This Dodge Ram 2500 HD Sport regular cab truck is a “Real Man’s” package of muscle in the V10 Magnum engine with 310 horsepower. Empty it is wonderfully fast. And with a load, the ride is softer and you will hardly know it’s there. Turn on the air and still no noticeable loss of power.
After picking up this beauty I set out “south of the border, down Mexico way”. About 100 of us spent up to 4 days in Tecate and Valle Verde, El Florido where we met the challenge to build two houses in two days. It proved to be a great test of man and machine. I have to say this very heavy duty truck held up better than my body. The roads in that area are mostly dirt and as bumpy as you’ll find anywhere. For you skiers, picture moguls made of hardened clay mud. Thank you Dodge for providing the transportation.
I was pleased with the performance for the entire trip other than the consumption of gasoline. However, it just so happened that I ran into a fellow at one of the gas stations I chanced to visit, who was filling up his 1997 V10. I listened with great interest about his problems with that model. He said he had no problem with the engine and drive train, but some other components failed. Coincidentally he travels into Mexico on business very often and also experiences the off road conditions as I did. First, he says the rear brakes went out after only 25,000 miles. The rough roads didn’t contribute to that problem, but the relentless shaking caused the strap on the front of the gas tank to snap and the horn bracket welds broke as well. And finally he had a short that kept blowing fuses. All had been resolved and basically he was a happy camper.
I had a reader e-mail me about the diesel V8 version. He says, “I bought a 1999 2500 Cummins (diesel) back in January (1999). It has the four doors, eight foot bed and all that other stuff. It’s the same model that is pictured on your web site. I’m very happy with it. A few little notes for you….I am averaging 19 MPG… better than any V-8 that Dodge makes.
Well, to Kent and others, I agree with his comments, and 19 MPG isn’t bad for a big truck like that. However, this is a V10 Magnum and I experienced overall mileage of 13.64 for the week. There are no published numbers that I could find.
On those back roads at slow speeds or on the freeway it maneuvers well. It is stable, albeit a little uncomfortable without a load as you’d expect for a truck suspension built to handle a 3700 lb. payload.
It ranks up there in style with other leaders in the big muscle trucks produced by Chevrolet, Ford and GMC.
Fit and Finish: Well, it’s a truck. I’d have to say all the major competitors in this class are very similar. They are all car like inside and better than a truck should be.
This model has everything you’d need even in a luxury passenger car except no back seat. That proves to be a distinct drawback. It is better, in my view, to have at least the extended cab. The Quad Cab is good if you don’t have a need for the long bed like this 4X2.
Not bad for this very capable workhorse.
As you know from television advertisements, Chevy’s are built “like a rock”, Fords are “Ford Tough”. And this Dodge Ram is as tough as 16 penny nails. I can’t ignore the concerns of the owner of that 1997 model, but more importantly you need to remember the conditions in Mexico are extreme for any vehicle. You might ask the dealer if the problems he mentioned have been fixed.
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 $20,489-33,465, Ford F250 Super Duty $20,110-31,370, GMC Sierra 2500 $21,134-30,556,
Comfort and convenience of a passenger car in a heavy duty truck built for heavy payloads and towing capacity. V10 high torque and horsepower.
V10 gas consumption. A little rough ride when empty, over 65 mph.
8.0 liter V10 Magnum 310 horsepower with 450 ft. lbs. of torque, 4-speed automatic trans., dual air bags with on/off switch for passenger, power disc / drum in rear anti lock brake system, power steering, front coil springs and rear 60” leaf springs, HD gas shocks, large center armrest w/ storage, AM/FM radio with cassette.
?? City and ?? Highway MPG. / estimate for my trip of about 14 MPG overall.
MSRP $20,240, and the model I tested had the SLT package including air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, tilt wheel, special light package, dual power fold away mirrors, upgrade tires and wheels, plus sport group including special headlights and fog lights, plus trailer tow group and much more for a total of $25,630.
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org