This content is sponsored by Fair Oaks Motors
Ram trucks are on a roll. The redesigned Ram 1500 has been an award-winning success with its refined ride and upscale interior on higher trim levels. I drove the Ram 1500 Laramie Crew cab last year and see why it was named 2019 Truck of the Year by Motor Trend and North American Truck of the Year by the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It neatly combined all the good of a tough truck with the luxury that today’s buyers are looking for. But this year the workhorse Ram 2500 and 3500 undergo the same treatment as the smaller Ram.
The entry-level work truck Ram 2500 Tradesman is the most cost-effective way into the heavy-duty Ram line at just over $33,000. This work truck comes with big capability from a powerful 6.4L Hemi V8 that’s ready to haul heavy loads in the 8-foot bed, or tow with the 5th wheel/Gooseneck trailer or the standard bumper hitch. If that’s not enough capability, you can add the Cummins turbo diesel to tow heavier loads. But the gas V8 will satisfy most and it returned 16mpg for my week of driving and hauling a tree that fell in the yard. A 32-gallon fuel tank means less time at the pump and more time working. The ride is the most improved for 2019 while not as smooth as the Ram 1500, the 2500 gets closer in a comparison with less impacts with the unloaded bed over bumps. The ride is also more hushed than before. The maneuvering is more competent also with more reassured steering feel.
The Tradesman interior is basic with easy-to-clean and durable materials used throughout with a vinyl bench seat and floor. The AC is strong and the controls and knobs are large and can be easily used with gloves on. The five-inch display is standard and so is a back-up camera. The optional rear park assist is a $295 option to add to keep down dings and parking lot errors. The push button start is nice and the behind the seat storage is good to have. It kept things from rolling around the floor.
If you want the ultimate Ram truck then you need to set your sights on the Ram 3500 Long Horn Laramie edition. This truck combines brute strength from the optional 1000lb.-ft of torque from the high output turbo diesel. Combined with the optional 5th wheel hitch, it can tow up to 30,000lbs. That’s a serious load! While it’s a very powerful truck that easily keeps up with traffic, it’s also smooth at power delivery. Hit the gas pedal and a rush of torque pushes you back in the seat in the unloaded truck. Things like air suspension help smooth out the ride and level the truck when towing or hauling a few thousand pounds in the massive bed. For such a large pickup with dual rear wheels, it’s easier to drive than you might think. After a few miles behind the wheel you get the hang of it. Parking and driving in tight spaces are the only times where the size of the large truck is noticeable. Cameras and warning systems help out greatly.
Inside the leather and wood-trimmed interior is a comfortable space to spend time. Five people have plenty of space and enjoy luxury – a nice surprise in the Ram 3500. The theme of the interior has a Texas feel including two-tone leather with ornate design on the seat bolsters, even saddle bag-like rear seat pockets for storage. The Ram I drove had the large 12.3” touchscreen and the easy to use Uconnect system with NAV. The Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow easy intergration with your smart phone, using that large touchscreen to control some features and apps.
The new Ram 2500 and 3500 is a big step up and follows the smaller award-winning Ram 1500, by upping the game in the full-size truck market. By combining good looks, an improved interior and a more comfortable ride with big towing capacity, the new Ram 2500 and 3500 are now standouts in the heavy-duty truck market, too.