It’s no secret that pickup trucks are America’s new family car, thanks to the proliferation of crew cab models with four car-like doors. So manufacturers are trying to outdo one another with claims of “my crew cab is bigger than your crew cab!” Well, the latest to claim size superiority is a pickup with a name that says it all, the Dodge Ram Mega Cab. The 4-door 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab has the biggest cab among 60 all light and heavy duty pickups. And they’ve got the numbers to back up that boast. The Mega’s cabin measures 111.1-inches in length. That’s more cab length than most cars and SUVs have wheelbase. That’s also 20 inches longer than the Ram Quad Cab, and a full foot longer than the previous size king, Ford’s F-Series SuperDuty Crew Cab.
Mega also means a vast interior volume of 143 cubic-feet. Moreover, the wide 6-passenger cabin delivers not just generous head and leg room, with a limo-like 44-inches of rear leg room, but the first reclining rear seat backs in a pickup. The 60/40 rear bench also folds forward for nearly 17 square feet of flat floor. Plus, there’s still room for small item storage, too. All easily accessed by the longest rear doors on any pickup that open almost 90 degrees. All that space can also be fitted with the latest in high tech infotainment options like satellite navigation and radio, and of course rear seat DVD video. And if things get stuffy, just open the new power sliding rear window.
Built on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty frame, the Mega Cab is available across the Ram line-up, from 1500 to 3500. But to keep overall vehicle size manageable, there is one chassis length—a 60.5-inch wheelbase with a 6-foot 4-inch cargo box. And, sorry Dually drivers, you’ll have to skip the Mega Cab for now.
Outside, Mega’s looks are pure Ram. With a big-rig style chrome-grille, crowned hood, and dropped fenders. And this big heft is moved by two big power choices, both available in two and part-time four-wheel drive. Our truck had a HEMI, Dodge’s 5.7-liter V8, now with fuel saving Multi-Displacement cylinder deactivation. It pumps out 345 horsepower and 375 pound-feet-of-torque. Towing capacity maxes out at 13,000 pounds. Or you can go all the way with a Cummins’s 5.9-liter I6 Turbo Diesel. It churns 325 horsepower, but 610 pound-feet of torque, for a Mega trailer tow rate of 15,900 pounds. Our Hemi is linked to a standard five-speed automatic transmission, with the Cummins offering a new 6-speed manual transmission or an automatic.
At the track, we were serenaded by the Hemi’s rumbly voice. Moving reasonably swiftly out of its own way, the Mega Cab came on strong at launch, hitting 60 in 9.1 seconds, with the quarter mile rolling by in 16.9 seconds at 82 miles-per-hour. You know the gear box is set up for towing as you burns through low first and second quickly. The rpm’s fall way off when you strike third and never quite recover.
Balancing that power are beefed up suspensions. The 4x2 uses an independent front end, while our 4x4 wears a rigid-beam front axle with five-links and coil springs. And while the mass of the Mega Cab rolls through the slalom, the stiffly sprung truck turns-in pretty quickly with light feel ball-type steering. Just back off the throttle when you feel it push and roll. There is also a respectable amount of feel through the soft brake pedal, as big ABS-equipped discs haul the Mega Cab down from 60 in a long 149 feet. You feel the inertia with a fair bit of nose dive and a slight “hop” at the end of each stop. On the road we were really impressed by how docile and domesticated this big-Dodge performs.
And if the Dodge Ram Mega Cab looks like the perfect metal for your big truck and family car needs, then prepare to pay $32,760 for a 4X2 Mega Cab 1500. Hop in to our 1500 Laramie Mega Cab 4x4 with options including rear seat video system and pay a mega $47,170.
This Mega Cab really is the super size in personal use trucks. Its girth has enough brute to work a full day in the dirt, and enough grace to escort the family out to dinner at the end of its shift. The 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab has easily settled the score among rivals, at least for the moment.
Long Term Updates
Date: September 2006
Step up to our 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 4X4. In for a short stay, this full-size pickup with its extra-large crewcab, is proving to be a star when it comes to being a television production support vehicle.
With its huge 5-passenger cabin, the largest of any full-size pickup, and deep, 6-foot 4-inch cargo bed, there wasn't much we can't haul. Or tow. Our 4X4's 325-horsepower 5.9-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel 6 and automatic is rated for 12,400 pounds of trailer.
