Large pickup truck; Built in USA
  • crew cab long bed
  • crew cab short bed
  • reg. cab long bed
  • reg. cab short bed
  • reg. cab short bed
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,000 – $20,500*


2006 Dodge Ram


2006 Dodge Ram


2006 Dodge Ram


2006 Dodge Ram

Pros:
  • Acceleration (SRT10)
  • Rear-seat room and comfort (Mega Cab)
  • Front-seat room and comfort
Cons:
  • Cargo room (regular cab)
  • Fuel economy
  • Ride (Mega Cab)
  • Steering/handling

Ram’s “big-rig” styling shouts for attention, but its performance, comfort, and solidity are what made it a Recommended choice when this generation went on sale. Dodge offers body styles and equipment to meet most every need, plus the praiseworthy availability of head-protecting curtain side airbags and available all-wheel drive, as well as an antiskid system offered for 2007 models. Though it didn’t last long, SRT10 was the hot-rod pickup performance leader, but it’s not a prudent choice for ordinary hauling.

Overview

A larger crew-cab model, available cylinder deactivation, and an optional DVD-entertainment system topped the list of 2006 changes to Dodge’s big pickup truck. Additional 2006 changes included restyled headlights, a revised dashboard, and modifications to the frame and suspension. Competing against the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, and GMC Sierra 1500, Rams could have rear-wheel, four-wheel, or all-wheel drive.

Ram 1500 models came in three body styles: two-door regular cab, four-door crew-cab (Quad Cab), and the new four-door Mega Cab, which added 20 inches of length to the Quad Cab’s passenger compartment. Regular and Quad Cab models offered 6.3- and 8-foot long cargo beds; Mega Cabs came only with the 6.3-foot bed. Regular-cab trucks seated up to three passengers, Quad and Mega Cabs held up to six.

Dodge’s base engine was a 3.7-liter V6, with V8s of 4.7- and 5.7-liter displacements available, the latter branded the Hemi. For 2006, in all models except Mega Cab, the Hemi featured Chrysler’s Multi-Displacement System, which deactivated four cylinders under cruise conditions to save fuel. It came only with a five-speed automatic transmission.

The V6 and 4.7 V8 came with a standard six-speed manual transmission; optional were a four-speed automatic for the V6, and a five-speed for the V8. Automatics included a tow/haul mode that altered shift points with heavy loads.

Rams were available with rear-wheel drive or with four-wheel drive that should not be left engaged on dry pavement. Optional all-wheel drive, like Ram’s 4WD system, included low-range gearing. Four-wheel disc brakes with rear antilock was standard; four-wheel ABS was available, as were head-protecting curtain side airbags. Standard wheels were 17-inch size; with 20s optional.

Other options included power-adjustable pedals, heated front seats, a sunroof, and a navigation radio, which provided directions via audio prompts and incorporated a map screen as part of the radio faceplate. Also available was Chrysler’s UConnect, which used the audio system as a hands-free wireless cell phone link. Newly optional were satellite radio, and power sliding rear window, and rear DVD entertainment.

High-performance SRT10 models featured the Dodge Viper’s V10 engine, rear-wheel drive, a sport suspension, 22-inch wheels, and special trim. The regular-cab version came only with a six-speed manual transmission, and the Quad Cab only with a four-speed automatic. Both had a 6.3-foot bed and specially bolstered sport seats.

Yearly Updates

2007 Ram 1500
An antiskid system, including a remote engine-start feature, became available this year. The super-performance SRT10 pickup was dropped.
2008 Ram 1500
The 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 got a more powerful V8 engine. A 310-hp V8 replaced a 235-hp 4.7 this year.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Base engine for the Ram 1500 was a 3.7-liter V6, rated at 215 horsepower. Two V8s were offered: a 235-horsepower 4.7-liter, and a 5.7-liter Hemi that generated 344 horsepower. All-out performance could choose the snorting SRT10 with a V10 whipping up 500 horsepower, borrowed from Dodge’s Viper sports car. In all models except Mega Cab, the Hemi featured Chrysler’s Multi-Displacement System, which deactivated four cylinders under cruise conditions to save fuel. It came only with a five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 and small V8 came with a standard six-speed manual transmission; optional were a four-speed automatic for the V6, and a five-speed for the V8. For 2008, a more powerful 310-hp V8 replaced a 235-hp 4.7 this year.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/226
Engine HP 215
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 235
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
16/21
16/21
ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.7/287
Engine HP 235-310
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 300-330
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
14/19
14/19
14.1
12.6
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/345
Engine HP 345
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 375
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

