2009 Dodge Ram 1500

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13 CITY / 19 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Redesigned for 2009
  • New RamBox storage system
  • New in-floor storage bins
  • Hemi V-8 engine upgraded for more power and better fuel economy
  • Crew Cab body style added
  • Multi-link coil spring rear suspension replaces leaf springs
  • Revised interior
  • Sirius Backseat TV now offered
When Dodge gave its full-size Ram pickup \"big rig\" styling in 1994, the bold new look helped triple the truck's market share. A 2002 update gave it fresh sheetmetal, new engines and larger cabs, and a 2006 update saw changes to the body-on-frame architecture. Now, for 2009, the Ram 1500 is fully redesigned.

The 2009 Ram 1500 has two new innovative storage systems and features three engines, including an updated Hemi V-8. Three cab configurations and three bed styles are available, including Dodge's first-ever Crew Cab. The 2-door regular cab is offered with a 76-inch or a 96-inch bed. The 4-door Quad Cab, which has rear access doors, comes only with the 76-inch bed. The 4-door Crew Cab has four regular doors and comes with a 67-inch bed. The Crew Cab replaces last year's Mega Cab, which used elements of the Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy duty trucks. Regular cabs seat three, while the other body styles seat up to six with a second-row bench seat. All body styles are available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or a choice of two 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems.

Under the skin, the 2009 Dodge Ram's frame is modified to accommodate a segment-exclusive 5-link coil spring rear suspension (as opposed to leaf springs). Maximum payload is 1850 pounds and the Ram is able to tow up to 9100 pounds. Dodge says a 2-mode hybrid powertrain will debut for 2010 and a diesel engine will be offered sometime after 2009.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is available in five trim levels: ST, SLT, TRX, Sport, and the top-of-the-line Laramie. Standard equipment on the ST are: vinyl upholstery and floor covering; 40/20/40-split front bench seat; folding rear bench seat (Quad Cab); air conditioning; 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo; power locks; 4- and 7-pin trailer connector; automatic headlights; and 245/70R17 tires on steel wheels. The SLT adds stain-repellant cloth upholstery; cruise control; power windows; power heated mirrors; remote keyless entry; electronic vehicle information center; Sirius satellite radio; sliding power rear window (Quad Cab and Crew Cab); carpeting; floor mats; upper glovebox door; overhead console; second-row underfloor storage (Crew Cab); center console; and P265/70R17 tires on aluminum wheels. The TRX gains off-road-oriented shocks, 2-tone paint, and P265/70R17 on/off-road tires. TRX models with 4WD add tow hooks, skid plates, limited-slip differential, and LT275/70R17 all-terrain tires. To the SLT, the Sport model adds exterior mirrors with turn signals and puddle lights; 115-volt power outlet; universal garage door opener; compass; leather-wrapped dash; auto-dimming rearview mirror; 8-way power driver's seat; front bucket seats; 7-speaker audio with amplifier; fog lamps; and P275/60R20 tires on chromed aluminum wheels. An R/T package for the Sport is offered for the RWD regular cab. 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 fully equipped Laramie has leather upholstery; heated front seats; dual-zone automatic climate control; 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat; 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat; power-adjustable pedals; 10-speaker Alpine surround sound audio system; UConnect Tunes hard-drive radio; UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link; remote engine starting; memory for the seats, pedals, mirrors and radio; rear park assist; and a rearview camera.

Available features include a rear DVD entertainment system with Sirius Backseat TV; Dodge's UConnect GPS hard-drive radio with a navigation system; heated and ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; heated steering wheel; 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.

Like the 2008 models, 2009 Ram 1500s are offered with a choice one V-6 and two V-8 engines. The 3.7-liter V-6 engine, which is standard on RWD regular cab and Quad Cab models, puts out 210 hp at 5200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. It uses 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 at 5650 rpm and 330 lb.-ft. of torque at 3950 rpm. This engine is flex-fuel capable, meaning it can operate on regular unleaded fuel or E85 ethanol. The top engine choice is an upgraded version of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. For 2009, the Hemi gets variable valve timing and other improvements that Dodge says provide a 4-percent increase in fuel economy, a 10-percent increase in horsepower, and an 8-percent increase in torque. Power output is 390 hp at 5600 rpm and 407 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. The Hemi has Dodge's Multi-Displacement System, which shuts down four cylinders under light engine loads to conserve fuel. A 5-speed automatic transmission with a tow-haul mode and Dodge's AutoStick manual shift capability is standard with both V-8 engines.

With the V-6 engine, the Ram is EPA-rated at 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway. Rams equipped with the 4.7-liter V-8 engine are rated at 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway with RWD or 4WD. The Hemi is rated at 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway with RWD, and 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway with 4WD.

Two 4WD systems are offered on the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, both with low-range gearing. All models are offered with a part-time system that should be disengaged on dry pavement, according to Dodge. The Ram 1500 Sport is offered with a full-time on-demand system that can be left engaged on dry pavement.

The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 has more standard safety equipment than the outgoing model. All models come with dual-stage front air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags; tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes with brake assist and Hill Start Assist; traction control; and electronic stability control with Dodge's Trailer Sway Control. Rear park assist and a rearview camera are available.

As of this writing, the 2009 Dodge Ram has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Dodge's UConnect Tunes radio includes a 30-gigabyte hard drive to hold song and picture files. UConnect GPS adds a navigation system with voice activation, and the navigation map information is also stored on the hard drive. Songs can be ripped from a CD or downloaded from a thumb drive via a USB port. The available rear DVD entertainment system comes with UConnect Studios Sirius Backseat TV with three child-friendly channels: Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel.


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