The combination of a $5,555 premium for the Cummins diesel, a 4.10 rear axle ratio, and 14.4 mile per gallon of diesel economy, does not make this Mega Cab a frivolous-use truck. The Ram Mega Cab is big, and proud of it.
Date: November 2006
Smart and tough describe the 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 4X4. With its oversized 6-passenger cabin, and deep, 6-foot 4-inch cargo bed, there isn't much we can't haul. Or tow. Our 4x4's 325-horsepower 5.9-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel inline-6 and automatic combo is rated for 12,400 pounds of trailer.
Indeed, this is a truck that can work, but with a $5,555 premium for the Cummins diesel, 15.2 mile per gallon of diesel economy, a choppy ride, and a 52-foot turning diameter, the Mega Cab is no casual grocery getter.
Still, our Mega Cab is not without its softer side. Seats are comfortable and supportive. Dual-zone climate controls keep everyone comfy. The 6-Disc Infinity audio system has great fidelity, and the power sunroof brings the welcomed sunshine in. So, it may be a brute, but the Ram Mega Cab still has heart.
Date: February 2007
Sometimes there is just is no substitute for size and power. That's where you need a truck like our 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 4X4. With its oversized 6-passenger cabin, and deep-walled, 6-foot 4-inch cargo bed, there isn't much we can't haul or tow.
Our 4x4's 325-horsepower 5.9-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel inline6 and automatic combo is rated for 12,400 pounds of trailer.
But you do pay for that pull. Over 5 grand in price for the diesel, a sometimes buck-board ride, and still modest 15.3 mile-per-gallon economy.
And this is a diesel. So on cold mornings the glow-plug light stays on a long time before you can start.
When the 2008 diesel Ram goes on sale this spring, its 6.7-liter Cummins will be the cleanest diesel engine in any pickup truck, meeting the most stringent emissions limits three years early. That puts the Dodge Ram turbo diesel years ahead of both the regulations and its rivals.
Date: April 2007
Our 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 4X4 says a lot about the future of full-size pickups too. When new Global Warming inspired fuel economy rules finally emerge, turbo-diesel power may well be as common in a pickup truck as an open cargo bed.
Some experts feel that is the only way heavy duty models like our Ram, with its long and wide 6-passenger cabin, deep-walled, 6-foot 4-inch cargo bed, and 12,400 pound trailer tow limit can exist.
Our 4x4's 325-horsepower 5.9-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel inline6 and automatic combination certainly pulls with ease. And while 15.4 miles-per-gallon of diesel may not sound great, it's about 25% better than a Ram with a gasoline-fueled HEMI V8.
One thing is for sure. Americans will continue to love their pickup trucks, even if they turn a lot greener.
Date: June 2007
Our 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 4X4 can certainly make a day's work easier. This full-size diesel pickup comes ready to rock, with more than 6-tons of towing capacity, plus long distance room for 6 adults.
Our 4x4's 325-horsepower 5.9-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel inline6 pulls as the day is long. And while 15.4 miles per gallon of diesel may not sound great, it's about 25% better than a Ram with a gasoline-fueled HEMI V8.
We've had no quality problems in 10 months and 18,000 miles. But for long distance comfort, the seats could use more lower-back support. Still for a big work ethic, this Ram's a keeper.
Date: August 2007
Summers come and summers go, and our 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 4X4 that arrived during the hottest months last year is now hot footing it out of town. We had a good experience with this full-size diesel pickup. With room for 6, and 6-tons of towing capacity, it's easy to see why heavy duty pickups remain popular with families that work and play hard.
Our 4x4's 325-horsepower 5.9-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel inline6 returned 15.2 miles-per-gallon of diesel. While that may not sound impressive, it's about 25% better than a Ram with a gasoline-fueled HEMI V8.
We've had no quality problems in 13 months and 22,000 miles, but the Ram could use more back support in the folding rear seats. And maybe a backup camera to help us park this beast. Regardless, the Ram turbo diesel is a great partner for those that still need to drive large.
Engine: 5.7-Liter V8
Torque: 375 Lb Feet
0-60 MPH: 9.1 Seconds
1/4 Mile: 16.9 Seconds @ 82 MPH
60-0 MPH: 149 Feet