By on July 20, 2009

TTAC’s Best and Brightest don’t need proof that Chrysler dealers are in a world of hurt. Still, seeing their misery displayed on a LED sign by the side of the road rubs salt into the wound. 76% off 2009 Dodge Ram Trucks! And this was before Chrysler filed for Chapter 11, from a dealer that dodge the ChryCo dealer cull bullet. Fine print? Lots. Slime-filled sales tactics aside, it’s only a matter of time before the real liquidation sales arrive. If so, is Dodge’s most basic of workhorses worth a look?

Behold the grille of your dreams. The Ram’s signature schnoz gives brand-neutral truckers a bad case of Dodge Fever, but work trucks never had it this good. Even the base model has snazzy chrome crosshairs. And a slick face: italicized lighting pods are the starting point for the fender’s flowing brow. Much like the slant-intensive fascia of a 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo, the Ram 1500 is a delightful mix of fast lines and baroque bulges. Even in the least appealing combination of matte black bumpers, regular cab, stubby wheelbase and a short bed, the ST-trimmed Ram looks suitably stout. In fact, the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is the most aerodynamic truck on the market; the acres of black trim on both Chevy’s blocky schnoz and Ford’s shovel nosed snout simply cannot touch it.

Too bad the stark interior is untouchable, even by (admittedly low) work truck standards. While functionality and durability is paramount, the competition does this without feeling like a penalty box. Take the Dodge’s dash. Please. Ford accomplishes Le Corbusier classicism via Toby Keith’s straight talk. GM and Toyota do the organic look of an entry-level passenger car. The Ram’s dash may be the brand’s high water mark, but even the door panels are the Chrysler Sebring of truck interiors: dull to the eyes and cheap in your hands.

And the business end of the beast isn’t especially noteworthy. The Ram’s short bed lacks tailgate torsion assists, or optional stepladders to reach in, over and around the Ram’s unbelievably tall beltline. In fairness, this complaint is indicative of the general trend of heavier and taller pickups. But this macho factor must meet its maker as modern consumer tastes look for function, form and fuel economy.

But that’s not to say that the working class, zero option Ram is a bad place to kill some time: the spacious tan and black vinyl trimmed seats are leather-like in look and feel, thanks to their snazzy contract stitching. The CD player projects lows and highs with reasonable clarity thanks to six well-endowed speakers.

Probably the nicest feature: a shifter-mounted rocker switch, which quickly lets the driver hold any gear with minimal fuss. And that’s more important when you consider the Ram ST’s standard powertrain: a 210hp, 3.7L V6 with a hollow 235 lb·ft of torque and a rev-challenged four-speed automatic. With two people and an unladen bed, the V6 equipped Ram can merge on freeways and get out of its own way. But just barely.

Obviously the Ram 1500 is not the truck for hauling “mulch” of anything. But things improve in other dynamic tests. Handling is tight enough for government work, with not-quite-scary body roll and modest grip. The prodigious disc brakes stop with just enough nose drive to remind its occupants that hoonage equals a short trip to HR and a lengthy lecture about corporate responsibility.

Much like the other fully-boxed, hydroformed pickup frames on the market, the Ram 1500 feels like it can outlast memories of the parent company from whence it came. Which leads to the best trait of the base by name (and nature) Ram 1500: the supple and luxurious ride. The flow is never choppy and the rear suspension rarely loses its composure, even with the standard wheelbase and zero cargo in the bed. Credit where credit is due: conservatively tuned rear coil springs are a genuine class advantage. The Ram doesn’t ride like a Cadillac. It rides like a real Cadillac from the days of button-tufted seats.

Too bad trucks are bought on the strengths of a leaf spring: low cost of ownership and maximum durability. Be it on the showroom floor or in a depreciated heap on Craigslist, a work truck is just that. Refinement freaks look elsewhere.

After a few minutes in the Ram 1500 ST, I understood why the competition never mentions Dodge in television, radio and print media advertisements in The Lone Star State. GM and Ford are still the boys to beat, and Toyota is the new Dodge. Combined with the V6′s mediocre fuel economy and Dodge’s chronic third (fourth?) place in the sales race, the new Ram is barking up the wrong tree. In the short term, liquidation pricing makes the Ram a winner. But will the post-Cerberus remnants of Chrysler find any value in the Dodge Ram? For the sake of our tax dollars, they’d better.

