2009 Dodge Ram
More like a Mild Revolution

We're never going to the kind of dramatic entrance the new Dodge Ram made in 1994 when it broke all previous design molds. That kind of radical departure, especially when they had nothing to lose, just won't happen again in this highly competitive segment. Full-size truck design now has the fortunes of large corporations at stake and nowhere is that more evident than in the new Dodge Ram. Regardless, and to their credit, they are trying to shake things up with some interesting and dramatic designs and problem-solvers. The first thing you'll notice is the newly styled grille, intentionally made to echo the Dodge Charger (and coming Challenger) tilt-forward cross-haired grille. Designers say they wanted the new face of the truck to be like a finger poking in the chest of any competitor that sees their truck coming.

The new look is more balanced and proportional than the previous truck and will offer three different cab configurations: Regular, Quad, and Crew Cabs, the last an all-new offering that will finally give Dodge owner four full-size doors. The three engines are the same 3.7-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8, and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 offered last year, with the bigger V-8 getting all sorts of premium technology and upgrades for 380 horsepower and 404 lb-ft of torque, as well as better fuel economy (thanks to intake improves and a more aggressive MDS computer system).

Interior design is a dramatic change for the Ram with vastly improved seats, soft-touch dash materials, a new center console shifter, and even more storage options. We should also note the transmission will offer a very cool floor-mounted (foot) shifter with either of the V-8 options. Other significant departures from the previous generation are underneath the truck as well. All 1500 Rams will offer a live axle and coil spring suspension in the rear to allow for better empty and loaded ride and handling. Rams will give up a little in max payload and towing capacity, but will most likely offer the best ride of the segment. Additionally, Ram will be the first to offer its RamBox as an option with CrewCab models, where hidden in-bed storage compartments will offer more lockable cargo room than many sedan trunks.

You'll even be able to use two floor storage chests for drinks or gear with CrewCab models. We assume the new Dodge Ram will continue to be aggressively priced, slotting in the $22,000 to $40,000 range, depending on model and engine choice.


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