2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Long Term Road Test - Performance

2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: One Last Road Trip

June 21, 2010


The Ram will be leaving us shortly. I had very little time left to replace the stove at my family's cabin north of Lake Tahoe. I reserved the Ram for an extended weekend, went home and packed.

Our cabin was closed for the winter, so it was important that my lady and I left early so we could get there with some daylight left to turn the power back on and flush the plumbing of all the antifreeze. Come early Friday morning we left L.A. for a stopover in Truckee to pick up the new stove.

I love trucks and this has been one of my favorites of all time to drive. I think it looks great, it's super comfortable, it's powerful and is a blast to drive. I felt sentimental as I drove the many hours north to Truckee, knowing that this would be my last trip in the Ram.

I used the Ram to close my family's cabin for winter last season. I used it to move into my house. I used it on a couple of really nice camping trips. I drove thousands and thousands of miles in our Ram and I loved every minute of it. In fact, the Ram would always be my first choice of vehicle in the long-term fleet, over the GT-R, over the Viper, over anything. It has been my favorite long-term vehicle in the last few years.

When I got to Truckee, the guys at the Sears helped me load the stove into the back. I used the integrated box divider to snug the box into the bed and with the adjustable cargo tie-downs I was able to get three ratchet straps around it all. I know these cargo management features are not unique to Dodge, but they're super convenient and efficient.

During the drive up the mountain, the strong engine made it feel as though there was no oven in the cargo bed. The Ram effortlessly powered up the steep grades. We got to my cabin later than I hoped. I unloaded the new stove from the bed, loaded up the old one and took it to the dump 40 miles away.

When I got back, I discovered that a pipe hadn't drained properly so it froze and burst over the winter. A bunch of sediment had gotten into the pipes and blocked the drain line. The primitive plumbing in our cabin made it so I had to shut off the main, making staying for the weekend rather unpleasant. A plumber friend of ours in the area couldn't make it out till Monday. That meant it was a quick turn around for us. The next morning it was back into the truck for a long drive home.

During the nine hour drive back, my lady and I both loved the comfort the Ram offered to us weary travelers. I never got numb butt/things. My back didn't get stiff. The only thing I got tired of was driving. I had been in the truck for almost two days.

When I pulled into the office this morning, I checked Trip B. I put 1,371 miles on it over the weekend. A lot of driving, a lot of dead bugs on the grille, a lot of good memories.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Dyno-Tested

June 17, 2010


Hoo boy. For a second there, I thought that was a photo of our 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 on -- get this -- a chassis dyno.

<rubs eyes>

Wait, what?

Call ita Mopar kind of day. Photographer extraordinaire Kurt Niebuhr had driven the Ram to the dyno on the day we dyno-tested the Viper. Things wrapped up with the Viper and before we knew it, the Ram's 5.7-liter V8 was singing a full-throttle song while spinning the rollers. The explanation eludes us. Maybe it was the exhaust fumes. Maybe the Starbucks lady slipped a little something-something in our Pike Place that morning, who knows.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: The Best Full Size Truck I've Ever Driven

June 04, 2010


Like the title says...

It's got the best ride by a mile. Wait, make that two miles. The motor is great. It's comfortable, etc. If I could get one with a flat black grille and a manual transmission, I'd be a happy man.

Dodge > Chevy > Toyota > Ford > Nissan

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 30,116 miles

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Loaded

June 02, 2010

Here's what 408 pounds of orange Austrian two-wheeled badassery looks like in the back of the Ram. Couldn't even detect its presence. Other than being paranoid about losing it and driving accordingly, there's was no real reduction in the Ram's performance. Over the course of 420 miles, it rode virtually the same and its power was still more than adequate. When it comes to the combination of towing, hauling and ride quality, I haven't experienced a better truck.

But it's hard to eat a pizza on the tailgate with a motorcycle in the bed.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram: Will It Make a Good Old Truck?

April 19, 2010


Our Dodge Ram is a seriously nice truck. On top of its beefy towing and hauling towing capacities, it's got a comfortable ride, a huge interior and enough luxury features to rival a Lexus ES350's. Other than fitting into compact parking spaces, you can pretty much do it all with this thing. But it does make me wonder what our Ram will be like in 35 years.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Towing My Own Personal Miata Project

March 29, 2010


I spent the weekend using the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 and a borrowed heavy-duty trailerto shuttle my own personal project Miata to and from the body shop to get the trunk pulled straight.But thisMiata is not the long-term 1994 long-term Miata that Jay will tinker with and maybe let us driveif we ask real nice over the next year or so.