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55 Comments on “Review: 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 ST...”


  • avatar
    highrpm

    This truck has been in production for a while now. Yet here in Detroit, I see very very few of them on the road. Heck, I think I’ve seen more new Camaros!

    This can’t be a good sign.

    Also, I agree on the interior – it sucks. Sadly, the last gen was even worse if you can believe it.

  • avatar
    commando1

    “Too bad trucks are bought on the strengths of a leaf spring: low cost of ownership and maximum durability…”

    Too bad??
    WOW! I have never been so insulted.
    To think that’s why I bought my F150 stripper. Sheesh!

  • avatar
    mocktard

    I really hope Nissan does the Titan more justice than this. Better to just stop making Titans.

  • avatar

    In top-of-the-line Laramie trim, the Ram’s new interior is much nicer. An upholstered IP upper is even part of the deal.

    The exterior styling, on the other hand, is a step back for me–much less distinctive, it strongly resembles the Tundra.

    Coil springs and the RamBox cargo compartments were intended to be the major selling points. But traditional pickup truck buyers apparently distrust the former, and the latter are pricey at $1,995. At half off, though, they’d be priced about right.

    TrueDelta would like to provide reliability stats for the new Ram, but to do this more participants are needed. Own one or know someone who does?

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    For a base ST model Ram, I doubt much people will think much of the interior quality as a selling point (I drive Chevy Astro/GMC Safari panel vans for a living) but if the power isn’t there then, well….yeah. The 3.7 V6 was always a letdown.

    At the same time though I’ve sat in a ’09 Laramie and found it at least comparable to a Silverado’s full tilt interior in terms of quality and upscale feel, but a 1/2 step or so behind Ford. Even so, it’s much improved over the last Ram.

  • avatar
    trk2

    Who would ever have thought that the Ram V6 has less torque then the oft criticized Mustang (and Ranger) V6. To add to further embarrassment the V6 Ranger’s peak torque is at a full 1000 RPM lower then the Dodge (3000 vs 4000 RPM).

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    It’s obvious that Chrysler just doesn’t get it. One would think that media criticism and lack of sales would be enough to make them realize that they’re doing things wrong. I thought manufacturers actually studied the competition and tried to emulate the best parts of their competitors. It’s clear that nobody making decisions at Chrysler has ever seen the interior of an Accord, or has stupidly decided that nobody cares about the part of the car that they actually see the most. Chrysler has also gone to the GM way of releasing a killer concept and dumbing it down for production to the point where the vehicle doesn’t even vaguely resemble the concept it’s based on. Chrysler went a long way towards success in the ’90s with cars like the original Neon(s), the Intrepid (and its brethren), and the Ram. They could find that success again with the right product mix, but it just seems that they’ve had a bad batch of people at the top that care about their paychecks and not the success of the company. Pay them based solely on performance, and you might get a different kind of person running the show, or at least someone that really want to see the company succeed.

  • avatar
    keepaustinweird

    I see a lot of these shitboxes (previous generations) on the roads of Central TX. If nothing else, they seem to be pretty durable.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    @keepaustinweird:

    I agree, they do seem to hang in there, and here in Indiana, the 5 to 10 year old Dodge pickups are dirt cheap compared to Ford and Chevy.

  • avatar
    CommanderFish

    I was confuzzled as to why the new Ram was receiving such a low score, and then I saw you were reviewing a stripper model with the V6. It made perfect sense then, that V6 is a dog and they can not put the new Pentastar/Phoenix V6 in this truck fast enough, and boy do they sure cheapen the interior compared to the higher trims.

  • avatar
    07Frontier

    My Frontier with SE package has more hp, more torque, better fuel economy, a more refined interior, looks great, and costs about the same as this POS.

    Mocktard:
    I agree. Nissan should just get out of the full-size pickup market. The Frontier is a great mid-size truck; they should just stay with that.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    strangely in the last C&D four way shootout, this came out on top

    granted it was a review of $40k+ urban cowboy trucks with all the toys

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Is that really the interior (pictured) you get with a base model V6 work truck?

