2014 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4 (6.4L V8 6-speed Automatic)
The 2014 Ram Power Wagon finally comes across as a well-rounded package thanks to a new 6.4-liter Hemi V8 and significantly improved suspension. And this lifted off-roader is also a good daily driver. It's well-mannered on the pavement, and it's got the same excellent cabin accomodations found in other Ram trucks.
PerformanceThe new 6.4-liter Hemi really wakes up the 2014 Power Wagon, and the new 3-link front and coil spring rear suspension works wonders. It's big and tall, but the drive is coordinated and secure. Off-road performance is better than ever, and it still tows over 10,000 pounds.
The new-for-2014 6.4-liter Hemi is exactly what this truck needed. A healthy increase in power and torque delivers an 8.5-second 0-60 time with 4.10 axle ratios instead of the fuel-robbing 4.56 gears that were necessary last year.
It takes 142 feet to stop this brute from 60 mph on its knobby tires. That said, confidence reigns because the brakes are easy to control, the pedal feels reassuringly firm (but never heavy), and there isn't much dive.
The Power Wagon responds crisply to steering commands and maintains a steady course down the highway. This heavy-duty chassis uses beefy recirculating ball steering, which insulates the driver from kick-back from off-road surfaces.
Surprisingly, the Power Wagon holds a steady line and doesn't roll much in corners. And there's no seasick feeling. The truck's sheer height, weight and knobby tires don't add up to a ton of cornering grip, but that's just as well.
The power and torque of the 6.4-liter Hemi play well with the 6-speed automatic transmission. Shifts are firm yet smooth and the throttle sensitivity is good whether you're driving around town or rock crawling in low range.
Tows and carries less than the regular Ram 2500 because of the modifications necessary to bolster off-road superiority. Still, 10,750 pounds is nothing to sneeze at, and towing mirrors and a trailer brake controller are available.
Power Wagon goodies include a 2-inch lift, knobby 33-inch tires, more flexible front suspension, a front stabilizer bar disconnect, and front and rear locking differentials. Other than its huge size, it's the Jeep Rubicon of full-size trucks.
ComfortDespite gargantuan proportions and a tough-guy stance, the 2014 Ram Power Wagon is about as comfortable as it gets in the heavy-duty truck world. It's easy to spend hours behind the wheel without tiring of the experience due to great seats, a quiet cabin and a surprisingly good ride.
Our truck's SLT-level cloth seats are supportive and well-shaped, and we never tired of them during a long 400-mile day in the saddle. The same is true of the Crew Cab's rear seats, though we didn't ride in them as long in one go.
The heavy-duty Power Wagon has the firm empty-bed ride we'd expect, but revised rear springs and lower tire pressures give it an edge over the regular Ram 2500. As ever, the coil-spring rear suspension doesn't skip about in bumpy corners.
The big 6.4-liter Hemi V8 makes itself heard (in a good way) when you stand on the gas, but fades into the background when cruising. There isn't much wind noise and the slight hum from the knobby off-road tires feels appropriate.
InteriorExcellent front cabin spaciousness and ergonomics. The capable U-connect infotainment system practically explains itself. And the Crew Cab provides ample rear seat space for full-grown adults to settle in for long trips. It's a big step up into the high-riding cabin, though.
The AC switchgear and U-Connect 8.4-inch touchscreen radio controls are as good as anything, and the driving position is comfy. The steering wheel menu buttons are oddly laid out, but they conjure up an amazing array of data.
All four doors open wide and each has its own grab handle, but there's no getting around the fact that the lifted Power Wagon stands very tall. And there are no step bars because they would run counter to its off-road mission.
The front cabin is spacious and open and the dash styling does not come across as confining or monolithic. Crew cab rear seat offers no-compromise full-size accomodations. Everyone's a winner here.
The Power Wagon's towering height produces a commanding view to the sides and front, and large mirrors give a good view behind. But the jacked-up height and the bed sides inhibit blind spot visibility. Optional back-up camera is a must.
Generous door pockets in all four doors. Rear seat bottoms fold up and there are fold-out platforms if a flat surface is desired. Std-length bed can be optioned up to RamBox version with locking compartments and a cargo management divider.
ValueThe Power Wagon is a well-made truck with a capable off-road package that's worth the money. Best part is it doesn't take anything away from the Ram 2500 on which it's based. Fuel economy isn't up in diesel territory, but you won't pay a diesel's steep up-front cost.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Exterior gaps and paint quailty are quite good. Inside, solid material and design choices give off a premium vibe, even at the SLT level. The cabin's overall quietness suggests there's no scrimping in unseen places.
The Power Wagon package includes a useful array of complementary off-road features at a good price. Brand exclusive coil-spring rear suspension is a plus, and the U-connect media/phone control system offers best-in-segment capability.
The self-named Power Wagon is built on the SLT-grade 2500 truck. But the Power Wagon option can be added to the cheaper Tradesman or premium Laramie trims to suit a range of budgets, from $45,690 on the low end to $56,015 on the high end.
Heavy-duty trucks are exempt from the usual fuel economy ratings, but the big Power Wagon and its 6.4-liter Hemi consumed 13.2 mpg on our evaluation loop and averaged 11.8 mpg during its time with us.
The powertrain carries a 5-yr/100,000-mile warranty. The rest of the truck is covered by an unexciting 3-yr/36,000-mile warranty, though.
Roadside assistance matches the powertrain warranty at 5 yrs/100,000 miles. Engine produces rated performance on 87-octane regular unleaded gasoline.
Fun To DriveThe Power Wagon truly is fun If you like challenging yourself on rough off-road trails. And it enables other sorts of fun if you need it to tow a trailer or haul gear to a wilderness camp. You don't pay for any of this around town because the truck also has good manners on pavement.
It's a nice-riding heavy duty truck with a comfy cabin on pavement, but even then it turns a few heads. Take it for a crawl off road and its go-anywhere capability really shines. The Power Wagon is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon of HD trucks.
The Power Wagon stands apart, literally and figuratively. It looks as if it means business and can go darn near anyplace, and it has the goods to back that up. Those graphics come across as a bit silly, though. Anyone have a heat gun?
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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Ram 2500 Crew-cab in VA is:
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