2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.7 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 345 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 0/0 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500

  • The heavy-duty Dodge Ram 2500 offers serious diesel power, stout suspensions and a well-built, functional interior -- all of which make it an impressive package for hard-core truck users.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful engine lineup, huge payload and towing capacities, very spacious interior in Mega Cab, compliant ride, available side curtain airbags.

  • Cons

    Stunted standard bed, cramped rear seat in Quad Cab.

  • What's New for 2006

    For the 2006 Ram 2500, Dodge adds a new body style called Mega Cab. It features a 20-inch-longer cabin than the Quad Cab to provide best-in-class interior room. All Ram 2500s also feature a new dash, center console, seats and radios. A navigation system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system are newly optional. Wrapping things up for the 2006 Ram is freshened front-end styling.

Full 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 Review

What's New for 2006

For the 2006 Ram 2500, Dodge adds a new body style called Mega Cab. It features a 20-inch-longer cabin than the Quad Cab to provide best-in-class interior room. All Ram 2500s also feature a new dash, center console, seats and radios. A navigation system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system are newly optional. Wrapping things up for the 2006 Ram is freshened front-end styling.


Although Dodge has been producing trucks since 1917, it wasn't until 1994 that Americans started paying attention. It was then that the all-new Ram was introduced. This full-size truck was an immediate hit thanks to its combination of big-rig styling, powerful engine lineup and carlike interior. The heavy-duty models -- the 2500 and 3500 -- were particularly popular with contractors who appreciated the trucks' rugged nature. A completely redesigned Ram 1500 debuted for 2002, followed in 2003 by the 2500 and 3500 series trucks that saw similar changes.

For the Ram redesign, Dodge figured that most folks don't often fill up their pickup's bed to full capacity and subsequently took 3 inches from the standard bed length (previously 6 feet 6 inches) and added it to the passenger compartment. For heavy-duty truck users with more serious hauling needs, there's an 8-foot bed option. Because Ram 2500 trucks carry much heavier loads than their light-duty siblings, their frames are noticeably more robust. Extensive use of hydroforming construction technology offers outstanding frame stiffness. Dodge says this improves ride and handling characteristics as well as payload ratings.

As you would expect, two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive configurations are offered. The 4WD system is manually or electronically controlled, depending on trim level. Four-wheel-drive trucks have a solid front axle, while two-wheel-drive Rams get an independent front suspension. Additionally, the 2WD trucks have a rack and pinion steering system, while 4WD trucks utilize a recirculating ball setup. The Dodge Ram 2500 is also host for the Power Wagon model. Available as a regular cab or Quad Cab, the Power Wagon is a highly specialized for off-road duty and features electric locking front and rear differentials, an electronic disconnecting front antiroll bar, 33-inch tires, a 12,000-pound winch, a 2.5-inch taller stance and unique suspension tuning.

The Ram pickup 2500 interiors are essentially identical to their half-ton counterparts, a trait that we would consider a good thing. There's plenty of room in every direction, simple controls that are easy to master at a glance and solid construction. Though not as roomy as its competitors, Quad Cab models have enough room to seat a few extra passengers as well as carry sensitive cargo if the need arises thanks to a flat load floor. Need more room? Go for the huge Mega Cab model. To make it Mega, Dodge takes uses the extended 160.5-inch wheelbase frame and adds a short bed to allow 20 more inches for the oversized cabin. This makes for a lot of "biggest" and "first" claims for the Mega Cab: The largest, longest cab in its class, at 142.2 cubic feet and 111.1 inches, respectively. Largest interior cargo volume of any full-size pickup, largest second-row legroom, largest rear-door open angle, at 85 degrees; and the first ever reclining rear seats, which go from a 22-degree seatback angle to 37 degrees.

Overall, the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 is an excellent all-around heavy-duty truck. Particularly this year, with the introduction of the Mega Cab model, it would be our choice for a heavy-duty truck over competing domestic offerings.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Heavy-duty Dodge Ram 2500 pickups are available in three cab styles: regular, Quad Cab (crew cab) and Mega (really big crew cab). The regular and Quad Cab models come with either a short or long cargo bed. The Mega Cab rides on the same wheelbase as the Quad Cab long bed but pairs an even bigger cabin with the short bed. The regular cab and Quad Cab come in ST, SLT or Laramie trim; the Mega Cab is SLT or Laramie only. The Ram ST is pretty bare-bones, offering 17-inch wheels, vinyl seating, air conditioning and a CD player. Go with the SLT for alloy wheels, cruise control, cloth seating, keyless entry and power windows, locks and mirrors. The luxurious Laramie comes with standard upgrades like dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a power driver seat, a six-CD changer and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Many other features, such as a rear-seat entertainment system, are optional. The Ram 2500 line is also home to the Power Wagon model, which is highly specialized for off-road duty with a raised suspension, front and rear differential locks, an electronically disengaging front stabilizer bar, 33-inch tires, a 12,000-pound winch and full skid plates.