14/18

ohv V10
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 8.3/505
Engine HP 500
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 525
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
4-speed automatic
9/15
9/12

Road Test

For regular-cab and Quad Cab models, the V6 engine labors under a heavy load when passing or climbing hills. Dodge’s 4.7-liter V8 has adequate power, but the 5.7 Hemi is the best choice for heavy hauling or towing. A 4WD Hemi Quad Cab accelerated to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds. The Hemi’s Multi-Displacement System is undetectable during use, and does not affect power output. Mega Cabs are more than 1100 pounds heavier than comparable Quad Cabs, and move quickly from a stop but lack reserve punch for merging or passing. Naturally, the SRT10 has abundant power–considerably more than most pickup owners will ever need. Ram’s maximum towing capacity is 3750 pounds with V6 power, 7650 with the 4.7 V8, and 9100 with the 5.7 V8.

These are big pickups, so fuel economy is not a selling point. With the 4.7-liter V8, 4WD automatic-transmission Quad Cabs have averaged 12.6 mpg. A 2WD manual-transmission regular-cab averaged 14.1 mpg. Expect the overworked V6 to average around 15 mpg. A test SRT10 regular-cab averaged a dismal 9.2 mpg; an SRT10 Quad Cab managed 11.3 mpg with more highway use. Dodge recommends 91-octane fuel for the V10, 89-octane for the 5.7 V8, and regular-grade fuel for the others.

No large pickup rides smoothly, but Ram is competitive in its class. Optional 20-inch wheels add some harshness over bumps, which produce less jiggle than in most pickups, thanks to Ram’s 2006 frame and suspension revisions. The SRT10’s 22-inch wheels make the ride uncomfortably busy, with abrupt vertical motions on even slightly rippled surfaces.

Steering/handling are good for a large pickup. Body lean is fairly well-controlled, grip is adequate, and steering provides good road feel. Available AWD is an important advance for confidence and control on surfaces that aren’t quite slick enough to engage the base 4WD system. Standard four-wheel disc brakes perform well in routine use, though some testers have complained of poor pedal modulation. Dodge should make four-wheel antilocking standard. Dodge’s optional antiskid system is a safety plus, if installed. The short-lived SRT10 excels on all counts, producing less body lean, better grip, and more-precise steering, though some testers have reported an alarming pull to the side during sudden braking.

Modest highway wind and tire noise make Ram impressively hushed for a truck, but the V6 is raucous when worked hard–which it often needs to be. The Hemi V8 roars loudly under acceleration and is noticed even while cruising. The 4.7-liter V8 is quieter under most conditions. Wind and tire noise are barely audible above the rumbling V10 in an SRT10. Mega Cabs have additional sound insulation, and are, therefore, the quietest of them all.

Dashboard put most audio and climate controls close at hand. Screen on navigation system is larger and more user friendly than in the past. Cabin-materials quality is competitive with domestic rivals. Hard plastic dominates, but materials are in line with Ram’s rugged character. SRT10 gauges and styling touches add to its performance feel. Test models have been rattle-free.

Rams are spacious even for big adults, though the lankiest may want more seat travel in regular cabs. The center floor hump eats into passenger foot room, and the front seat is too flat for ideal support. The SRT10’s bucket-type seats contain side bolstering to keep occupants from sliding around in fast turns. Power-adjustable pedals improve comfort and help shorter drivers sit at a safe distance from the steering-wheel airbag. Doors are heavy and 4x4s have extremely high step-in. High noses hide the view of nearby objects, hampering the sense of control in tight spaces. Quad Cabs offer good rear headroom and comfortably reclined backrest, but can cramp legs with front seats more than halfway back. Narrow door openings hamper entry/exit, too. No such problems turn up in a Mega Cab, which offers vast legroom, large doorways, and a reclining split seatback. The cabin is wide enough for three, though the floor hump limits the center rider’s foot space.

Generous storage space awaits behind the regular-cab’s seat, where a standard plastic storage tray is handy. The Quad Cab’s rear-seat cushion folds to expose storage bins or clever available fold-out steel load floor. Mega Cabs are similar, but the seat can slide forward to increase the already-good space behind it. Plenty of driver-accessible storage bins are installed.

