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New for 2009-Dodge Trucks

New for 2009-Dodge Trucks

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2008

Critical Knowledge:
  • Ram 1500 redesigned with more powerful Hemi V-8 engine and new RamBox storage system
  • New Journey crossover utility vehicle added to Dodge lineup
  • Dakota model lineup reshuffled
  • Durango gains available Hybrid model and more powerful Hemi V-8
  • Grand Caravan adds available blind-spot-monitoring system and Rear Cross Path warning system
  • Nitro drops manual transmission and gets revised tuning for suspension, steering and brakes
  • Ram 2500 models get next-generation 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine, lose manual transmission
  • Ram 3500 models all have 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engines
  • Sprinter loses gasoline engine, gains available power sliding side door
Dodge truck models:

2009 Dodge Dakota
The Dodge Dakota carries over largely unchanged for 2009, but with a shuffled model lineup. The SLT, Sport and rear-wheel-drive TRX models are dropped, and the SXT model is replaced by the Big Horn/Lone Star model (Lone Star available only in Texas). Other changes involve equipment. Dodge's Crate 'n Go rear-seat storage system becomes standard on Big Horn/Lone Star models. The Laramie model now has standard cloth upholstery instead of leather, but the wheels are aluminum instead of steel. The base ST model adds a tilt steering column.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Dakota


2009 Dodge Durango
The Dodge Durango, a truck-based 8-passenger SUV, gets an available hybrid system for 2009. According to Dodge, the new 2-mode hybrid system boosts city fuel economy by 40 percent and overall fuel economy by more than 25 percent. The Durango Hybrid is offered with all-wheel drive (AWD) and comes only in Limited trim, adding a universal garage door opener and Dodge's UConnect GPS navigation system and hard-drive radio to the standard equipment list. The Hybrid's interior has a power gauge that shows when the electric motors are aiding acceleration or being charged. The power gauge has a green "economy" zone that drivers can use to aim for optimal fuel economy.

Developed with BMW, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz, the Durango's 2-mode hybrid system is shared with the new round of big hybrid SUVs and pickups from General Motors, as well as the Durango's sister, the Chrysler Aspen. In the Durango, it features the Hemi 5.7-liter V-8 engine, now in more potent tune, teamed with a new electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT). The ECVT has two electric motors and four fixed gears. One of the motors aids power at low speeds and the other at highway speeds. The Hemi V-8 engine also has Dodge's Multi-Displacement System, which shuts down four cylinders under light load conditions to conserve fuel. Total output is 385 hp at 5300 rpm and 380 lb.-ft. of torque at 4200 rpm. Regenerative braking charges the batteries. Dodge says the Durango hybrid can run on electric power alone up to 25 mph. The 2009 Dodge Durango is rated to tow up to 6000 pounds compared to the 8700 pounds for a standard AWD model.

The news for non-hybrid models starts with the next-generation 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. Available for SLT and Limited models, horsepower is now up from 335 to 356, and torque rises from 370 to 390 lb.-ft. Dodge's MyGIG hard-drive radio changes its name to UConnect Tunes and UConnect GPS when paired with a navigation system. Hard-drive storage space also grows from 20 to 30 gigabytes. In addition, the available rear DVD entertainment system is now offered with Sirius BackSeat TV. Finally, the base SXT model is now called SE.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Durango

2009 Dodge Grand Caravan
Redesigned for 2008, the 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan is offered with two new safety technologies. The new blind-spot-monitoring system uses radar sensors to detect if a vehicle is in the van's blind spots and warns the driver with lights in the mirrors or a driver-selectable audible chime. The Rear Cross Path system works when the van is in reverse, and is useful when backing out of a parking spot. It detects if vehicles are crossing behind the van and alerts the driver with illuminated icons in the side mirrors and with an audible chime.

Dodge's popular Stow 'n Go seating system is now standard on the base SE model, which also adds more standard equipment. The optional DVD entertainment screens grow from 8 to 9 inches and gain a swiveling third-row screen. Dodge's MyGIG hard-drive radio changes its name to UConnect Tunes and UConnect GPS when paired with a navigation system, and the hard drive grows from 20 to 30 gigabytes. Finally, Dodge says the brakes have been reworked to be quieter and more effective.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan

2009 Dodge Journey
Dodge enters the crossover utility vehicle segment with the 2009 Journey, a model the company says combines minivan utility with the capabilities of an SUV. Based on Chrysler's D-segment platform that is derived from the Dodge Avenger's underpinnings, the new 2009 Dodge Journey is offered in SE, SXT and R/T models. The standard engine in the SE is a 173-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Journey SXT and R/T models have a 235-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine mated to a 6-speed transmission with Dodge's AutoStick manual shift gate. Front-wheel drive is standard, but SXT and R/T models are offered with all-wheel drive.

