Part 6 - First Drive Review: 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty Summary

First Drive Review: 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty Summary

Part 1: Introduction and Specs
Part 2: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Unloaded
Part 3: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Towing 16,500 pounds
Part 4: 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Power Wagon Off-Road
Part 5: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x2 Regular Cab Dually Hauling 1,500 pounds
Part 6: Summary and Conclusions


For 2010, Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks are reaping the rewards of a conservative product strategy while looking aggressively overhauled because of their new exteriors and interiors. By not having to upgrade to a new diesel engine or chassis, Dodge engineers were free to focus on tuning up suspension components based on three years of real-world testing and feedback. In short, the Ram’s shortcomings have been remedied and its strengths have become stronger. Longtime Dodge Heavy Duty buyers, particularly Cummins diesel owners, are going to be thrilled with the 2010 model.

2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty production has already started at Chrysler’s Saltillo, Mexico manufacturing plant. The first trucks are set to arrive within weeks at dealers.


What We Like:

  • Best looks of current HD pickups
  • Integrated diesel exhaust brake
  • Refined interiors throughout all models
  • Proven Hemi and Cummins powertrains
  • The Ram Power Wagon is back
  • Lower pricing for Hemi-powered trucks than 2009
  • No urea SCR for diesel
  • Much improved ride and handling in unloaded dually with new C-pillar hydro mounts
  • Trailer towing mirrors are excellent
  • Power Wagon has better ride than before
  • Rear park assist and camera
  • Better brakes (2009 MY change)
  • New Crew Cab model replaces quad cab


What We Don’t:

  • Trailer tow mirrors are fixed length
  • No stability, traction or trailer sway control
  • 5-speed automatic transmission has to go
  • Information display not as advanced as Ford’s 2011 Super Duty
  • No fifth wheel towing prep kit available from the factory (can be installed at dealer)
  • Wheel column mounted shifter blocks visibility to 4WD controls and front sway bar disconnect buttons
  • Still unsure about Power Wagon’s vinyl stickers
  • Do we really need the Mega Cab now that there’s a Crew Cab?


Part 1: Introduction and Specs
Part 2: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Unloaded
Part 3: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Towing 16,500 pounds
Part 4: 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Power Wagon Off-Road
Part 5: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x2 Regular Cab Dually Hauling 1,500 pounds
Part 6: Summary and Conclusions


Awesome! This HD Shootout is going to be very interesting. It's not like any of them are going to be crap.

even as a Ford fan i really like the looks of this truck!! i agree it looks the best. i cannot wait till the shoot out. even though i think the Ford will win again i think it will be much closer this yr!!

Nice trucks, I love the new power wagon. Oh and I like that dually regular cab. It looks kinda cool. Nice report Mike. Can't wait for the next Heavy Duty Shootout.

As reliable (and good looking) as these new Rams are/should be, they'll still get bashed because they're a Chrysler product. I guess Ford is the best by default.

I'm wondering if Chrysler would have not made more changes if it wasn't GOV owned, I personally think will have to wait until the 2011 models come out to crown the winner of all the GOV impose changes to diesel trucks. Good work guys.

Great report Mike, I like the things we like/don't like at the end. good summary.

Ford are you listening: You need new sheet metal behind A Pillar. Its not 1999 anymore. Y2K dead.

Ford should rule gas HD mkt.
Dodge really does need to retire 5 speed.
Ford & gm you need exhaust brake.

What everyone really wants to know: MPG between big three diesels...

a crew cab diesel with a six-speed manual is what i want... these ae great looking trucks and that motor is bullet proof

Great write-up. Very nice trucks.

Superb first drive review Mike! I really enjoyed reading it and sizing the 2010 Ram against the new 2011 Super Duty. Up till now I had my heart set on the a 2011 F-350 CC SRW 6.7L Powerstroke Super Duty. Now I have some thinking to do! And finding the money for such things......

I really like the new looks of the Ram, very precise. Like everything there, should be there and has a defined purpose. The proven 6.7L Cummins engine can only be better now. It is still offered with a MANUAL!!! 6-speed tranny. The exhaust brake is awesome for a 1-ton (GM and Ford Promise EB's on there new/updated diesels). Ive always thought Dodge made the best looking dually IMHO. Im not a fan of EPA mandated emissions trash on our diesels, and the Cummins wont use DEF (urea) unlike the 6.7L PSD or LML Dmax. I love the new suspension upgrades (better everyone who towed big threw on a set of airbags plus aftermarket suspension kits). etc, etc.

Over all im very impressed and cant wait for the HD shoot-out! (keep in mind im a Ford Super Duty drive-which I still love!)

The only thing I dont like about the new Ram is the Power Wagon. The thing's as big as a H1 Hummer and NO WHERE as capable. Oh ya, NO DIESEL either! Thats an instant deal breaker. Cant they figure a way to mount a winch and fit the Cummins massive intercooler??

In my first comment when I was talking about suspension, Im ment to type the word "before" where it says "better everyone who towed big threw on a set of airbags plus aftermarket suspension kits". I typed to fast I guess.