    Hopefully you can follow up with a review of a Hemi equipped Ram.

    Does anyone buy a V6?

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I’m with CommanderFish … it’s not clear you’re reviewing the lowest-of-the-low end truck until you post the picture at the bottom and talk about the engine choice. The article heading says “Ram 1500″ which has a $30K MSRP range, and your 2 stars seems to be aimed at the cheapest of the truck lineup.

    Sure, you mention the ST as the cheapest option in your second paragraph, but it’s not clear that you were reviewing the ST specifically until the article is almost over. You don’t need the highest-of-the high end to see an improvement in materials either (although the Laramie is pretty nice).

    Oh, about 50% of truck buyers do not desire maximum hauling or cargo load. The leaf springs represent a tradeoff between utility and comfort, and for many buyers they’d rather have the comfort… which is why they went with the coil spring setup. This is often evidenced by the growing number of trucks with short beds and 4 full size doors. Plus trucks represent the vehicle with the highest average option margin for the volume industry (non-luxury / non-exotic vehicles).

    But all this is moot in this particular review since you never mention ride quality (I think this is the first TTAC review of a truck or SUV that didn’t mention this quality). Maybe you should just amend the title to read “ST Ram 1500,” Because the ST is pretty bad.

  • avatar
    WhatThe

    Wow,where to begin….

    Funny the Ram is the best new full size,best interior ect.Better than toyota/nissan,ford,gm,chev.Looks mean and best looking truck around.

    Dodge ram longest lasting full size truck = reliability.Also the winner of many awards.

    The st is a work truck,it was meant to be base model,no leather,no chrome/wood trim ect,base model get it?

    Even without the leaf springs it still tows,hauls the same as the last year model of Ram.If you really need to haul heavy loads at all time thats what a 2500,3500,4500,5500 model is for!!

    Most Ram 1500′s are used for family vehicles or pleasure,or to tow a boat ect.Except the 1500 ST used for deliveries and generally lighter loads,auto part stores,light construction delivery,you are not going to tow a bull dozer with it,but people do overload these trucks especially when they are older,and seem to hold up fine.

    As for used prices on craigslist,you have to see them in person,compare the same model of Dodge ,Ford, Chev truck ,mileage,trim level condition its very hard just to look at an add and assume Dodge trucks go for less. A used Ram 1500 Sport/Laramie with low mi and mint condition it is usually priced higher than a Ford/Gm /nissan/Toyota ,especially the Dodge Diesel trucks for a mint one you need alot of money..As I have a small dealer and also find cars/trucks for people,So I know how it is.It also depends where you are in the country,could be a price difference.As for new Rams I see alot during the day on the west coast and they look good.

    After standing up for these trucks I do not own one but I find the current and previous models to be the best trucks around,looks,comfort,reliability.I usually just detail the Rams,put new tires on and sell them without any major work.I think I should be a journelist after repairing/driving/buying/selling imports,domestics and I am not loyal to any brands as journelists tend to be,but the Ram is one fine truck.Hell even the 3.5 L Sebring limited moves good and rides smooth,I buy alot of those and sell them quickly..So much bias in the auto journelism world,most are wrong and full of it..

  • avatar

    Johnny Canada : Is that really the interior (pictured) you get with a base model V6 work truck?

    Not a chance. Just to clarify, I drove the ST regular cab, V6, with no options. Total work truck. Edits will make that clearer.

  • avatar
    WhatThe

    I wanted to clarify,about the Sebring people who dont read obout the biased reports,walk up to them and actually trade their importd for them and say how all around good they are.Yeah so much for unbiased journelism. My Lexus ls430 may just be going on sale for a new 09 Ram 1500 I just love them.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    A little Truth In Titling would help this article immensely … If your reviewing the bottom of the barrel model, something in the title (like “Base model”, “Fuel sipper model” or at least “ST”) would add some credibility to your supposed objectiveness.

    And since it IS the cheapest model available, where is any mention of the Price as Tested? Just how cheap is this POS? And, really Sajeev, what do you EXPECT a stripped down, CHEAP, government work fleet truck to be?

