2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Review
The Ram 1500 delivers a traditional big-truck ride with power and interior space to spare. But it doesn't have the safety features or maneuverability of other full-size pickups.
First debuting in 1981, the current Dodge Ram 1500 is a powerful off-road vehicle that provides a comfortable everyday ride with plenty of big-truck attitude. The 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 is an updated version from the third generation, which began in 2003 with a major overhaul. For 2008, the 1500 gets a more powerful 4.7-liter V8 to replace its previous mid-level engine. Dodge has announced a 2009 redesign that will include improved towing and payload capacities, an improved and more fuel efficient Hemi engine, and interior changes. Though the 2009 Ram promises to have excellent fuel economy, the 2008 Dodge Ram has fuel economy that's just average for the class.
Starting in 2005, the Ram became available in an even larger version built on the Ram 2500 platform -- a four-door Mega Cab, which features a 76.3-inch cargo box and 21.6 extra cubic feet of cab space. The Mega Cab is especially well liked, and is described by USA Today as "a smooth, powerful, comfortable, prince of a pickup with limousine-like passenger space best suited to those who are big-truck friendly and don't need class-leading payload ratings."
But overall, the 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 trails most of its class and is considered merely acceptable. Car and Driver says: "We weren't smitten by the Ram. Its body is jiggly over the rough, the steering is slack on center, the interior is Kmart shiny plastic, and climbing up to the lofty cab is work."
The Ram 1500 comes in several trims and sizes. The model with the smallest cabin, the two-door Regular Cab, is available in ST, SLT, Sport and TRX4 Off-Road trims. The next size up, the four-door Quad Cab, is also available in the ultra-luxury Laramie trim. The largest 1500, the Mega Cab, is only available in the SLT and Laramie trims. Powertrain choices and box sizes vary by trim. If you're looking for a full-size pickup, also check out the Chevy Silverado or the GMC Sierra.
- "The cathedral of all pickup trucks; a steel Mecca for those who worship big numbers." -- PickupTruck.com
- "Does not lack machismo. These are great big trucks with all that implies -- good for work but not much fun for play." -- Car and Driver
- "The Mega Cab is certainly convenient, but I expect most of these will go to fleets and construction companies that need to carry manpower plus material. For a family, it's just too much truck." -- Arizona Republic
- "Too bad the not-so-nice list is almost as big as the truck itself. Let's start with the price. … Then there's the ride, which is bumpy, and the diesel engine, which is loud and slow. Finally, this vehicle's size makes it a tight fit on many roads and nearly impossible to maneuver easily in parking lots." -- San Jose Mercury News