2015 Ram Power Wagon Long Term Report 2 of 4

Long-Term Update

Christian Hazel
Apr 16, 2016
Photographers: Christian Hazel
We’ve been driving our ’15 Ram Power Wagon every day, everywhere. Grocery store, highway, desert, inner city—it is tasked with it all. What we’ve been discovering is it’s still an easy truck to love every day; it’s just the parking and fuel bill that can get a bit aggravating.
The big 6.4L Hemi is a thirsty sucker. The best mileage we could muster was 13 mpg on an all-freeway trip at a snail’s pace of 60-65 mph. In fact, if it weren’t for a disproportionately high number of freeway miles for this installment, the actual mileage for mixed driving would be somewhere in the high 9s to low 10s. That said, we’ve hauled some pretty heavy loads in the bed of the truck and pulled a few vehicles around on trailers and the big Hemi just don’t care. The 410 hp is plenty to get you up to speed in no time flat, and the 429 lb-ft of torque makes sure you stay there no matter the load or the grade.
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Right around the 7,500-mile mark the vehicle flashed a “service required” message, so off to the dealer we went. An oil change with 7 quarts of 0W-40 full synthetic oil and a tire rotation set us back $86.74. While the vehicle was in the service department, it was suggested we have them do the R40 “radio safety” recall, which reflashes the infotainment system so hackers can’t remotely override the vehicle.
Overall, it’s a very solid-feeling truck, whether wheeling through a desert wash or smoothing out undulated freeway expansion joints. There’s no annoying rattles, wind whistles, or chassis noises. You sit super-high up and above traffic with a commanding view of what’s going on around you. On cold mornings, the heated seats and leather steering wheel are quickly making wusses out of us, and the auto-temperature feature of the HVAC system with independent driver and passenger zones allows the cabin to be at a comfortable level no matter who is riding in it.
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We’ve used the snot out of the RamBox cargo management system. Without the additional interior storage area of an SUV, having a secure, dry place to put sweatshirts, groceries, backpacks, or other stuff you want safe and sound is a lifesaver. The one bummer we’ve found is the increased height of the Power Wagon’s suspension, coupled with the wide RamBox system, makes loading things into the bed from the side an awkward proposition unless you’re 6 1/2 feet tall. It’s hard to get a clean shot at the bed floor to grab something that’s by the bed bulkhead.
Function-wise, we love that the T-case operates via an old-fashioned lever. Big screaming kudos to Ram on that one. Wanna know that the four-wheel-drive system is doing? Forget a dash idiot light—look down and see where you’ve manually plunked it. Actuation is sure, predictable, and smooth, with none of that “shift into Neutral, swing a dead cat over your head three times, and cluck like a chicken” foolishness you need to do in order to get some modern trucks into 4WD. Likewise, the locker actuation is just as fast and true. We’ve had some Rubicon Jeeps that didn’t want to engage or disengage the lockers in some situations, but the Power Wagon always complies right away like an eager little puppy—or, more accurately in the Power Wagon’s case, like a big, burly Malamute.
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Report: 2 of 4
Previous Reports: Nov. ’15
Base Price: $48,790
Price as Tested: $61,000
Long Term Numbers
Miles to date: 13,685
Miles since last report: 8,412
Average mpg (this report): 11.05
Test best tank (mpg): 13.0
Test worst tank (mpg): 9.3
Test Maintenance:
Oil change, tire rotation, radio security flash
Test Problem Areas:
Finicky airbag light, vinyl door trim
Logbook quotes
“Driving this truck feels like you’re sitting a mile high.”
“RamBox for the win! They are a great place to securely stash stuff that doesn’t otherwise fit in the cab.”
“Hello, gas station: We meet again!”

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