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Yeah, I can’t say I’m shocked here. V6 work truck? What do you expect? I believe I am correct that Ford and Toyota offer V6s on their full sizers now, and I’d be willing to be they’re just as horrendous as this Dodge.

    This is for absolute stripper, government, lowest price type work. What do you expect? People who shop on price are gonna get something like this.

    I haven’t sat in a bare-bones Dodge, but other trims I thought had very nice interiors, I’d even go as far to say I thought it was the best of the 4 big guys in the class. Ford is nice, but there is something hollow about it. The Dodge seemed to have just as nice materials, but when you actually touched it, it seemed nicer than the Ford. Chevy does well too. Toyota isn’t bad, but is overly hard plasticky and just looks odd.

    I think very very very few consumers would ever buy the truck you just reviewed. I’d rather see an entry V8 shootout or a mid-line trim review of all four of these trucks. That’s the meat of the market, not the public parks lawn mower guy’s ride.

    Not having ever driven the new Ram, but having used the Chevy’s and Ford’s a few times, I still think I’d be most likely to get the F150. Nothing fancy, but it just gets the job done.

  • avatar

    Wolven : And since it IS the cheapest model available, where is any mention of the Price as Tested? Just how cheap is this POS?

    MSRP is given with the stars, click the link. Wolven, go drive the Ram and its Ford and Chevy counterparts. The Ford isn’t so bad, considering it uses the same V8 as the Police Interceptor (no V6 anymore) and gets better mileage too.

    ————————
    Wolven : And, really Sajeev, what do you EXPECT a stripped down, CHEAP, government work fleet truck to be?

    Expectations are relative to its competition, and I couldn’t imagine owning this Ram over a strippo Ford or Chevy. I hope you don’t expect me to be any clearer than that!

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    At least you reviewed it as a truck. I was expecting a 1-star review lamenting how poor it was on a handling course. That you chose the chassis-with-seats model, and seem to be conflating buyer insecurity with technical merit, we can hardly hold against you.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Sajeev: “Expectations are relative to its competition, and I couldn’t imagine owning this Ram over a strippo Ford or Chevy. I hope you don’t expect me to be any clearer than that!”

    That’s fair. I still think modifying the title to accurately represent WHAT was actually tested would be good.

    Oh, and thanx… I never knew there was a breakdown of the star rating by categories! Personally, I think that breakdown should be on the main page of the review, right below the article itself.

  • avatar

    Title modification completed.

    Wolven : Oh, and thanx… I never knew there was a breakdown of the star rating by categories! Personally, I think that breakdown should be on the main page of the review, right below the article itself.

    Another good idea, we should consider doing that again. (because we did it before)

  • avatar
    Samir

    Wow. A V6 Ram truck. Sajeev, thanks for taking one for the team.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    I might be in the minority here, but I actually like the front of the new Ram compared to the previous-gen one. I thought that grille was so overdone and never fit the front…I’ve heard the word “toon-town” used to describe that styling. This one is a little more streamlined and fits the truck better.

    Now if Ford could do something about that hideous overdone Super Duty grille.

    Lots of good ideas with the Ram model line with the UConnect wireless system, Ram Box cubbies that are easier to use than Nissan’s external storage, and the rear suspension that makes things a bit calmer and smoother.

    The true winner in all of this would have been the automaker that can develop a truck like this with these extra features, and install a gasoline engine/transmission combo that could average mid-20′s MPG. Don’t think we’ll ever see that, but that’s the Holy Grail of truck building!

  • avatar
    baldheadeddork

    You gotta wonder just how badly Chrysler hurt themselves by heavily discounting the Rams over the last year? I didn’t see 76% off in my area – but there were a couple of dealers advertising BOGO on Rams, which I haven’t seen since the death rattle of Daewoo.

    I think this is going to severely hurt their sales in a couple of ways. First of all, anyone who remembers those insane sale signs isn’t going to be interested in paying close to MSRP on a Ram for the next year or ten. If the domestics have made their customers into incentive addicts, what Chrysler did last year was the biggest crack binge ever.

