As the term with our 2003 Truck of the Year comes to a close, we're still enamored with the 2500HD's Hemi power plant, macho looks, and spacious interior. Dodge thoughtfully designed the HD as a purpose-built work tool dressed in casual clothes. We've loaded the bed full of concrete bags, dropped 6000-plus pounds of weight on the hitch, and our Ram has merely shrugged off our pulling requests. The HD has been utterly reliable, requiring only regularly scheduled maintenance to keep it on the road.
Our only mishap was with a grab handle: The driver's A-pillar-mounted ingress handle pulled off at the 9800-mile mark. Complaints during our 12-month test revolve around the huge turning radius--which makes parking at the supermarket a multi-attempt affair--and the Hemi's gas-guzzling tendencies.
|2003 Dodge Ram 2500HD|
|Base price|| $30,305|
|Price as tested||$38,895|
|Vehicle layout|| Front engine, 4wd, 4-door, 5-pass|
|Engine||5.7L V-8, OHV, 2 valves/cyl|
|Hp @ rpm||345 @ 5400|
|Torque @ rpm||375 @ 4200|
|0-60 mph, sec||8.1|
|EPA mpg||Not rated|
|Average test mpg||12.0|
|Problem area||A-pillar handle|