No, my 1990 Mazda Miata redefines the term "long-term" as I've had it in my care for over 20 years. It's a race car, you see, and I'm restoring it. Only driven on weekends, less than 7,000 actual miles. Sharp-eyed readers saw it in the background of the GMC Terrain suspension walkaround (photo #2) in the middle of a complete teardown.

Why would I use the word "restore" when referring to a 1990 Mazda Miata? Well, this is the first Miata to ever win a race in North America. That factoid didn't seem to be a big deal back in the day when it happened, but a ton of Miata racecars have been built and Miata wins have beennotched in the years since thatmaiden victory, scored in this very car by yours truly.

But enough about that.The Dodge Ram barely even blinked with this load. It towed nice and smooth. OK, the towed weight was probably no more than 4,000 lbs and my buddy Craig lent me an outstanding trailer, but this truckhas never once disappointed me. The bigger test will comeover the April 10-11 weekend, when I tow the carover hill and dale on the way northto Laguna Seca/Mazda Raceway for the Miatas at Mazda Raceway 20-year anniversary Miata-only track day event and party. I'll have stuff in the bed and crew in the Crew Cab. Should be fun. Stop by and say hello if you're nearby.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 24,834 miles

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Ram Versus Porsche Turbo

March 25, 2010


This isn't a fair fight.When it comes tothe 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 and the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo, it's clear that one haulsmore than the other.

Ah, but the answer differs depending on what is being hauled, if you catch my, er, drift.

Recently I had to (had to) drive a Porsche Turbo from our test track back to the offices in Santa Monica where, once there,I would trade the keys for those ofa 2009 Dodge Ram. My race jack was at the track, so it needed to ride in both machines to trace a path back to my garage.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: 20,000 Miles

February 04, 2010

Milestone Banner.jpgdodge_ram_20000.jpg

Last night on my ride home, our Dodge Ram passed 20,000 miles.

It's been bumped and bruised, towed a LeMon or two, hauled a lot of stuff, hauled a lot of a$$, and it's still going strong.

And it does all this with a pretty spiffy interior that includes heated seats and a glorious heated steering wheel.

We like it. What about you?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Great Tow Vehicle

January 26, 2010

lemons phx tow Ram f34.jpg

Our long-term 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is definitely being used in the mannerin which a pickup is intended. It was my tow vehicle once again this past weekend, this time to Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, AZ, and back to the Edmunds mothership here in Santa Monica.

The trip confirmed my earlier impressions that the Ram is a fine tow vehicle.The cabin is exceptionally devoid of tire roar and wind noise, which reduces the fatigue you experience during those long hauls. It rides very well, too. It'sreally rather plush, especially withall its amenities.

Long stints in the saddle are made nicer by the butt fans in the seat, andthe backup camera makes lining up the trailer hitch a one-attempt affair. So simple. The seat and steering wheel heaters fire up quickly. Did I alreadymention I love that heated wheel? Yes, I believe I did.

Here's a minor observation --when the climate control is set to "auto," it won't let you switch on the recirc. I tried this a couple of times when following a particularly stinky truck. Turns out you have to go to manual first, then engage recirc. Weird.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Desert Rat

January 04, 2010


I decided to take advantage of the lull in new house moving/painting/I gotta fix that madness and skip out early Sunday morning to the Mojave. A brief 90 minute drive and there I was, in the middle of Nowheresville. Peaceful.

I spent some time romping the open road and a little time listening for the Chukar and California Quail while hiking the rugged terrain. I probably could have done the trip in my Mazda 3, but it was a whole lot funner in the Ram with it's massive power and clearance.

Before long my mind started to fill with the house check list. I to putty the holes in my walls now so it's dry enough to paint at 8pm, put the trash out for tomorrows pickup....

Back on the road, the Ram's calm demeanor helped me relax and just enjoy the ride. By the time I got back home, everything was fine. I felt calm and relaxed. It was nice to have the ability to briefly get away to a peaceful place, and I was thankful the Ram made it fun.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 17,130 miles

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge RAM 1500: What Trailer?

December 08, 2009

2009 Dodge Ram bike tow.jpg

I enslaved the RAM for bike hauling duties this past weekend, part of what's becoming a post L.A. Auto Show dirtbiking tradition. Last time, I squeezed two dirtbikes into the narrowed bed between the two RAM Boxes. Though they fit with a little bar wrangling, this time I decided to use the 3-rail trailer instead.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Comparing Trucks

December 02, 2009


You asked how the Dodge Ram compares to the Toyota Tundra and Chevy Silverado.

