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By Mike Magda
November 5, 2008
Vehicle Overview The Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups will follow their 1500 brother in getting a full makeover for the 2010 model year. For now, however, the Ram heavy-duty trucks are mostly carryovers from 2008.
The 2500 and 3500 trucks come on either a 140.5- or 160.5-inch wheelbase. The former handles the regular cab long-bed and Quad Cab short-bed, while the latter supports the Quad Cab long-bed and Mega Cab. All 2500 models come standard with the newly upgraded 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 gas engine. The popular 6.7-liter Cummins six-cylinder turbodiesel is optional in all 2500 models and standard in 3500 trucks. The 3500 Quad and Mega cabs can be ordered as single rear wheel or dual rear wheel. The 3500 regular cab comes only as a dual-rear-wheel model. Four trim levels are available: ST, SXT, SLT and Laramie. The regular cab isn't available in Laramie, and the Mega Cab isn't available in ST.
Dodge offers a special Power Wagon edition of the 2500 Quad Cab 4x4. By far the most aggressive offroad package offered in any full-size pickup, the Power Wagon comes with the 5.7-liter Hemi, electrically operated front and rear locking differentials, 33-inch offroad tires, a front disconnecting stabilizer bar and a winch. For those who want just a little offroad character, Dodge also offers the TRX4 Off-Road package on SXT models, which includes skid plates and offroad tires. Dodge also offers two snowplow packages that include selected skid plates, a heavy-duty battery and an anti-spin rear axle.
New for 2009 With a new truck coming for 2010, Dodge trimmed down the Ram's heavy-duty lineup for 2009. The Power Wagon is available only in Quad Cab. The Hemi has been upgraded to 383 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque for 2009, but that engine is no longer offered in 3500 models. The Hemi also loses the six-speed manual transmission; it now comes only with the five-speed automatic. Other changes include remote start available on diesel vehicles, limited-slip rear axle standard on 3500 models and larger front and rear brake rotors for all models.
Exterior This design has been around since 2003 and showcases the broad-shouldered look of the Ram's big-rig styling. The massive crosshair grille, creased hood, air dam and sculpted bumper increase the intimidation factor when viewed from the front. Dodge has been aggressive in the commercial market, offering a 2500 "box-off" model so owners can outfit the truck with any appropriate service body, including catering, flatbed or dry box.
Available power-sliding rear window on Quad Cab
Available sunroof on Mega Cab and Quad Cab
Available two-tone paint on SLT and Laramie
Chrome bumpers on most trims
Interior The Mega Cab is huge. Lift up the second-row seat and there's 71 cubic feet of storage space. When folded down, the rear seat can recline up to 37 degrees for passenger comfort. The Quad Cab isn't quite as roomy as competing crew cabs, but it can be ordered with numerous creature comforts. The white-face gauges are easy to read and the controls are conveniently placed. Laramie models are spiced up with wood trim and leather upholstery.
Dual-zone climate control available on Power Wagon, standard on Laramie
Available power-adjustable pedals
Available seven-speaker premium audio system
Available DVD-based navigation with 5.8-inch display on SLT, Laramie Power Wagon
Under the Hood
383-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 400 pounds-feet of torque
350-hp, 6.7-liter inline-six-cylinder turbocharged diesel with an iron block and cylinder head, cam-in-block, four valves per cylinder and 650 pounds-feet of torque with the automatic, 610 pounds-feet with the manual
Six-speed manual (6.29:1 1st gear), standard 6.7-liter engine
Five-speed automatic, standard 5.7-liter engine
Six-speed automatic, available 6.7-liter engine
Safety Heavy-duty trucks rarely get advanced safety features or additional airbag systems. The Ram 2500 and 3500 do offer an electronic stability system as an option on all models except the Power Wagon. A stability system is standard on Laramie models.