2006 Dodge Ram 1500

Change year or car

Change year or car

$21,150

starting MSRP

2006 Dodge Ram 1500

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Rugged construction
  • Performance with Hemi V-8
  • Tremendous performance in Ram SRT10
  • Towing and hauling capacities
  • Interior space and comfort

The bad:

  • Ride comfort in city
  • Fuel economy with V-8 and V-10
  • Difficult entry and exit
  • Wet-weather traction with RWD

9 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Available Hemi V-8
  • Diesel-engine option in heavy-duty models
  • Regular cab or Quad Cab
  • Performance-packed Ram SRT10
  • 2500 Power Wagon available
  • New Mega Cab model

2006 Dodge Ram 1500 review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

The Dodge Ram pickup hasn’t had a major redesign since the 2002 model year, meaning it is facing fresher competition from everybody who makes a full-sized truck. The top-selling Ford F-150 was new for 2004, the same year the Nissan Titan debuted. For 2006, we got the Honda Ridgeline, which the company would certainly like you to think of as a full-sized pickup. Redesigned Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras are just now reaching dealers, and in a couple of months we’ll get the all-new Toyota Tundra.

But there is one powerful bullet in the Dodge Ram’s arsenal: the Hemi V-8 engine. It’s probably the only current engine known to the public by its one-word name, sort of the Madonna or Cher or Sinatra of internal combustion.

“Hemi” refers to a hemispherical design of the combustion chamber, that area below the spark plug and above the piston where the mixture of air and gasoline explodes. This sends the piston down, which turns the crankshaft, which results in a speeding ticket. Chrysler did not invent the hemispherical combustion chamber, and there have been plenty of other engines to use the design, but it has been associated with Chrysler since its debut in 1951.

The hemispherical combustion chamber is a good idea, but if it were so much better than everything else, all engines would use it. They don’t.

That said, the Chrysler Hemi is an excellent engine. In the Dodge Ram, Chrysler’s 5.7-liter V-8 makes 345 horsepower, which means lots of pulling power in the bigger Rams. In the smaller Rams, such as the test model — a short-bed, regular-cab Ram Sport — the Hemi means it accelerates with authority and sounds just great.

It’s the largest engine offered in this particular model: Standard is a 3.7-liter V-6, and between that engine and the Hemi is a 4.7-liter V-8 that’s fine for almost any purpose. Customers who buy short-bed, regular-cab, rear-wheel-drive pickups such as this one are less serious about capability than they are about performance, and this truck performs.

The Hemi engine is a “multidisplacement” model, meaning that when the pickup is just cruising along, the onboard computer can shut down four of the eight cylinders to save gas. It is done so seamlessly that you’ll never know when those cylinders are sleeping and when they wake up. Even so, fuel mileage is just adequate at 15 miles per gallon city, 19 mpg highway. Dodge recommends 89 octane midgrade gasoline, but the Ram runs fine on regular.

The transmission is a five-speed automatic that is nicely matched to the engine. Shifts are smooth, and downshifts are made quickly when you punch the accelerator.

The test truck handled quite well, thanks largely to its big P275/60R-20 radials on chromed aluminum wheels, but those tires and a relatively stiff suspension made for a jarring ride on rough pavement. On smoother pavement, the ride is tolerable, but on one particular stretch of concrete interstate, I was wishing for softer springs.

Inside, the Ram Sport had very comfortable bucket seats. Instruments and controls are nicely placed. Unlike some regular-cab trucks, Dodge gives you a little room behind the seats for storage, and it came in handy.

The test truck was absolutely loaded with equipment, which explains how a $24,250 base price for an already very well-equipped truck skyrocketed to a sobering $35,195. Options included a bedliner, adjustable pedals, a trailer-towing package, antilock disc brakes, side air bags, an alarm, a rear sliding window, an engine-block heater, leather upholstery, a $1,125 premium sound system and lots of other equipment that was nice but, for the most part, dispensable. This is a great-looking truck, but for $35,195, it’s pricey.

One option I’d keep: the Hemi, which added $995. That’s a bargain.

CONSUMER INFORMATION
Base price: $24,250.

Price as tested: $35,195.

EPA rating: 15 mpg city, 19 mpg highway.

Details: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive regular-cab pickup truck with a 5.7-liter, 345-horsepower V-8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.3
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.4
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.5

Most recent consumer reviews

4.3

427,000 MILES AND STILL GOING

This truck never left me stranded. electronics are not dodges strong point lots of little anoying problems with the electronics but the hemi engine and 5 speed tranny never gave up.

4.7

After years of GM & Ford, Dodge cured what ailed.

My father instilled GM into me at a very young age and that a Chevy truck was the ONLY one to have aaaand maybe slip in a Ford once in awhile just to confirm you should've bought that Chevy. Well, after years of going with how I was raised when it came to buying trucks, and getting fed up with blown transmissions, gauges that seemed to always fail, or sitting off the highway waiting for roadside assistance, I became curious about what Dodge had to offer. 2006 my first Dodge of any kind, but not any kind of Dodge. 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Crew Cab Lone Star Edition rwd with 5.7l Hemi. Wow from the get go! So I'm gonna defer with the expected poor fuel efficiency and tell you about how bad ass it is that I have one of the most reliable, most capable, powerful, beast of a heavy ass truck that gets great mileage, all while enjoying a comfortable car like interior, but having a commanding view of what's down the road ahead, with a confidence of reliability like I've never known before. I've never owned a more powerful vehicle in my life able to haul & tow whatever needed, and do it without even the slightest bit of hesitation. Fuel efficiency? With 375 lb ft of torque, coupled with 345 horses... Come on, your not buying a Prius folks. What your getting is the reassurance your truck can do what you need it to, then some, and then some more. I average 13-14 mpg's in town, however this is ok cause I'm not driving for any type of people transport, and I average 21 mpg's on the highway. Pretty damn good for the over 6500lbs of truck I'm driving. The only thing I will say I do not like is the braking, numb is the word I'd use, and no everything with the braking system is to par it's just how it feels to me... numb. Overall couldn't be more satisfied in a truck... Reliability has been great... Nothing but normal maintenance: oil & transmission fluid changes, battery, brake pads, an occasional signal or headlight bulb. Still today 2020 everything works, normal maintenance, same fuel mileage, still capable, and I've learned also that one of the nice things about driving a Ram with a 5.7 l Hemi is knowing that you have nothing to prove. Cruising down the highway it will still beat or keep up the best of them!

3.4

Having problums!

problems! The most part a good truck, but the only thing I have too complain is the rear end iv went threw 2 both times they've locked up what too do this happened all in 1 month. Could sumone help plez?

See all 99 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Dodge
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/less than 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
3 months/3,000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
125-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2006

Nissan Titan

$23,400

starting MSRP

2012

RAM 1500

$22,570

starting MSRP

2007

Ford F-150

$18,275

starting MSRP

See all 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 articles