The Dodge Ram 1500 was a pioneer in the now booming full-size truck arena. It established that a full-sized utility truck could also be a capable people transporter and daily driver. And as full-size trucks become bigger, more powerful, and more luxurious, Dodge is keeping up with the competition having extensively re-engineered the Ram 1500 in 2006. The current rendition provides even more responsive and smoother handling, in addition to refinements that stress safety and efficiency. The different engine choices are also matched well to their transmissions for seamless gear changes and power delivery. Overall, the Ram 1500 adds even more design excellence to the already golden era of the full-sized truck class.
See also the main fact sheet for the Dodge Ram 1500.
- The Hemi engine provides ample power for towing
- Hardwork capabilities a with comfortable interior
- Frame stiffness makes the ride quality limitations more obvious (The Car Connection)
- 5.9-liter V8 is crude (USA Today)
- Needs lots of room to park (Carpoint.com)
- No extended cab model (Kelley Blue Book)
Performance and Handling
The Dodge Ram rides nicely even when empty, but it rides better with a some weight in the bed. The Ram's rigid chassis minimizes road vibration. Rack-and-pinion steering contributes to sharp handling. The result overall is that the Ram offers responsive handling, a comfortable ride, and a general feeling of tightness.
The Ram is a big truck and on narrow roads it feels big and tall, with broad fenders that seem to fill small country roads. The ride height of the Ram adds to this sensation. It's sometimes difficult to be sure exactly where your fenders are because you can't see them. Quad Cab models add 20 inches to the wheelbase and a long bed adds another 20 inches, so a Quad Cab long bed is a long truck, riding on a 160.5-inch wheelbase. It's long on roominess and utility, but not the easiest to turn around.
That said, the Ram handles reasonably well and powers through or over just about anything, even when the tires aren't always precisely where you intended to place them.
All Rams come standard with big four-wheel disc brakes that are smooth and easy to modulate. As mentioned, a choice of engines is available for the Ram. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is the most popular engine choice. Fire up the Hemi, let it idle, and it burbles like a good old American V8, though there's nothing old or outdated about this engine. Although technically a traditional pushrod design with its camshaft in the block, the Hemi's head geometry is more like that of a multiple-overhead-cam engine and features twin spark plugs, direct ignition, and electronic throttle control. It's a thoroughly modern engine. The Hemi features Chrysler's Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which can deactivate four of the eight cylinders when cruising for as much as a 20 percent gain in fuel economy. The switch from eight cylinders to four is usually undetectable to the driver.
The Hemi's peak power and torque ratings are 345 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 375 pound-feet of torque at 4200. It comes with a modern five-speed automatic transmission that adds to its responsiveness and flexibility. Punch it and you know you've got a Hemi under the hood. A properly equipped Hemi increases the Ram's towing capacity to 9,100 pounds yet it's rated 14/18 mpg (with 2WD).
The smaller, 4.7-liter V8 delivers responsive performance, though it doesn't offer the trailer-towing torque of the Hemi. Equipped with the 4.7-liter, the Ram feels eager around town and on winding roads. It accelerates quickly onto freeways and has no trouble powering up grades. This is a smooth, sophisticated engine that always feels ready to go. Its overhead-cam design makes it smaller and more efficient than overhead-valve engines. Fuel efficiency ratings are 14/19 mpg (with 2WD). For 2007, the 4.7-liter V8 is available in most states with Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV) capability, meaning it can run on gasoline or up to E85 Ethanol.
The 4.7-liter V8 revs higher than an overhead-valve engine and generates 235 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It feels smooth and refined, emitting a pleasant American burble while underway. The optional five-speed automatic is responsive.
The 3.7-liter overhead-cam V6 is smooth and works well with the manual six-speed gearbox. If you don't live in the mountains where long grades and high altitudes conspire against you, then it may offer enough power in a light-duty truck. It's not a good choice for pulling trailers or hauling heavy loads. The V6 develops 215 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque, and is rated 16/21 mpg with manual transmission, 15/21 with automatic.
Trailer towing capacities range from 2,900 pounds for the V6 to 9,100 pounds for a Hemi 2WD Regular Cab. A 4WD Quad Cab with the 4.7-liter and automatic transmission is rated to pull a 7,050-pound trailer with the 3.92 rear axle ratio. The available 20-inch wheels reduce towing capacity by about 1,000 pounds. Payloads range from 1,200 pounds to 1,750 pounds. In short, if you tow or haul, compare these capacities before selecting a model. On automatic Rams, a Tow/Haul mode for the transmission provides crisper shifts and reduces gear searching for reduced heat buildup when towing.
