2004 Dodge Ram 2500
4x4 Quad Cab SLT
Good: Superb hauling
capability. True commercial grade truck. Roomy interior. Little body sway
High ride height, hard to enter without a side step. Loud Diesel engine
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
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
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.
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.
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.