The 2010 Dodge Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab definitely performed admirably hauling some of my family of four’s belongings from our temporary pad to our new home this weekend. The jacked-up suspension, however, results in an unwieldy load height, so entering the cabin without running boards was a challenge for everyone. I can’t imagine owning this truck without adding at least a step bar.
Try as I might, I could not get the average indicated mileage to stay above 15 mpg. And filling up was on the high side of $80 — yikes! How people can drive these things daily is beyond me.
That said, there’s no question that the utility of a truck like this is immeasurable. I hauled acres of flattened boxes to the recycling center this morning, and it would have taken multiple trips in a “normal” vehicle.
Matt Tierney, Art Director
This is one tall freakin’ pickup! Like Matt, one of the most lasting impressions I have of the Power Wagon is of its extreme height. Perhaps surprisingly, then, the giant three-quarter-ton Dodge (yes, this test vehicle still has a Dodge badge on it; no “Ram” branding yet) actually drives fairly well on the highway. The 383-hp Hemi certainly helps, offering plenty of passing power. Speaking of power, I know that the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has a totally different purpose, but I think the Power Wagon could beat it at many tasks, particularly where acceleration is concerned, even versus an upgraded 6.2-liter Raptor. And the Power Wagon would likely beat the Ford at low-speed off-road stuff, too, particularly with the help of a stock (and supercool) Warn winch.
Like Matt, I put the Power Wagon to work, filling its bed with heavy boxes for my daughters’ unassembled bunk beds, and, although I had to carefully pack the smallish cargo box, the truck had absolutely no problem hauling around some 1000 pounds of payload. Plus, it made the vehicle ride more smoothly, which was a welcome change after a fifty-mile rush-hour drive on the highway. The indicated fuel economy of 12 mpg was tough to swallow, though.
I half-expected a higher price than the Ram’s $48K sticker, especially after driving a $60K Chevy three-quarter-ton pickup recently. Of course, the Dodge lacks leather upholstery, navigation, a sunroof, and many other cushy features…but that’s nicely in line with Power Wagon tradition.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
My, how Dodge is dipping into its history books with this creation. The red-on-grey accents on the hood, rockers, and tailgate are a subtle throwback to the not-so-subtle Power Wagons of the late 1970s, but thankfully, the mechanical bits are inspired largely in part by the original postwar Power Wagon.
Unlike the Ram 1500, this 2500 Power Wagon isn’t supposed to be a fuel-sipping, freeway-friendly suburban pickup. Instead, this is a big, beefy honker that’s more than capable of carrying a sizable amount of cargo over whatever terrain Mother Nature throws at it. Witness the stratospherically tall stance, the 12,000-pound Warn front winch, the lockable front and rear differentials, the electronically disconnecting front sway bar, and the knobby BF Goodrich tires. If this isn’t worthy of a Trail Rated badge (such an accoutrement can be procured from your friendly neighborhood Mopar parts counter), I don’t know what is.
Remarkably, for a three-quarter-ton pickup — and one that’s tuned primarily for off-road pursuits — the big Ram rides quite smoothly. It’s so tall and so long, it poses some difficulties on urban streets, but I can live with that. My only gripe lies with the lack of traction control. Off-road hobbyists may rejoice at the lack of such electronic nannies, but it does make launching the nose-heavy Power Wagon on wet or slick roads a little tricky — make sure to utilize the locking rear diff or the manual transfer case to your advantage.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
As Evan suggests, the Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon is certainly worthy of Jeep’s vaunted “Trail Rated” badge. This is one of only a handful of new vehicles that you can buy with a front differential locker, and the rest of the off-road hardware is seriously impressive. However, I have to wonder how many people want to tackle the trails in a vehicle that is this big. At 17 feet, five inches in length, you’ll certainly have to be an expert in picking your line down tree-lined paths or around paint-hungry boulders.
Opting for such capable hardware has two big disadvantages. First is the gigantic step up into the cabin that was difficult for me, even though I’m 6-foot-3-inches. Second, those off-road tires contribute a significant amount of noise to the drive and reduce the amount of pavement traction available. If you can live with those two compromises, the Power Wagon is nearly as comfortable as any other heavy-duty truck. The lack of stability control on the entire Ram Heavy Duty lineup is a significant oversight, though, particularly if you’re going to make use of Power Wagon’s 10,300-pound towing capacity.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor
2010 Dodge Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab 4×4
Base price (with destination): $39,430
Price as tested: $48,740
5.7-liter V-8 engine
5-speed automatic transmission
34-gallon fuel tank
Tire pressure monitoring system
Heavy-duty engine cooling
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Remote keyless entry
Power heated mirrors
Electric shift-on-the-fly transfer case
Media center 130 CD/MP3 radio
Sirius satellite radio
Options on this vehicle:
Customer preferred package 26P — $6350
Manual shift-on-the-fly transfer case
Mini floor console
Integrated trailer brake controller
Power Wagon off-road group
4.56 rear axle ratio
Tru-Lok front and rear axles
Front disconnecting stabilizer bar
285/70R18 all-terrain tires
17 x 8.0-inch forged aluminum wheels
Front electric winch
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Roof-mounted clearance lamps
Transfer case skid plate
Premium cloth bucket seats — $925
Power lumbar adjust
Rear 60/40 split
115-volt auxiliary power outlet
Power 10-way driver’s seat
Media center 430 CD/DVD/HDD radio — $800
30GB hard drive with 6700 song capacity
6.5-inch touch screen display
Technology group — $495
Parksense rear park assist
506-watt Alpine premium sound system
9 speakers and subwoofer
Luxury group — $345
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
Overhead console with garage door opener
Glove box lamp
Sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors
Under-the-rail box bedliner — $245
Security alarm — $150
Key options not on vehicle:
Rear seat video system — $1695
Power sunroof — $850
Uconnect with voice command — $310
Rear backup camera — $200
Remote start system — $185
NA / NA / NA mpg
Size: 5.7L Hemi V-8
Horsepower: 383 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Curb weight: 6572 lb
Wheels/tires: 17 x 8.0-inch forged aluminum wheels
285/70R17 BF Goodrich all-terrain tires