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Dodge Small Truck 2020 Exterior – Dodge Small Truck 2020
Acceptable accompany never abort you. Really acceptable accompany never abort to accommodate you their auto trucks. For best folks, owning a auto is like owning a Ditch Witch: It’s a little too big and a little too single-purpose to accumulate about amid jobs. Better to borrow.
A year ago in January, our acceptable accompany at DaimlerChrysler lent us a red 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4×4 SLT Plus Sport for a few days. We akin it adjoin a Chevy Silverado, a Ford F-150, and a Toyota Tundra in a allegory analysis (“American Iron,” April 2002). At the end, abundant editors were singing psalms in acclaim of the Ram’s above berth and four abounding doors that it was awarded the long-stems.
Shortly afterwards that, our acceptable accompany at DaimlerChrysler alone off a about identical Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab. “Keep it a little longer,” they said. “How’s 40,000 afar sound?”
Suddenly, the Ram we were so addicted of borrowing was ours, at atomic for a year or so. Uh-oh. What do you do with a auto if you don’t chop copse for a active or tow a baiter with abundant metal cell in the gel covering to alter admission Scuds? Afterwards a few days, the canticle singing tailed off, and some ardent countenance furrowing began.
Added on that in a minute.
Here’s what the Ram ran up in options costs. A Customer Preferred amalgamation that arranged absolutely 29 abstracted items engorged the $27,450 abject amount for the Quad Cab 4×4 SLT Plus Sport by $6535. The aliment included covering ability seats with heaters, anti-lock brakes, ability windows and locks, aerial and folding centermost consoles, and a single-CD player. Choosing the Sport adaptation added $1185 to the abject price, which added aflame 20-inch aluminum admixture wheels, 275/60SR-20 Goodyear Wrangler HPs, a limited-slip 3.92:1 rear diff, and a body-color grille and rear bumper. The agent advantage with the better bores available, the 245-hp, 5.9-liter V-8 (and you allegation acquire the four-speed automated that comes absorbed to it), added addition $1570. We additionally got a trailer-towing amalgamation for $465. Finally, for $100 we commissioned the CD amateur for a nicer one commutual with a cassette slot. The result: a Texas-size barter at a Switzerland-size amount of $36,120.
Over 40,000 miles, the Ram alveolate bristles times for appointed oil changes and aliment and alert for surprises that were covered beneath warranty. The amount for anniversary oil run was aloof beneath $30, except for the 30,000-mile service. It ran up $149 in receipts, acknowledgment to an added air cleaner, new atom plugs, and analysis fettling.
All in all, it amount a frugal $266 to accumulate the Ram lubed and acquainted over the continued booty here, the atomic of any full-size auto we’ve sampled in the able six years. An ’01 GMC Sierra C3 AWD (June 2002) appropriate addition $117, a ’99 Chevy Silverado LT K1500 (July 2000) bare $44 more, and a ’97 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 (September 1997) added an added $161 to the dealer’s account gross.
We feverishly dreamed up tasks to accumulate the Ram rambling. Engineers bobbed the new Ram’s appendage by three adored inches to accomplish the berth larger, but the bed was still big abundant to handle best assignments. At altered times, copse chips, a Ford flathead V-8, a rowboat, and several motorcycles rode on the Ram’s aback porch.
At 4200 miles, one of our accidental editors carted his Honda Hurricane 1000 above the country to accept it serviced at the company’s U.S. address in Los Angeles. Aback asked if he had a botheration accretion the bike, our man of few words said, “Nope.”
He and others enthused over the Ram’s adequate seats and aerial 121-cubic-foot cabin. Dodge’s big action to nix the clamshell doors of the old Ram and go with four accepted front-hinged hatches won burning approval. Unlike added trucks we’ve wrestled with, the Ram didn’t sit abandoned aback the commuter apparent grew above two. Crates, toolboxes, and angled race-car genitalia rode in cloistral appearance aback we bankrupt up the rear seats and abundant the accessible bindle tray.
But the Ram’s stiff, Rubicon-tuned springs and shocks drew actual flak. “The ride is horrendous,” griped a staffer. “It agitation and all-overs over every ripple.” Best drivers had to attending up while aggressive into the waist-high cab. A few had problems council the big freighter in bound harbors. “This affair aloof feels immense,” wrote one. “I acquisition myself parking this barter with no attention for adjacency to the abundance access but with an eye adjoin ‘exit strategy.'”
The Ram was a affectionate assistant except for two analytical incidents. A abstruse and alternate awkward from beneath appeared at 17,208 afar and couldn’t be diagnosed, so the banker rotated the tires, and of course, the babble abated. And at 37,158 the manual bound itself in aboriginal gear. The banker apparent that the alive valve anatomy had gone “tango uniform.” It was replaced beneath warranty. The alone added assurance account was the ashtray, which fell in a abundance of genitalia assimilate the attic and was replaced at no charge.
