The big and bold full-size pickup truck from Dodge enters its next generation for the 2006 model year. Outside, the design gets even bolder with new fascia, grille, headlamps, fenders, and wheels. Inside, the center console, seats, instrument panel, and even radios and entertainment features have been redone. There's also a power sliding rear window feature, a DVD entertainment system, and a full-screen navigation radio. The newest Ram features a new frame, suspension, and body mounts, as well as a Hemi V-8 engine with multi-displacement technology designed to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent under certain conditions. In addition to front air bags, the new Dodge Ram 1500 can be equipped with side curtain air bags.
Dodge applied big-rig styling cues to its full-size pickup truck in the mid-1990s and the Ram became not only a capable work truck, but a stylish conveyance as well. For the 2006 model year, the truck was redesigned inside and out, and features a new frame and suspension designed to improve ride and handling characteristics, and new body mounts to help keep the ride quieter for those inside the cab. Also new are an electronic transfer case and a front-axle-disconnect system for four-wheel-drive models.
The 2006 Ram is available with rear- or four-wheel drive, in regular or Quad Cab versions, and with six- or eight-foot beds. Among light-duty Rams, there are the 1500 ST, 1500 SLT, 1500 Sport, and top-of-the-line 1500 Laramie, as well as a Ram SRT10 version powered by the same engine that motivates the Dodge Viper.
Dodge notes that with a 345-hp, 5.7L Hemi V-8, the Ram 1500 is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the U.S. market. For 2006, that big Hemi includes MDS, a technology that shuts off four of the cylinders when they are not needed, such as when the truck is merely cruising down the road. This can produce as much as a 20 percent fuel savings, according to Dodge. Also available are a 235-hp, 4.7L V-8, and a 215-hp, 3.7L V-6, each with a standard 6-speed manual transmission. Dodge also builds the Ram SRT10, a high-performance super truck propelled by the 500-hp, 8.3L V-10 engine used in the Dodge Viper sports car.
The Dodge Ram 1500 competes in the highly competitive Large Pickup segment, where payload, power (but also interior features) are crucial elements in the purchasing decision.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM full-size pickups account for nearly 15 percent of annual new light-vehicle sales in the U.S. The Ford F-150 is the segment sales leader with 865,404 units sold in calendar year 2005. Others include the Chevrolet Silverado (705,981), Dodge Ram (400,543), GMC Sierra (229,488), Toyota Tundra (126,529), Nissan Titan (86,945), and Chevrolet Avalanche (63,186).
|ST||6 speed manual||$21,150||215-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||16/21|
|SLT||6 speed manual||$24,250||235-hp / 4.7L 8-cyl||14/19|
|SLT/TRX4 Off Road/Sport||6 speed manual||$27,820||235-hp / 4.7L 8-cyl||14/18|
|SLT/TRX4 Off Road||6 speed manual||$28,160||235-hp / 4.7L 8-cyl||14/18|
|Laramie (Discontinued)||multi-speed automatic||$29,320||235-hp / 4.7L 8-cyl||14/19|
|SRT-10||6 speed manual||$47,605||500-hp / 8.3L 10-cyl||9/15|