Dodge Rampickup1500 2009 Detail Specification Video Reviews


From $21,520
Unmatched ride quality for a truck, well-made interior, nifty storage spaces, powerful Hemi V8, loads of interior space.

Weak base engine with poor fuel economy, five-speed-only transmission, optional touchscreen’s jumbled stereo menus.

The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 has been fully redesigned. Highlights include a new rear suspension design, updated styling, more power and up-to-date technology.

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“This thing rides like a truck.” That’s not a compliment, and it’s usually applied to vehicles with harsh, unsophisticated rides that are more Conestoga wagon than Cadillac. Buyers of full-size pickups have long assumed that such discomfort just comes with the territory. The 2009 Dodge Ram could be the impetus for changing those expectations.

For reasons too numerous to list, full-size pickups have always had leaf-spring rear suspensions, a design that sandwiches strips of steel together to locate the rear axle and to support the truck’s weight. It’s an inexpensive, durable and time-tested design, but it also causes jerky rear-axle motions that make it difficult to keep the rubber on the road if the surface is less than glass-smooth. In simpler terms, leaf springs and respectable ride comfort don’t mix.

The 2009 Ram 1500 is the first full-size pickup that throws leaf springs into the time capsule. Instead, it has a heavy-duty coil rear suspension that not only results in a remarkably civilized ride, but also saves weight, enables the fitment of a rear antiroll bar and improves off-road performance. Don’t expect buttery smoothness — the springs still need to be sturdy enough to sustain the Ram’s massive hauling and towing capabilities, so some jiggling over bumps and freeway hop is inevitable. But for a full-size truck, the Ram’s relaxed ride is revolutionary.

Elsewhere, the Ram’s 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine receives a boost in power, clocking in at an impressive 390 horsepower. Fuel economy is better too, thanks to an improved cylinder deactivation system and a more aerodynamic body. In fact, the 5.7-liter engine gets the same gas mileage as the weakling base V6. The Ram’s interior has also been drastically improved, while a number of neat storage options are introduced. A more traditional crew cab replaces the old Ram’s Mega Cab, after many customers complained that it was just too mega. While smaller, the new crew cab still boasts limolike rear legroom, though the storage area behind the backseat has been eliminated.

In sum, we think the 2009 Dodge Ram is a winner, even if the popularity of full-size trucks is waning. For those who’ll still need the prodigious hauling and towing capabilities of these workhorse vehicles, the Ram is just as good as, if not better than, the current top dogs, the Chevy Silverado and Toyota Tundra. It’s got all the usual bases covered, yet it doesn’t “ride like a truck.” Now that’s what we call progress, particularly given the cutthroat competition in this segment.