2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 Laramie
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 Laramie. Click image to enlarge

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2009 Dodge Ram

Ottawa, Ontario – It could be argued that there has never been a better time to be a truck enthusiast. All three domestic truck manufacturers are offering refreshed models with improved styling, power, fuel economy and reliability. Case in point is the new 2009 Dodge Ram.

The all-new Ram 1500 receives some gentle massaging of that aggressive front grille, along with a redesign of the rear suspension. Also new are a few features that contractors will appreciate.

Standard safety equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist, Stability Control, Driveline Traction Control, dual front and overhead airbags,

Power comes from a Hemi 5.7-litre V8 engine producing 390 horsepower and including cylinder deactivation for better fuel economy. The engine is mated to a five speed automatic transmission with overdrive and a tow/haul mode.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 Laramie
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 Laramie
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 Laramie
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 Laramie. Click image to enlarge

My tester was a Crew Cab in luxurious Laramie trim (base price, $46,340). Options included Leather trimmed bucket seats ($1,000), AM/FM/CD/DVD/HDD/MP3 w/Navigation ($925), ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera ($325), Power Sunroof ($1,250), Rear Seat Video System ($1,200), RamBox Cargo Management System ($1,495), Class IV Receiver Hitch ($250), Front Suspension Skid Plate, Tow Hooks and Transfer Case Skid Plate Shield($250), bringing my as-tested total to $54,385.

The high step up into the cab made entering and exiting the vehicle a challenge for me, and doing it with any sort of grace or dignity was difficult. I had to leap into the seat and pull myself in using the steering wheel. Surprisingly, side step tubes are missing from the order sheet, although aftermarket ones are surely available. Once inside the cab it’s a wonderful place to be, comfortable with all the amenities you would expect in a vehicle at this price point.
Both front and rear seats are heated and on a recent hot humid day the front cooled seats were a pleasant feeling. Steering wheel has controls for audio and information systems and is even heated for those frosty winter mornings. Also included is remote start and a key fob with a neat trick: the fob is inserted to start the engine and a small button on top of the fob is used to release the keys, allowing the fob to remain in the ignition. This was handy when using the key to unlock the glovebox or outside storage compartments without shutting off the engine: brilliant!

The adjustable pedals, infinite adjustability of the seats, and the tilt-steering wheel made finding a comfortable driving position easy. All controls were easy to use, including the navigation system. The gauges are all analogue and in the centre dash display is a digital read-out of transmission and engine oil temperatures, important things to monitor when towing. The rear back-up camera is a worthwhile option, making hitching up a trailer a snap – easier on the marriage.

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