Vehicle Testing Director Dan Edmunds wrote this article:

2009 Full-Size Pickup Truck Comparison Test and Video

where he compared four full-size pickups trucks: the Tundra, Silverado, Ram and Ford F-150.

He tested suspension, visibility, storage, entertainment features, performance, towing, safety, fuel consumption, etc. etc. etc.

There are lots of charts and a fun video, too. Check it out.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

P.S. The photo has nothing to do with this post. I just spotted those Christmas lights and the big full moon and had to snap a picture.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Towing Impressions

November 27, 2009

dodgeram f34 tow lemon thill.jpg

As mentioned earlier, last weekend I towed with our longterm 2009 Dodge Ramroughly 4000 pounds for more than a thousandmiles.

In a nutshell, the voyage was exactly as you'd prefer -- uneventful. Here are some observations.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Doesn't Like the Desert

October 04, 2009


Late last week we used the Ram to support a photo shoot on Ford's new F-150 SVT Raptor in the SoCal Desert. The Ram was enlisted because we needed a vehicle to haul a ton of gear over rough terrain (at low speed) and, well, it's the only truck we've got in the fleet right now.

This didn't go so well.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Track Testing

August 05, 2009

Dodge Ram Testing.jpg

Had enough of dirtbikes, home remodeling and moving posts yet? I hope not, because we've been waiting for a new truck for a long time. Stuff's been piling up. But for the next few minutes, let's venture into the world of performance testing with a really big truck.

Follow the jump for full results: 0-60, quarter mile, slalom, skidpad and braking. Oh, and as-tested weight!

Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Ram 1500

Odometer: 33,42

Date: 07/21/2009

Driver: Josh Jacquot

Price: $49,660


Drive Type: Four-wheel drive

Transmission Type: Five-speed automatic with tow/haul mode

Engine Type: 90-degree V8 Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,654 (345)

Redline (rpm): 5,800

Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 390 @ 5,600

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 407 @ 4,000

Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc

Brake Type (rear): Solid disc

Steering System: Rack-and-pinion with hydraulic power assist

Suspension Type (front): independent, double wishbones, coil springs and stabalizer bar

Suspension Type (rear): Solid axle, coil springs, trailing links, panhard rod and stabilizer bar

Tire Size (front): P275/60R20 114S

Tire Size (rear): P275/60R20 114S

Tire Brand: Goodyear

Tire Model: Wrangler HP

Tire Type: All-season

Wheel Size: 20-by-9

Wheel Material (front/rear): Chrome clad aluminum alloy

As-tested Curb Weight (lb): 5,677

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 2.9

0-45 (sec): 4.7

0-60 (sec): 7.6

0-75 (sec): 10.9

1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.6 @ 85.

4 0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.2

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: 3 Things

July 27, 2009

Ram Rear view.jpg

Here are three things I like about this new Dodge Ram. 1) The aftermarket looking exhaust pipes that run straight out the back. 2) The sound of the Hemi through those pipes. 3) Theautomatic transmission. Itsometimes is too eager to kick down but during normaldrivingupshifts are smooth and downshifts almost imperceptible when slowing to a stop.

Brian Moody, Automotive Editor @ 5,402 miles.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: "Does This Trailer Make My Butt Sag?"

July 17, 2009

Dodge Ram Towing GTX in Utah.JPG

Some previous posts onour Long-Term 2009Dodge Ram 1500 had people commenting on how much it is supposedly sagging in the back with the car trailer attached.

I looked through the photos from my trip between Denver and L.A. (a wrap-up of the trip coming soon), and I honestly don't think it's an issue. First, in terms of actual sag, I feel it's barely perceptible. Certainly it wasn't a dominant aspect of this truck/trailer combo whenever I looked at it during the trip.

More importantly, the amount of supposed sag had no effect on the truck's driving dynamics. Light front-end feel? Nope.Excessive or uncontrolledbounce over bumps? Nope (coil springs were not an issue here). Reduced braking force from lack of weight transfer to the front tires during braking? Not that I could tell. The Ram stoppedright now whenever I needed it to.

I'm thinking there's a psychological element here. It's like the super-big wheels on too many cars these days. Do they really improve performance? After a certain point, no, they actually compromise performance even if they supposedly look better.

