The Dodge Ram 1500 is Chrysler’s entry in the traditional American full-size pickup truck market. While it offers the expected full range of configurations, features, and options, in some important areas the Ram is significantly different from its competitors. Also, it no longer carries the Dodge nameplate, as one of the changes brought on by the reorganization of Chrysler is that the Dodge brand is now assigned to the passenger cars and the trucks are under the Ram brand name. So, from now on it is just Ram.
The Ram 1500 is available in the expected configurations: Regular Cab, Quad Cab (think of it as an extended version of an extended cab, with the rear doors hinged at their front edges), and a full four-door Crew Cab. There are three available engines: A 3.7-liter V6 of 215 horsepower, a 4.7-liter V8 of 310 horsepower, and the famous 5.7-liter Hemi of 390 horsepower. The V6 is fitted with a four-speed automatic transmission and the two V8s have a five-speed automatic. The V6 is available with two-wheel drive only, but the two V8s are available with either two- or four-wheel drive.
On the outside the Ram 1500 carries the familiar big-rig look started by Dodge. On the inside it is full of interesting features. It’s an American full-size pickup truck, but it is different in several ways from its most likely competitors, the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The interior has its own flavor and offers several interesting amenities, and the cargo box has some unique features. Underneath, where for decades pickup trucks have had live axles with leaf springs, the Ram’s live axle is suspended by coil springs and it is located by four trailing links and a lateral track bar. And then there’s the availability of the powerful Hemi engine.
For 2010 there are only minimal changes. There is a slightly higher Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), with the V6 engine there is a fuel-saver indicator, all engines have a deceleration fuel shutoff for improved economy, there is an available integrated trailer-brake controller, and a few other details of trim or options.