The 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4 Review: When an off-road truck comes with its own built-in winch, you know it means business. Far more than an appearance package and beefed-up suspension, the new 2017 Ram Power Wagon goes places very few off-road vehicles dare, especially at its gargantuan size. It comes from the factory with the kind of equipment hardcore enthusiasts would want on their own off-road rigs, including front and rear locking differentials, 33-inch Goodyear DuraTrac tires, a disconnecting sway bar and, of course, that very conspicuous Warn 12,000-pound winch behind the front bumper.
It would be easy to write this truck off as a middle-school fantasy with its laughingly huge, and thankfully optional, stickers that shout “Power Wagon” on the sides, inspired by the brand’s Macho Power Wagon from 1979.
Heck, I bet my test truck could be identified from space with stickers this macho.
Having grown up in a tiny Texas oil town, though, I know trucks like this are to be taken seriously.
There are people who need a Power Wagon not because it looks cool or makes for a fun weekend toy at the off-road park. They need it to get to work in the oilfield, on the farm and on construction sites, including workplaces that are so muddy and remote that having a highly capable truck can make the difference between earning a paycheck or not on some days.
But I’ve got to admit this is one of the most appealing trucks I’ve ever driven, and not because I need one. My job site is sitting in front of a desk, typing on a keyboard.
The difference is the Power Wagon’s attitude, starting with the look.
For 2017, the Power Wagon puts a distinctive, bold spin on the already eye-catching Ram 1500 Rebel’s grille. It looks like a bigger Rebel up front, with dinner-plate-size, silver “RAM” lettering offset by villainous black trim.
Inside, it takes some of the Rebel’s best ideas too, including a tire tread pattern on the seats that matches its actual tires. Special Power Wagon badges help set it apart.
This is no fancy-pants luxury truck, though. The cabin is clearly designed for work, even when you order the optional leather seats and the premium trim. All-weather mats and a floor surface that’s easy to wash out will make you feel perfectly comfortable plopping muddy boots inside.
Based on the Ram 2500 platform, the Power Wagon begins life as a massive truck and then cranks it up another notch with more than two inches of lift from its specially designed suspension.
Without any running boards to help you step up into it, because anything hanging underneath the bottom of the truck could potentially get caught on rocks or terrain, climbing in and out of the cabin is an adventure. My kids joked about needing parachutes when they hopped out.
Its special suspension makes it feel unique from the driver’s seat too. There’s not another truck that drives quite like the Ram Power Wagon.
Unlike the Ford Raptor, with a floaty-feeling, highly articulated suspension designed for high-speed blasts through the wilderness, the off-road Ram feels stiffer and heavier, more like it belongs slowly climbing over rocks than speeding through a cow pasture. There’s very little body roll in turns, but the sway bar disconnect system and “Articulink” suspension allow for more articulation when crawling over difficult terrain.
Although the engine choice should be obvious on a truck with this name and attitude, the answer when your friends ask will be, “Yes. This thing’s got a HEMI.”
The Power Wagon comes standard with a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine that makes 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The engine is calibrated specifically for the Power Wagon, including special throttle mapping that makes it respond differently when four-wheel-drive “low” is selected. It idles 100 rpm higher and has softer suspension response to make it easier to modulate your speed when climbing or descending over obstacles.
What was tested? The 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4 with a base price of $51,695. Options on the test truck are: Leather and luxury group for $4,995, a tonneau cover for $545, keyless entry for $195, a cargo view camera for $345, U-Connect 8.4-inch screen with navigation for $500, power adjustable pedals for $195, the remote start system for $245, the RamBox for $1,295, and the spray-in bed liner for $495. The total MSRP price including the $1,320 destination charge came to: $61,825.
Wheelbase: 149.3 in.
Length: 237.3 in.
Width: 79.1 in.
Height: 81 in.
Engine: 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with 410 hp and 429 lbs-ft of torque
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel economy: Not rated
Why buy it? Based on Ram’s heavy-duty 2500 platform, the Power Wagon is modified for brutal off-road use. Huge stickers on the side give it a great 70’s throwback look.
By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4 Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The massive Ram 2500 Power Wagon gets a new look and capability for 2017. Now the Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4 is now available with a head-turning graphics package that makes it look even bolder than before. Based on the Ram 2500, the Power Wagon is a huge truck with a spacious cabin, including an available bench seat in front with room for six adults. This is a serious off road truck with pricing that starts at $51,695 for the base Power Wagon and then you add the leather and luxury trim package for $4,500 to that price. When you check off all the option boxes the MSRP tops out at over $60 large. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. This Bottom Line Review is provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: A Monster of a Truck
Topic: 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4
Word Count: 1,082
Photo Caption: 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4
Photo Credits: Ram Internet Media
Series #: 2017 - 22
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2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4x4