The 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 regular-duty pickups are available in a very wide range of models, with several different powertrains, long-box or short-box beds, and single cab, Quad Cab, or Mega Cab styles. ST, SXT, SLT, and Laramie models are offered, with the Laramie being the best-equipped. Each cab style can be equipped with all three trims, except for the Mega Cab, which is only offered as an SLT or Laramie.
The standard engine on Ram ST and SXT 4x2 models is a 3.7L Magnum V6, making 215 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque and available with either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Standard on ST 4x4 models and SLT models and available on 4x2 models is the 4.7L V8, now making 310 horsepower and 330 lb-ft. The Laramie gets a standard 5.7L Hemi V8 making 345 horsepower and 375 lb-ft. Both of the V8s can be paired either with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
The 4.7L V8 has various revisions, such as a new lightweight piston and rod assembly and new valve-lash adjustment system, that make the engine smoother, more powerful, and more efficient. It can now run on a mix of ethanol and gasoline up to 85 percent ethanol (E85). The Hemi comes with the Multi-Displacement (MDS) system, which can shut down four of the cylinders when V8 power isn't needed to increase fuel economy.
The Quad Cab has four standard doors and 60/40-split folding rear seats to allow for passengers or cargo. The Mega Cab model is geared toward rear-seat comfort, offering as much space in back as large SUVs would. The Mega Cab's rear seats recline, fold down, and slide forward for flexibility. It also gets a number of changes versus the other two cab styles, including a chromed front fascia and a dual-lamp headlamp system.
The Ram has a hydroformed, fully boxed frame, combined with a double-wishbone suspension in front and Hotchkiss-design rear suspension with leaf springs, bringing a setup that gives stability when fully loaded without affecting the ride too much. What's more, isolating body mounts are used to reduce vibration inside, and thick door glass and a Polymer Constraint Layer help keep noise out of the cab.
The Ram can tow up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped, and its gross combined weight rating, for hauling, is an impressive 14,000 pounds.
Standard equipment varies vastly depending on the model. ST models come equipped simply but ready for work, with features including air conditioning, a vinyl front bench seat, tilt steering, manual windows, vinyl floor covering, and a four-speaker CD sound system. The SXT adds active turn signals and remote keyless entry. SLT models bring a 40/20/40-split bench seat with cloth upholstery, a carpeted floor, cruise control, an overhead console, painted aluminum wheels, and power windows, locks, and heated mirrors. At the top of the range is the Laramie, which brings dual-zone climate control, steering-wheel audio controls, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, an alarm system, and chrome trim.
A Sport Package on the SLT upgrades to styled bucket seats, a body-color front fascia and grille, fog lamps, and big 20-inch chrome-clad wheels. Also of note is the TRX4 Off-Road Group, which adds an anti-spin differential rear axle, off-road wheels and tires, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps, and special badging. Standalone options include remote start, a power-sliding rear window, a navigation system, and a DVD entertainment system in back.