Ratings

Model Tested: Dodge Ram 4WD Quad Cab w/5.7 V8

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 2
20%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
50%
Cargo Room - 5
50%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 48

Specifications

crew cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
160.5 249.7 79.5 73.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1540 35.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 40.0 41.0 36.7
crew cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
140.5 227.7 79.5 74.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1760 26.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 40.0 41.8 36.7
reg. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
140.5 229.7 79.5 73.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1820 35.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 NA 41.0 NA
reg. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
120.5 207.7 79.5 73.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1480 26.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 NA 41.0 NA
reg. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
160.5 247.7 79.5 74.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
2430 35.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 40.5 41.0 44.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 crew cab short bed

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Climate control
Description: On mega-cab models, the actuator rod for the rear seat vents comes disconnected for which there is an improved lever. (2006)
Engine noise
Description: A chirping or squealing noise from the accessory drive belt during slow speed turning can be eliminated by installing an overrunning clutch on the alternator pulley on the 3.7L engine. (2005-07)
Keyless entry
Description: The remote start feature may not work intermittently and commands from the remote keyless entry may work intermittently and/or the security system may activate on vehicles fitted with a remote start kit at the dealership. (2007)
Poor drivability
Description: Truck may lack torque in reverse, especially on hills, requiring reprogramming of the powertrain control module. (2006)
Steering problems
Description: The truck may pull or steering wheel and brake pedal may shudder, especially when braking, requiring replacement lower control arm bushings. (2006-07)
Water leak
Description: The rear floor may become wet due to leaks in the sealer for the rear window (backlight) which must be resealed. (2006-07)
Windows
Description: When windows fog up, rings from 2-6 inches in diameter may appear which must be removed using Bon Ami or similar glass cleaner. (2006)
Electrical problem
Description: If the radio is fine with the engine off, but quits after cranking, the radio must be flashed (reprogrammed). (2006)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission hunts (shafts back and forth) under light throttle due to faulty governor pressure solenoid. (2004-07)
Transmission problems
Description: Vibration that feels like driving over rumble strips while driving at a steady speed is caused by defective transmission torque converter. (2007)
Transmission problems
Description: The automatic transmission may occasionally go into “limp home” mode where it will not shift out of second gear requiring the powertrain control module. (2007)
Check-engine light
Description: The 5.7L Hemi check engine light may come on due to faulty oxygen sensor and, after replacement, the computer must be reflashed. (2005)

Recall History

2006 w/4WD
Description: Integrated power module may contain incorrect transfer-case calibration set points, potentially resulting in inadvertent default to Neutral.
2006 w/4WD
Description: ABS electronic control unit may cause loss of front/rear brake balance, and rear brakes could lock-up prematurely under certain braking conditions.
2006
Description: Passenger airbag may deploy with excessive force when certain models of rear-facing child seats are installed in right front passenger seat position. Dealers will replace the passenger air bag cushion and reprogram the occupant restraint controller.
2006
Description: Front passenger seatbelt may not be able to tighten securely on certain model child seats. Dealers will replace the front passenger seat belt.
2006
Description: Front wheel bearing may have received insufficient quantity of grease; could result in bearing degradation that causes noise and vibration, and possible separation of hub assembly.
2006
Description: The front wheel bearing may not have received enough grease during the manufacturing process. This could result in bearing degradation and possible loss of vehicle control. Dealers will replace the front hub and bearing units.
2007 Ram w/automatic
Description: The powertrain control software can cause a momentary lock up of the drive wheels if the vehicle is traveling over 40 mph and the operator shifts from drive to neutral and back to drive. If the drive wheels locked up, loss of vehicle control could occur. Dealers will reprogram the powertrain control module free of charge.
2007 Ram 2-wheel drive with manual transmission
Description: The front driveshaft yoke may break, causing loss of vehicle control. Dealers will replace the driveshaft.
2008 Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4X4, manufactured from February 14, 2008, through August 15, 2008
Description: The left tie rod ball stud may fracture. This condition tends to occur during low speed parking lot type maneuvers when the customer is making a tight turn. Additionally, model year 2003-2008 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 vehicles may have received the affected tie rod assembly as a replacement part, during normal service. This condition could result in the potential loss of directional stability in the left hand front wheel, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the tie rod ends for relative orientation and replace the left outer tie rod as required, and perform a front-end toe alignment as needed. This service will be performed free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.