New Car Reviews

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 – Four Seasons Update – December 2009

Long-Term 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Update: Fall 2009 ( 2 of 5 ) Miles to date: 0

Months in Fleet: 9
Mileage to Date: 33,556

A mere nine months into our Four Seasons test our 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 has blown past 33,000 miles. The big news around the office has been the cost of the Ram’s 30,000 mile service: $756.67.

What did we get for such an astronomical price? A new engine air filter, engine oil and filter, a tire rotation, new wiper blades, front brake pads, and a tune-up that included 16 new spark plugs (yes, the Hemi uses two plugs per cylinder) checking the ignition cables and PCV and checking the engine specs. Labor alone for the tune-up was $278.40 and the plugs were $10.00 each. A Ram brand public relations contact couldn’t shed any light on why the spark plugs need to be replaced every 30,000 miles, but he did confirm the service interval and pointed out that the plugs are not platinum tipped. While the truck was in the shop, we also had the RamBox locks replaced as part of a service bulletin.

Despite the rather steep service bill, the Ram is making lots of friends around the office thanks to its optional remote start system. We’re able to fire up the engine and start heating the driver’s seat and steering wheel from the comfort of our homes on frigid mornings, which makes it even more difficult to get the Ram’s key as temperatures hover in the single digits.

We’ve had our first brush with winter weather in Ann Arbor and the Ram has proven itself a worthy adversary for the snow we’ve seen thus far. Four-wheel-drive allows drivers to get through snow, mud, and other nasty conditions, but it’s quite a lot of fun to turn off ESP and do donuts in empty parking lots while running around in two-wheel drive.

A recent trip to Chicago to collect a set of tires was no problem for the Ram. With a 32-gallon fuel tank, it’s possible to drive for hours without stopping and there was ample room in the crew cab for all four tires on the return trip. Sure, putting the tires in the bed of a truck makes more sense but there was so much room in the cab our staffer decided to keep the tries out of the weather on the return trip. The Crew Cab configuration limits bed space, but offers a tremendous amount of room inside.

Though we still have three months of our Four Seasons test, we already fear the loss of our Ram. This big truck won us over in the past few months and even managed a spot on our coveted All-Stars list for 2010.

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