What's New for 2007
An upgraded turbodiesel engine is expected to debut at the beginning of calendar-year 2007. Replacing the previous 5.9-liter engine, the new 6.7-liter turbodiesel delivers 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque and comes matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission. An exhaust brake option debuts as well.
Heavy-duty pickup trucks like the 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 are draft horses, pure and simple. Even with modern creature comforts, daily driving is still something better left to lighter-duty vehicles. The paint-mixer ride quality and XXL proportions relegate these brawny steeds to schlep-only status. However, once saddled up with a massive payload, the Ram 3500 is in its element.
Dodge's heavy-duty truck lineup actually consists of two models: the 2500 and 3500. The difference between the two mostly relates to capacity -- the 3500 can take on a heavier payload thanks to its stiffer suspension and optional dual-wheel rear axle. The 2500 will ride a little better without a payload, but for those planning on towing big trailers or boats, the 3500, with its butch-looking rear fender flares, is surely the way to go.
The current Ram 3500 design dates back to 2003. A significant powertrain upgrade is notable this year. A new 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine (late availability) replaces the previous 5.9-liter engine. It produces 350 hp at 3,000 rpm and an impressive 650 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. The 5.9, which will likely be found on some early-build 2007s, makes 325 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque. The new 6.7 is available with an all-new six-speed automatic that replaces the previous four-speed.
We tested the 5.9 powertrain last year in a 3500 dually and found it lacking in power and overall gear ratio spread when compared to the diesel setups available from Chevy and Ford. Thankfully, the new 6.7 and six-speed automatic fix those issues. As for the rest of the pickup truck, there's a lot to like. It's tough and stylish, and the Mega Cab, assuming you're OK with the limitations it places on bed size, provides a truly huge interior. Overall, we think the 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 will serve hard-core truck buyers well.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup is available in three cab styles: regular, Quad Cab (crew cab) and Mega Cab (really big crew cab). The regular cab comes with a long bed only, while the Quad Cab has either a short or long 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. With the exception of Quad Cab short beds, all Ram 3500s have a dual-rear-wheel axle.
In regards to trim level, the regular cab and Quad Cab are available as an ST, SLT or Laramie; 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 full power accessories. The luxurious Laramie comes with 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 for crew cabs, are optional.
Powertrains and Performance
The Ram 3500 is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Regular cabs and some Quad Cabs come standard with a 5.7-liter V8 engine. It makes 345 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. For the V8, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. For additional power, a turbodiesel engine is either an option (for the trucks with the standard V8) or standard equipment. The previously available 325-hp 5.9-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine will be installed on some early-build 2007 Rams, but the smarter choice is to wait until the new 6.7-liter Cummins diesel becomes available. This updated engine makes more power (350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque) and runs quieter and cleaner. Paired to it is an all-new six-speed automatic transmission. For the 6.7, Dodge will also offer an exhaust brake. Typically seen only on trucks that bear the name Peterbilt or Kenworth, an exhaust brake can be used to provide additional stability and braking power when towing very heavy loads.
Antilock disc brakes are standard on the Ram 3500, and side curtain airbags are optional. Optional on the SLT and standard on the Laramie are power-adjustable pedals. No crash tests have been performed on the Ram 3500, but in NHTSA crash tests, the Ram 1500 earned five out of five stars for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. Frontal-offset collision testing performed by the IIHS similarly resulted in a top rating of "Good."
Interior Design and Special Features
The Ram's interior is notable for the above-average quality of its interior materials, simple control layout and solid collection of up-to-date features like navigation and Bluetooth cell phone connectivity. If backseat passenger room is a priority for you, just buy the Mega Cab and be done with it. There's not only more than enough room to stretch out, there's room left over for extra storage behind the rear seats. It's that big. And when you fold the seats flat it looks more like a spare bedroom than the cab of a pickup truck.
Although it's built to take on the most demanding tasks, the 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 is comfortable enough for daily use. Well, so long as finding a big enough parking spot isn't an issue. The 1-ton Ram pickup has a relatively tight turning radius and ride quality is best-in-class. The V8 engine is competent all-around, but for serious towing and hauling, the new 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel is essential.