New Car Reviews

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 – Four Seasons Update – January 2010

Long-Term 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Update: Winter 2010 ( 3 of 5 ) Miles to date: 0

Months in Fleet: Ten
Mileage to Date: 34,966

Just as we were getting over the hefty 30,000 mile service bill, we discovered the front brakes were pulsating and turning the rotors was not part of the service schedule, even though replacing the front brake pads was. When the truck went back for another oil change at 34,183 miles (our sixth for the truck, by the way) the dealership wanted an extra $200 to turn the rotors. We’re going to live with the pulsing for a few more months.

West coast editor Jason Cammisa returned to the home office for the 2010 North American Auto Show and the Ram was waiting for him at the airport. Confronted with Detroit’s frigid temperatures and a lack of gloves, he immediately fell in love with the heated steering wheel and wondered how humanity had survived so long without this feature. Other impressive points include the way the truck looks and feels after 34,000 miles of driving — Cammisa thought it felt as good as new when he got behind the wheel. Here are his other thoughts after spending some time in the Ram:

“I recently wrote a blog that my favorite tow vehicle is the Tundra, and given its more ferocious acceleration and better transmission, I’m going to stick to that judgment. But as an everyday pickup, the Ram wins with the RamBoxes, the gorgeous styling, the luxo-features, and a great driving experience. My only dynamic wish is that the steering had a little feel — I slid around an entire on-ramp in slushy conditions and nothing coming through the steering wheel alerted me to this. All said, though, it’s comfortable, quiet, smooth, fast, and highly useful. And that’s a lot more than can be said for many pick-em-up-truuuucks.”

The inconvenience associated with the brake pedal is minor compared to our Ram’s most recent injury: while covering the auto show in Detroit, another staffer parked our Ram on the street for a few hours. When he returned to the vehicle, he discovered a smashed passenger window, a broken dashboard, and a missing navigation unit. Apparently thieves in Detroit read our previous updates praising the easy-to-use navigation system and wanted to try it out for themselves. Despite the missing window, the drive home was tolerable thanks to the powerful seat and steering wheel heaters. Now the truck is in the shop waiting for a new window, some trim pieces, and a navigation unit to be installed.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew 4×4

Base price (with destination): $44,390
Price as tested: $52,230

Body Style: 4-door pickup truck
Accommodation: 5 passenger
Construction: Fully-boxed hydroformed steel frame

Engine: Hemi Pushrod 16-valve V-8
Displacement: 5.7 liters
Power: 390 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 407 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed auto
Drive: Rear-wheel/four-wheel
Fuel economy: 13/18/15 mpg (city/hwy/combined)

Steering: Power rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 3.3
Turning Circle: 45.5 ft
Suspension, Front: Double wishbone-type
Suspension, Rear: Multi-link, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented disc/solid disc; ABS
Wheels: 20 x 9-in chrome clad aluminum
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler HP
Tire Size: 275/60SR-20

Headroom F/R: 41.0/39.9 in
Legroom F/R: 41.0/42.0 in
Shoulder Room F/R: 66.0/65.7 in
Wheelbase: 140.5 in
Track F/R: 68.0/67.5 in
L x W x H: 229.0 x 79.4 x 75.7 in
Cargo Capacity: 38.7/7.4/46.1 cu ft (bed/RamBox/total)
Weight: 5809 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 56.1/43.9%
Fuel Capacity: 32 gallons (opt. tank size)
Est. Range: 480 miles
Fuel Grade: 89 octane recommended, 87 octane acceptable

Standard Equipment:
Front and side curtain airbags
Alpine surround sound with subwoofer
Two-zone automatic climate control
Power windows, locks, and remote start
Power adjustable pedals and steering wheel
Trip computer

Inferno Red Crystal Coat $225
Leather-Trimmed Bucket Seats $500
Customer Preferred Package 25H $795
Protection Group $150
3.92 axle ratio $375
Power sunroof $850
32-gallon fuel tank $75
uconnect GPS $945
RamBox Cargo Management System $1895
Class IV Receiver hitch $335
uconnect Video Entertainment System $1695

Test Results:
0-60 MPH: 7.4 sec
0-100 MPH: 20.8 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.7 sec @ 89 mph
30-70 Passing: 7.7 sec
Speed in Gears: 1) 45; 2) 82; 3) 108; 4) 100; 5) 100 mph
Cornering L/R: 0.74/0.79 g
70-0 Braking: 181 ft
Peak Braking: 0.97