What is there to say about the Ram Power Wagon that can’t be summed up in “badass off-road vehicle?” Not a whole lot, but for someone who is interested in the ultimately off-road utility, the Power Wagon makes a strong case. As a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, I recently attended the 2014 Texas Truck Rodeo and was able to off-road the Power Wagon like a lunatic. But not just any lunatic; a lunatic in comfort. Here’s some of the reasons why the Power Wagon is so fun, and why it’s so unique.
(Full Disclosure: Ram brought all three trim level Power Wagons to the Truck Rodeo. I provided my own transportation to Texas for the event.)
Ram Power Wagon (Photo: Mark McNabb / Top Speed)
Unlike the other off-road truck, the discontinued Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, the Ram Power Wagon comes in a variety of trim levels. For those looking for a basic truck to drive around the ranch or the worksite, there is the $44,495 Power Wagon Tradesman. If you want a few more options, and still want the body graphics, the regular Ram Power Wagon at $49,145 is for you. And if you like living the life of luxury, spring for the $55,020 Power Wagon Laramie to get all the tech toys and creature comforts. Pro tip: the Laramie version doesn’t include the graphics, just a badge on the back bumper that says Power Wagon.
Regardless of what trim level you choose, all Power Wagons are made to off-road. I’m 5’10” and I had to really pull myself up into the cabin. Ride height is important for clearing rocks and boulders, and the Power Wagon has excellent ground clearance and suspension travel. Additionally, disconnecting axles help with wheel articulation over the really rough stuff. If you really do get stuck (you won’t, but others might), there is a factory-installed winch that can lift up to 12,000 lbs. Yes, you could attach the winch to a beam and lift the entire weight of the truck off the ground. Ram, if you’re reading this, I want to try that!
Of course there are heavy duty skid plates, should the need arise. A big, chunky, mechanical shifter on the floor is used to engage the 4WD system, and of course it has a low-range mode. Hill descent control makes it easy to traverse down a steep incline, but I’d love to see the Selec-Speed control that comes with the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. That’d make off-roading a literal no brainer for novices, or provide extra control for professionals.
Power Wagon Laramie (Photo: Raven Photographic Studios)
I also like that the Power Wagon comes with RamBox. It’s such a great piece of technology that I’m really surprised other manufacturers haven’t tried to imitate. But the rest of the truck? It’s standard Ram fare; which is to say it’s pretty nice. The 6.4L HEMI V8 is the only engine option, which I find a bit surprising considering how much torque their Cummins diesels make, but POWAH is POWAH! Until we see a new Raptor, the Power Wagon is the definitely off-road king of the pickup trucks, and named the official off-road pickup truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers.
Downsides? Sure, there are a few. Without running boards, it’s a bit of a challenge to get into. Also, I’m sure the fuel economy is a bit abysmal with the 4.10 gears and a big V8 gasoline engine. Also, the truck does give you sort of a God complex.
God complex? How is that bad? You can act like a complete hooligan in this truck and not have to worry about breaking or damaging it. Holes, stones, rocks, dirt piles; they all don’t scare you. It makes you feel like you could crush that oncoming tree. Well, you can’t crush the tree. This truck does have limits. Yes, they are high. But they’re still there.
But who doesn’t love feeling big and powerful in a big truck? That reason alone is enough to consider a Power Wagon. Add on how extremely capable it is and you have a recipe for badassitude.
Join The Discussion