This guy trucks.
Just uttering the words "Power Wagon" is enough to suspend adulthood and embrace our childish tendencies as automotive enthusiasts, but after spending a week behind the wheel of the Ram 2500 Power Wagon, it's clear that there's more to this rig than Tonka-esque charm – it's an impressive daily driver.
Like the previous generation rig, the Power Wagon comes with a custom-tuned suspension damped by Bilstein shocks, giving it the flex it needs to be what Ram calls the most capable off-road pickup in the market. However, it also means that it rides nothing like a heavy-duty truck – and that's a good thing, because it means your fillings are safe.
The Power Wagon, then, despite standing two inches taller than a regular 2500 – looking tough with its knobby Goodyear Wranglers – actually rides quite smooth. We'd say quite a bit more like a 1500. Subsequently, its 10,620-lb towing capacity is closer to that of a 1500 as well, but that's well enough for a trailer full of ATVs, a box trailer, a few horses, a dune buggy, or even some 5th-wheels – and of course, should the zombie apocalypse occur while you're out running errands, you'll be well-prepared vehicle-wise.
By now, you may be thinking that most trucks can be built to go off-road, but a vehicle that can do so and be polite enough on the road is a whole different challenge. Luckily, we've found that the Ram does both well. So while it's not a 911, the handling on the Power Wagon is predictable and the truck, as a whole, feels well-damped, making it a pleasure to drive over curvy mountain routes and over rough dirt roads.
Even with its knobby off-road shoes, a burly 410-horsepower 6.4L Hemi with MDS cylinder-deactivation, and hefty 7,055-lb curb weight, the Ram is surprisingly refined and unoffensive to non-enthusiasts. We credit the new engine mounts, active noise canceling through the stereo, the Ram's silk-sheet smooth eight-speed transmission, and vibration-canceling frame components for the improved experience.
For that, our hats are off to the engineers at FCA.
From a mechanical standpoint, we have no problem calling the truck a masterpiece and well worth the $52,450 sticker price. It's when you get inside that the truck might be a harder sell.
We had a 'Tradesman' trim level 2500, meaning it lacked blind-spot monitoring, power seats, Ram's brilliant 12-inch touchscreen display, and had a simple, no-nonsense interior outfitted with hard, work-ready plastics and a Uconnect system that occasionally required us to reconnect our phones. It was a minor inconvenience, but if you can appreciate having locking front and rear diffs, an electronically disconnecting sway bar, a compliant ride, a burbling Hemi, and a Warn 12,000-lb winch always at the ready, it's easy to forgive.
And if you're really using this truck to do what's it built for, you may not even want the fancy guts anyway.