    Ford did this on a much smaller scale with the Ranger over the years, and by the end it was practically impossible to find a Ranger buyer who wouldn’t consider a Ranger unless they got 20-35% off the MSRP.

    Second, and possibly worse, is the effect their deep discounting is having on the resale value of Ram’s already on the road. Even a happy customer will think hard about buying again if they’ve lost a lot more at trade in than their friends who bought a Chevy or Ford. If the history of the Ranger repeats itself, the greater depreciation will become another reason for loading ever more incentives on the nose.

    Chrysler can’t afford this to happen with their most profitable vehicle. Even if Fiat makes the 500 a huge hit in the US, even if they come up with a really competitive midsize model, they need to sell the Ram at a healthy profit.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    @baldheadeddork –

    Good post. You know that same thing has to be going through the minds of Ford and their dealers with the upcoming (Aug 1 launch, right?) 2010 Taurus.

    Everyone expected cash on the hood for these cars and that cheapens the name and brand. Not sure already hurting companies can get out of that death spiral…

  • avatar
    Airhen

    I also like the new RAM a lot as it is a nice improvement to what I think was a decent truck in the first place.

    Regarding the interior of the base 1500, just look at the interior of any real work truck and you’ll find it covered with dust, mud and spilled coffee… so I’d expect a work truck to be low on refinements. My farther-in-law’s 2500 is a work truck and I keep telling myself that I need to take a pressure washer to the inside! Besides, I don’t think too many suburbanites would actually buy a stripped down truck anyway unless they were actually going to use it for work.

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    re: 07 Frontier

    Mocktard:
    I agree. Nissan should just get out of the full-size pickup market. The Frontier is a great mid-size truck; they should just stay with that.

    Not to nitpik, but the Frontier is not a mid-sized pickup – although its forgivable in the oversized truck market. The original Dodge Dakota, which sandwiched nicely between the micro Dodge/Mitsu Ram and full-sized RAM pickup, was truly mid-sized. The Dakota’s redo in the late 90′s had it riding on the full-sized 1500′s frame but with smaller proportions, thereby making it a “4/5ths” pickup. The Nissan Frontier and Pathfinder both ride on the Titan’s frame and are more 4/5ths in scale.

    I agree that Nissan and Toyota should give up the full-size market and get back to making the micro pickups that were so much fun to fling around.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Jerome10: “V6 work truck? What do you expect? I believe I am correct that Ford and Toyota offer V6s on their full sizers now, and I’d be willing to be they’re just as horrendous as this Dodge.”The base new Ford comes with a 4.6L V8. Of course, it’s priced accordingly, too, and I would imagine that, soon enough, Ford will do the same as GM and offer a delete option for a V6, then make it standard to achieve price parity.

    With that said, these stripped, basic trucks are aimed squarely at the fleet market where the people that buy the vehicles won’t be driving them. Hell, the Silverado work truck doesn’t even come with A/C as standard (but it does get the automatic).

    It would be nice to see a comparo of the four, true BOF, full-size, light-duty, strippo, regular cab work trucks, though. From what I’ve read, even though it’s a new design, the Dodge still comes up last, behind even the older-design Silverado and Tundra.

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    The pickup fleet at my work is a mix of pre 07 F350 Powerstrokes and post 07 Cummins 3500, all 4WD.

    We also have one example of the new 2nd Gen Powerstroke, it is a turkey. Ford really dropped the ball with their new diesel, the compound turbo is a fuel sucking turd.

    Running the same routes the Dodge gets 20-35% better fuel economy.

    The interiors are base spec’ Spartan on all of them but the seats in the 3500s are much better. Of course compared to the Pete 320 and Sterling 9522 that I drive most of the time both seem like a Lexus.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    At one of my Monday sales the nearby Kia dealer has stuffed these in his back lot.

    Yeah, he’s part of a nice sized dealer conglomerate. But when you see the MSRP’s and the interiors, it’s easy to understand why they hide em’,

  • avatar
    IronEagle

    To anyone calling this ’09 a “pos” I have to say that Dodge makes good trucks and minivans. I still can’t believe someone who makes a truck this good could have given us the current gen Sebring, Nitro, Caliber etc.

