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0907 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 July Update
four seasons long-term tests

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 - Four Seasons Update - July 2009

SUMMER
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 reviews to date

Months in Fleet: Three
Mileage to Date: 14,722

Our 2009 Dodge Ram is still as in-demand as ever. We've been using the Ram for everything from road trips to hauling trailers to helping friends move. In fact, the truck hardly ever sits unused, though we did manage to find time to have the dealership install a drop-in bedliner. The liner lists for $325 and installation should only take a little more than thirty minutes.

As soon as the bedliner was installed, we hauled a friend's 1972 Honda CB450 motorcycle in for a tune-up. Although the bed wasn't quite long enough to hold the bike with the tailgate up, we were able to use the bed extender, which held the bike with room to spare. The Mopar bed liner doesn't obstruct the cargo management system or any of the tie down points in the bed, which is very helpful when you need to secure objects with straps.

A towing trip through Canada left us wishing for a brake controller: "The lack of a factory installed option for controlling trailer brakes is a serious omission. Ford and GM have it, so why doesn't Chrysler?" There are many aftermarket trailer brake controllers available, but a factory controller is a much better solution. For those who frequently tow heavy trailers, this is an essential feature.

Aside from the lack of the brake controller, we had no complaints about the Ram's towing ability while hauling approximately 6500 pounds. The five-speed automatic transmission never hunted for gears, although it wasn't exactlyed taxed, as we encountered very few hills and were mostly following the 62 mph speed limit. We appreciated the coil spring suspension--the truck towed as well as any half-ton with conventional leaf springs would have in the same situation.

Friend of the magazine Alan Johnson borrowed the Ram for a few days and walked away impressed. Alan owns a 1996 Dodge Ram and immediately took to our 2009 example: "I like the interior right off the bat. Very spacious and excellent utility, with lots of storage compartments not just for your cell phone, cups, and sunglasses, but also large bins under the rear floor mats where tools and equipment can be stored out of sight of a potential thief."

Web producer Evan McCausland spent a few nights in the Ram and found the headlights woefully inadequate, "Could we put some better bulbs (SilverStars, maybe?) in sometime, or wire in some KC Daylighters? Please?" Still, McCausland is very happy with our Ram, "I love the ride, love the strong powertrain, love the spacious interior and the endless array of accessories."

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew 4x4

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

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

Powertrain:
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)

Chassis:
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

Measurements:
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:
ABS and ESP
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

Options:
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

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