He said/She said: 2009 Dodge Ram HD

She ? It would be a challenge for one of the high-kicking Rockettes from Radio City Music Hall to get a leg up into the cab of the 2009 model Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickup, so imagine what it was like for an old, out-of-shape, short (five-foot-three) person, like me to climb into the tall cab.

Once in, I was rewarded with a spacious and nicely appointed cabin with comfortable leather seats and a view over traffic. ?However, I recommend ordering the running board option, or at least finding an aftermarket set.

He ? I am an advocate of helping our fuel situation by using diesel-powered vehicles, however, I have not been a big fan of the heavy-duty American trucks that chatter, smoke and smell in front of me at a drive-in line or at a stoplight.? Diesels like that have given these so-called oil burners an appropriate bad name.

The new Dodge Ram truck we drove recently, with a turbodiesel engine, eliminated two of the three traditional diesel shortcomings ? smell and smoke.? There is still the problem of noise, however.?? There is just no easy way to sneak up on someone in this pickup.

Powered a Heavy Duty 6.7-liter Cummins? in-line six-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 350 horsepower and 650-lb.ft of torque this truck is a major beast of burden and it just happens to be the best performing heavy-duty pickup on the market.? The diesel engine package, which also includes an overhead console with garage door opener, a diesel exhaust brake, tow hooks and 750-ampere battery, is a $6,100 option on Ram 2500 models engine and is standard equipment on the 3500. ?The standard engine in the 2500 is a new 355-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. More than 80 percent of Dodge Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 sold are powered by the diesel engine.

She ? Dodge redefined the big truck look in 1994 when it came out with the all-new pickup with the massive grille that looked as if it were designed for a Freightliner pulling a 53-foot trailer.? Since then, evolutionary design changes have made the Dodge truck look even bigger and it has influenced the styling of nearly every other full-size pickup in this market.? In the process, the Dodge Ram became a player in the big pickup market with a major increase in sales over the previous design.? Even with the sales meltdown, the Dodge Ram trucks were the eighth bestselling vehicle for 2009, through August.

Available in regular cab, Quad Cab, Mega Cab? and Power Wagon? configurations, the Dodge truck offers a size to fit every need for work or play.? The trucks are available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive configuration and actually a six-wheel drive when ordered with dual rear wheels and four-wheel drive.

To maximize the choices the there are six trim levels: ?ST, SXT, SLT, Laramie, Power Wagon and TRX Off-Road.

He ? New designs of the 6.7-liter Cummins engine achieve the 2010 NOx emission standard making it the cleanest pickup diesel.? In addition, it uses a diesel particulate filter virtually eliminating particulate matter emissions and an absorber catalyst to reduce oxides of nitrogen by as much as 90 percent thereby cutting the smoke to almost nothing.? The engine is designed to last 350,000 miles before needing a major overhaul, which is about 100,000 mile better than competitors.?? It also has the only diesel exhaust brake available on a pickup.

She ? With the wide range of available models the Dodge truck interiors run the gamut from basic work truck to luxurious.? The largest of the bunch, the Mega Cab boasts a total 143.2 cubic feet of interior space?to put that in perspective, that?s 34 cubic feet more interior room than the Lincoln Town Car. Filled with innovative seating and storage configurations the Mega Cab is the only truck with seats that recline from 22 to 37 degrees.

We drove the very-well equipped 2500 Laramie Quad 4×4.? The long list of standard equipment included features like keyless entry, all power, air conditioning, Sirius radio, heated seats, and chrome clad aluminum wheels.

He ? The Ram truck is built on a fully boxed and partially hydroformed frame for precision and strength.? The front suspension is an independent double-wishbone with coil-over shock absorbers for the two-wheel drives and a rigid-beam front axle with five-link for the four-wheel drives.? The rear suspension includes a solid axle and Hotchkiss-design leaf springs to reduce wheel hop.

The HD Ram trucks have a maximum towing capacity of 16,850 pounds and a payload of 5,189 pounds.
She ? Trucks are not my thing, but I have to admit the Dodge Ram is impressive in size and power.? Once I was able to boost myself up into the cab without He teasing about wanting to carry a footstool along to help, the interior was very nice and quite comfortable on paved roads.

He ? I have to admit I even had to pull myself up into the Dodge Ram.? As I said earlier, I like the diesel engines, and this big Cummins had amazing power.? We live up a steep hill and then up an even steeper driveway and the Ram barely had to downshift ? the power just kept coming.? Even when accelerating into traffic, the Ram was quick and very smooth.? It?s a most impressive big truck and according to the trip computer, we averaged 17.4 mpg.

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