Big and also brash, the Dodge ram lineup consists the full-size-pickup spectrum with a vast selection of human body configurations, trim packages, and also powertrains. Hardcore boulder-climbers will love power Wagon, while NASCAR Craftsman truck enthusiasts will certainly lust ~ the Viper-powered SRT-10. Most consumers, however, will loss somewhere between those 2 extremes, likely attracted to the qualified 1500 truck in regular-cab or Quad Cab forms.

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Dodge launched the present iteration the the light-duty lamb for the 2002 version year to an excellent acclaim because that its interlocutor exterior styling and mechanical advances. Due to the fact that then, dodge has continued to enhance the range, most notably with the addition of the 5.7-liter hemi V-8 in 2003. Rear-wheel-drive models come standard through a 3.7-liter V-6, yet most buyers will opt because that either the 4.7-liter V-8, traditional on four-wheel-drive models, or the laudable Hemi. New for 2005, a six-speed hands-on transmission comes standard through both the V-6 and also the 4.7-liter V-8, replacing last year"s five-speed. The hemi mates come a five-speed automatically only. The cabins come in two guises, regular and Quad Cab, through the an option of three mainstream trim levels--ST, SLT, and Laramie, each with increasing degrees of convenience and also comfort options. Cargo-bed lengths measure 6-foot, 3-inches through the quick wheelbase models, or 8 feet with the lengthy wheelbase, through either cab choice.

The chiseled, look-at-me styling that the lamb 1500 provides it a standout among the residential competition, through the enormous grille gift the many striking exterior feature. The figure of that distinctive visage varies depending on trim level and option packages selected; the base ST design gets a gray plastic grille that doesn"t do justice to the truck"s wild look; fancier trim levels boast a chrome finish far better suited to the big-rig personality; and the sports Appearance Package offers the sleekest nose, with a body-color surround and also centerpiece. Laramie and SLT versions space also easily accessible with 20-inch chrome wheels to finish the assertive look. The Quad Cab attributes four actual doors, with the rear accessibility ports opening 85 levels to help ingress/egress and also facilitate cargo loading. Everything about this rig is big, which deserve to make getting in and out a quite a hike because that the vertically challenged. That"s the price you salary for all this existence on the road.

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The Ram"s inner goes from basic utilitarian in the basic ST come plush in the Laramie. The general format is monolithic, showing the stark, car exterior design. Together an upright dash and center stack design accentuates the roomy accommodations, while offering the cabin a modern, tough appearance. We uncover the style and also perceived top quality straddle the center ground between Ford"s stylish splendor and GM"s outdated cavern. Assembly is far better than average, through tight, continuous panel fit, though the surface complete quality is midpack. The white-faced gauge cluster has prominent tachometer and also speedometer dials, which have satin-silver bezels in the Laramie package. The audio and climate controls situated on the center stack look at a little bit dated, yet their layout and also operation space straightforward. Laramie trim provides dual-zone climate control, together with two-tone animal leather seats.

Both driver and passenger front airbags space standard on every models, and unlike the Ford F-150 and also the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins, the lamb 1500 supplies optional side-curtain airbags. To accommodate a child-safety chair on two-door models, the passenger airbag can be switched on and off. Brakes are an additional area where the ram sets chin apart: Large-diameter bowl brakes in ~ all 4 wheels are standard, together is rear-wheel ABS. The Laramie package upgrades come ABS in ~ all 4 corners. Rear-drive models may have actually a tricky time navigating snowy winter roads, together traction and also stability manage are conspicuously absent.

The mix that powertrains available in the lamb 1500 arrays from the overtaxed 3.7-liter V-6 come the mighty 8.3-liter V-10 lifted indigenous the dodge Viper. The V-6 hooks up only to rear-wheel-drive, and the SRT-10 is a low-volume model, so most buyers will pick from two V-8s. The smaller of the two, a 4.7-liter unit do 235 horsepower and also 300 lb-ft of torque, connect to one of two people the traditional six-speed hand-operated or a five-speed automatically transmission. A "kick-down" mode is featured in the automatic, permitting the transmission to take a reduced ratio for 2nd gear under high-load situations. The real star that the drivetrain lineup is the 5.7-liter/345-horse hemi V-8 through 375 lb-ft of torque mated come the same 5 -speed automatic. 2 4WD transfer instances are offered: one part-time, one full-time. Appropriately equipped, the ram 1500 is rated to tow approximately 9,250 pounds.

Driving the Ram, you"re constantly mindful of its tremendous size. Because that someone unaccustomed to sitting up this high, piloting this van the an initial time have the right to be dizzying. Despite its scale, however, the Ram has relatively good road manners. Its light steering provides an accurate action with decent feel, and also this pickup take away corners reasonably well--credit the massive wheels and also tires and also stiff hydroformed frame. Yet while cornering capability may it is in a strength, the suspension refinement in its entirety is a vital weakness of the Ram, as it bows come the much more refined courtesy of the F-150 and Nissan Titan. The smaller sized 4.7-liter V-8 has satisfactory power and also torque; it"ll get the job done, however that"s all. Hemi-engined Rams, top top the other hand, room a blast to drive. They have the right to sprint to 60 mph in a sport-sedan-matching seven seconds, and also make sufficient torque come tow a large trailer through ease.

A functional machine, the ram 1500 fits well into a wide range of do-it-yourself lifestyles. It"s a comfortable family vehicle for Sunday trips come the home-improvement store. It"s at house on the farm, hauling hay bales and also horse trailers. The can even be a sports truck or a mud-slinger. Just like all pickup trucks, ram body, engine, and trim options all have the right to dramatically influence resale value and fuel economy, making it important to determine your real driving needs and desires and also balance them versus the IntelliChoice Five-Year price of property data. If fuel economic climate figures in the low- to mid-teens space acceptable come you, the hemi engine is challenging to beat.

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Casting a formidable shadow, the Dodge ram 1500 is a well-mannered workhorse, supplying an appealing variety of comfort, power, and also configurations, with even an ext choices to come because that the 2006 model year.