New Car Reviews

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 – Four Seasons Update – February 2010

Long-Term 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Update: Winter 2010 ( 4 of 5 ) Miles to date: 0

Months in Fleet: Eleven
Mileage to Date: 35,904

Uncharacteristically, the Ram hasn’t accrued many miles in the last four weeks. Blame the thief who stole our navigation unit and the week the truck sat at a dealership waiting to be repaired. The cost of the visit was $3589.53 and the single biggest expense was the $2050 navigation unit. Now that the Ram’s back in action we’re happy to have another 4-wheel-drive vehicle, as the snow continues to fall.

Road test coordinator Mike Ofiara recently signed the Ram out for a weekend and walked away very impressed saying: “After a snow-filled weekend with the Ram I can say with no doubt that this truck is my favorite Four Seasons vehicle.” Our online logbook is literally filled with pages of praise for the truck’s combination of a smooth ride, refined interior, and capability. Our new favorite feature is the combination of remote start, heated seats, and a heated steering wheel. Web producer Evan McCausland describes the trio as “simply amazing in a frigid Michigan winter.”

Despite the Ram being sidelined for part of the month, we still managed to put the truck to work. Associate editor Eric Tingwall recently moved and naturally chose the Ram as his moving companion. He was very pleased with the bed extender but found the drop-in bedliner a nuisance when not using the extender: “Before the bedliner, you were able to lock the divider into place against the back of the cab, perfect for when you wanted it out of the way. Now, it’s a clumsy burden when you need an empty bed. You’re either forced to stash it in the cab, leave it loose in the bed, or use it as an extender.”

Using the extender also makes one wish for a more intelligent set of back-up sensors. If you lower the tailgate, like one would do while hauling objects that require a bed extender, then decide to reverse, the back-up sensors “beep incessantly” according to Tingwall. The same thing happens when a trailer is attached to the truck. We’d love it if the sensors were disabled while trailer lights were plugged in or the tailgate lowered. The constant beeping makes maneuvers with a trailer more frustrating and they must be deactivated manually each time the truck is started.

With only a month left in the Ram’s stay we’re already wondering how we’ll live without a truck in the coming months. There are 24 Hours of LeMons races coming, camping trips being planned, and boats that need to get to the lake. Sure, SUVs can tackle many of these tasks, but we’ve become big fans of the Ram.

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