2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Long-Term Update 3


After the test team was done with the Power Wagon, we passed it off to our EQUA Real MPG test team for fuel economy results. Although the EPA doesn’t think fuel economy figures are relevant for heavy-duty pickups, given how each tank of 89 octane I feed the Ram sets me (or more accurately, Motor Trend) back about $90 give or take, I’d say it’s pretty damn important information. In Real MPG fuel economy testing, the Ram Power Wagon scores 11.6/15.3/13.0 mpg city/highway/combined. Based on real-world experience with the truck, I’d say that’s about spot on.

Software Update

A few days after the Power Wagon returned from its battery of testing, a pop-up on the 8.4-inch UConnect infotainment screen told me a software update was available and asked if I wanted it downloaded while the truck sat off and parked. I tapped yes and went on with my afternoon. A few hours later when I returned to the truck, I was greeted with another pop-up telling me what was new. It mentioned vague “quality improvements” and not much else. After I cleared the message, I noticed that the UConnect fonts had all been updated to match the graphics found on the latest 2019 Ram 1500s. Neat!

Rescue Wagon

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Last but certainly not least, I finally had a good excuse to use the Power Wagon’s Warn winch during 2019 SUV of the Year testing, freeing a stuck Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Hyundai Santa Fe from the sand.

Although using a winch should be a last resort after tow straps and other vehicle recovery methods have failed, I have to admit I couldn’t help myself.

The Power Wagon’s owner’s manual provides an exceptionally detailed explanation of safe winch operation and recovery techniques, but using the Ram’s front-bumper-mounted winch is simple.

Once positioned so that the winch can pull straight back, you reach into the steel bumper to the right of the winch, feel for a metal L-shaped lever, and rotate it to release the winch’s clutch and allow the line to unspool. Next, while wearing heavy leather gloves, unclip the hook strap from its anchor point on the Power Wagon and run while holding the cloth tag on the strap, walking it out to the stuck vehicle.

Once hooked onto an anchor point—a tow hook in this case—walk back to the Ram, take the winch remote controller (we stash ours underneath the front middle seat), and plug it into the receptacle in the front bumper. Then, hop into the driver’s seat, fire up the truck, ensure the parking brake is set, your foot is on the brake, and the transmission is in neutral. Then rock the toggle switch on the winch controller back and watch as you free your stricken comrade.

With the vehicle free, simply follow the same steps in reverse order, and you’re ready for the next recovery and your next adventure.

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Read more on our long-term Ram 2500 Power Wagon here:

2018 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Power Wagon
BASE PRICE $53,690
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 6-pass, 4-door truck
ENGINE 6.4L/410-hp/429-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 7,316 lb (58/42%)
WHEELBASE 149.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 237.4 x 79.1 x 81.0 in
0-60 MPH 8.6 sec
QUARTER MILE 16.5 sec @ 85.4 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 139 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 29.8 sec @ 0.55 g (avg)
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 11.6/15.3/13.0 mpg

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