    06 Ram MegaCab here. 45k miles and running great. 345bhp/375tq semi-Hemi, 8 lug hubs, 5 speed auto. It is a softened 2500HD long bed with about the same leg room as a Town Car limousine. :)

    I have always been impressed by the styling and interior compared to that year GM and Ford trucks. I had just gotten out of an ’04 Mazda RX-8 so I had and have no affiliation with the old/new/current/wtfbbq Chrysler. I would honestly have no problems calling out Dodge here if I have had problems with it. I just needed a tow vehicle. I found that Dodge came a long way in the ’06 refresh with the boxed frame, redesigned short arm/long arm suspension and rack and pinion steering in the 2WD models. Plus thicker glass and weather stripping. Also the interior plastic, trim and cloth materials were better. No squeaks or rattles so far and the seat fabric in the buckets is holding up well. I only considered Dodge when I felt they made some good strides. Of course I would love plastics and “soft touch” materials on par with Audi. But I couldn’t tow a 20 foot trailer and race car and gear with an A4 which cost about the same as my rig. :) If the ’09 Ram is that much better than my ’06 I will consider one in the future.

    I sat in an ’09 Ram at the auto show and it felt great. As others have mentioned this ’09 ST will offer good value for someone who needs a dependable pickup especially at the fire sale prices. I believe there are still $12k ’08 ST stripper models for sale brand new. You can’t beat this truck’s value for $12k which the tested ’09 ST will probably be selling at in a year. I’d love to get one of the short bed/single cab/no options truck and drop in a 6.4 Hemi that the service manager of my local Dodge dealer builds. I bet this truck would have great traction and handling with the coil spring rear suspension over the old leaf springs.

    Anyone considering one for a super bargain I would say go for it. The money you save over buying a Tundra could buy you a nice stroker 6.4 liter Hemi engine for it. Or an SRT-8 cam (won’t void warranty since the dealer can’t see it), and some nice headers.

  • avatar
    Harleyflhxi

    “After a few minutes in the Ram 1500 ST, I understood why the competition never mentions Dodge in television, radio and print media advertisements in The Lone Star State. GM and Ford are still the boys to beat, and Toyota is the new Dodge. Combined with the V6’s mediocre fuel economy and Dodge’s chronic third (fourth?) place in the sales race, the new Ram is barking up the wrong tree.”

    OOPS! A little research would help, here.
    Dodge is actually taking market share from Toyota and Nissan.

    http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2009/07/beyond-the-numbers-2009-year-to-date-sales-figures-for-fullsize-pickups.html

  • avatar
    vento97

    These aren’t trucks. They’re SUVs with comfy seats, air-conditioning, sound system, and a bed. Heck, they can be driven for a girls-night-out (or guys-night-out) to the mall or theater.

    I have a 1987 Chevy R-series full-size pickup with bench seats, no air conditioning, 3-speed MANUAL transmission, rectangular styling, and an 8-FOOT bed. A MAN’s truck.

    If you took one glance at this truck, there is no doubt in your mind that its a TRUCK. My wife sure-as-hell ain’t gonna drive my truck to the mall. This truck is strictly for HAULING things – not driven to the office (to show how much of a man (poseur) I am in a forest of cubicles). I use my CAR to drive to the office. If I worked in construction, agriculture, factory, or any of the blue-collar trades, THEN I would drive the truck.

    If you looked at these new trucks from the front, you would have to take a second glance to make sure that its a truck and not an SUV – and it is by design.

    When manufacturers started to soften-up the design of pickup trucks to try to appeal to more women buyers, they had to increase the size of the truck in order not to alienate men. Thus, we have these super-sized pickups on the roads today.

    But I digress…

  • avatar
    86er

    I have a 1987 Chevy R-series full-size pickup with bench seats…

    I miss bench seats terribly. My 86 Chev had them.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    How much time did the test drive take?

  • avatar

    Harleyflhxi : Not. :) My review was written well before this, not to mention I have little faith in 2009 YTD sales numbers from a company looking to dump inventory as they struggle to avoid CH11/CH7.

    Dodge has always been a distant third in sales for decades for good reason, and Toyota/Nissan’s recent entry really doesn’t cloud that.

    ravenchris : How much time did the test drive take?

