says the target for the Ram’s internal makeover was
General Motors’ full size pickups. But the influence of the F-150’s
interior design themes can’t be overlooked here either. It’s
like a cross between GM’s ‘pure pickup’ interior and
the F-150, plus a dose of Mercedes sensibility. There’s complex
surfacing and high grade materials that are interesting to look at, where
the previous Ram offered only flat expanses of plastic and boredom.
and Sport editions, the crash pads over the instrument panel have French-stitched
borders, like a King Ranch or Platinum Ford F-150. The doors feature
soft armrests on all models, and for Laramie Rams there are tastefully
integrated wood appliqué inserts with chrome surrounds.
have also been overhauled. Most switchgear is within easy reach of the
driver. And there’s an all-new, optional, serpentine
gated shifter mounted in the floor console.
panel’s meters and gauges are large and easy to
read and the Euro-style trip computer in the IP is the best information
display I’ve seen in current full size pickups, outside of a dedicated
navigation unit in the center stack.
in all Rams have been redesigned with more surface area and improved
lumbar and lateral support. The Sport and the Laramie feature high-shouldered
front buckets and can be optioned with heaters and ventilators, for
cooling. Dodge says they’re first
in the segment with heated and cooled front seats, but the discontinued
Lincoln Blackwood luxury pickup offered this feature back in 2002. Heated
rear seating is available on crew cab models.
also paid close attention to rear seat comfort in the new crew cab,
which replaces the Mega Cab. The seating angle is 24-degrees, the same
as typical front seat lean back. There’s also plenty of bottom
cushion length for extra comfort.
upscale touch – the truck’s new ‘smart key’ is
a Mercedes-style radio frequency fob that slides into a slot on the lower
dash below the instrument panel, replacing the old steering column mounted
metal key insert.
and passengers won’t have any problem
looking for storage. Crew cabs have 10 cupholders! Six up front and
four in the back. And there are two new, segment exclusive load floor
storage boxes in the back of crew cab Rams that can hold up to ten
12-oz beverage cans per bin. The storage boxes have built-in drains,
so you can keep the cans on ice.
storage doesn’t start and end in the cab.
the plastic storage containers the Ram’s design team watched
owners place in the backs of their trucks to hold loose items and protect
them from the elements? The 2009 Ram features new, optional side saddle
storage containers that Dodge calls ‘RamBox’.
8.6 cubic-foot RamBox bins are smoothly integrated into the truck’s
bed rails. They are weatherproof, lockable, drainable, illuminated
and can fit up to 120 12-oz beverage cans per side. Brilliant!
those keeping score, including the in-cab bins, you can take up to
11 cases of 12-oz beverage containers to a tailgate party. RamBox equipped
trucks can still fit 49-inch wide materials (enough for a 4’ X
8’) between the rails, which are flush with the wheel wells.
It’s sure to be something we’ll see in other future trucks
as well, it’s that cool.
much more useful than the smaller bed mounted boxes in the Chevrolet
Avalanche or the tiny cubby in the Nissan Titan, which not so long
ago was a big deal.