2006 RAM 3500 Mega Cab Review / Road Test

 

A "limo on stilts"

Mega cab, mega train

Best thing about high-riding around in the mega-cab uber-truck Ram 3500 is turning right at a junction with another car in your left lane, and being able to see over the top of it,    even if it's a full-size SUV.

How's that for making an otherwise occluded view into a nice, safe turn, particularly around town?  Great, which is why just one of the reasons I enjoyed this monster so much - the fact that your head, and therefore line of vision, is pretty near seven feet above the road.

    Other reasons included its massive cabin and huge carrying capacity on a day-to-day basis, and its superb ability off-road for a fun rag around when you want one. And while on height, I loved the almost-four-foot leap required to get into the cabin.
 

And this primarily leather-clad cabin is huge, with a class-leading 145.2 cubic feet of capacity, while its innovative split-fold seats, a first for a truck, give almost unheard of 44.2 inches of legroom in the back.  Its wheelbase is an incredible 160-plus inches, which pretty much makes this, as at least one passenger commented on approaching the vehicle, a limousine on stilts.
   
All  importantly you can't, obviously, take a limo offroad - unless it's a Hummer and who, I ask, would want to ride in that? -  and I took this one to the rough and rutted around LA's port area, finding a great expanse of loam and grit with a couple of nodding donkey oil pumps and the famed Union-Pacific train, which provided a nice backdrop for testing the higher and lowered suspension, full-rear lock and other such helpful  - and sometimes necessary - features.

Next to some heavy machinery portside

Protuberant front grille

Earlier, I'd compared the 3500 Megacab to my neighbor's big beast - a Ford F350 - and was pleasantly surprised to find it not only bigger  but bolder looking, too, that protuberant front-grille with just enough bad-boy to eclipse the Ford, its main rival.

So I was not about to partake in a p***ing contest with the neighbor - that would be rude, and unwise as he's also the landlord - but being a property developer and used to carrying tonnes of gravel and tiles in the back of his truck, he cast an appreciative eye over the RAM, while espousing why he loves his own.

One thing is the gas mileage he can wring out of his, and most of these trucks, once they've put a substantial amount of miles on the clock, not hard with everyday commutes or site visits. Past-100,000 miles and gas is good, he says, though I would suggest gas isn't too bad now as a result of the 5.9 liter turbo diesel unit under the Ram's hood.
 
Underneath is live-axle suspension with short long-arm at the front, also known as double-wishbone,  which optimizes chassis tuning and wheel motion,  Quadra link leading arms, coil springs and several stabilizer bars. At rear, the shock-absorbers are gas-charged with auxiliary springs added for the 3500 model.

6 foot 3 inch flatbed


   
Quite what all of this means to the average motor is unclear, though I'm sure the neighbor knows and is thankful when he, or the average driver of one of these monsters, is carrying upwards of 2000 pounds, which this beast can, alongside its curbweight of 7,600 pounds. The Ram can also tow up to 9,900 pounds. 

DVD with cordless headphones

So hop in, it'll cost you a little north of $55,000 with add-ons including sat nav, automatic box a $1000 addition and handy trailer-tow mirrors and tow hooks at $100 apiece.

One thing though, if ever I punch in 'John Wayne Airport' to a sat-nav system, I would prefer not to be sent to the back of the airport, a good 30-minute drive away or more at rush hour from the front passenger drop-off.

But hey, at least I got a great view of my flight taking off.

Functional, huge cabin

Top of Page

Join Splash Magazines
Feature Article

Tempflow™ and Tempur-Pedic® Reviews - What 35 Hours of Research Uncovered

Want Your Business to Male a Splash