Standard seating is for 5, with an available third row offering 5+2 seating. Theater-style seating for both second- and third-row passengers elevates each row slightly above the row ahead. The second-row seat is split 60/40 and folds flat, while the available third-row seating is a 50/50 split-fold design. Innovative features include an available Flip 'n Stow in-seat storage system for the front passenger seat; Tip 'n Slide second-row seats that tip and slide forward with the flick of a lever; hidden in-floor storage; and available second-row integrated child booster seats.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Journey

2009 Dodge Nitro
Dodge retunes its Nitro midsize SUV for 2009 for a more pleasant driving experience. The rear axle shafts are stiffer and the suspension is revised for better handling, according to Dodge. The company also says retuned steering gear improves responsiveness, while a retuned brake booster, new low-rollback calipers, and a revised brake pedal ratio improve brake pedal feel. In other news, the manual transmission is dropped, the base SXT model is now called SE, and Dodge has shuffled equipment in the various packages. Like other Dodge models, the MyGIG hard-drive radio is now called UConnect Tunes and UConnect GPS when ordered with a navigation system. Its hard drive is also bigger, with 30 gigabytes of memory versus 20 gigs last year.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Nitro

2009 Dodge Ram 1500
Dodge redesigns its Ram 1500 pickup for 2009, giving it an available upgraded Hemi V-8 engine, Dodge's first-ever Crew Cab body style, innovative storage features, and a multi-link coil-spring rear suspension instead of leaf springs. Three cab configurations and three bed styles are available. The 2-door regular cab is offered with a 6-foot, 4-inch short bed or an 8-foot long bed. The 4-door Quad Cab, which has rear access doors, comes only with the 6-foot, 4-inch bed. The Crew Cab has four regular doors and comes with a 5-foot, 7-inch bed. The Crew Cab replaces the previous Mega Cab, which used components of the Ram 2500 chassis. Regular cabs seat 3, while the other body styles seat up to 6.

Five trim levels are offered on the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup: ST, SLT, TRX, Sport, and the top-of-the-line Laramie. Standard on the ST are vinyl upholstery and floor covering. SLTs have stain-repellant cloth upholstery, and top-line Laramies have leather plus all the amenities. TRX models have off-road-oriented shocks and on-/off-road tires, while TRX models with 4WD add tow hooks, skid plates, and a limited-slip differential. The Sport model has a leather-wrapped dash and 20-inch chromed aluminum wheels. An R/T package is offered for the 2WD regular cab Sport. It includes a unique transmission and torque converter, and a 4.10 axle ratio. Dodge says the R/T is capable of a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 6.0 seconds.

The base engine in the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is a 210-hp 3.7-liter V-6 mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. All 4WD and Crew Cab models come standard with Dodge's 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 engine, which makes 310 hp. This engine is FlexFuel capable, meaning it can operate on regular unleaded fuel or E85 ethanol. The top engine choice is an upgraded version of the Hemi 5.7-liter V-8, now up to 390 hp. Dodge says the new Hemi gets 4 percent better fuel economy, 10 percent more horsepower, and 8 percent more torque. The Hemi also continues with Dodge's Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which shuts down four cylinders under light engine loads to conserve fuel. A 5-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode is standard with both V-8 engines. All models are available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or a part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) system that should be disengaged on dry pavement. The Sport model is offered with a full-time, on-demand 4WD system that can be left engaged on dry pavement. Both 4WD systems have low-range gearing. Maximum payload is 1850 pounds and the Ram is able to tow up to 9100 pounds.

Available features on the new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup include a rear DVD entertainment system with Sirius Backseat TV; Dodge's UConnect Tunes hard-drive radio; Dodge's UConnect GPS hard-drive radio with navigation system; a rearview camera; and Dodge's RamBox storage system. RamBox is offered only with the Crew Cab. It has 3.7 cubic feet of storage space in each bed rail. The storage is lockable, illuminated and drainable. RamBox also comes with a bed divider/extender and a cargo rail system with four sliding, adjustable cleats.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500

2009 Dodge Ram 2500/3500
Dodge more clearly defines its Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 models for 2009. The 2500 models get the next generation of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. It is now rated at 355 hp (up from 345) and 395 lb.-ft. of torque (up from 375). The only transmission with the Hemi engine is a 5-speed automatic; the 6-speed manual has been dropped. The 2500's off-road-oriented Power Wagon option package is now available only for the Quad Cab; previously, it could also be ordered with the regular cab.

In the 3500 lineup, all models now come only with the 350-hp, 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel V-8 engine; the gasoline Hemi V-8 engine is no longer offered. The Cummins diesel delivers 610 lb.-ft. of torque with the available 6-speed manual transmission and a whopping 650 lb.-ft. of torque with the available 5-speed automatic transmission. Remote engine starting is newly offered for the diesel when equipped with the automatic transmission.

All Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 models for 2009 get larger brake rotors with twin-piston calipers and a new name for Dodge's MyGIG hard-drive radio and navigation system. It is now called UConnect GPS, and its hard drive grows from 20 to 30 gigabytes.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Ram 2500
Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Ram 3500

2009 Dodge Sprinter
Dodge drops the gasoline engine from its Sprinter van lineup for 2009, leaving only a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel. The sliding side door can now be ordered with power or with 2-stage opening capability. Other changes are minor. A premium sound package is no longer offered, but the radio gets MP3 playback capability. Rear doors that open 180 degrees are offered, but the standard rear doors open 270 degrees. Finally, wheel chocks are newly optional for 3500 models.

Get more information on the 2009 Dodge Sprinter

Other Dodge truck models:
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