Same thing here; it might not look as cool as a completely, 100% level truck would look. But is it actually affecting performance? Not as far as I can tell.

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Rocky Mountain High = 12.5 MPG

July 16, 2009

Dodge Ram 1500 Vail Pass.JPG

It's official: the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 can knock down mountains, even when dragging 6,000 pounds behind it. The run from Denver to Grand Junction is approximately 250 miles and includes among the highest highway passes (Loveland and Vail)in North America.

TheRam pulledmy Plymouth GTX overboth passes at an average speed of 60 mph and could hit 70 whenever Iwanted, even on the steepest inclines. The only reason it didn't average70 is the trailer'smax speed rating of 55 mph. Sixty seems within the margin of error and a few quick blasts to 70 felt completely confident, butI'm not going to maintain that kind of speed on twistyI70 with 6,000 pounds in tow (even if the Ramis ready and willing).

A quick check of the Denver-to-Grand Junctionfuel sheet shows 12.5 mpg on that stretch of the trip. Considering the altitude,tonnage and my average speed, I'll take it.

Vegas Baby!

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: It Takes a Mopar to Tow a Mopar

July 16, 2009

Dodge Ram Towing Plymouth GTX.jpg

After picking up (and de-bugifying) our long-term 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 I've hooked a U-Haul car trailer to its Class IV hitch and loaded up one 1970 Plymouth GTX.

Departure time from the Mile High City is T-minus 10 minutes. Waiting for me are over 1,000 miles, two 10,000-plus-foot mountain passes and several longstretches of triple-digit temperatures through Arizona, Nevada and California's Death Valley.

In the few miles between the localU-Haul franchise and my Dad's house this pair of Mopars generated quite a few second glances, call-outs and thumbs up. So far the "That thing gotta Hemi?" count isat zero.I'll besure to reportwhich yocal grabs that low-hanging fruit first.

Pre-GTX towing the Ram offered plenty of power, stable handling, a comfortable ride and high-teens MPG. We'llsoon knowwhat 6,000-lbs ofmuscle-car-bearingtrailerdoes to each of those traits. For those who care, the one-way cost of an open, two-axleU-Haulcar transporter between Denver and Los Angeles was $754, including $72for $10,000 insurance and $66 in taxes.

See you on the other side (of the Continental Divide).

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com EditorinChief at 2,083 miles

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Child of the Corn OR Manly Man

July 13, 2009

Ram  blog corn skinny high 950.jpg

With about 1,300 miles to cover in our new long-term Dodge Ram on the trip from Detroit to Boulder, Colo, we have some alone-time on our hands. Even splitting the drive up into two days (Detroit to Lincoln, Neb. one day and Lincoln to Boulder on the second), there's almost exactly 1,000,000 miles of corn-wrapped straight, flat Interstate 80 to cover each day.

In a decent automobile, which early impressions indicate the Ram certainly is, this is a monstrously boring drive. Like, drum-solo kind of boring. The kind of boring that might inspire a grown man to affix Bugles-brand corn-based snack trumpets to each of his eight fingers, just...you know...to see. We're not saying that we actually did this, but I did.

Anyway, somewhere around Des Moines, with the Ram blasting down the road, we naturally pondered the Kinsey Scale.

Make the jump for an explanation and a photo of possibly the saddest Ford Pinto ever.

See full article and comment.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Road Trip!

July 10, 2009

LT Ram road trip 950.jpg

Here we go again! In a couple of days we'll be pointing the big, shiny snout of our brand-spankin'-new Dodge Ram West and hitting the go pedal. That's right: We're going cross-country with our new truck so that it may spend its days out in sunny Southern California.

Yours truly will handle the first leg from Detroit to Boulder, Colorado. My goal is to maintain at least 15 mpg. Along the way, I anticipate blogging about corn, highways, corn and also corn. Oh, and I might even keep a tally of how many left-lane dawdlers I can intimidate with our angry-red truck.

Once in Boulder, I'll hand the truck off to some guy named Karl Brauer. I'm told I'll recognize him as the guy standing next to a 1970 Plymouth GTX. The plan is to trailer his GTX back to LA, all the while spreading righteous Mopar all across the land.

Should be a good trip and we'll see how much we regret not having ordered up the optional big gas tank. Join us.

See below, a pic of the last time Karl towed the GTX cross-country.

Daniel Pund, Senior Editor Detroit @ 678 miles

See full article and comment.

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests