2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4. Click image to enlarge

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Dodge Canada

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Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2009 Dodge Ram

Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation.

Everyone has their favourite tools: but what about their toolbox? It’s usually the last place you’ll find your favourite tools, which are usually strewn about the house, garage, or job site. Whether you’re in the trades or a weekend cottage handyperson, the battered blue Beach tool box your Dad handed down to you now looks more like a 17-drawer roller cabinet. The common pick-up, long thought of as an important tool, has possessed little in the ways of practical storage, unless you count high-rise caps, add-on trunk crates, and whatever you could jam behind the bench seat. There has been the odd glimpse of practicality in the last 40 years of truck.

Every now and then, you’ll see a battered Ford or Chevy with lower tool cases on the box sides. The current Nissan Titan line offers similar outside lock boxes. Enter the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, with the optional RamBox cargo management system. The question for Inside Story is whether or not the RamBox is truly the toolbox that the World of Truck has been missing. This week’s contestant is the Laramie Crew Cab 4 X 4, with an MSRP of $48,910. (Prices shown do not include freight, taxes, or regional incentives.)

Cockpit/Centre Stack
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4. Click image to enlarge

Once you get your wind back after the effort required to enter the cab, you’ll be greeted by a multi-function tilt wheel, which keeps the busy down to a minimum. A Mopar mainstay is the location of the audio controls on the backside of the nine and three spokes. The cruise control stalk is found at the 4 PM position. The frontal nine and three controls access the driver information display, which is chock full of crucial gauge readouts for tough truck use, such as transmission fluid temperature. Headlamps include an Auto setting, while wiper controls continue to over-populate the turn signal stalk. The transfer case control dial provides an Auto 4X4 setting, in addition to full-time high and low range four-wheel traction. Pedals are power-adjustable, and memory-coded to the driver seat settings.

The driver’s door pod houses the power mirror controls, with dedicated activation pads for left and right mirrors. Power windows provide Auto Up/Down for driver and front passenger. The HVAC pod provides dual-zone auto climate adjustment, as well as sync ability. Speaking of heat, you’ll find the switch for the heated steering wheel in this quadrant. Be aware that this toaster activates quickly, and can get a little too hot for ungloved hands. Tow/Haul, stability program, and ParkSense rear park assist controls are found below the U-connect tunes 30-GB 6-CD audio head unit. The ParkSense system will immediately have you longing for the $325 ParkView Rear Backup Camera option, as the sensors become useless with the slightest road splash.

The rear overhead LED warning light bank seemed downright dim, while backing up and waiting for the system to activate was akin to playing a game of Reverse Chicken. The U-connect system continues to offer impressive Bluetooth handshakes for wireless phones, top-notch voice quality, and handy voice-guided prompts. Connectivity with portable music players is also afforded, via a standard auxiliary jack input, or a USB port. The five-speed automatic floor shift includes an AutoStick-style manual gate, with gear selection displayed on the IP.

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