Four-wheel-drive models use a part-time transfer case that can be shifted electrically from two-wheel drive without stopping. Shifting into 4WD High locks the center differential. Shifting down to low range provides superior traction in extreme conditions. The front axle driveshaft is automatically disengaged when operating in two-wheel drive. This minimizes the front-drive system's energy consumption and improves fuel economy.
A full-time four-wheel-drive system is also available. Under normal driving conditions, the full-time system delivers 48 percent of the torque to the front wheels and 52 percent to the rear wheels. It's an excellent choice for icy conditions, gravel roads, or any situation that presents inconsistent grip. This system includes a locking transfer case that features 4WD High and Low modes.
A limited-slip rear differential is available and it is recommend for drivers who intend to go off road. A Protection Group includes tow hooks plus skid plates for the front suspension and transfer case. Automatics are available with a 3.55 axle ratio, or a 3.92 ratio, the latter better for towing and off-road driving. Some manual transmission models come with a 3.21 ratio for maximum economy.
The Dodge Ram 1500 has the following safety features available:
- Advanced multistage driver and front-passenger air bags
- Available supplemental side-curtain air bags
- Child seat tether anchors (LATCH)
- Child-protection rear door locks
- Sentry Key engine immobilizer
- High-strength steel door beams
- Four wheel Anti-lock breaking system (ABS)
Reliability and Maintenance
Dodge offers a 3 year/36,000 mile limited warranty which includes towing assistance.
Interior and Comforts
The Dodge Ram is among the roomiest of the full-size pickups, and its cab is a pleasant place to be. It sacrifices a few inches of bed space for interior space.
Regular Cab and Quad Cab versions offer identical roominess in the front seats. Standard front seating in the Ram is a bench split 40/20/40. The narrow center section features a large fold-down armrest with a compartment big enough to hold a laptop. Both the cloth and the leather seats are comfortable. The driving position is good, with good visibility in all directions, though the aerodynamic front end makes it impossible to see the front corners. Big mirrors on the Ram make it easy to see what's behind.
The bucket seats in the Sport version are comfortable and supportive and the sporty fabric looks durable. New fabrics for '07 are designed to be more stain and odor-resistant than before, while also reducing static cling. Laramie models get silver trim adorning the door panels and instrument bezels. Laramie comes with distinctive leather trim, with higher-contrast color seat inserts.
The Ram interior shows attention to details that add utility and convenience. The big fold-down center armrest/console comes with adjustable dividers and a power outlet. A hook on the passenger-side floor well is provided for securing a plastic grocery bag or anything else with suitable handles.
A power accessory delay and active turn signals have been added for '07. Premium amenities such as the full-screen GPS navigation radio and Bluetooth hands-free communications are available, along with a rear-seat DVD system for Quad Cabs.
Overall, the center dash is a paradigm of convenience. Large heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) buttons can be operated while wearing gloves. A textured fabric is used for trim around the audio and HVAC controls that gives the center dash a nice look and feel. Just below the heating controls is a slot lined with a rubber mat that's perfect for a wallet. A big panel below that folds down with adjustable cup holders. Overhead is a console with an effective pair of map lights, a trip computer, a compartment for sunglasses, and a compass, which every self-respecting truck should have.
The design of the standard audio system could be improved for ease of use. Sometimes you have to search for the right button to press. Setting a preset for a station requires pressing a separate Set button, rather than just holding the preset button down. Small, sliding bass and treble controls are harder to adjust than knobs when bouncing around in a pickup truck. Steering wheel audio controls improve this situation with brilliantly designed buttons behind the steering wheel that are easy to use. Likewise, cruise controls on the steering wheel are easy to operate and come packaged with a tilt steering column.
The interior materials appear to be of good quality. The available faux wood surface on the center stack looks okay, though it's clearly not wood, partly because of the way it's molded around the nooks and crannies. White-faced instruments with turquoise numbers look sporty and trendy, but don't offer the legibility of traditional white-on-black designs, particularly at dusk. The top brow of the instrument panel provides glare protection in bright sunlight. At night, the instruments are nicely illuminated in green.
Power adjustable pedals let shorter drivers adjust their seating position better so they aren't sitting so close to the airbag. This improves comfort, safety, and drivability. Power adjustable pedals are a good choice for two-driver families because they allow shorter drivers to move farther away from the airbag-armed steering wheel, reducing the chance of airbag injuries. Regular Cab models come fitted with a tray behind the seats big enough to hold a large bucket. Dodge even supplies the bucket, and a tray designed to carry tools and such. Big hooks behind the seats are handy for hanging dry cleaning or plastic shopping bags.
