Because this is a review of the 2010 Ram 1500 SLT Regular Cab 4×4, we should mention towing capacity, payload and its gross vehicle weight rating. So here they are. The Ram 1500 we tested had a max tow rating of 10,250, max payload of 1440 lbs. and gvwr of 6,350 lbs.
That out of the way, let’s discuss the Ram 1500 SLT Regular Cab as an ordinary passenger device because (a) that’s how we’re equipped to test, (b) we suspect most owners will use this configuration as regular transportation, and (c) we used it for regular transportation. We’ll back up (2) by noting that our test Ram 1500 was equipped with a $680 Luxury Group and a $1,565 Media Center. This is no muddy boot work truck.
As a regular cab, however, it loses the day-to-day convenience of the Quad Cab or Crew Cab’s added interior room but also the out-of-the-weather and safe-from-light-fingers interior room for groceries, cardboard boxes or whatever. The good news is that there is room behind the seats for computer bags, a mid-size cooler or even a small backpack. A couple of fly rod tubes will fit as well. It’s a wide cab.
Everything is outsized on the 2010 Ram1500 cab, however. The seats are big, the console is wide enough to eat dinner on and the shifter, despite a zigzag movement, is set off to the left, leaving room for a cubby deep enough to hold a couple of large fries and two cupholders on the right. The interior is full of storage compartments, whether the double glovebox, the very large big under the center armrest, a little tray atop the centerstack made just for pens and pencils.
The speedometer and tachometer have large faces, even then with room for an info center between them. Data is access via a novel controller on the steering wheel: up and down on the left spoke, left and right on the right. The $1,565 Media Center package is Chrysler’s excellent system with the familiar 6.5-inch touch screen we’ve used in other Chrysler products and it never disappoints. The navigation system is easy to use and helped us in Manhattan locate a to particular parking garage in Midtown–yes, there’s a surcharge but make sure you get the on-line coupon–as well as the best route out around the traffic to the Lincoln Tunnel.
Yes, we drove the test Ram 1500 in Manhattan, which provides a certain intimidation factor that a Smart fortwo lacks, but with the standard bed and cab the Ram 1500 isn’t so long as to be unwieldy. Using the Ram in our regular exurban driving, the park-straight-in supermarket parking spaces weren’t particularly foreboding. The overall vehicle width, however, made us look for wider spots, and we were particularly pleased to have the $200 rear back-up camera which displayed on the media center screen.
In regular driving, however, the TRX4 off-road suspension and LT275/70R17 tires meant a thigh-high step up into the cab. Without foot rails, well, a gentleman always carries a stepladder for a lady.
The Ram 1500’s engine starts with authority, just as the 5.7-liter Hemi under the hood of our test 2010 Ram should and it idles with a steady throb. Then again, we would have rather have had a more Hemi-like exhaust note. Time, we think, to head to the muffler shop for a set of dual pipes and sport mufflers.
Our test 2010 Ram 1500 accelerates like it has the 5.7-liter Hemi it does, despite its 4900 lb. mass. There’s no redline marked on the tachometer but left to its own devices the transmission shifts about 5500 rpm. That’s first to second at about 40 mph and then into third about 80 mph, though that’s, ahem, without any self-incriminating confession.
The tall tread of the off-road tires are squirmy under hard braking and the big and heavy wheels and tires react the flexing of the tires’ sidewalls. The shock absorbers put in overtime to control the recoil of the rolling mass, but over rough roads there’s a whole lot of passenger jiggling going on. However, thou shalt fear no pothole, and on smooth roads the ride was civilized and the off-road tread was surprisingly quiet. The optional Alpine audio system won’t be a waste of $250 after all.
Driving the 2010 Ram 1500 SLT Regular Cab 4×4 with the off-road package as ours did not only intimidating to Manhattan cabbies–can you can “bigger than me” in Farsi?–but also looks good driving by and catching the reflection in the plate glass shop windows. The standard cab/standard bed/off-road kit is a more masculine look than even an honest pair of Levis and a muscle shirt…presuming muscles, of course.
The exterior has a few interesting details, including the rubber flap between the cab and bed, apparently to cut wind noise. The tailgate locks for security of heavy items, including the tailgate itself.
The huge ram’s head logo on the tailgate shows a certain ambivalence on the part of the Chrysler Group. As a part of the restructuring of Chrysler, pickup trucks were split off from Dodge, Dodge Trucks becoming simply Ram. However the huge emblem reads…Dodge. Go figure.
This is a review of the 2010 Ram 1500 SLT Regular Cat 4×4, though, and what matters most in a pickup truck road test is towing capacity, payload and its gross vehicle weight rating and the rest is all fluff. But we thought we should mention it anyway.