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2004 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab SLT

 The Good:  Superb hauling capability.  True commercial grade truck.  Roomy interior.  Little body sway or lean.

The Bad:  High ride height, hard to enter without a side step.  Loud Diesel engine noise. 

           As far as trucks go, few models get bigger than this Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab.  The exterior is very large, beginning with a mammoth front end with a bold grille to match.  Walk around the outside and the commercial grade Cummins Turbo Diesel engine deafens all else around you.  It is loud on the outside, on par with tractor-trailers.  You can easily smell the fumes of this Diesel if you miss the small badging on the side of the Ram.  Getting into the cabin almost requires a small ladder. The suspension raises the Dodge Ram up very high above most other things on the road.  Large wheels and tires also help push this truck into the stratosphere.  In back, an optional plastic bed liner gives this Ram a durable work truck look and feel, just add dirt. 

The Dodge Ram 2500 interior is big and roomy.  The cabin is very wide, easily accommodating three persons in each of the two rows.  A great feature is the 85-degree opening of the rear doors, which means easier entry and exit for rear seat passengers.  The four doors open in a regular car like fashion which means you do have a pillar separating the front and rear compartments.  These doors being forward hinged allow for increased side impact protection, for those slight chances that you may be hit by an 18-wheeler big rig.  

The interior seating is adorned with leather with suede inserts for a luxury feeling.  Both front seat bottoms are powered for movement in many different ways.  Plastic panels everywhere else feel solid and fit well.  Large door handles are great for using with gloves on.  Interior passenger volume is rated at a whopping 121.1 cubic feet. 

A business console for adjustable storage is built into the front center armrest.  Standard equipment from Dodge and Chrysler is used for the stereo with controls behind the steering wheel for quick adjustments.  Our model's optional Laramie package puts in a great sounding seven speaker Infinity Sound System.  Everything else is simple and easy to use with big buttons for adjustment even when you have gloves on.  Dual zone climate controls allow for temperature differentiation.  Both front seats are heated with two temperature settings.  A simple knob is also there for changing between two wheel drive and four wheel drive high and low modes.  A trip computer is located on the roof near the rear view mirror.  There is storage in the doors, and two adjustable cup holders in the dash.  Glove box storage was low.  Hooks can be found for hanging bags up front as well.  The instrument cluster is a easy to read white background with black lettering.  Overall the interior is nothing bold or new, it is simple and feels dated compared to the competition from Ford and Nissan.  We would like to see a totally new modern and futuristic interior in the Ram series soon. 

The ride of the Ram 2500 is not the smoothest we have seen on a truck.  The Ram bounces over bumps and the suspension is not tuned to smoothen out road imperfections like in a car.  Body lean and dive is low for a vehicle of the Ram's size.  Interior noise levels are low with the windows up, which keeps the large amount of noise from the Cummins engine out.  

Behind the wheel the Ram does feel like a rather large truck.  The high driving position makes everything else on the road look like toys.  The frame is solid and strong and you certainly have that go-anywhere attitude sitting up high in the Ram.  Bumps are felt in all seats quite harshly as compared to smaller trucks.  We liked the brakes very much, which are quick to bring this giant to a stop with a solid feeling at the pedal.  Steering feel is low, but again, we expected that on a truck of this size.  Rack-and-pinion steering is available on 4x2 models for a better feel.

A unique and innovative manufacturing process has been used to build the Ram trucks.  The traditional way has always been to use stamping and welding to make and join body parts together.  However, with Hydroforming, the parts are molded with highly pressurized water.  This allows for greater strength and impact absorption, reduces the number of welds, creates a stiffer body that weighs less and rides more comfortably.  We did notice that there was a very solid feeling both on road and off.  The truck also performed exceptionally well during commercial uses such as picking up yards of topsoil or transporting outdoor power equipment.  With 8.4 inches of ground clearance, you can really do almost anything with the Ram 2500 although the fact that a VW Touareg can climb to give 10 inches of clearance is not very comforting.

Today's diesel engines utilize advanced technology to offer smooth, responsive performance while increasing fuel economy approximately 30 percent and reducing CO2 emissions an average of 20 percent, compared to equivalent gasoline-powered vehicles.  Chrysler Group's new diesels are a key technology available today that can dramatically reduce the amount of crude oil consumed worldwide with an existing infrastructure.  A long standing member of Chrysler Group's powertrain offerings is the Cummins Turbo Diesel. In 1988 Chrysler Group and Cummins revolutionized the diesel pickup with the Cummins Turbo Diesel.  Advanced diesel is a proven technology.  For years, Europeans have enjoyed the fuel economy benefits that diesel engines provide.  More than 42 percent of all passenger vehicles sold in the European Union, and an even higher proportion of luxury vehicles sold there today, are powered by diesel engines.

The super long lasting 5.9 Liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine option in this Ram is a monster.  It is loud and churns out power in commercial grade style.  Our quad cab model with 4x4 and the automatic transmission diesel engine can tow up to 12,000 pounds with a 4.1 axle ration.  Payload can weigh 2140 pounds.  Dodge's towing guide is a good feature on their web site to show you what truck can tow how much weight you have in mind.  Output is rated at 325 horsepower and 600 lb ft of torque.  This means quick acceleration under any load.  The only problem with this much power is the loud engine noise on the outside of the Ram.  You will not be able to order anything at the local drive through window, because the tellers will never be able to hear you over the engine noise. 