    Approx 20 minutes and another 20 playing with stuff on the lot. Such is life without Press Fleet access. :)

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    They still make regular cab versions of full-size trucks for people that just want a real work truck. The proliferation of these four door full-size SUV’s with leather seats, DVD, oh and a bed in the back are for people who need a regular family vehicle in addition to a truck or they need a lot of space to carry around a small crew of day-laborers— it’s too conspicuous to have them riding in the bed.

  • avatar
    IronEagle

    Hey 86er I know what you mean! I’d love to tear the buckets and huge console out of the Ram and replace it with a nice bench seat like the rear has. Even a 70/30 would be great.

    dcdriver I am a single lone wolf so no family. I just love stretching out in the back during lunch break in my own private living room. My girlfriends have loved all the legroom also in the past. :P

  • avatar
    Majed Al Nasser

    2 stars is just enough.

  • avatar
    frogdaddy

    Is it me or they going to outprice themselves with the high end model of this truck at 40k ? Pretty expensive work truck.
    I understand the appeal to be this all around family transporter but 40k for a Laramie ?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    After a few minutes in the Ram 1500 ST, I understood why the competition never mentions Dodge in television, radio and print media advertisements in The Lone Star State. GM and Ford are still the boys to beat, and Toyota is the new Dodge. Combined with the V6’s mediocre fuel economy and Dodge’s chronic third (fourth?) place in the sales race, the new Ram is barking up the wrong tree.

    In fact, the Ram is the third best selling truck in the country for June 2009, even with Chrysler going broke, which can’t help sales. The Tundra isn’t even in the top 10 sales wise.

    http://wardsauto.com/keydata/USSalesSummary0906.xls

    This is a market where Japan, Inc. has never had much sales traction…the Tundra is a notable sales bust, and Nissan gave up on its full-size truck and is going to sell a badge-engineered Ram.

    Give some credit where credit’s due.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I have been renting a Chevy Colorado while my car’s in the shop, and it’s horrid to drive…or is every pickup in that class horrid too?

  • avatar

    Nothing is as horrid as a Colorado, and just about everyone says that.

    This is a market where Japan, Inc. has never had much sales traction…the Tundra is a notable sales bust, and Nissan gave up on its full-size truck and is going to sell a badge-engineered Ram.

    Everything is up in the air with Chrysler. While they are the 3rd place entry right now (76% off sales and whatnot) it is neither sustainable nor does their product have a fully determined future after CH11. Until Nissan and Fiat shake hands, that is.

  • avatar
    cstorm

    Would it have been too difficult to snap a few pics of your test unit? That way there would be no confusion over which kind of Dodge Ram you are bashing?

  • avatar

    Not sure if I want to take a camera to a dealership when I test drive a car.

    And I am bashing the ST model, as it is now clear to TTAC that we must put trim levels in the headline of truck reviews.

    • 0 avatar
      Shooter04

      “And I am bashing the ST model, as it is now clear to TTAC that we must put trim levels in the headline of truck reviews.”

      Well…yes…this is very important as trucks come in MANY different shapes, sizes, trims, and luxuries. Headlining a review of a “2009 Ram 1500″ is a very broad subject

  • avatar
    davey49

    For the people complaining about the V6, the 4.7L V8 is a an option for $1020 and includes a 5 spd auto trans. No requirement to get a higher trim level.
    Still I remember people who had old Chevy trucks with the 250ciOHV L6 and that seemed to work OK for them. The 3.7 is a hot rod motor compared to those

    “Nothing is as horrid as a Colorado, and just about everyone says that”
    Much like all small trucks, their owners love them.

  • avatar
    86er

    I drove an ST reg cab like the one pictured the other day and didn’t think it a bad place to spend one’s time. I thought the rear coils would soak up more bumps but Dodges ride a little stiffer than Ford or Chev to begin with.

    Sajeev, have you ever driven a Cummins Ram esp. the one-ton? Teeth-rattling.

    And I am bashing the ST model, as it is now clear to TTAC that we must put trim levels in the headline of truck reviews.

