Who would have thought the first Dodge Power Wagon was produced in 1945 as a World War II military truck? As you can see from the pictures, it has evolved into one of the biggest, baddest trucks on the road today.
My review vehicle this week is the 2020 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4. This is a truck for serious off-road enthusiasts who want to make a statement by driving a 3 and a half-ton beast of a pickup.
I had assumed all along the Power Wagon would come with the Cummins diesel, but the only choice is a 6.4-liter Hemi gas engine that is putting out 410-horses, and equally important, 427-pound feet of torque. It is mated to a 8-speed automatic transmission and it has a 4:10 rear axle ratio. Power Wagon is rated to tow just over 10,500 pounds.
While this truck is outwardly good looking with its lift kit, big tires and wheels, and graphics that let the world know you are driving a Power Wagon, it is the things you can’t see that make this truck such a monster.
First, it is a true 4x4 with locking front and rear axles which operate from a round knob near the steering wheel. It has the old-fashioned shift-on-the-fly manual transfer case to lock it into 4-wheel drive, and you can even disconnect the sway bars electronically for better traction. This Ram has hill descent control for safely going down steep hills.
If you do get yourself stuck, or if you want to help out someone else who got stuck, this truck comes from the factory with an electric 12,000-pound winch.
As you move to the inside of the truck, you see a huge interior that will comfortably seat six adults. There is a large fold down center console on the front seat, and one thing I love about the Ram is the way the back seat folds up to reveal in-floor storage bins.
The Power Wagon’s seats are very comfortable and everything is easy to reach. Large gauges are easy to read and there is the massive 12” Uconnect screen on the dash that looks like a large vertically placed iPad. This system virtually operates everything including the 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, the Wi-Fi hotspot, and a host of apps you can personalize.
Standard Equipment and Options
On the safety front, you get lane keep assist, full speed collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, and adaptive steering.
My bright blue review truck has roughly $15,000 in options, so it is extremely loaded. Most notable are power heated and cooled seats, a power tailgate release which is awesome, remote start, a tri-fold tonneau cover, trailer towing package, keyless entry, and a terrific surround-view camera system that allows you to see the cargo in your pickup bed.
One of my favorite Ram options is the Ram box. It is built into the truck on each side of the bed and they are lockable and waterproof. You can buy accessories to hold shotguns, fishing rods, and more. There are plugs in the bottom for drainage if you want to put ice in there, and one of my favorite features is the toolboxes and tailgate all lock when you lock the cab doors.
Ride and Drive
The Power Wagon is large, but it rides surprisingly well for a ¾-ton pickup that is 20-feet long, and 7 feet wide AND tall. I expected a much harsher ride.
If fuel economy is important to you, this is not the truck for you. Since it is a 2500-series, there are no EPA ratings, but I can tell you that I am averaging around 12 miles per gallon in city and highway mixed driving. With the way this truck is rigged and geared, that is not a surprise but wanted you to be aware of it. It has cylinder deactivation so it is only running on 4 cylinders at highway speeds, so I suspect you could get it up to maybe 15-16 not towing anything.
Ram Power Wagon VS Ford Raptor
One question I am getting often is how it compares to the Ford Raptor. They are both bad-to-the-bone trucks, but very different. Raptor is a half-ton truck and more of a desert runner if you will, while Power Wagon is more suited for true off-road enjoyment.
MSRP on this Ram as equipped, is right at $70,000 and this is a lot of truck for the dollar.
If you look into your rearview mirror and see the massive grill of a Ram Power Wagon up close, my advice is to get out of the way…it can go around you OR over you!
2020 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Review
- What I liked most: The capability and its amazing, Hemi V-8.
- What I would change: A little better turning radius for us intown drivers.
- MSRP: Base price, $53,250; as equipped, $69,890.
- Official color: Hydro Blue Clearcoat.
- Fuel economy: Not rated because of its status as a heavy-duty truck; filler on the left.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1400 miles.
- Spare tire: Full-sized with steel wheel.
- Weight: 7,055 pounds.
- Length-width-height: 238” long/79”wide/81”tall
- Fuel-tank capacity: 31 gallons
- Towing capacity: 10,500 pounds
- 2019 Ram Power Wagon 4X4 in a few words: It’s a beast of a truck that will do anything you want it to.
- Warranty: Three-year, 36,000-mile overall warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain protection
- Final assembly location: Saltillo, Mexico
- Manufacturer’s website: Ram
Credit: Ram Trucks