The 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 is a massive piece of machinery.
From the outside, the SLT Crew Cab 4X4 is wide and big and long—equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine and the ability to haul a 1,900-pound maximum payload as well as 10,450-pound tow capacity. And it sits high—giving the driver a king-of-the-road perspective.
As a first-timer test driving such a substantial truck, I thought I might be overwhelmed by its size. However, after getting accustomed to it after a day or two, I found the driving experience to be unproblematic. It comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, and it didn’t feel like what I thought a vehicle this size would—awkward and lumbering. In fact, it was undemanding and downright comfortable. The only time its size presented me with anxiety was when I was pulling into and out of parking spaces, but I suspect that in time even that feeling of unease would diminish.
And while the Ram 1500’s considerable power and carrying capacity seemed wasted on my mainly suburban runs around town, I could appreciate several of the vehicle’s features which would come in handy while off road or when hauling a serious load. The Ram is equipped with a multi-link coil suspension and on-demand four-wheel drive. With the push of a button one can select one of four settings (two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive auto, four-wheel drive low and four-wheel drive lock, which locks both drive shafts for extra grip and pulling power.)
I didn’t have much use for the ample cargo space, however, I did haul a couple of patio chairs from Maryland to Virginia with ease. The truck comes with trailer sway control and redesigned tow hooks and trailer hitch.
Little surprise, the interior is roomy with an array of options that make it feel even less like a truck. Choose from video in the front and rear, a nine-speaker sound system, leather seating, power sunroof, for example.
Other features worth mentioning include the rear park assist system, remote start dual zone temperature control, heated seats and steering wheel, the 6.5-inch touch screen GPS system and the 30-GB hard drive with 4,250-song capacity. All are extras that helped push the $34,240 base price to $50,900 in the model I tested.
The Ram 1500 SLT has earned five stars in government frontal crash tests and three stars in rollover tests. It comes with a 32-gallon gas tank and gets 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, according to EPA fuel estimates
One anecdotal bit of information I can add is that the Dodge Ram 1500 SLT seems to have a mesmerizing effect on men. When I visited a friend and mentioned what I was driving, the four men in house hurried out to take a look–for 30 minutes. They sat in it, looked under the hood, inspected the bed and examined the side cargo holds. My girlfriend, on the other hand, came along for a short drive, commented that it was big and comfy and went inside.