Dodge has introduced its new 2009 Ram pickup, which is available with a choice of three cabs, three beds, five models, three engines, two transmissions, two transfer cases and dozens of options. For the first time, the new Ram gets a 4-door crew cab, as well as a smaller quad cab and 2-door regular cab. A 6-ft.-4-in.bed is available with the quad and regular cabs, while the regular cab also can be fitted with an 8-ft. box.
A new, more-aerodynamic grille, hood and mirrors aid fuel economy, while a tailgate spoiler also keeps the ’gate cleaner. There are a lot of new features on the Ram, including storage spaces in the floor; back seats that pivot with one hand; a large center console and sliding rear window. RamBox, available on crew-cabs, provides water-tight, lockable storage bins above each rear wheel, accessible from outside the cargo bed.
The optional 5.7L OHV Hemi V-8 is rated 390 hp at 5,600 rpm and 407 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm and comes with a five-speed automatic transmission. The Hemi costs $1,150 extra, has an improved cylinder-deactivation “fuel saver” mode and is EPA rated at 14/20 city/highway mpg. The new Ram also comes with a standard 3.7L V-6 and a 4.7L V-8. Next year, Dodge is slated to offer a light-duty Cummins turbodiesel with 25% better fuel-economy compared to an equivalent gasoline engine.
One of the major changes for trailerists is a switch from a leaf-spring rear suspension to a multi-link coil spring configuration, which smoothes the formerly stiff ride. The new Ram two-wheel drive with Hemi is rated for 9,100 lbs. trailer capacity. Ram 1500 prices range from $22,170 for a base model (including destination charges) to $44,140 for a 4WD Laramie crew cab.