has a similar system for many of its 2006 SUVs and a few cars. Called
Displacement on Demand (DOD), the operation also uses special lifters
shut down half the cylinders when there is little or no load on the engine.
DOD was designed into the new GEN IV engine family, and GM is starting
to offer that line of engines in more vehicles. But no GM pickups will
have DOD for 2006.
Other changes to the 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 were discussed in a recent First
Look story. Briefly, the exterior was sharpened with angular headlights,
a bolder grille and more robust surround collar. Under the revised sheetmetal
is a stiffer fully boxed frame and new coil-over-shock suspension on 4x4
models. A retuned suspension for all models results in a slightly more
pleasant ride but the big news comes from inside the cab. Added feature
content and improved comfort levels and complemented by noticeable quieter
cabin. Dodge officials promised a quieter interior when talking about
the new models. Engineers added laminated front-door glass, improved the
door seals, designed new body mounts and used more polymer constraint
layer (PCL) in the firewall area. Premium amenities such as GPS navigation,
rear-seat DVD player, booming Infinity sound system, heated seats, power
sliding rear window, sun roof and adjustable pedals are all available
All the improvements on the 2006 Ram 1500 serve notice that quality product
and focused engineering are what’s needed to compete in a segment
that now has five strong players. For the past two years, gimmicky cosmetic
packages seem to have dominated Dodge’s marketing efforts. Combined
with the release of Mega Cab, Dodge’s lineup is now extremely potent
with solid offerings to suit a variety of truck customers. Watch for more
updates as vehicles become available. We’re especially interested
in testing a new trim level for the Ram 1500, the TRX4 Off-Road. It features
an electric-shift transfer case, 17-inch aluminum wheels, more aggressive
off-road tires, skid plates and limited-slip differential.
the Ram 1500 starts at $21,700. Here’s a rundown of the trim levels
and prices. All prices include $900 destination charge.