The Car Connection Ram 2500 Overview
The Ram 2500 is the truckmaker's Class 2 heavy-duty pickup, sometimes called a "three-quarter ton" pickup.
It competes against similar heavy-duty offerings from other domestic pickup truck makers: the Ford F-250 Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500, and GMC Sierra 2500 HD.
The Ram 2500 is available with three different engine options: a 5.7-liter V-8, 6.4-liter V-8, and 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6. It's available in three cab configurations: regular, quad cab, and mega cab; with two bed lengths: 8-foot and 6-foot-4; and rear- or four-wheel drive.
The latest Ram 2500 was unveiled in 2010 as a fourth-generation model. For 2017, it mostly enters the new year unchanged aside from some equipment shuffling.
MORE: Read our 2017 Ram 2500 review
The new Ram 2500
In 2010, the newest Ram truck arrived, and with it, dramatic new exterior styling. A wide range of cab, bed, and powertrain options were available, and while the Ram 1500 model saw a number of more car-like (or SUV-like) changes to its suspension and cab options, the Ram 2500 and heavier-duty Ram 3500 continued on with dedicated truck layouts under the skin.
Along with the launch of the new Ram pickups came the spinoff of the Ram brand from Dodge. Rather than simply being a model name under the Dodge brand, Ram Trucks is now its own brand, so each fourth-generation model is properly called only by its Ram brand name and numeric model number, i.e., Ram 2500.
The fourth-generation Ram 2500 continues to the present, with a new 6.7-liter Cummins I-6 diesel joining the range in 2013, and a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 coming for 2014. The standard base engine in the Ram 2500 is the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, rated at 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The 6.4-liter V-8 is rated at 410 hp and 429 lb-ft, and is the payload champ—up to 7,390 pounds in certain trims. The 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6 is the overall hauling champ with 370 hp and 800 lb-ft and rated to tow up to nearly 18,000 pounds.
Together with the Ram Heavy Duty chassis, including high-strength steel construction, hydroformed main rails, and fully boxed rear rails, the Ram 2500 is configured for heavy-duty detail. Despite its massive tow rating, as of 2014, the Ram 2500 has joined the Ram 1500 in using a five-link coil spring rear suspension instead of the previous leaf-spring setup. A rear air suspension system is also available, offering improved ride and load-leveling capability.
The 2017 Ram 2500 is available in a wide swath of trims, ranging from the work-ready Tradesman to the SLT, Big Horn, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Power Wagon, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited models. Ram 2500 Limited models get their own unique fascia and tailgate, Power Wagons are outfitted to be off-road trucks.
Ram 2500 history
The Dodge Ram line of trucks is iconic these days, but before 1981 they didn't even exist—though both Dodge and the Ram emblem did, separately. In fact, the Ram emblem was first placed on the hood of a Dodge in 1933.
Dodge's Ram truck was born in 1981, however, running until 1993 in its first generation. These first-generation trucks were simple, utilitarian affairs that modern truck buyers would hardly recognize. Nevertheless, the Ram's reputation for tough, simple style and working ruggedness was earned in this period. Available as a D100 (later D150), D250, or D350 (the latter two models reflecting the equivalent of today's 2500 and 3500 lines), the original Ram used a wide variety of engines, and was available in many cab/bed combinations.
The second-generation Ram trucks advanced the range considerably, bringing updates to styling, powertrains, and capability—as well as the arrival of the current naming scheme: the Dodge 1500, 2500, and 3500. The Ram 2500, as pickup nomenclature suggests, was a three-quarter ton truck, available in either rear- or four-wheel drive.
In 1998, the Ram truck line launched the first extended pickup cab with rear access doors, dubbed the Quad Cab. Most 2500s were Quad Cab models paired with the 6-foot bed (or "box"). This made the 2500 a large, heavy-duty truck surpassed in the Dodge Ram range only by the one-ton 3500. Second-generation Rams were built from 1993-2002 in heavy-duty form. A wide range of V-8 and V-10 gasoline engines and inline-6 Cummins diesel engines were offered over the second-generation Ram 2500's model run, ranging up to 300 hp and more than 500 lb-ft of torque.
The Ram 2500's third generation arrived in 2002, bringing with it a new range of HEMI V-8 engines, Cummins diesels, and large-displacement V-10s. These engines, coupled with heavy-duty transmissions, gave the Dodge Ram 2500 the powertrains necessary to haul immense loads either in the bed or on the trailer hitch. Upgraded axles and beefier chassis construction gave the Ram the structural load-bearing strength to match its powertrains.