In the meantime, a bivouac arrived—a Pace American Shadow GT 24-foot tandem-axle box trailer, to be precise—on accommodation from the Indiana-based manufacturer. Empty, it advised 4475 pounds and pushed a aperture through the air big abundant for an absolute NASCAR filigree to get a draft.
The potent-sounding but age-old 5.9 V-8 consistently acquainted bloodless compared with a commensurable Chevy. Amid accession and abandonment the Ram’s allegation quickened. The 60-mph clutter bigger from 9.7 abnormal to 9.2, and the quarter-mile from 17.4 at 79 mph to 17.0 at 80 mph. Braking ambit from 70 mph shrank by a negligible eight anxiety to 202. Compared with the Sierra, which bankrupt out its break with a baking 6.8-second 60-mph run, the Ram consistently seemed a little poky.
With the Pace American, the 5.9 met its match. Approaching the truck’s 7000-pound tow accommodation (our Silverado and F-150 comparo cartage allure 7300 and 7500 pounds, respectively), the Ram had agitation comestible freeway speeds. The manual bolter consistently and fruitlessly for added power. Grades were tackled at snail speed. Had it been available, the new Hemi would accept helped.
The Ram additionally wriggled and airy aback put in the harness, the bang activity from the bivouac agitative the Ram’s civil springs into frenzy. Alive the amount to alter the argot weight able little and never fabricated the Ram as candied or abiding a tow agent as the GMC Sierra C3.
The Ram swilled added than 3100 gallons of Saudi Select, averaging 12 afar to the gallon. The Sierra alternate 14, and offered 325 application and abiding AWD as bonuses. At atomic the Ram bare no added oil amid changes, but anchored to the Pace American, the Ram’s ability dwindled to 8 to 9 mpg.
Fixed up with a Hemi and a hardly beneath abrupt suspension, the Ram would be acceptable to break forever. Otherwise, we’re agreeable to borrow from friends.
COSGROVEBy far the tallest active acquaintance I’ve anytime had.
MATHEWSGreat for hauling, lots of basement room, but whoa, this is huge. Don’t apperceive if I’d appetite to ascend into and out of this barter every day.
MARKUSSwallowed a casket case, a affected cow, two mannequins, two behemothic tables, and more. Rides appealing rough, alike with a load.
SWANLots of allowance and adorable V-8 sounds from beneath the hood. On some woodsy advance there’s a convulse activity through the frame, and it’s accessible to get either end of the barter jumping about on taller bumps.
MAKIHoppin’ and buckin’ at 45 mph about town, I feel like I’m ridin’ the balderdash at Gilley’s.
WEBERNot aback driver’s ed. accept I had the “am I in my lane?” activity so abundant as aback I drive the Ram!
WEBSTERYou accept to brew the accelerator all the way to get a kickdown, and if you absolution the pedal alike slightly, it all-overs aback into overdrive and the agent aloof dies. There’s annihilation amiss with the powertrain that a Chevy small-block and a Hydra-Matic 4L60-E wouldn’t fix.
TOW TRAILER: We prodded the Ram’s towing banned aback Pace American of Middlebury, Indiana (800-247-5767; www.paceamerican.com), offered a Shadow 24-foot amid tandem-axle bivouac with a spring-assist beavertail access and ancillary door. Its abject amount was $6722, but we appropriately added $4129 account of options, including the zooty GT amalgamation (alloy wheels, graphics, stainless trim), autogenous lights, a checkerboard floor, aluminum footstep plates, an electric jack, and extra-bright LED taillights. The trailer’s animate anatomy and plywood abandon amounted to a barrier weight of 4475 pounds, abrogation aloof 2525 pounds for burden accommodation to break aural the Ram’s tow rating. Duesenbergs had to break home, but staffers put the Pace to assignment carriage their agile chase cars to breadth tracks. The Pace pushed the tiptoeing Ram about on the freeway, and its cetacean ambit accepted a claiming to cilia through bound paddocks. But the affluence of accretion an amid and ablaze assignment amplitude fabricated the Pace able-bodied account the effort. —AR
RETRACTABLE STEPS: This Dodge’s 24-inch step-in acme was too abundant for alike the nonvertically challenged. So we ordered a brace of modern-day stirrups, the $235 Kodiak SideWINDER electrically abandoning accomplish (800-962-2881; www.kodiaksidewinder.com). The accomplish automatically beat bottomward aback the agnate aperture is opened, accouterment a branch that is about amid amid the arena and the Ram’s sill. Aback the aperture closes, the SideWINDER retracts adjoin the Ram’s underbody, so it doesn’t get arranged with snow and is beneath acceptable to get damaged during off-road driving.
With the advice of the bright instructions and supplied hardware, accession took 10 hours, extenuative the $300 to $600 quoted by several shops. The accomplish are a benefaction for beneath folks. — Michael Lapprich
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