May 18, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Thursday, 26 August 2010 11:09
Our second foray into the big, burly world of Dodge pickup trucks put us behind the wheel of a Ram 2500 crew cab with the off-road package and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Just reading the words, gives you a manly feeling, doesn’t it? Try driving one.
This is one muscular rig, capable of hauling a 2,460-pound payload or towing a whopping 12,650 pounds. And with 7.1 inches of ground clearance, 17-inch wheels, 4x4 drive system and limited-slip differential rear axle, it’s ready for the back country, too.The Ram 2500 is noticeably less civilized than its light-duty cousin, the 1500. Chalk it up to the 1500’s coil-spring rear suspension, which soaks up potholes and expansion joints more elegantly than the 2500’s leaf-spring system. The 1500 also delivers three to five highway miles per gallon more than the 2500, which cruises in the high teens. Of course, it comes down to what you need. The 1500 can’t stand up to the punishment the 2500 is built and engineered to handle.
Our reintroduction to Chrysler products is now complete, and they left a mostly favorable impression. This is especially true of the trucks, which are rugged yet comfortable and nicely appointed. Brand loyalty may still rule in the truck world, but that aside, we can think of no reason to skip a trip to the Dodge dealership. At a minimum, these trucks are competitive with the more popular models from Ford and General Motors.
Maybe it was the massive, bold front grille, but our Dodge truck seemed to have more personality than competing models we’ve driven.
Our black Ram 2500 had a base price of $38,480, with a sticker price of $45,015. Tough guys probably could do without the premium bucket seats, luxury group, media center and technology package, but the Customer Preferred Package included all sorts of heavy-duty goodies. So you can set up this truck for hard work and off-road play for about $40,000.
The Ram 2500 comes in three shapes: regular cab, crew cab and the uncommonly spacious mega cab. Prices range from $27,215 for a base regular cab to $43,150 for a top-of-the-line Laramie mega cab. Also available are three diesel option packages that add $6,445 to $9,050 to the bottom line. The inline six-cylinder Cummins diesel is available with a six-speed stick shift or six-speed automatic.
For maximum ruggedness, the Ram 3500 starts at $34,680.
The Ram 2500’s ride was firm but quiet, and the cab was roomy front and back. The 350-horsepower V-8 engine supplied ample power. We drove our truck to southern New Hampshire and did not find the trip as tiring as we expected. Our truck was not equipped with running boards, so getting in and out was moderately difficult and awkward, despite the presence of hand grips.
Crash-test data are not available, but the Ram 2500 did get four of a possible five stars for rollover resistance, one star better than the 1500.
Engine: 5.7-liter V-8, 383 horsepower, 400 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: five-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 6,340 lb.
Ground clearance: 7.1 in.
Suspension: Solid live axle, front and rear
Wheels: 17x8 inch forged aluminum
Tires: LT265/70R17on/off road
Seating capacity: 5
Payload capacity: 2,460 lb.
Towing capacity: 12,650 lb.
Fuel capacity: 34 gallons
Fuel economy: N/A
Fuel type: regular
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