Dodge Ram 1500 ST
Mopar's Hardest Worker Can Cost Less Than a Caliber
Even though ST is the base trim level for the half-ton Dodge, there are numerous options for this half-ton Ram. The ST comes with a choice of three cabs--regular, Quad, and crew--and three engines--3.7-liter V-6, 4.7-liter FlexFuel V-8, and 5.7-liter V-8. All the improvements that came to the half-ton for 2009 worked their way down to the base model, including the rear coil-spring suspension and improved fuel economy in the Hemi. The least-expensive truck in the least-expensive line is powered by the 215-horse V-6, backed by a four-speed automatic. The standard-length bed is six feet, four inches long and holds 57.5 cubic feet of cargo. The regular cab also is offered with the eight-foot-long bed. Four-wheel drive is not available with the V-6; for that, you have to move up to the 310-horse, 4.7-liter V-8.
Telltale signs you're looking at an ST include dark-gray front and rear bumpers (upgraded bumpers seen here), a noticeable lack of badges (you get the Ram's head, but not much else), dark-gray fascia, chrome grille surround with a black insert, halogen headlights, and black manually operated mirrors. A full-size spare mounted on a cosmetically different wheel is stowed under the bed.
Inside, you'll find crank-up windows and manual door locks--the regular cab ST is the only half-ton Ram with them--heavy-duty vinyl floor covering, a 12-volt power outlet, six-speaker AM/FM/MP3-friendly CD stereo, and a 40/20/40-split vinyl bench seat. Air-conditioning, cigarette lighter, and ashtray are included. The steering wheel is urethane, and there's a tilt column. Tire-pressure monitoring comes with the ST, plus power steering, intermittent wipers, dual front and side-curtain airbags, and ESP. Add it all up, and this truck would run $22,170.
Options include a bedliner, cloth seats with folding armrest/console, carpet, floor mats, Sirius satellite radio, engine-block heater, tow hooks, larger tires, hitch, and power windows. There's also an ST popular equipment group with power windows, locks, and power heated mirrors. The 32-gallon fuel tank comes with the regular-cab long bed. If you chose a topped-out ST, before tacking on additional options, the Quad Cab 4WD would cost $30,635.
As is the case with General Motors, if Dodge has a pickup truck, it's available as a fleet purchase. This includes the SLT, Sport, TRX, and Laramie trim levels and all engine/transmission combinations seen in the Dodge half-ton lineup. Crew cab models only get the 5.5-foot bed (RamBox bedrail storage is available) and Quad Cab Rams come with the standard length bed--if you want the 8.0-foot bed, your only option is the regular cab.
Fleet buyers can get vinyl floor covering on the SLT model and a floor shifter is available. As with the rest of the half-ton Ram line, a 730-amp battery and heavy-duty shocks are standard. Interested buyers can get DRLs, skidplates, and UConnect. Dodge will also equip trucks with racks, storage solutions, toolboxes, and ladders, and can do custom paintwork. Interested in something other than a Ram? Chrysler Fleet Operations also sells the Sprinter and the Grand Caravan Cargo Van, plus the Grand Cherokee, Journey, Aspen, and Durango. Visit www.fleet.chrysler.com for more details.