Dodge Ram boasts excessive ranges of refinement and luxury. Fully redesigned and re-engineered final 12 months, this latest-generation Ram has re-established Dodge as a number one product amongst full-size pickups. Whereas the previous-generation Ram had fallen behind the GM and Ford by way of refinement, the present Ram competes face to face with the opposite full-size vehicles.
The most recent Ram presents a a lot smoother trip and a much bigger, extra snug, and extra handy cab. However all this refinement doesn’t imply the Dodge Ram has gone delicate. The brand new-generation Ram additionally delivers improved towing and hauling functionality, plus extra highly effective and environment friendly engines.
Reading: 2003 dodge ram 1500 towing capacity
For 2003, Dodge has launched a complicated new five-speed computerized transmission. A extra succesful Off-Street package deal has been added, together with a rugged Work Particular. Additionally new for 2003 is a line of industrial quality 2500 and 3500 fashions, not coated right here.
In January 2003, the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 changed the getting older 5.9-liter V8, growing energy by 100 horsepower and 40 pounds-feet of torque whereas bettering gas economic system by 10 %.
Dodge Ram is obtainable with two cab configurations, Common Cab and Quad Cab. Costs begin at $18,525 for a 2WD Common Cab brief wheelbase. Ordering the four-door, six-passenger Quad Cab provides $4200-$5200 to the underside line. Quad Cab fashions trip on a wheelbase that’s 20 inches longer than comparable Common Cab fashions.
Two mattress lengths can be found, a 6-foot, 3-inch normal mattress and an 8-foot lengthy mattress. Ordering the lengthy mattress provides $300-$350 to the worth, and one other 20 inches to the wheelbase. Lengthy-bed fashions additionally get a much bigger gas tank, 35 gallons instead of the usual 26-gallon tank.
Three engines are provided: The preferred alternative is an overhead-cam 4.7-liter V8, which is normal with four-wheel-drive. For optimum economic system, two-wheel-drive Rams might be ordered with a 3.7-liter V6 that’s comparable in design to the 4.7-liter V8. Essentially the most highly effective engine within the line is the brand new 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with hemispherical combustion chambers for improved airflow and burn. The brand new Hemi produces 345 horsepower and 375 foot-pounds of torque. When correctly outfitted, that will increase the towing capacity to 9200 kilos and payload by an extra 500 kilos. The Hemi provides about $800 to the worth.
A five-speed guide transmission is normal with the three.7-liter V6 and 4.7-liter V8. Elective is a brand new five-speed computerized ($975) that features an alternate second gear for hill-climbing and towing (so it’s technically a six-speed). This new transmission is extra responsive than the unit it replaces.
Three trim ranges can be found, ST, SLT, and Laramie.
ST is the bottom degree and comes normal with air-con, however is supplied with vinyl upholstery, wind-up home windows, and guide door locks.
SLT provides $1700-$3200, relying on cab fashion and driveline, and consists of the 4.7-liter V8, plus material upholstery, nicer inside trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a number of comfort gadgets, and wider tires.
Laramie is the luxurious package deal, which prices within the neighborhood of $7800-$8900 and brings leather-based seating surfaces, dual-zone air-con, a premium stereo, 17-inch solid aluminum wheels, and an extended, lengthy listing of luxurious options.
Sport body-color trim for grille and bumpers is obtainable for $470 with any trim degree; that worth consists of fog lights and 17-inch aluminum wheels. Add one other $1600 or so if you’d like aggressive, street-rodder-style 20-inch wheels and tires.
New for 2003 is optionally available Work Particular trim, with grey bumpers and grille and gray-painted 17×7 metal wheels. Additionally new this 12 months is an Off-Street Package deal ($870-$1405) for 4WD fashions consisting of a 3.92:1 limited-slip differential, heavy-duty engine cooling, LT275/70R17 all-terrain tires, skid plates, tow hooks, and fog lamps.
Ram’s radical big-rig styling turned the pickup world the wrong way up when it was launched in 1994. It was a extremely profitable design, one which gave the Dodge pickups a glance of energy and functionality. The daring styling additionally helped enhance gross sales exponentially. So Dodge had no intention of turning away from the large horse-collar grille and Freightliner fenders when it redesigned the Ram. This newest Dodge pickup maintains and even reinforces the look established 9 years in the past.
The sheet metallic is certainly all new. Park a 2002-3 Ram subsequent to a 2001 or earlier Ram and the variations are putting. The design has been extensively re-sculpted for lowered wind noise and higher rainwater administration. The brand new Ram seems to be smooth and refined in contrast with the earlier mannequin. The previous one seems to be mashed down in contrast with the brand new one.
Few grilles are as immediately recognizable as the large horse collar grille of the Ram. Much more large this 12 months, the grille additionally supplies trim-level identification: The surface rim is all chrome on the SLT mannequin, with a grey honeycomb middle. Laramie includes a body-color grille encompass and chrome cross hairs. Sport trim features a body-color encompass and cross hairs with distinctive chrome billets within the middle.
