors open wide enough that the smallest of our test drivers had little trouble with ingress. Naturally, because it is a Quad Cab and not a true crewcab, taller passengers will be limited on head- and legroom.
In addition, our favorite Dodge solution to the problem of storage space in an extended-cab comes in the form of a rear seat that folds practically straight up out of the way, providing a significant amount of usable storage area behind the front seats. It seems Dodge included more than just a few good ideas along with the two extra doors. Look for the base model Quad Cab to list just over $22,000.
|Vehicle||Dodge Ram Quad Cab|
|Base price (est.)||$22,000|
|Displacement (cc/cu. in.)||5,899/360|
|SAE Hp @ rpm||245 @ 4,000|
|SAE Torque (lb.-ft.) @ rpm||335 @ 3,200|
|Valvetrain||OHV; 2 val./cyl.|
|Drivetrain||46-RE 4-spd. auto|
|Transfer case||NVG 231HD|
|Suspension, f/r||Live axle, Quadra Link, coils/ Live axle, leaf springs|
|Brakes, f/r||11.6-in. discs/11.0-in. drums|
|Tires||265/75R16 Goodyear Wrangler RT/S|
|Ground clearance (in.)||8.5|