Part of the Power Wagon's off-road agility comes from the improved wheel travel - 10.9 front and 10.7 rear, compared to 7.9 front and 10.7 rear on the standard 2500. The improvement was definitely noticed when we were asked to test out the Power Wagon's suspension by launching it off a rise on a high-speed section of dirt road. At 85 mph, the heavy Dodge soaked up the landing without hitting the bumpstops. After a day of hard 'wheeling, the Power Wagons proved to be bulletproof steeds without vehicle failures to mention.
On the highway, the Dodge Ram - already one of our favorite fullsize trucks - is only made better with the Power Wagon package. The ride is surprisingly smooth while still retaining its trucky character, which is what we like in a big truck. Bilstein 45mm monotube shocks replace standard 35mm twin tubes, and the softer spring rates soak up road imperfections better than a standard Dodge Ram 2500 4x4. As with all Dodge Rams, the brakes are top-of-the-class with excellent fade-free performance and a solid pedal feel.
If there were any complaints to levy against the Power Wagon, they would be minor ones. The first lies in the Hemi's peaky nature, making its 345 hp at 5,400 rpm and 375 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm. Feeling fine in Low range on the trail, the throttle did have to be dipped into for good passing power on two-lane roads, however, most people would find the Hemi power more than adequate in day-to-day use. While we are told there are no plans for a diesel at this time, we think it would be a natural progression for this truck, and we bet it won't be long before it is an option. The other complaint, aimed at its size, is that it takes some time to learn where the corners of the truck are, especially when trying to judge distance over the massive hood. Maneuverability on the trail is exceptional for such a large machine, but the Power Wagon is what it is and will never be mistaken for an agile Jeep.
Dodge has brought back the Power Wagon not only for those who prized the unstoppable nature of the Power Wagons of yore, but for a new generation of truck owners who truly love off-roading and have a need for fullsize capability and dependability. There is just nothing else on the market today that even comes close to it in terms of off-road competence, cargo carrying, and all-around livability. Since we never leave anything alone, we would add an on-board air compressor, mild suspension lift, and some 35s for a slightly better break over and departure angle. This would make this one of the most capable trucks on the planet. Prices haven't been announced yet, but the Power Wagon, which will be available in three trim levels, will be priced competitively.