Shifting rearward, the brand new Ram presents a extra strong look than earlier than. The broad, sloping hood has a pronounced crown that falls over the perimeters to the outstanding entrance fenders. A quicker, raked-back windshield improves aerodynamics and water administration, and offers the brand new Ram a extra trendy look. The forefront of the entrance door overlaps the A-pillar, making a smoother transition from the entrance of the cab to the aspect. Every thing is smoother and extra built-in. The large aspect mirrors, nice for visibility, are actually mounted on platforms to cut back wind noise, and a channel has been specifically designed to retains water off of the mirrors. An built-in air dam improves engine cooling and air conditioner efficiency.
Customary mattress size is 6 ft, 3 inches, however an 8-foot mattress is now out there for each cab types. That makes the Ram Quad Cab the one half-ton crew-cab pickup with an 8-foot mattress. (By comparability, the Ford F-150 SuperCrew solely comes with a 5.5-foot mattress, whereas the brand new Chevy Silverado 1500 HD solely comes with a 6.5-foot mattress.) The 160.5-inch wheelbase for a Dodge Ram Quad Cab with an eight-foot mattress is 20 inches longer than short-bed Quad Cab or long-bed common cab fashions, which will increase the turning diameter by 6 ft; nevertheless it’s simply 3 inches longer than Ford and Chevy long-bed extended-cab fashions. Regardless, Ram beds are fitted with boat cleats designed to deal with 1,000 kilos every.
Rams sit fairly excessive off the bottom, significantly the four-wheel-drive fashions. Tailgate load peak is 35 inches on four-wheel-drive fashions, 33.6 inches on two-wheel-drive Rams. That’s a bit a lot when attempting to heave heavy gear aboard.
Ram interiors had been utterly redesigned final 12 months.
The brand new inside is extra snug than earlier than. That consolation begins with roominess. To suit extra space within the cab, Dodge stole 3 inches out of the mattress and added it to the cab’s whole size. So that you sacrifice slightly mattress area for lots extra wiggle room.
Two cab types can be found: a Common Cab and the four-door, six-passenger Quad Cab. (Membership Cab extended-cab fashions are historical past; folks stopped shopping for them when Dodge launched its first Quad Cab in 1998.) Common Cab and Quad Cab provide similar roominess within the entrance seats. Dodge claims its Common Cab has the biggest inside of any full-size standard-cab pickup.
The fabric 40/20/40 break up bench entrance seat within the Sport mannequin is sort of supportive, higher than among the seats we’ve seen not too long ago in different manufacturers. The optionally available leather-based seats are additionally snug and supportive throughout lengthy drives. Three-point shoulder belts are used in any respect places, together with the rear middle seat. Elective energy adjustable pedals ($120) let shorter drivers alter their seating place higher so that they aren’t sitting so near the airbag; it’s a terrific, inexpensive possibility for two-driver households that provides important consolation and security advantages. Adjustable pedals are often provided solely with an computerized transmission, however for 2003 Dodge has made them out there on manual-shift pickups as nicely. We imagine that’s an trade first.
Facet-curtain airbags are a $390 possibility on Common Cabs, $490 on Quad Cabs. The Ram was not too long ago awarded the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security’s highest attainable score in its off-set frontal crash take a look at.
Good large mirrors make it simpler to see what’s behind. A giant fold-down middle armrest/console comes with adjustable dividers and an influence outlet. White-faced devices with turquoise numbers look sporty and stylish, however don’t provide the legibility of conventional white-on-black designs, significantly at nightfall. At night time, the devices are properly illuminated in inexperienced.
The design of the audio system may very well be improved for ease of use. Typically you must seek for the fitting button to press. Setting a button for a station, for instance, requires urgent a separate “set” button, quite than simply holding the station button down. Sliding bass and treble controls are tougher to regulate than knobs when bouncing round in a pickup truck. Elective steering wheel audio controls ($75) resolve this with brilliantly designed buttons behind the steering wheel which might be straightforward to make use of. Likewise, cruise controls ($390, together with tilt steering) on the steering wheel are straightforward to function.
In any other case, the middle sprint is a paradigm of comfort. Giant heating, air flow, and air-con (HVAC) buttons might be operated whereas carrying gloves. A textured cloth is used for trim across the audio and HVAC controls, considerably just like what’s present in Volkswagens, provides the middle sprint a pleasant feel and appear. Slightly below the HVAC controls is a slot lined with a rubber mat that’s excellent for a pockets or different small gadgets. A giant panel beneath that folds down with adjustable cup holders. Overhead is a console with an efficient pair of map lights, a visit laptop, a compartment for sun shades, and a compass, which each self-respecting truck ought to have.
