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Article Comments - 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 First Drive / Full Test

Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,024
Prepare yourselves, fellow truckers, for a brand new day. No more will you be surprised by a sideways leap of the [non-permissible content removed] end of your truck when you encounter midcorner bumps or cross railroad tracks.

First Drive: 2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500

Karen-Edmunds Community Manager


  • As the owner of a 2004 Ram with over 100k miles of trouble free driving, I'm looking forward to the new Dodge. I need to have a truck that can pull a trailer though. I have a Honda Odyssey and a Toyota Camry and needless to say, I'm tired of paying tow truck drivers to deliver my cars to the dealership when they break. Which is more times than I want to admit too.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Sort of off the subject a little, but I have to scratch my head when I hear someone say something about the "plastic interior" on the current RAM series. I look at my son's 2003 RAM and compare it to the F150 and I have to wonder. The F150 looks more stark and has very rough...dry if you will...plastic surfaces.

    As far as that goes, I've heard the same complaint about Chrysler products in general. When I was assisting my girlfriend in the purchase of a car for her daughter, I had a chance to compare a few other makes. The Cobalt has a terrible hard plastic interior. The new Impala is all plastic, although admittedly much better looking than a Cobalt.

    Anyway, I'd like to see the new RAM since the early reports are quite positive regarding the interior.

  • I am a huge fan of Dodge Ram trucks. I currently own a 2006 model 2x4 with app. 60K miles on it! Its has been a wonderful experience driving this truck. Smooth ride, powerful engine, not to mention the sheer size. I have not yet had time to see the 2009 model in person, but just looking at the photos I can already say its an excellent truck.

    My truck currently avgerages (2007 and earlier numbers) about 19 MPG (so about 16 in the 2008 numbers). I have had no problems on this truck which I bought November of 2006. So I will have to wait maybe another 6-7 months before buying.
    I would like to ask does anyone know when Dodge will offer incentives on this truck? :confuse:
  • I had a chance to evaluate one of the 09 Rams in a Laramie version at my local dealer & would have to say this may be the new benchmark in the full size truck segment. Although I have not driven one as of yet, I can state the interior details in Laramie form anyway are probably tops for a truck & rival most luxury cars. The build quality & basic engineering appear to be on the mark; its just that in order for this new pickup to prove itself we've got to get our economy on track. Now when future light duty Cummins diesel versions & modern Phoenix V-6's are installed in 2010/11, Dodge will have the complete package. Can we or Chrysler survive until that time?
  • I recently test drove ...and purchased an 09 Ram Laramie 1500 4x4 crew cab. I've driven it a little over 4000 miles (all highway miles) in the 3 weeks I've owned it. My impressions thus far can be summed up by ..."WOW!" ...Disclaimer: I am an unrepentant Dodge Ram fan ...and I've previously owned a 1995 1500 4x4 standard cab SLT with the 360 V8 and a 2003 quad cab 3500 single rear wheel 4x4 SLT with the Cummins diesel. I loved both of those trucks, but the 360 V8 proved to be inadequate for pulling our 26 ft toy hauler up grades steeper than ...level! The Cummins diesel cured that deficiency nicely. Now we have a diesel pusher motor home and we needed a vehicle to tow behind it the towing power of our "tow vehicle" is no longer an issue. The Hemi engine on the new truck is powerful, smooth, and quiet (inside the cab with the windows up) ...but it has that wonderful "Hemi" rumble for folks outside the cab to admire! My Laramie has all the bells and whistles including heated & cooled front bucket seats, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, navigation system, Rambox side rail storage bins, blue tooth hands free phone, back-up sensors, etc. Alas, it doesn't have the back-up camera ...but I've been told I can add that later... and may opt to do so. Compared to my previous Ram pickups, the new truck is just ...much more civilized and refined. The cab rivals many luxury cars and it is extremely comfortable to drive. Also, passenger comfort front or back is subperb and the storage spaces are plentiful and well thought out ...from the side rail "Rambox" storage bins to the floor storage under the rear floor mats. My fuel economy thus far has averaged 16 - 19 mpg at freeway speeds (usually 70 - 80 mph). Notably, the engine, tranny, and rear-end come with a "lifetime warranty" (with respect to the original owner) ...and for a couple of grand I was able to extend the warranty on the rest of the truck's systems (normally 3 year, 36,000 miles) to "lifetime" (again, this is only applicable to the original owner). I opted for this added peace of mind because this truck is loaded with complex electronics. My only fear now is that Chrysler Corp. may go out of business before I decide to sell this truck ...or that they might decide to track me down and kill me in my sleep ...because I refuse to sell this beauty in what they consider "a reasonable amount of time"! In summary, although I've owned this new truck for less than a month far, I have found nothing ...not to like about it! As icing on the cake, I am constantly being asked questions about my new truck from admiring bystanders in mall parking lots, at traffic lights and at fueling stations. Stroking one's ego isn't a bad thing! One simply can't argue with the fact that ...this 09 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 4x4 crew cab pick-up is one beautiful truck!
  • I have always driven Ford & GM pick up trucks. I have been disappointed in the last two GM products. I test drove '09 Ford, Chevy, & Toyota trucks, before driving the Ram 1500. Wow, I could feel the quality built into this truck and was sold on it. I now have 4000 miles on it and believe it or not, on a mostly freeway trip, I got 24 mpg doing a steady 70 mph with the AC on. I didn't believe the on-board mileage estimate, but a fill up verified an overall 22.7 mpg. My 4 door LST has the 5.7 hemi, plenty of power, excellent ride, and super quiet. Being a die hard Ford and GM fan, I have tried to find something wrong with the Ram, but Dodge has really hit the bulls eye with this one. Plus Ford & GM would only come down a few Ks, while Dodge came down from $34,500 to $21,700, drive out at $23,750 including the double C for C. and an extra $500 for Farm Bureau membership. Get you some side bars to get up in this mean machine.
  • 22.7 / 24 mpg going 70 MPH with the AC on? Was that with the engine off going downhill? I have a 2007 Ram 1500 Laramie "Hemi" 5.7 and the best i have ever got (driving like an old lady) is 18 on the highway at 65 mph. Do you know what rear end they have on your 09 truck?

