As the automotive industry prepares for the 2010 North American International Auto Show I thought I would lead my ‘teen’ reviews with the vehicle that garnered truck of the year honors, the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty.
Notice I did not say “Dodge Ram” as the vehicle brand. Chrysler has chosen to spin its truck division apart from the Dodge world and simply call it “Ram.”
The specific ride we celebrate with is a Ram 3500 Crew Cab dual rear wheel model in 4×4 running gear and SLT trim. This thing is a beast and parking choices are severely limited at times. It fits nicely into my double-wide driveway but parking garages and mall parking spaces are another story.
This vehicle is, of course, certainly not for everyone and not even a prudent choice for many. This is a specialty vehicle for folks with the space for it in both their lives and their property. For me, I love it.
Dodge, sorry old habits are hard to break, Ram has given the 2010 Heavy Duty lineup a major makeover with improvements just about everywhere including updating the truck’s mug to the look they gave the light duty 1500 series last year.
Our tester came outfitted with the latest Cummins turbocharged diesel engine producing a whopping 350 horsepower and stump-pulling 650 lb. ft. of torque, the true measure of this workhorse. While this may not be the top engine in power on the market today it is being created by an inline six-cylinder engine where the competition needs eight to get their power. And this new 6.7-liter powerplant is the quietest Cummins yet, I did not even have to turn the engine off to order lunch at the drive-thru last week.
Here are some of the new model highlights:
• The New Crew: the 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty is available for the first time in a crew-size cab model — providing Dodge with a formidable entry in the highest-volume part of the heavy-duty pickup segment (approximately 50 percent)
• Cummins and HEMI®: Choice of legendary diesel- and gasoline-fueled powerplants
− 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel produces 350 horsepower (261 kW) at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb-ft. of torque (881 N·m) at only 1,500 rpm. The 6.7L meets stringent 50-state emission requirements and includes a segment-exclusive standard exhaust brake
− 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N·m) at 4,000 rpm. Features Variable-valve Timing (VVT) for greater efficiency and performance
• Improved driving dynamics:
− Ride greatly improved with re-tuned suspension components
− New C-pillar with fluid-filled hydro mounts
− Handling of fully loaded vehicle greatly improved with new suspension tuning
• Ram 3500 with dual-rear wheels, diesel engine, automatic transmission and 4.10 rear axle has an increased Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 25,400 lbs.
• Ram Heavy Duty 2500 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) increases to 9,600 lbs. from 9,000 lbs., a 600 lb. increase on Crew Cab and Mega Cab 4×4 models equipped with the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine
• Increased front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) of 5,500 lbs. on 4×4 models equipped with the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine allows for more front-weight carrying capability including greater snowplow weights
• Premium front seating with heat and ventilation; heated rear seats, heated steering wheel; automatic temperature control; two-tone upholstery; memory seats, radio and mirrors; navigation; adjustable pedals and numerous infotainment options including SIRIUS Backseat TV™ with three channels of programming, Uconnect™ Multimedia and an available first-in-segment 10-speaker surround-sound system
• Numerous storage options including in-floor storage
• Ram Heavy Duty 3500 offers superior towing capability at 18,500 lbs. and a maximum payload of 5,110 lbs.
• Offered in three cab styles (Regular Cab, Crew Cab and Mega Cab) and two cargo-box sizes (6-foot-4-inches and 8 feet), single and dual-rear-wheel configurations
• Integrated trailer brake controller
• Available in five trim levels – ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie and Power Wagon
• Exterior styling differentiates light-duty and heavy-duty models with unique grille, hood and bumpers
• B20 bio-diesel capability available to fleet customers
Our SLT-trimmed tester came with cloth seating configured for up to six adults in total comfort. I appreciated the cloth material on the really cold mornings this blustery winter we are experiencing. As I crawled around the truck for a close look I kept noticing evidence of this truck being run through some serious mud and water. As I was watching TV last night I figured out why. This is the same truck that was used in regional marketing commercials for Ram that feature the dually having a bit of fun in a rock quarry on a rainy day.
I really like this truck. It has improved ride and handling while being even quieter on the inside over the previous editions. There is more technology to keep passengers entertained and a few add-ons really added to the experience, especially the remote start.
Pricing for this big rig begins at $46,630 with our tester arriving in the Lone Star regional upgrade package coming in at nearly 53 grand. As I said, certainly not for everyone, but for those needing the power and ability of a heavy duty truck, make sure you check out the new Dodge – sorry, Ram – lineup.