2017 Dodge Ram Power Wagon review with video

The Basics:
Starting price: $54,195 + tax
As tested: $72,650 + tax
Average fuel economy over a week of driving: 20.2 L/100 kms (11.6 US MPG)
Competition: Dodge Ram Rebel, Ford Raptor, Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, etc.

Passive observers might think that the Dodge Power Wagon is a new attempt by the company to go after off road focused trucks like the Ford Raptor or Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. But the Power Wagon’s heritage goes far beyond 2005 when it was reintroduced as a variant of Dodge’s successful Ram pick-up. The Power Wagon, it turns out, hit the streets of North America right after World War Two – when soldiers returning from the battlefield asked, “Where can we get a truck like the ones we used in the war?” Dodge responded with the Power Wagon in 1946. And that, believe it or not, makes this the first mass-produced civilian 4×4 truck ever offered. So it has some seriously long-term off-roading pedigree. But the other thing that makes it stand out is that it’s the only off road focused truck that’s also built on a 3/4 ton platform – just as the original Power Wagon was.
The Power Wagon is also sporting a new look for 2017 – with a new grille, wheels and badging. Check out our full review of the Power Wagon in the video above and then scroll through out report card below.

Pros:
– A fantastic raft of offroad focused equipment comes standard on the Power Wagon: Good Year Wrangler DuraTrac tires, a 12,000 lb built-in Warn winch, Bilstein shocks, electronically locking differentials, disconnecting front stabilizer bar, skid plate protection, fantastic wheel articulation and up to 14.3 inches of ground clearance
– While its fuel economy is pretty dismal (what do you expect from a burly 3/4 ton off roader), it didn’t budge much once we put it under load with a 3,000 lb trailer. We found, in fact, that it was pretty much on par with what we saw in the city environment without a trailer and hit 20.2 L/100 kms
– It also towed that trailer very well with very minimal squatting, despite the offroading suspension
– Unlike the Raptor, a trailer brake controller comes standard and so does a class V hitch receiver with both a 4 and 7 pin wiring harness
– Inside, you’ll find tonnes of handy storage nooks, two glove boxes and, to our count, fourteen cup holders
– Unlike its half ton competitors, the Power Wagon can seat six in a pinch – but that sixth seat between the two front passengers is not going to be comfortable!
– I was skeptical about the optional Ram Box system ($1200 option) but it’s really slick. They lock with the rest of the truck’s doors when you use the key fob. They’re big enough for bulky tools – unlike the box system in the Titan. But be warned, unlike the Titan, they’re not removable. So once you go for that configuration, you’re stuck with them -which makes the box size in the truck a fair bit smaller

Cons:
– There’s no Cummins diesel available. Dodge says the 6.4 L gasoline powered V8 works better in the off road environment. It’s lighter and smaller – and that gives the engine bay room for the 12,000 lb Warn winch that comes standard on this truck
– I could really do without the decals that are splashed all over the truck. Let the truck’s performance do the talking – not a bunch of showy stickers
– The offroad oriented package does cut down its capability quite a bit (Payload in the Power Wagon is: 1470 lbs vs 2922 lbs in the regular Ram with same engine. Towing in the Power Wagon: 9960 lbs vs 15350 lbs in the regular Ram with same engine or 9800 lbs in the more light duty Tundra TRD Pro)
– No telescoping steering wheel
– This truck sits very high and doesn’t come with running boards so it’s tough for shorter people or kids to get into it
– And since it is so big, we missed having a 360 degree wrap around camera, like we had in the Raptor – or at least a camera off the nose of the truck. It’s also crazy that a back-up camera doesn’t come on the base model on such a big truck
– This is a loud truck with lots of interior noise and buzz off the knobby tires
– Seat comfort isn’t as good as in the Tundra or Titan
– While the 8.4 inch infotainment system looks great, the interior instrumentation layout is busy and scattered. And the voice recognition software is painfully difficult to use
– The back seat in the Crew Cab isn’t as big as the Tundra’s CrewMax or Raptor’s SuperCrew. And the Ram’s Mega Cab isn’t available in the Power Wagon
– The floor in the back isn’t flat either – instead using cheap feeling flaps to create a flat load floor which isn’t as usable as the flat floor in the Raptor
– While the 6’4 inch box makes this truck a better off roader, if you need this truck for job sites, it would be nice to have the option of an 8 ft box too

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 2.5/5 (71 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels truck bed score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 32/50= 62%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *