2007 Ram 3500 New Car Test Drive
Pickup trucks are America's ultimate raw material. Generic in concept, the lowly pickup truck can be configured in dozens, even hundreds of ways to suit any need and price point. The Dodge Ram Heavy Duty lineup is a perfect example.
The heavy-duty Rams have been with us for a few years now. Last redesigned for 2003, they aren't nearly as new as the latest from Ford and General Motors but benefit from some recent freshening.
New for 2007: The Ram Heavy Duty benefits from a new diesel engine and automatic transmission plus some minor refinements.
The Ram Mega Cab was launched as a 2006 model. Mega Cab is built on the Heavy Duty chassis and comes fitted with the Hemi engine. The extra-large Mega cab was created by re-proportioning the relationship between cab and bed on a long wheelbase truck, adding 20 inches to the cab and shortening the bed to 6 feet, three inches.
The result is acres of cab space, with six seats and plenty of head, shoulder, leg and hip room. The back seats are roomy and comfortable with reclining seatbacks, separate rear heating and air conditioning outlets, reading lights and a center armrest with cup holders, and available DVD entertainment. And there's space behind the back seats for cargo. Folding down the back seats reveals a huge cargo area (72.2 cubic feet) with a flat load floor. The rear doors open big and wide, making it easy to load stuff inside. Covered bins are provided back there for storing gear and smaller items, and hooks are provided for hanging things.
The Mega Cab Ram rides and drives like a heavy duty pickup, regardless of 1500, 2500, or 3500 rating. It doesn't make sense to buy one unless you're towing and hauling heavy loads.
We found the new Cummins turbo diesel quiet, powerful and responsive. It provides engine braking down long highway grades, thereby leaving the brakes cool, fade-free, and ready for stopping. The diesel's power and fuel economy make it an excellent choice for owners who tow heavy trailers long distances.
The Ram HD is equally at home serving solo contractors, landscape crews or families with heavy toys, and everyone in between. Despite a reputation for being the most truck-like, the heavy-duty Rams are civilized and make trucking enjoyable.
The 2007 Dodge Ram HD comes in three trim levels, ST, SLT and Laramie, and three cabs (regular, Quad, Mega) with a range of engine choices, payloads and towing capacities. A TRX4 (mild off-road) and Power Wagon (more severe off-road) model are offered only on 2500-series trucks.
The Mega Cab 1500 is the light-duty configuration, but still has the heavy parts underneath and can haul payloads of up to 2,430 pounds and trailers of up to 8,750 pounds when equipped with 4.10:1 axle gears. The Mega Cab 1500 comes with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and a five-speed automatic transmission, and prices range from SLT 4x2 ($31,270) to the Laramie 4x4 ($40,725).
The 2500 ($25,905-$42,925) comes standard with the Hemi V8 with six-speed manual or available five-speed automatic, optional with the Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel ($7,095) and a six speed manual or six-speed automatic ($1,575). The Power Wagon is $37,035-$39,990 depending on cab, and 4WD adds about $3,000 to any standard 2500-series.
The 3500 ($30,515-$49,090) may appear pricey because the Cummins diesel is often standard equipment, especially on dual rear wheel models. Engine and transmissions are similar to 2500 models, though the Hemi doesn't rev as much and is detuned to 330 hp.
For adding your own box or work platform, Chassis Cab models are offered in regular and Quad cab versions of 2500 and 3500-series trucks, starting at $21,635.
ST models are workhorses, with standard vinyl floor and upholstery, although they do include chrome bumpers and grille outline, air conditioning, ABS, CD player, intermittent wipers, sliding sun visors, a full-size spare, and tinted glass. Options are limited to powertrain and chassis equipment, side curtain airbags, and a few cosmetic upgrades.
SLT, the standard trim on Mega Cabs, includes Essentials stain-repellent cloth upholstery, an overhead console with mini trip computer and compass, speed control, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, and power mirrors. Options for SLT include a power-sliding rear window, a bed liner, powered trailer tow mirrors, sun roof ($850), power adjustable pedals ($120), AM/FM/6CD/MP3 with Infinity speakers ($950), cassette ($100), navigation radio ($2,545), Sirius satellite radio ($195), DVD rear-seat entertainment system ($1,200), UConnect Bluetooth hands-free wireless communication system ($325), bucket seats ($490), and 17-inch forged aluminum wheels ($345). A part-time electric shift transfer case is available on 4WD models.
Laramie models add leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, heated front seats, security alarm, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Sentry Key engine immobilizer. Options on the Laramie package include an entertainment system, sun roof, bucket seats, Bluetooth, and the navigation radio.
Safety features include dual front multi-stage airbags, three-point belts in all seating positions with constant-force retractors, LATCH child-seat anchors, child-protection rear door locks, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Side-curtain airbags for front and rear seats are optional ($490).