Everyone loves full-size pickup trucks, but before you think about buying a heavy-duty pickup, you should have a good reason. Ram 2500 is taller, heavier and consumes more fuel than your typical Ram 1500.
This thing can tow up to 20,000 pounds and cost around $82,650 for a fully loaded version Limited edition with destination. This isn’t the truck you buy to tow one horse, or one boat, that’s not what it does. It’s going to clear out your entire marina and tow every horse in the stable.
RAM 2500 is the Rolls-Royce of pickup trucks. They introduced all new models for 2019, and for 2020 they offered some new colors and wheels. The 1500 is the light duty version with a sleek front end. The 2500 is all up in your face, everything is swollen, the headlights, bumper, its domed hood, including its big honking grille which is different for each of the Rams six trim levels.
The one with all the glitzy chrome is the Limited version. It adds LED headlights, 20-inch chrome wheels, power running boards (thank god this thing is so tall) and LED taillights. You can order the RAM 2500 with a Single Cab, Crew Cab or Mega Cab which is large enough to allow the rear seats to recline behind the pillars, like you’re in a Rolls phantom.
Unlike with the 1500, you can get a 2500 with 8 foot bed and bigger Crew Cab. It is recommended to get a Laramie with rear-wheel drive and 8 foot bed for $57,875. Don’t order four-wheel drive unless you absolutely need it, as it reduces your payload. But you should order a sunroof, towing package, and some extra creature comforts inside like 12 inch vertical touchscreen.
Inside the truck, it feels 80 grand cost is well worth it with all the luxury. The leather is softer and more supple than the average Mercedes. The leather covers the entire dash, the door panels, the armrests. There is contrast piping and stitching patterns that looks exquisite. There are aluminum speaker covers on the roof and inlaid wood all over the dash and steering wheel. Even the floor mats are art. This is a pickup truck, it’s going to get nasty inside, so tell your buddies to clean off their boots before they step inside.
Not only has RAM fitted this entire interior with the best materials, it also offers the best technology of any pickup. The 12 inch Uconnect touchscreen takes over the entire dash, but don’t worry, the climate and radio controls are still buttons and knobs (cough, cough Tesla). The buttons on screen are over-sized, so its easier to use. You can choose what you want the home screen to display.
You can view giant map with easy destination searches. All settings are organized and explained. You can save presets for trailers, get on Wi-Fi and also play music through surround sound. But what’s most useful on a screen this large are the cameras, you can see all around. You can get a second backup camera looking at the bed which can help reverse a trailer, and also switch to every angle possible.
The instrument panel has another large display to duplicate many functions on that main screen, and the mix of analog and digital gauges looks really elegant. The tachometer will redline at about 3200 rpm with Cummins turbo diesel engine under the hood. It’s a $9,100 option, but there’s no match for what it can do. It’s a 6.7 liter inline V6 engine with 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque. The power is channeled through six-speed automatic transmission.
With towing package, it can tow up to 19,780 pounds, but if you get the 6.4 liter Hemi V8 you’ll drop a couple thousand pounds for towing but gain more payload, up to 4,380 pounds in a single cab. It pairs with an 8-speed automatic. This new generation has electronic four-wheel drive without the manual lever, but unlike the RAM 1500, there’s still a manual foot pedal for the parking brake, and big chunky gear selector.
It should be obvious that everything the RAM 1500 does so well, with ride handling and steering, 2500 cannot. It feels like a Mack truck. It’s stiff and harsh, the steering feels disconnected from the wheel, the diesel engine shakes the entire cab. This is why you shouldn’t buy a heavy-duty pickup truck unless you really need it. This truck is meant to be loaded down, all four tires are at 65 psi.
What else is really cool? The exhaust bridge, it closes off the engine exhaust manifold to build pressure, so that when you’re coasting it’s actually physically slowing down the crankshaft. It also sounds remarkable. The rear air suspension can lower to help connect a trailer and then self levels while driving.
This is a heavy work truck, so you’re not going to find beer coolers and other novelties in the bed. You’re also not going to hear about fuel economy, because the EPA doesn’t publish those figures for trucks this big. But it still has to satisfy all of the diesel emission requirements. According to most people it averages around 16 miles per gallon.
The RAM 2500 starts at 33,645 for a very basic single cab on steel wheels, and that’s just fine if all you’re looking for is raw strength, without much comfort. But most of these trucks sell for between 50 and 60 grand. It looks pretty good against the Ford F-250 and the Chevy Silverado 2500, but most of the active safety features like automatic braking are optional.
We can argue all day about numbers, but I’ll tell you right now, there’s no better heavy-duty pickup for driving long distances than RAM 2500. The quality of the interior is astounding, even on lower trims. The infotainment system, it’s unmatched. But many safety features are optional.