2006 Ram 3500 New Car Test Drive
This may be the golden age of the full-size pickup. Indeed, it's impossible to buy a bad full-size pickup nowadays. The all-new Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan have made headlines. Toyota has a new Double Cab model, and there are strong entries from Chevrolet and GMC. In spite of all this, the Dodge Ram remains an excellent choice. It may be the best choice, depending on what you want in a truck.
Rams are smooth and refined, particularly when compared with the previous generation. The cabs are comfortable and convenient, among the roomiest in their respective classes. The Quad Cab is handy for hauling friends and family but even the standard cab is roomy. Arguably, the Ram is the best-looking truck on the market. The styling is bold and handsome, more sophisticated than the previous design.
The Hemi V8 engine has drawn much attention for its power and efficiency as well as the heritage its name evokes. It is an exceptionally good engine, smooth and very responsive. Adding to its responsiveness is a five-speed automatic. The popular 4.7-liter V8 delivers responsive performance. It's also smooth and sophisticated, benefiting from a modern overhead-cam design. Full-time four-wheel drive (all-wheel drive) is available with the 4.7-liter for improved stability in slippery conditions.
New SRT-10 models, available in both Quad Cab and Regular Cab models for 2005, look like NASCAR Craftsman Trucks and run like race cars, with stunning performance from their Viper V10 engines and high-performance brakes and suspensions. The Guinness Book of World Records called the SRT-10 the fastest production pickup.
Dodge Ram is available in two cab configurations, Regular Cab and Quad Cab. Regular Cab models start at $20,180 for a 4x2, $24,285 for a 4x4. Quad Cabs are four-door models that ride on a wheelbase 20 inches longer than comparable Regular Cab models. Quad Cabs start at $24,190 for a 4x2, $28,175 for a 4x4.
Two bed lengths are available, a 6-foot, 3-inch standard bed and an 8-foot long-bed. Ordering the long bed adds 20 inches to the wheelbase. Long-bed Rams also get a bigger fuel tank, 35 gallons in place of the standard 26-gallon tank. Long beds add $300-$350 to the price.
Several engines are offered: Most popular is the 4.7-liter V8, a modern overhead-cam engine. The most powerful engine in the regular lineup is the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which adds $795 to the price. A 3.7-liter V6 is available for those who want the lowest price and maximum economy, but only with two-wheel drive. At the other end of the scale, there's the rip-snortin' 8.3-liter V10 in the SRT-10 models rated 500 horsepower and 525 pound-feet of torque.
New for 2005 is a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment with the 3.7-liter V6 and 4.7-liter V8.
ST is the base level. It comes standard with air conditioning, but is equipped with wind-up windows, manual door locks, and vinyl upholstery.
SLT adds $1,700-$3,200, depending on cab style and driveline. It comes standard with the 4.7-liter V8, and adds cloth upholstery, nicer interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a host of convenience items, and wider tires.
Laramie is the top trim level, with leather seating surfaces, dual-zone air conditioning, a premium stereo, 17-inch cast aluminum wheels, and a long list of luxury features. Offered in two packages, Laramie retails for $7,800-$8,900 more than the base trim level.
Sport trim, available for most models, includes fog lights, 17-inch aluminum wheels, body-colored exterior trim, and special interior trim. Aggressive 20-inch wheels and tires are also available.
The SRT-10 is available in both regular cab ($45,000) and Quad Cab ($50,000) models for 2005.
A power sunroof with one-touch open and close features is a new option for 2005 Quad Cab models. Sirius Satellite Radio is available for 2005 Quad Cabs as well. A new UConnect hands-free cellular telephone system that can communicate with Bluetooth-enabled cell phones is available, and there's a new integrated radio/navigation system.
The Off-Road package ($870-$1,405) comes with unique 17-inch aluminum wheels on LT275/70R17 off-road tires, 3.92 rear axle, limited-slip differential, skid plates for the transfer case and front suspension, special shocks, tow hooks, fog lamps, and a heavy-duty cooling system.
The Work Special package is designed to deliver affordability with gray bumpers, grille, and 17x7 steel wheels.