Track Star - 2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Long-Term Road Test
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2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Long Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Track Star

March 09, 2010

dodge_ram_infineon_towing.jpg

Okay, I'm sold on our long-term 2009 Dodge Ram as a track support vehicle. I've used it a few times in this capacity, and each time it excels. This past weekend saw it serving tow and track supportduty from Los Angeles to Sonoma, home of Infineon Raceway. That track, by the way, is completely awesome. But I digress.

First, the Rambox. It's nearly as long as a Miata is wide, judging by the way it swallows an entire spare Miata steering rack complete with tie rod ends. Holds spare dampers, tiedown straps, tools... basically it's a great place for all the grimy stuff you don't want in the cabin but still want locked away. Knowing of the Rambox's fragility, though, I'm extra careful about what I put in there, and make sure pointy stuff is protected.

The Rambox does force you to be smart about packing the bed, but it'll hold everything I need --seven spare tires, a fueling rig, jerrycans, spare rusty suspension parts,a big plastic box full of important stuff that I never realize I actually have with me when the need arises, various and sundry other bits.

Flip-up rear seats are fantastic. Yeah, other trucks have them, too. I'm glad for that. Great feature.

Ridiculously tight turning circle. I mean really impressive.

Huge cabin. Lots of cargo capacity.

Hit the jump to see a list of a few items I wish the Ram had:

1. Stronger detents in the rear doors. They're weaksauce. If you open the doors all the way, the lightest breeze or a finger tap will close them, whacking you in your tookus. Heck, even the simple act of opening them briskly has them bouncing closed again. Very annoying.

2. A tailgate damper. I'm in a hurry at the track. I want to click the tailgate handle as I walk by without breaking stride sothat I can fetch the crap that needs to go in the bed. Yeah, it's only a few seconds to ease it down. But other trucks have damped tailgates; why can't the Ram?

3. An analog clock in the cabin. When the truck's switched off, there's no way to know how much of a hurry I need to be in while I'm rounding up items in the cabin. Can't wear a watch at the track; it'd get destroyed and/or risk breaking my wrist. And my arms are full of stuff, so no reaching into my pocket for the ol' cellphone watch.

Minor stuff. Great truck.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


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