There were changes rear of the A pillar with Ford over the years. You just don't want to talk about them because it doesn't fit your agenda.

I like that Ford uses different sheet metal between the light and super duty.

They could be like everyone else and use the same sheet metal for the light and heavy duty year after year which is boring.

But Ford is different. They are the truck leader. Do I want to see some more sheet metal changes to the Ford Super Duty. You bet and I think they will in a 3 years when the market rebounds. Until then, this MAJOR refresh will do. But I am not blind to the changes they have made rear of a pillar and front of a pillar and they at least keep the two trucks, F-150 and F-250 different, and don't take the easy way out and make them with exactly same sheet metal.

As for the Dodge Ram, it is looking good. I still think the 2011 Super Duty is the best looking and most capable and technologically advanced.

Bring on the shoot out.

For instance, here, you will note the big bass mouth frowning front end. Is it an improvement over the previous ram, absolutely, but is it the best looking? I don't know about that. It is probably a close second in looks to the Super Duty. Chevy is a distant third.

The interior looks, The Super Duty is clearly #1. Dodge second. Chevy last - they need a major overall.

Ford has the best interior hands down. Have you seen the leather on the Platinum edition (Sahhhweeet) let alone the Cabela Edition.

Re the "fixed length" of the tow mirrors. On my 2007 Ram 3500 the tow mirrors flip upward/outward, putting the wide angle mirror at the bottom. This effectively moves the main mirror outward, making it possible to easily see outside the box of our fifthwheel. Did you notice whether the new 3500's tow mirrors do the same?

Post by David | Oct 23, 2009 6:10:51 PM was directed at Power Kid. So there is no confusion.

@Steve: Yes, the mirrors can still be positioned horizontally or vertically. Here's a walkaround of the truck from the Chicago Auto Show where I showed this feature off: on YouTube. The arms should still telescope.

@ David ? What exactly is my agenda? Pls explain so I know. I say they need to make more changes rear of A pillar, as does Mike as did you but somehow I have an agenda? What are you on?

Clearly they haven't made enough changes or we wouldn't be talking about this...

I like the diff between 150 & SD as well. Doesn't mean one has too look ancient @ the rear half.

@ David over sheet metal.

Agreed completely. Ford knows a lot of regular Joes are buying F150s and so why not? Plus it looks a lot more agile than the Super Duty, after all it is a light duty. But honestly, it allows the designers and engineers to really work for their pay. The distinction frees up some design abilities

Power Kid,
I was just joshing with you. I feel you on the need to make MORE changes rear of A pillar.

Also, Ford has an exhaust break. From the 2011 Super Duty chat:

Chris Brewer:
Great question, Bob! We will offer an integrated exhaust brake with our tow-haul feature, providing a seamless trailer towing experience when you need it!

I own a 09 ram with hemi and 5 speed auto its the best truck I ever owned by far. I here alot about 5 speed auto trannys and that 6 speeds are better. It makes sense except that my truck gets better mpg than a toyota 6 speed or ford and IM AS FAST or faster than those trucks so were is the benifit when I cant really find one and all the test done dont prove it either ? Help

Hope if they ever put traction or stability controls in hd trucks is an option for those that are not in control of there vehical. Nothing like a truck used in the oil feild or farming that wont spin when u need it too. Guess pullout mirrors that flip up would be nice for pulling 12 ft wide loads. Like the looks other than the giant crome bumper, looks like it came of a chevy.

Five speed automatic? My 3500 SLT has a six speed tranny.

all sounds great...I ordered a 2010 dodge 3500 crew cab dually 4X4 in August 09 and still have no serial # or ship date. What gives. I see pictures and have heard all the great reviews...where's the truck?????

i dont minde dodge but i think the super duty is better. the engein in the new rams is only equel to the 6.4 super duty that is sad when you have a 6.7 in it and when the new super duty is going to have a 6.7 in it and will over 400 hores power and over 725 pounds of torque somthing is wrong there im still a supre duty guy but if the ram will help put gm out im all for it.

I'm with Chris, the dually 4x2 looks really cool.

Now when will Dodge learn to make their products in the USA. I will not buy a Dodge for that one reason. If they want to make them in Mexico then they should sell them there.

I have a 2006 quad cab dually SLT G56 and it rides rough even with the airbags I installed. My wife hates the truck and I have come to not like it so much myself. We are going to buy a 5th wheel travel trailer and I want more creature comforts for her AND me. The Laramie should fill the bill very nicely.

I agree the ESC is a major oversight but the 2012s should have it. I drove the 2010 model and loved it. The styling is right on the money and the truck rides and drives much smoother than mine.

I like the Megacab and hope Dodge continues it. HOWEVER, the Mega NEEDS the 8 foot bed, at least as an option for trailer haulers. It rides better and makes the truck look right.

The one thing I noticed with the 2010 with the 6 speed auto is the amount of pedal effort it took to get the truck moving. I'll be towing a 16,000lb 'toyhauler' and the manual's gearing is the best for getting heavy loads moving. Plus, my wife can't drive it lol. :D

Just a little more tweaking, Dodge, and you'll get it right. The 2012s will tell the tale.

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