By Larry Lark, Herald Special Sections Writer
It’s hard to argue this truck’s pedigree.
Introduced in 1945, the Dodge Power Wagon was the first mass-production 4×4 pickup.
Fast forward some 71-odd years and the 2016 Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4×4 is still unmatched. Simply put, no other pickup on the market matches Power Wagon’s on- and off-road capability.
It was named winner of its inaugural Gold Hitch Award for “Best Off-road Truck,” by FastLane Truck for it handling under aggressive off-road conditions.
“Ram holds titles in fuel economy, towing capacity and torque, but the Power Wagon earns the distinction of ultimate off-road truck. Recognition from FL Truck cements its position at the top of the hill,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Ram truck, North America. “The 2016 Ram Power Wagon is designed for the individual who travels into extreme terrain for rescue or recreation, while delivering on-road comfort and the towing capability expected from a heavy-duty truck.”
Based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4×4 Crew Cab, the Power Wagon features a number of off-roadspecific enhancements, including a unique suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials and a 12,000-lb. winch, giving this beast a significant advantage over all production pickups. My wife needed a boost from our son to enter the manly domain.
Powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 heavy duty engine that delivers a best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A Standard Warn 12,000-lb. electric winch is mounted behind the front bumper, able to hang competitors off the ground. And it’s rated at a 10,030 maximum towing capacity.
Ram Power Wagon also features standard front and rear electronic-locking differentials for true four-wheel drive and maximum traction. It provides a “King of the World – looking down” view, but without running boards, my wife needed a boost from our son to enter “Manville.”
Its spacious interior accommodates up to six adults thanks to a center console that folds up in the front, and a crew cab with bench seat in the rear. Plus, there’s folding flat load floor storage and two built-in, locking tool boxes on either side of the pickup bed.
The goodie bag reads more like a luxury sedan than heavy duty pickup. Highlights include GPS navigation, rear-view camera, heated front seats and steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, audio system with six speakers, XM satellite radio, two USB ports and another remote port for charging only, Bluetooth, and remote keyless entry.
On the safety side of the ledger, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon includes electronic stability control, speed control, trailer brake control, rear park-assist system, remote start and a theft deterrent system.
2016 RAM 2500 POWER WAGON
BASE PRICE: $51,160
AS TESTED: $58,645
Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Prices may vary at local dealerships.