2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon
“A shoddy dealer experience isn’t spoiling the Power Wagon for me.” Christian Seabaugh
Service life 6 mo/12,231 mi
Avg CO2 1.80 lb/mi
Energy cons 312 kw-hr/100 mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $97.17
Normal-wear cost $0
Base price $53,690 As tested $63,280 Avg Fuel Econ: 10.8 mpg
Afew weeks into its stay with us, the Power Wagon returned from its less than gentle inaugural photo shoot with its alignment off after a photographer rammed up a concrete block at speed. The Ram could still drive straight with its steering wheel cocked about 15 degrees to the left, but something was clearly off.
I made an appointment at our local Ram dealer for the following week. In the meantime, features editor Scott Evans took the Power Wagon on a weekend camping trip. On his way back home to Los Angeles, I got the following text: “So, uh, it’s getting worse.” The wheel was off by about 90 degrees.
By the time the Power Wagon made it back to the MT garage, the wheel had wrapped nearly 180 degrees around so that it was completely upside down while driving straight.
Early the following morning, I took our battered Power Wagon to the dealer to have the steering straightened out and the electronic warnings cleared. Six days later, the steering wheel was straighter than before but still looked and felt a little off. Not wanting to nitpick, I went on with my life. I probably should’ve nitpicked. Over the next week, like clockwork, the steering wheel made its trip around the dial, reaching about 25 degrees off center by the time I made it back to the same Ram dealer exactly a week after I’d picked it up.
Our service adviser told me the truck just needed an alignment to get it sorted again. Not buying his story, I asked why it took a combined 10 days for what should’ve taken 30 minutes. “Because the truck is so new, it took the tech a few days of working on it to get the specs from Chrysler.” Now, you know as well as I do, this truck ain’t exactly new. The Power Wagon has largely been unchanged since 2011. In other words, the dealership was full of crap. A quick email to Ram’s media team confirmed my suspicions.
In the rare instances Christian isn’t hogging the Power Wagon, other staffers have put its 6.5-foot bed to use.
Believe it or not, the front wheels are pointing straight.