By KBB.com Editors
The full-size Ram 1500 pickup faces an uncertain future in 2007 as rising fuel prices and a shift to smaller cars threaten to curtail last year's brisk sales momentum. To keep Ram sales charging forward, Dodge has made a number of minor improvements to the vehicle, including the availability of a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) model. While the Ram Mega Cab's cavernous and plush interior appeals to owners who increasingly use their pickup as the family vehicle, others are simply drawn to the hypnotic allure of an available HEMI engine with fuel-saving MDS (Multi Displacement System) technology. Of course, the Ram is fully capable of performing the tasks expected of full-size pickups such as hauling, towing and off-roading.You'll Like This Car If...
The Ram pickup line is loaded with personality. The trucks are big, bold and in-your-face, mirroring the attitudes of many of the people who like to drive them. With an available 345-horsepower V8, the Ram 1500 is one of the most powerful pickups in its class.You May Not Like This Car If...
The Ram is a big truck designed for heavy-duty work. Those who like the idea of a big truck, but commute through the suburbs on a daily basis, may want to try something a bit smaller, such as the mid-size Dodge Dakota. Unlike competitors from Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan, the Dodge Ram is not offered in an extended cab model.What's Significant About This Car?
The Ram 1500 receives a host of new features, including a 4.7-liter engine capable of running on E85. Also new are YES Essential anti-bacterial fabrics on the seats and a power accessory delay feature. New options include Electronic Stability Control and Remote Start.Driving It Driving Impressions
For such a big truck, the Ram does a commendable job of getting around corners and through S-curves. Credit the suspension and massive tires for the Ram's ability to grip the road and negotiate turns. You may also want to look closely at the trailer-towing ratings for the Ram 1500; it can tow as much as 9,100 pounds when equipped with the HEMI engine.
Though the big, optional 20-inch wheels may look terrific, they make for a harsh ride over pavement that's broken or even the slightest bit bumpy, and fore-and-aft "hobby-horsing" can occur at freeway speeds. Interior sound levels have been greatly reduced thanks to improvement in insulation and thicker door glass.
Folding Armrest/Storage Unit
A wide folding armrest/storage unit is big enough to hold a laptop computer and is complete with a 12-volt outlet.
Polished optional 20-inch wheels are nearly as massive as the Ram itself.
The Ram's interior is clean and highly functional. The lines on the dash and door panels are straight and crisp, and the plastics used in their construction feel sturdy without appearing cheap. Seat comfort is excellent, as is interior storage. Quad Cab models feature a rear bench seat that is a bit upright and does not offer as much legroom as competitors from Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan.Exterior
The bulging Ram exterior gives this truck a brutish, muscular appearance that can be backed up by huge available 20-inch wheels and tires. There are a number of trim choices, including the new TRX4 off-road model that features tow hooks, painted monotube shocks, off-road tires on 17-inch rims and a limited-slip rear differential.Notable Standard Equipment
The base Ram has a six-speed manual transmission (with the V6 engine), air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes, rear anti-lock brakes (ABS), chrome front and rear bumpers, oil pressure and volt gauges, cloth split-bench seat with power driver's side or no-charge heavy-duty vinyl bench seat, AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt wheel, power steering, dual side mirrors and painted steel wheels. HEMI V8 models get a five-speed automatic transmission.Notable Optional Equipment
Depending upon trim level, the options are numerous. The Ram 1500 can be ordered in Regular, Quad Cab or Mega Cab versions, with two-wheel or four-wheel drive, cargo bed lengths of 6.25 or 8.0 feet and a choice of two V8 engines. You can also add leather seats, a GPS navigation radio, Infinity sound system, off-road package, trailer package, 20-inch chrome wheels, power-adjustable pedals, limited-slip differential, power folding mirrors, power sliding rear window, remote start, fog lights, front side-impact airbags and a 34-gallon fuel tank.Under the Hood
Under the hood, the Regular Cab base trucks get a tepid 3.7-liter V6 engine, while the Quad Cabs start off with a standard 4.7-liter Magnum V8. Though rated at 235 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque at 3200 rpm, the 4.7-liter engine has to work hard to move the nearly 5,200-pound vehicle. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 offers 345 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. Gas mileage is less-than-stellar, with the V6 earning an EPA fuel rating of 16-miles per gallon in city driving and the two V8s barely breaking 14-miles per gallon.
215 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 (2WD manual), 15/21 (2WD automatic)
235 horsepower @ 4400 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD manual), 14/19 (2WD automatic), 13/17 (4WD manual), 14/17 (4WD automatic)
5.7-liter HEMI V8
345 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
375 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD), 13/17 (4WD)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Ram ranges from $22,135 for the two-wheel drive ST Regular Cab to $41,595 for the four-wheel-drive Mega Cab Laramie trim. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price paid for the Ram in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. You'll also want to click on the Incentives tab to view any additional savings offered directly from the manufacturer. The Dodge Ram 1500 is expected to hold its value on par with the other domestic trucks, although the HEMI-powered models do slightly better than similarly-equipped competitors.