The 2015 Ram Heavy Duty pickups boast the highest tow ratings among one-ton pickups. Ram HDs offer more engine and transmission choices than competitors and a range of interiors from commercial-friendly to luxury.
The Ram 2500 (three-quarter ton) and Ram 3500 (one-ton) series were redesigned for the 2010 model year then were heavily revised for 2013, so changes for 2015 are minimal. Price changes are likewise minimal.
Maximum towing for the 2015 Ram 2500 is approximately 18,000 pounds and for the Ram 3500 it is 30,000 pounds; top payload approaches 4000 pounds for a Ram 2500 and 7320 pounds on Ram 3500. Like all full-size pickup trucks, the maximum tow rating and maximum load rating apply to different versions and not simultaneously. Ram’s payload numbers are fully competitive, the 3500’s towing ability is literally tons better than challengers and only one pickup, an F-450, tows more. (Most HD pickups pulling a trailer rated for anything near their maximum load capacity may require some sort of driver’s license beyond the norm or an endorsement.)
Chrysler’s 383-hp Hemi 5.7-liter V8 with 6-speed automatic is the standard powertrain; a CNG version is available but very limited. Ram’s 410-hp 6.4-liter Hemi is designed for regular unleaded fuel and has cylinder deactivation for lower light-load fuel consumption. Most models offer at least two powertrain choices, though Power Wagons come only with the 6.4-liter V8.
The 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel comes in three variants: 350-hp, 660 lb-ft with 6-speed manual; 370 hp, 800 lb-ft with 6-speed automatic; 385-hp, 865 lb-ft with 6-speed automatic on the MaxTow package.
Ram HD rides well and cruises quietly by heavy-duty pickup standards but you can’t compare the ride to a car, nor noise from six tires, lots of airflow and trailer hardware. We found the Ram 2500 with rear air suspension rode quite comfortably empty or towing, while four-door Ram 3500s towed comfortably into the 28,000-pound range. As with most full-size pickups, the four-door crew cabs tend to ride more nicely and isolate from vibration better due to their longer wheelbase and better body mounts.
Equipment levels vary from the basic Ram Tradesman’s rubber-vinyl coverings and crank windows to top trim levels with heated steering wheel, heated/ventilated front seats, driver memory system, configurable instrument cluster and text-to-voice infotainment systems. All cabs are roomy but the Ram MegaCab offers more cabin lounging space than any HD pickup.
The Ram Power Wagon comes only as a 2500 4WD gas-engine, but it’s offered in a couple of trim levels. Unique pieces include suspension, wheels, tires, differentials, winch and running height. Power Wagon does not tow or carry quite as much as a regular Ram 2500 can but more than most so-called off-road models and much more than any three-quarter-ton pickup. It’s also the only vehicle sold in North America with a winch and a warranty.
Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 Heavy Duty models compete with Ford Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and GMC Sierra HD pickups. Ram HD shares many interior elements and styling cues with Ram 1500 models, though they are not identical. Ram 3500 is also offered in a cab/chassis version, with straight frame rails and commercial intent just like the Ram 4500 and Ram 5500 series.
Ram HDs are a compelling choice for anyone in need of a heavy-duty pickup truck. Ram Heavy Duty models are an excellent choice for anyone pulling big travel trailers, multi-car race trailers, big boats or a stable of horses. They are a good choice for anyone who has work to do, be it hauling construction tools and materials or substituting for a medium-duty when a primary business rig is on downtime.
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