2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab

2006, Dodge, Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab

If GMC's Sierra represents a triumph of patient evolution, Dodge's new Ram MegaCab is a mutant freak. It's monstrously huge; seats six; weighs almost 6,100 pounds; yet is capable of hauling 2,100 pounds (i.e. up to six passengers and payload) even while towing 13,700 pounds more. That's because the "Laramie" version I tested incorporated a six-cylinder, 5.9-liter turbo-diesel from Cummins. Output is mind-blowing: its 325 horsepower is dwarfed by its 610 foot-pounds. On a damp road, there's so much torque at that you can almost spin the rear wheels at idle.

"Mega" says everything about this truck. It's mega-long at 21-feet. It's mega-pricey at $42,375 base, $54,250 as tested. (The Cummins is a $5,555 option, by the way.) And it's mega-roomy inside the cabin. The front bench splits 40/20/40 for up to three occupants; the rear bench splits 60/40 for three folks more. There's so much space in back that there's room for the rear seatbacks to recline substantially. The MegaCab's rear mega-doors open almost 90 degrees, so there's mega-room to load that antique armoire into the rear with nary a scratch.

The MegaCab Ram is so large it needn't post EPA fuel economy numbers, but you can bet a combined city/highway average of 15 mpg would make a good day. Still, the powertrain is fantastic: the diesel pulls smoothly through a five-speed auto transmission, and it makes surprisingly little racket. Four-wheel ABS disc brakes are up to date, and optional side airbags for front and rear are well worth $490.

But I had to supply my own skipper's hat to drive, or better yet, to pilot the Ram 2500 Mega. You won't be long behind the wheel before you start anticipating buoys instead of stoplights, channel markers instead of lane stripes. A ladder frame as long as that underpinning the MegaCab is going to clatter over bumps no matter how stiff it is. DentuGrip, even for folks with their dentistry intact, should be a prerequisite for all backseat passengers when potholes are anticipated.

The MegaCab is an engineering marvel. Its cabin is the roomiest to be found in a truck; and if not overtly luxurious, it's a well-equipped romper room. And the diesel powertrain is marvelously efficient for all the work this truck can do. But if you have to ask, "What would I do with that much truck?" it's clear you really don't need one.

6-pass., 4-door; 4X4, 5.9-liter "Cummins" turbo-diesel 6-cyl., 5-sp. auto; 325 hp/610 ft.-lbs.; 15 mpg combined avg. (est.) w/ diesel; payload: 2,098 lbs.; tow: 13,700 lbs.; base price: $42,375; as-tested w/ 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, 17-in.wheels, optional side airbags, dual-zone auto HVAC, AM/FM/6CD, 40/20/40 front & 60/40 rear seats, GPS navigation: $54,250

By Marc Stengel
2007-02-28

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Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab
Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab
Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab
Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab
Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab
Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab
Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab
Carlist.com newcar review of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie MegaCab