The Quad Cab features a roomy rear seat, with enough rake to the seatback to make it comfortable for two adults, though there isn't a lot of legroom. The size of the rear bench makes it suitable for child safety seats, and all three rear seating positions are fitted with tether anchors. With one hand you can flip the Quad Cab's rear seat down. An optional metal frame then folds into place to create a rigid platform designed to support 500 pounds, useful for carrying cargo. The rear doors open 85 degrees, making it easy to get in or load gear, and the rear windows glide all the way down. Overall, the Quad Cab is a friendly, practical design for hauling people and gear. If you need even more room, take a look at the Mega Cab.
The 2007 Dodge Ram presents a bold, distinctive appearance with its big horse-collar grille and Freightliner fenders. The concept dates back a dozen years, but it received a major redesign for 2002 and a makeover for 2006. The headlamps cut back deeper into the fenders, and a flattened front bumper on Sport and Laramie emphasizes Ram's big-rig image. A slot in the front bumper aids engine cooling and air conditioner performance.
Ram's trademark front grille remains one of the most instantly recognizable front ends on the road. A thick band of chrome surrounds the grille on ST, SLT and Laramie; the band is body color on Sport models and grey on Work Specials. The broad, sloping hood has a pronounced crown that falls over the sides to the prominent front fenders.
A fast, raked-back windshield enhances aerodynamics and water management, while gracefully blending modern sleekness with Ram's retro lower body. The leading edge of the front door overlaps the A-pillar, creating a smooth transition from the front of the cab to the side. Everything is smooth and integrated. The big side mirrors, great for visibility, are mounted on platforms to minimize wind noise, and a channel has been specially designed to keep water off of the mirrors. A small spoiler at the top of the tailgate, new last year, is said to improve fuel efficiency.
Rams sit relatively high off the ground, particularly the four-wheel-drive models. Tailgate load height is 35 inches on four-wheel-drive models, and a little over 33-1/2 inches with two-wheel-drive. That seems high when trying to heave heavy gear aboard. All beds are fitted with boat cleats designed to handle 1,000 pounds each.
Ordering the long bed adds 20 inches to the wheelbase of a Dodge Ram. And a Quad Cab wheelbase is 20 inches longer than a Regular Cab. So a Quad Cab long bed has 40 more inches of wheelbase than a Regular Cab short bed. Long-bed Rams also get a bigger fuel tank, 35 gallons in place of the standard 26.
The frame is fully boxed and hydroformed.
Styles and Options
The Dodge Ram 1500 is available as a Regular Cab or four-door Quad Cab and there are two bed lengths are available: a 6-foot, 3-inch short-bed and an 8-foot long-bed.
Several engines are offered: A 3.7-liter overhead-cam V6, 4.7-liter V8, and the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard with the 3.7-liter V6 and 4.7-liter V8. A four-speed automatic is optional with the V6. A five-speed automatic is optional with the 4.7-liter V8 and standard with the 5.7-liter.
There are trim levels available: ST, SLT, Laramie, Ram Sport, and TRX4 Off-Road.
- Vinyl upholstery
- Wind-up windows
- Air conditioning
- AM/FM/CD stereo
- Rear-wheel ABS
- 17-inch steel wheels
- Full-size spare tire
- 4.7-liter V8
- Six-disc CD changer
- Power windows and door locks
- Keyless entry
- Overhead console with mini-trip computer and compass
- Speed control
- 17-inch aluminum wheels
(Laramie is available only with the Quad Cab and comes with the automatic transmission)
- Dual-zone climate control
- Steering-wheel mounted audio controls
- Four-wheel ABS
- Security alarm
- Sentry Key engine immobilizer
- Leather seats are standard
- Split 40/20/40 bench up front
- Power adjustment for the driver’s seat
- 5.7-Liter Hemi V8 engine
- Five-speed automatic transmission
- Unique cloth-faced bucket seats
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Body-color grille and bumper fascia
- Fog lamps
- 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels
- Unique 17-inch aluminum wheels
- P265 all-terrain tires
- Limited-slip differential
- Skid plates
- Special red-painted shock absorbers
- Body-color grille surround
- Tow hooks
- Fog lamps
The Trailer Tow Group Package
- Class IV hitch receiver
- Seven-circuit wiring harness
- 750-amp battery
- Heavy-duty engine cooling
- Auxiliary transmission oil cooler when equipped with automatic transmission
Work Special Package
- Gray bumpers
- Gray grille
- 17x7 steel wheels
- Ford F-150: side-by-side comparison
- Nissan Titan: side-by-side comparison
- GMC Sierra 1500: side-by-side comparison
- Honda Ridgeline: side-by-side comparison
- Lincoln Mark LT: side-by-side comparison
- Toyota Tundra: side-by-side comparison
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500: side-by-side comparison
WikiCars Contributor Favorites
Dodge Manufacturer Sites
- Dodge Ram 1500 - Official US Site
- srt10forum.com - Dodge Ram SRT10 Forum
Dodge Car Dealer
- Car and Truck Dealership - Car and Truck Dealership