Also Read: Stock radio to amp adapter
Common Cab fashions come fitted with a tray behind the seats large enough to carry a big bucket. Dodge even provides the bucket, a tray designed to hold instruments and such. Huge hooks behind the seats are helpful for hanging dry cleansing or plastic buying luggage so your groceries don’t roll far and wide. There’s even a hook simply to the fitting of the middle sprint that’s helpful for hanging onto a few grocery luggage; the Brits name these curry hooks.
The Quad Cab is sort of good. About 80 % of all Ram consumers will go for the Quad Cab. It’s straightforward to see why. The rear seat is roomy, with sufficient rake to the seatback to make it snug for 2 adults. Its dimension additionally makes the r
A nice trip high quality and a responsive engine characterize the driving expertise. This newest Dodge Ram rides way more easily than the pre-2002 mannequin.
A inflexible new chassis has lowered vibration dramatically. Dodge used an more and more fashionable manufacturing course of referred to as hydroforming to trend the body. As an alternative of getting to weld a bunch of straight items collectively, hydroforming makes use of ultra-high water stress to drive the metallic into any form wanted. This extremely inflexible body is arguably the important thing element of this new pickup. It allowed Dodge engineers to revamp the Ram suspension and to tune it exactly, with out having to work round lots of chassis flex.
A brand new rack-and-pinion steering gear sharpens dealing with, and 17-inch wheels are normal. The result’s higher dealing with, a greater trip, and a truck that feels a lot tighter. Dealing with and maneuverability had been key targets of the Ram design crew, in line with Dodge, in an effort to assist drivers keep away from crashes. All Rams come normal with large four-wheel disc brakes which might be clean and simple to modulate. Dodge claims they’re the biggest brakes within the phase.
Pickup vehicles don’t appear to be getting any smaller. One of many first sensations of driving the Ram is consciousness of its immense proportions. This truck feels large and tall, and its fenders appear to fill small nation roads. The trip peak of the Ram provides to this sensation. It’s typically tough to make certain precisely the place your fenders are, so it’s not one of the best truck for the timid. On this regard, the Ram is the other of the Toyota Tundra, which feels smaller and nimbler by comparability. The large Ram reminds us a little bit of driving an off-road race truck. It handles moderately nicely and powers by or over absolutely anything, however the tires aren’t all the time exactly the place you needed them.
Most Ram consumers will get the brand new 4.7-liter V8, and it’s your best option except you may have particular causes to order the three.7-liter or 5.7-liter engine. The very first thing I seen about driving a Ram pickup with the 4.7-liter was its responsiveness. This truck feels very keen round city and on winding roads. It accelerates rapidly onto freeways and has no hassle powering up grades. It’s a clean, subtle engine that all the time feels able to go.
The 4.7-liter V8 and three.7-liter V6 are overhead-cam designs, smaller and extra environment friendly than the overhead-valve engines they change. The 4.7-liter V8, for instance, presents a 1 mpg enchancment (13/17 mpg Metropolis/Freeway for a 4WD computerized) over the 5.2-liter V8 engine it changed; it revs larger and produces 240 horsepower, 10 greater than the 5.2-liter, though torque was lowered by 5 pounds-feet to 295. In sensible phrases, that is splitting hairs. What you’ll discover is that the 4.7-liter engine feels smoother and extra refined, emitting a nice American burble whereas underway. I actually preferred it.
The three.7-liter V6 is clean and works simply tremendous with the guide five-speed gearbox. It could be a sensible choice for somebody who lives within the flatlands at comparatively low altitudes and neither pulls trailers nor hauls heavy hundreds.
The brand new 5.7-liter Hemi V8 makes use of hemispherical combustion chambers for improved airflow with a bump inside for higher swirl. It provides as much as extra energy and higher gas effectivity. The Hemi generates 345 hp at 5400 rpm and 375 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4200 rpm.
Trailer towing capacities vary from simply 3050 kilos for a 3.7-liter V6 Quad Cab with 2WD and guide transmission, to 9200 kilos for a 5.7-liter V8 Common Cab with 2WD. A 4WD Ram with the 4.7-liter and computerized transmission is rated to drag a 7450-pound trailer with the three.92 rear axle ratio. Those that want to drag trailers as much as 9200 kilos will need to go for the 5.7-liter engine. It delivers 245 horsepower and 335 pounds-feet of torque. The out there 20-inch wheels scale back towing capacity by 1000 kilos.
Payloads vary from about 1300 kilos to 1850 kilos for a 2WD common cab with the three.7-liter V6.
Dodge has performed it once more: Eight years after breaking the foundations for pickups, Dodge redesigned its Ram and reasserted itself as a high contender amongst full-size vehicles. The 2003 Dodge Ram stays fashionable and extremely succesful. It’s additionally snug.
Quad Cab fashions provide an excellent mixture of consolation and utility. Common Cab variations are far roomier than they was once, and are thoughtfully set as much as accommodate gear behind the seat.
Also Read: Power of advertising dog advert