For all you guys out there who just loved playing with Tonka trucks and dreamed about driving one, here’s your chance to play with the grown-up version. The Ram Power Wagon is like a Tonka truck on massive steroids that’s designed for climbing mountains or hitting those off-road trails. The Wagon is decked out with supercool big-rig-style roof-mounted lights, as well as large all-terrain tires, a trick self-disconnecting swaybar setup, three locking differentials, and the words “Power Wagon” emblazoned across the hood and tailgate.

Side-by-side
Ram Power Wagon Crew CabCharacteristicsChevy Silverado 2500 HD
5.7-liter V8 HemiEngine6.0-liter V8
8,510Weight (GVWR) (lb)9,200
79.4Width (in.)79.9
73.9Height (in.)77.2
209Length (in.)239.9
While Tonka trucks are affordable for most of us, the $38,480 base price of the Ram 2500 SLT Crew Cab 4×4 is more than many of us have in our piggy banks.

This base model comes with a manual transfer case on the floor; skid plates on the fuel tank and transfer case; a remote-disconnecting front stabilizer bar; a Warn winch up front with a high-output alternator to run it; a trailer-brake control and tow hitch; 2-in. lift; a 4.56 rear-axle ratio; and 32-in. all-terrain tires.

Select the “Customer Preferred Package 26P” and for $6,350 you’ve added the Power Wagon amenities, which includes a 180-A alternator, Tru-Lok front and rear axles, fender flares, front electric 12,000-lb-capacity winch, and more.

The truck is equipped with a 5.7-liter 383-hp V8 Hemi VVT engine with 400 lb-ft of torque and a five-speed automatic transmission. This is enough power to let this beast keep pace with everyone else on the road.

On the inside, it’s comfortable and spacious, especially in the cab’s back seat where there’s plenty of room for three adults to ride without complaint. The designers have done a good job with keeping wind and road noise to a minimum. Interior storage is ample — there are plenty of bins and pockets in addition to the dual gloveboxes.

My gripes with the vehicle are minor. Getting into the truck was a little challenging, as I’m only 5 ft, 3½-in. tall. It would have been nice (and safer) to have running boards as well as adjustable gas/brake pedals, which are both options on this truck. As for the ride, you know it’s going to be rough if you’re off-roading, but on regular streets and highways with rough patches, I expected it to ride much smoother than it did.

All in all, it was fun to drive. Add in $2,960 in optional equipment (luxury and technology group, security, media center, and bedliner) and $950 in destination charges, and our test drive cost a mere $48,740. Of course, let’s not forget what it will cost to fill up the 34-gallon gas tank at today’s prices. But boys will be boys, and if money is no object, go for it.

Denise Greco

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.