Another Chrysler Group vehicle with military roots, like the Jeep Wrangler, the Ram Power Wagon got its start during a time of world conflict. Although it was originally produced to compete directly against Ford and GMC military truck applications, the Power Wagon was instead offered to the general public first. Production of the Power Wagon began back in 1945 and ran all the way to 1980 before Ram officially brought it back full-time in 2013.
Based on the Ram 2500, the Power Wagon is built to go off-road but it doesn't have any trouble pulling up its fair share of tree stumps, either. Underneath the hood of the latest Power Wagon lurks a 6.4-liter V8 Hemi engine, rated at 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Hemi still feels potent even with the task of pulling the 6,700 pound truck around. The Power Wagon's handling also benefits from a new high-strength steel frame and coil spring suspension. Since the Power Wagon falls under the heavy-duty truck moniker the EPA doesn't certify it. During our time with it, we saw the Power Wagon return a combined fuel economy around 14 mpg but fuel efficiency isn't its sole purpose. Even still, Ram took some measures to boost fuel economy where it could like adding cylinder deactivation technology and the ability for the front driveshaft to disconnect when extra traction isn't needed.
As it stood, our tester rang out at $56,455, up from the base price of $49,145, but the final asking price included features like heated front seats and steering wheel, ParkSense rear park assist, RamBox, and Chrysler Group's stellar Uconnect navigation system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen display. Standard features on the Power Wagon include a trailer brake control, Tru-Lok front and rear axles, a 4.10 rear axle ratio, fuel tank and transfer case skid plate shields, and an electric winch mounted on the front bumper. The winch is rated at 12,000-pounds and is worth the cost of admission by itself. Never mind the fact that the Power Wagon can tow 10,810 pounds and ford 30 inches of water.
Getting into the Power Wagon is a tall order due to the fact that there are no running boards. However, running boards just get in the way when going off-road like the Power Wagon was designed to, hence Ram opting to leave them off. Inside, the Power Wagon's interior is just as a truck of this nature's should be. Up front, a cloth 40/20/40 bench seat offers up space for three passengers while a 60/40 split folding rear seat can support another three people. While it won't garner much attention, we recommend going with the floor mat delete option, like our tester came with, in favor of a black vinyl floor covering in the name of easy cleaning after a day in the mud.
A capable truck, the 2014 Ram Power Wagon is impressive but the factory-supplied winch and its 12,000-pound limit is what really won us over. Combine that with the heady 6.4-liter V8 Hemi engine and the Power Wagon can go toe-to-toe with the best of them.
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