Powertrains and Performance

Dodge's 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is the standard engine for the 2500. Rated at 345 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque, it out-muscles both of GM's and Ford's standard offerings. A Cummins turbodiesel engine is also offered: a 5.9-liter inline six with 325 hp and a towering 610 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come with a standard six-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic is optional for the V8, while the diesel can be equipped with a four-speed overdrive automatic. A properly equipped Dodge Ram 2500 regular cab with the Cummins has a 13,700-pound tow rating.


Side curtain airbags are optional on all Dodge Ram 2500 models. All center seats have three-point seatbelts. Optional on the SLT and standard on the Laramie are power-adjustable pedals, which allow shorter folk to find a comfortable driving position without having to sit too close to the steering wheel. The trucks also feature standard antilock disc brakes. Although heavy-duty versions of the Ram have not been crash tested, the Ram 1500 received a "Good" rating (the highest possible) from the IIHS.

Interior Design and Special Features

Interior room is generous, and the overall design is very functional with comfortable seats and simple controls. If you've got more cargo than passengers, you can fold up the rear seats in Quad Cabs. The rear seats also recline in Mega Cab models, or you can fold them flat to reveal an expansive load space.

Driving Impressions

Although it's built to take on the most demanding tasks, the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 is still a surprisingly comfortable truck for daily use. Between its quick steering and supple ride, it's nearly as comfortable as most half-tons. The Hemi V8 is a competent all-around engine, but for serious towing and hauling, the turbodiesel is essential.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2006 dodge quad cab cummins

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 SLT 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6M)

the truck is solid been driving for a few hundred miles now and i really like it. there is lots of power for when you need to get up to speed. the ride comfort is what you would expect from a heavy duty truck. i average 22 mpg on the hwy and 20 in the city. its worth the money. yes the interior quality is not the best but its ok. good truck. i drove a 2003 ford f250 with the 6.0 the aceleration sucked and the turbo lag was horrible. i would rev it all the way up to 3500 rpm and it would barley move the the dodge is a better choice.

Rusting exhaust

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 SLT 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

Loved this truck when I bought it, but the exhaust has rusted at 48,000 miles. Chrysler was no help, found out the truck was made in Mexico. I think for a truck that has been maintained and well taken care of should have an exhaust system that did not rust out so soon. My Chevy Duramx has held up better, no rust underneath, no problems with the truck.

First diesel and first dodge

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 SLT 4dr Quad Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 6M)

I bought this '06 Ram Diesel when it had 51000 miles and it runs great. I changed all the fluids with synthetic but am staying with Delo 400 15-40 for the engine and changing it every 5000 mile along with a fleetguard filter. I added an AFE stage 2 intake, BD tranny pan, and Smarty Jr. Recent trip from Denver to Seattle averaged 19.7 mpg unloaded at average speed of 70. Did not burn a drop of oil. The dealer changed the ball joints and u-joints when I bought the truck. I can see these are going to be a weak area but the Cummins diesel can't be beat. I was a Chevy person for 30 years and even though I loved the Silverado I will drive this Dodge till it won't go anymore.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 SLT 4dr Quad Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl 6M)

I love it! And I really love the gas mileage,I have got 28 MPG on a curvy uphill state highway! This thing almost has too much power for its own good!!! We tow a 7,500 lb bumper pull Travel Trailer up the rocky mountains and still get 15 MPG! I also tow a 16ft trailer that i tow a 3,500 Lb Antique Tractor and It pulls it like a piece of thread.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Ball joints and u-joints

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 SLT 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

Cummins Diesel will tow anything on you can think of. But the downfall on my truck is the front suspension components and the weak transmission. I love the truck to death, yet hate the front components. Family of five can go on 1000+ mile trips comfortably while refueling only once. The enormous fuel tank allows this. Added 4.5Inch Exhaust, AFE Stage 2 Intake and also a Hypertech Econ Tuner to increase fuel mileage. My truck is definitely a workhorse!

Contractor grade

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 SLT 4dr Quad Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 6M)

Bought the 4X4, diesel, in June 2009. Traded in 2006 Tundra regular cab for it. Closed box beam frame, brakes that'd stop a locomotive, and an industrial grade diesel engine - all "the" requirements for a work truck. Interior is not glamorous, but the SLT has the essentials. SB has a tight turning radius; on a dime. Stock configuration sits up high off the ground. Low gear 4X4 transfer case; climbs up anything. Sound system has good tone; MP3 player plug in. Cab is quiet. Quab cab is roomy enough for adults for <300 mile trips. All around - looks manly; not an overchromed glitz truck. Best truck for the money.

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