Entry Price: $51,695
Price as Tested: $62,610
This week, we’re driving the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4, so big the EPA lists it as a special “Heavy Duty vehicle with no (MPG) label required.” And thanks to Power Wagon Heavy Duty graphics, flat black 6.4 Hemi badge, 2-inch additional lift, 17-inch aluminum machined wheels on 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler raised letter tires, you’ll be” king of the road” wherever you go.
The success of the RAM line of trucks, coupled with Minivan and Jeep sales, has allowed Fiat Chrysler to turn nice profits. The popular RAM pickup platform is vital to Fiat/Chrysler’s continued success and a major necessity if a company expects to compete in the U.S. pickup market.
And speaking of truck sales in the U.S., it’s still the biggest piece of the “profit pie” as more full and mid-size pickup trucks are sold every year versus any class of automobile. Evolution no doubt plays a major role, as modern pickups are no longer “farm truck” stripped down work vehicles. Today a pickup is usually loaded with work duty mechanicals and then topped off with creature comfort amenities galore.
Enter again our Dodge RAM 2500 Power Wagon 4x4, delivered with a standard 6.4 liter, 410-horse Hemi V8 under the hood connected to a six-speed heavy duty automatic. The resulting 429- lb. ft. of torque makes easy chores of towing your big travel trailer or taking in a weekend of serious 4x4 adventures. Then on Monday, you can drop the kids off at school and head off to work at the quarry or corporate office.
Every 2017 Ram Power Wagon 2500 Crew Cab 4x4 comes equipped with special off-road equipment and a stance so high you probably won’t ever bottom out. Granted, the Power Wagon with its special exterior graphics and ultra-high stance may not be a pickup for everyone, but for those who desire such a vehicle, RAM has the answer.
As for other RAM trucks, power choices include either a V6 or 5.7 Hemi V8 in 1500 and 2500 series RAM pickups along with the Cummins Turbo Diesel, the latter a 6.7-liter power house that can tow up to 17,980 pounds and deliver 800 lb. ft. of torque. However, due to Cummings engine heavier weight, it is not offered in the 2500 Power Wagon 4x4 Heavy Duty line. Notable, however, is the availability of the Cummins Diesel in the 3500 series line where towing capacity booms to an unbelievable 31,210 pounds. As for pricing, the entry level rear drive RAM 1500 starts at just $26,495 while RAM 2500 starts at $32,145 and 3500 begins at $33,245.
Options on our Power Wagon include a Power Wagon Package 22P Leather and Luxury Group, where $4,995 buys an additional 27 items for one price. Among them are Uconnect 8.4 touchscreen, leather stitched 40/20/40 front bench seat with fold down and power abilities, rear leather 60/40 split bench, nine-speaker Alpine stereo, WARN 12,000 lb. front electric winch, heated and ventilated seats, ParkView rear safety cameras, ParkSense front and rear assist program, push button start with remote, dual zone automatic climate control, heated steering wheel, LED interior lighting and much, much more.
A $1,295 Ram Box cargo management system is worth the money, as is a spray in bedliner for $495. I’d pass on the $500 Uconnect 8.4 GPS navigation with five years of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic as modern smart phones can handle most of these chores. A tri-fold tonneau cover is $595, keyless “entry and go” another $195 while a rear cargo lamp and box camera is $345. A few other options pushed the final tally to $62,610 retail with $1,320 included for delivery. Your RAM dealer is ready to explain all options and the many RAM models available at “leftover” year-end incentives.
The Power Wagon’s special heavy duty suspension finds special off-road shocks, coil springs all around and a beefed up five-link front coupling with a leaf spring rear assembly. The result is a ride dictated mostly by the condition of the road you travel. You’ll feel the bumps on secondary roads, yet relax in comfort on the nation’s smooth turnpikes. Also part of the standard heavy duty items are numerous skid plates, all safety items, 4.10 rear gear, locking 4x4 system, tow hooks, trailer tow connector and a towing brake controller. Expect in the neighborhood of 13 city and at least 16 highway MPG.
Important numbers include a 6.4-foot box, 149.5 in. wheelbase, 7,100 lb. curb weight, 31-gallon fuel tank, and 18.3 inches of ground clearance from driver/passenger step out area.
The Ram Power Wagon 2500 4x4 Heavy Duty is one awesome truck. It’s not cheap by any means, but once you’re enjoying all the features, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree it’s a very special pickup.
Likes: Real workhorse, multi-task performer, lots of storage in and out, 6.4 Hemi.
Dislikes: Very high step in, can’t just park it anywhere, need running boards to assist entry.
— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and other GateHouse Media publications. He welcomes reader questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Test Drive: 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon 4x4
Entry Price: $51,695