First Look: 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab
Six full-size passengers, with room to spare
By far the most significant shot fired in recent memory in the full-size truck battle, Dodge introduced its Mega Cab Ram at the Chicago auto show. Having been long criticized for the smallish Quad Cab rear seats and door combination, Dodge made the new Mega Cab almost 20 inches longer than the current four-door configuration (and 12 inches longer than the Ford F-250 Crew Cab), giving Dodge buyers the most interior space (a total of 145.2 cubic feet) available in any full-size pickup. In fact, Dodge claims there's more rear-seat legroom in the Mega Cab than in the ultra-luxury Maybach.
In addition, a clever rear-seat design (split 60/40) allows for a class-first reclining seat back as well as a fold-flat-forward configuration--resulting in almost 70 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the rear seats. Behind those seats are two hidden storage compartments, specifically designed to hold tools, towing gear, and recovery straps. Although technically offered in 1500, 2500, and 3500 configurations, the all-new Mega Cab models will be based off the Ram Heavy Duty chassis, allowing for a wide variety of payload and towing capacities. Expect payloads between 1400 and 2800 pounds and maximum towing capacities between 6300 and 16,000. All current Mega Cab models will be based off the 160.5-inch Quad Cab longbed wheelbase. All Mega Cab bed lengths at this time will be shortbed models, but we'd expect longer-wheelbase models (maybe even a longbed dualie) to arrive later. Half-ton models will be offered with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and five-speed automatic, while the 2500 and 3500 models will come with a choice of the Hemi with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic, and the 5.9-liter High-Output Cummins turbodiesel with the six-speed manual or heavy-duty four-speed automatic.
Although pricing was not announced, two-wheel-drive Mega Cab models should start near $27,000, with options like a sliding rear window, an all-new navigation system, and rear-seat DVD entertainment pushing prices up to the mid-$30,000s. Expect Mega Cabs to be in showrooms by fall.