2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Motor Trend - - Long-term Test -

“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.

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