    Ski in TX
  • You may not be aware that Dodge increased the hp AND economy of the Hemi engine for the 2009 model year. The new engine has 390 hp (vs the previous engine's 340 hp). Also, the 2009 engine electronically shuts down 4 cylinders when the truck is in cruise/light load situations... The best I've been able to achieve on my new 1500 Laramie 4x4 crew cab is 19 mpg... but I've only owned it for a month and 1/2, and I'm still driving it a bit more ...aggressively ...than (I think) I will ...after the newness wears off. I just love to hear/feel that Hemi wind up!
  • Growing up nobody in my house noone could even yhink of owning anything other than a chevy or my dad would kick us out of the house. when i married my new husband drove fords and we owned them for over 20 years. well we just got tired of the repairs and poor reliability and when the dealer gave us trouble on some warranty repairs we decided to get something else. while at a horse show in ohio my windstar blew the motor and the transmission we traded for a nissan titan which we had for about 6 months. that truck had all sorts of problems and the nissan dealer was absolutely no help at all. we knew a lot of people that owned dodge trucks and they seem to have less problems with them that we saw with ford or chevy so we bought a 2002 ram. my husband decided to trade it for a 2003 ram with the hemi engine a year later. we then bought a 2004 3/4 ton and then a 2006 1 ton dually to haul the big trailer. the 2002 had to have the instrument cluster replaced, but that was the only repair weve done on all three in 7 years. we just traded the 2003 which had 151,000 on it. it took some time to break the engine in but the last 50000 miles or so the gas mileage was pretty good. our new 2009 laramie hemi ram is smooth as silk, has more power and gives even better mileage i just filled up tonight and got 18.3 on this last tank and very little was on the 4 lane. we occasionally ride in other trucks and i don't think its even close anymore. the ram is just a far better built truck. this is the first ruck weve even owned that we can't wait to take a drive in. we have 14,000 on the 2009 and love it
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496
    An aftermarket company is seeking an owner of a 2009-2010 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie to test the side view mirror’s memory function. The company will provide the new mirror to the volunteer who will be able to keep it after helping with the test. If you are interested, please email with your phone number and mailing address.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

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