On highways, the power comes on as a 'wizzing' sound much like an 18-wheeler sounds when speeding by.  The engine sound can be heard for yourself by watching the video we have made.  A link can be found on the left hand side under the pictures.  Gas mileage came in at 13 miles per gallon on our mixed highway and city driving.

            The truck bed is lined with a hard plastic interior which was a great feature to have.  Usually loading dirt and mulch in the back means ruining your paint job, but this feature allows you to have your way with the shovel in the truck bed.  The high ride height of the Ram does make unloading what ever you have in back difficult for normal household conditions.  This truck is more attuned to cargo loading docks than a home driveway.  There are no steps on the side to easily grab things inside so you have to be pretty tall to get at things in the bed.  The tailgate door is very heavy and so closing with one hand is not something you should try. 

Safety is also considered in this truck, with the Ram being the only heavy duty trucks to offer side curtain air bags.  Child seat anchors, crumble zones, and high strength steel door beams on all four doors are standard. 

            The price tag of the Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab SLT starts off at $31,375.  Add the Laramie Package and you add $4,805.  This package is essential for looks, interior comfort and features.  Automatic transmission is a must and optional at $1,095.  The large Cummins turbo diesel engine costs $5,460 more.  The total of our test car came to $44,565, a hefty price tag for any truck.  However if you want a commercial truck that will last a long time, then this may be the one for you.  

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing 27,930 31,375
Destination 850 850
Cummins 5.9L Turbo Diesel 4,805 5,460
Automatic, 4-Speed 964 1,095
Customer preferred Laramie Package 2UH 4,228 4,805

 

 

  2005 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500
4dr Quad Cab SLT 4WD SB Cummins Diesel
2005 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
4dr Crew Cab LS 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 5M)
2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD
4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
2004 Ford F-250 Super Duty
4dr Crew Cab Lariat 4WD SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M)
2004 Nissan Titan
4dr Crew Cab LE 4WD SB (5.6L 8cyl 5A)
MSRP $31,375 $34,450 $34,775 $36,400 $34,300
Invoice $28,123 $30,144 $30,428 $31,884 $31,005
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 7 yr. / 70000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V8 V8
Base Engine Displacement 5.7 liters 6.0 liters 6.0 liters 5.4 liters 5.6 liters
Horsepower 3250 hp 300 hp @ 4400 rpm 300 hp @ 4400 rpm 260 hp @ 4500 rpm 305 hp @ 4900 rpm
Torque 600 ft-lbs. 360 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 360 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 350 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm 379 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm
Wheels chrome steel rims
17 x 8.0 in.
chrome steel rims
16 x 6.5 in.
chrome steel rims
16 x 6.5 in.
alloy rims
16 x 7 in.
alloy rims
18 x 8 in.
Front Seat Type 40-20-40 split bench 40-20-40 split bench 40-20-40 split bench 40-20-40 split bench captains chairs
Video Not Available DVD player - Optional Not Available Not Available DVD player - Optional
Navigation System CD navigation system - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available DVD navigation system - Optional
Turning Circle 48.9 ft. 49.6 ft. 49.6 ft. 56.6 ft. 45.3 ft.
Max. Payload Capacity 2720 lbs. 3293 lbs. 3296 lbs. 2460 lbs. 1643 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 13050 lbs. 12000 lbs. 12000 lbs. 14200 lbs. 9400 lbs.
Length 227.7 in. 237.3 in. 237.3 in. 245.8 in. 224.2 in.
Width 79.9 in. 79.7 in. 79.7 in. 79.9 in. 78.8 in.
Height 78.5 in. 77 in. 76.2 in. 80.8 in. 76.7 in.
Weight 6083 lbs. 5907 lbs. 5907 lbs. 6270 lbs. 5341 lbs.
Wheel Base 140.5 in. 153 in. 153 in. 156.2 in. 139.8 in.
Ground Clearance 7.9 in. 10.6 in. 10.6 in. 8.3 in. 11.5 in.
Interior Ram Pickup 2500 Silverado 2500HD Sierra 2500HD F-250 Super Duty Titan
Front Headroom 40.8 in. 41 in. 41 in. 41.4 in. 41 in.
Rear Headroom 40 in. 39.9 in. 39 in. 41 in. 40.4 in.
Front Shoulder Room 67 in. 65.2 in. 65.2 in. 68 in. 65.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 66.7 in. 65.1 in. 65.1 in. 68 in. 64.6 in.
Front Hip Room 65.1 in. 61.4 in. 61.4 in. 67.4 in. 61.3 in.
Rear Hip Room 64.6 in. 62.9 in. 62.9 in. 67.3 in. 60.5 in.
Front Leg Room 41 in. 41.3 in. 41.3 in. 40.7 in. 41.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 36.4 in. 39.1 in. 39 in. 41.3 in. 40.4 in.
Maximum Seating 6 6 6 6 5

 

 

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