    As Dick Cheney was fond of saying “big time”. Truck reviews ain’t car reviews, bub. ;)

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @superbadd75:

    It’s clear that nobody making decisions at Chrysler has ever seen the interior of an Accord

    Oh, now I donno ’bout that…they did give this automatic truck a console shifter, din’t they? Accords have console shifters too, so there you are.

    *koff*

  • avatar
    Shooter04

    You people need to get off your high fu**ing horse and come back down to the rest of our level. This is a WORK truck. It is not a Rolls Royce or BMW 335. Let me repeat, this is a WORK truck.

    I drive an F250 XLT as a daily driver and it suits me just fine. And for those of you who don’t know, the XLT is just a small step above the work model (power windows, door locks, and auto-locking hubs). The interior is cloth, i have a bench seat up front and in the rear, and with the lift i have on it the suspension feels like I’m riding in an 1800′s horse carriage.

    But you know what?  It still works! My AC blows cold, heater blows hot, she starts every time, and i always get to where I’m going. That’s what you get when you buy a WORK truck. This model dodge is the bare bones model. It is not a luxury truck and not meant to be a family hauler. It is meant for people who need a truck that can do the essentials… i.e. light trailering, throwing sh!t in the bed when needed, and the occasional off roading.

    IMHO this review was completely biased. I could tell by your wording that you went into this review without an open mind. You compare the interior to King Ranch F150′s and LTZ Silverado’s. Well guess what…the ST model is not comparable to these models. Your best comparison would be the XL F150. These two models are VERY similar and in a head to head comparison as much as i hate to admit it the Ram 1500 ST is the definite winner.

    To sum up my little rant here, next time you review a bare bones stock truck please go into it with an open mind and not insult it for not being up to par with the premium version from the same manufacturer.

  • avatar
    xpistols

    I see enough rounds have been fired on including the specs on the particular vehicle (“ST”) in the review…I just bought a 2009 Ram 1500 Quad-Cab and am VERY happy with it.  No, I don’t have the V6 but a 5.7L Hemi with the MDS feature that turns off 4 cyl when cruising on the freeway to improve mileage.  I love the looks, and the cloth interior is very comfortable and functional.  The storage space is really good, with complete under-seat rear compartments, space in the top and bottom of the front middle seat and two glove boxes.  Mine has some bells and whistles (still figuring out the entertainment system) like power sliding window and chrome step-rails, and the 2009 has a lifetime powertrain warranty.  Got a great deal on my trade and rebates and paid $22.5k for a pretty well equipped model (Elec Veh Info center, luxury package, steering wheel radio controls, 30GB hard drive on ent ctr, voice commands, 3 gar door opener buttons, factory bed liner), with 3yrs maintenance thrown in.   It’ll tow around 10,000 lbs and oh yeah – it’s a HEMI.  Have had to re-train my foot for the gas pedal after driving my F150 for years. :)   Yeah, I bought the “HEMI” license plate frame – figured it was only polite to give the trooper a heads-up.

  • avatar
    Retromax

    I surfed all over the net looking for a 2wd ST 1500 Test and finally found it here. Why you ask? Well as far as I’m concerned, there’s a certain beauty to a basic work truck. It’s what I grew up on and if you really use a truck for it’s intended purpose, you will understand form does follow function. It’s the lack of chrome, steelie wheels, basic vinyl interior, etc. The only change I would make to the test subject is add the 4.7/Auto combo. I’d rather have a stick but it’s not offered w/ the 4.7. I’m going to price a truck like this in next few days and will buy a black one just like in the pics. When you get a few scratches on a work truck, It means you use it. When you get a few on a dressed up truck, it looks like you abuse it….

  • avatar
    asiafish

    I have a 2012 Ram 1500 Express Quadcab. Interior is basically ST with cloth seats. Mine has the optional power windows/mirrors/locks, the trailer brake group, bluetooth 3.92 limited slip. Express package gives the Hemi, 20″ wheels and dual exhausts with body color grill and bumpers. After rebates the truck was $25K (sticker was $33K).

    Yes the dash is fairly cheap-looking and the door skins are all plastic with no padding for your elbows. So what? It is fast, cheap, strong and rides almost as smoothly and just as quietly as my Mercedes-Benz sedan.


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