2000 Ram 3500 New Car Test Drive
Dodge Ram backs up its bold looks with powerful engines. It boasts excellent street manners with a smooth ride, quick steering and excellent brakes.
And it comes with a host of significant changes for the new model year: more powerful engines; new front suspensions and steering systems for improved ride, directional stability and steering precision; new brake systems. Two new options have been added to the lineup for 2000, a special off-road package and a luxurious leather SLT Plus package.
Like all other American full-size pickup trucks, the Dodge Ram offers an enormous breadth of choice.
Ram is available in three load ratings: 1500, 2500, and 3500. Five engines are offered: 3.9-liter V6, 5.2-liter V8, 5.9-liter V8, 8.0-liter V10 and a Cummins 5.9-liter diesel inline-6. Every engine comes with a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Rams come with either two- or four-wheel drive. Short and long beds are available.
Both of the popular V8 engines were upgraded last year. The 5.2-liter V8 produces 230 horsepower; the 5.9-liter V8 generates 245 horsepower and an impressive 335 pounds-feet of torque. For 2000, buyers will be able to get either a V10 gasoline engine or a Cummins turbo diesel in a 2500 or a 3500 series truck.
Standard, Club Cab and Quad Cab bodies are available in LT, Laramie SLT, and SST trim levels. Regular-length beds are 6 1/2 feet long, optional long beds are 8 feet long; short and long wheelbase versions are available.
A Sport Plus package comes with 17-inch wheels and tires, suspension upgrades and a 5.9-liter V8 with sport exhausts.
The Ram Off-Road 4x4 packages a recalibrated suspension and LT275/70R17 all-terrain tires mounted to 17-by-8-inch cast aluminum wheels, a unique steering gear for low-speed agility, and a limited-slip differential; the package includes an upsized battery and alternator, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, a larger radiator, front tow hooks, skid plates, fog lamps, heavy-duty service equipment and unique Off-Road decals. This package is available in regular cab and Quad Cab 1500 short-bed four-wheel-drive models.
The upscale SLT Plus package comes with a leather interior, new front driver and passenger power-adjustable heated seats, a rear under-seat storage compartment, CD player with Infinity speakers and remote audio controls in the steering wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, keyless entry, security alarm, fog lamps and anti-lock brakes.
Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are now standard on all 3500 models. For 2000, Dodge Rams are available in three new colors, including Dark Garnet Red, Sierra Bronze and Patriot Blue.