Mammoth Dodge Ram Mega Cab is the king of the trucks
special to the daily
Big is big. And then there’s the Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500, a truck with so much galloping girth and spacious comfort inside that you really will be able to haul Paul Bunyan and his axe – or six adults – in a 111-inch cab that feels more executive class than pickup.
You’ll also be able to pull up to 15,800 pounds of trailer, dump a box full of gravel into the back, or traverse some scary terrain in the safety and comfort of full 4×4, just to add to the adaptability.
Your first clue to Mega Cab status is a second set of doors even larger than the front ones, plus super-dark privacy glass in effect, adding to one very long and large passenger space. Open those rear doors (they swing open to almost a 90 degree angle for super-easy loading of people and gear) and you’ll find seating for three with so much legroom it’s absolutely unbelievable.
The back seat also folds flat to provide a large platform storage area for hauling your stuff, complementing generous first-row seating for three.
Rambling around in the big rig is plenty of big fun. Powered by a 5.9 liter Cummins turbo diesel engine producing 325 horsepower and an astounding, stump-pulling 610 lb.-ft. of torque, there’s enough juice to attack the steeps on the passes or to bolt away at stops like a vehicle one-tenth its size.
The engine starts easily, even in relatively cold conditions, and at idle is noisy but not prohibitively rattly or smoky.
Actual driving in the $54,095 (as tested) Ram Mega Cab does require care and attention, as there’s a whole lotta truck to maneuver, especially in parking lots and on tight streets (160 inches of vehicle, in fact).
But you’ll eventually get used to it. A titanic set of towing mirrors with small convex inserts in the top corners does add a bit of rear visibility; keep in mind that this is one big bad boy with some serious blind spots, so vigilance is tantamount to safety.
Diesel power comes with a healthy taste for fuel – we made it to Vail and back to Golden and used about 2/5 of the 35 gallon tank, traveling at reasonable speeds – so prepare for some rough times at the gas station. Owing to its full-sized truck status, EPA mileage figures are noticeably absent and were not available at press time.
The Ram Mega Cab’s largess also produces a ride that’s occasionally less than subtle. Concrete freeway sections made the Ram jump and bounce like a carnival ride, as did deep ruts – the Ram got a little squirrelly on me while driving through the deeply rutted inside lanes in the Eisenhower Tunnel, which was a bit disconcerting.
The 17-inch tires and wheels seem pretty wide and generally stable beyond that, topped off with attractive five-spoke rims, offering good grip on icy, snowy and wet pavement.
Sheer largess is the name of the game, especially when it comes to the Mega Cab’s powerful looks. A huge front bumper with a chrome-capped center, enormous headlamps and fog lights, huge wheel wells for major off-road articulation and even a set of cab-top running lights, just like a Peterbilt: this is one mean machine.
The Mega Cab’s interior is as large and luxurious as befits a vehicle of this size. There’s full leather seating in front and back, with an enormous cargo box/armrest in the middle of the front row (containing an ingenious rail system for adaptably storing CDs and such) that pops out of the way to make a large third seat.
Controls for a rudimentary two-zone A/C and heating system, super-hot seat-warmers and a power sliding rear window are all conveniently located on the center stack. Our Ram tester came with Dodge’s decent navigation system, multi-CD player and a Sirius Satellite Radio-ready audio system, cranked through an Infinity speaker setup.
There’s dual power outlets in the cab and good space in the center console for beverages and belongings.
A touch of hardwood-styled plastic fascia on the doors and dash adds a touch of class, plus the Laramie-imprinted carpets. Front cab passengers get a moonroof; those in the back get a DVD entertainment system to keep them occupied on the drive.
Accessing the cabin does require an actual leap of faith. The Mega Cab is so high off the ground that you’ve gotta grab the access handle – or the steering wheel – and chuck yourself up to get inside.
Once you’ve scaled the heights, there’s impressively commanding views of the road; it’s just the view to the rear that gets a little blocked by three large headrests in the back seat.
Hauling goods or people, the Ram Mega Cab will do it in plenty of style, with loads of power. Just watch out for smaller cars, please.
Price as tested: $54,095
Includes: 5.9 liter Cummins turbo diesel engine, four-speed automatic transmission, leather-trimmed bench seating, heated, folding trailering mirrors, power sunroof, navigation system, rear-seat entertainment system, heated front seats, Sirius Satellite Radio, seven-speaker Infinty audio system, 17-inch wheels
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