The gargantuan 2500 and 3500 HD pickups are the kings of the hill for the Ram brand when it comes to maximum towing capacity. When fitted with the high-output 400-hp Cummins diesel inline-six, the Ram 3500 can pull as much as 37,090 pounds, thanks to its powertrain’s stunning 1075 pound-feet of available torque. When equipped with the standard 410-hp Hemi V-8 engine, the Ram HD still puts up big enough numbers to challenge rivals such as the Chevrolet Silverado HD and the Ford Super Duty trucks. While the heavy-duty Ram is abundantly beefy, life is a little less meat and potatoes from the driver’s seat. Like the full-size Ram 1500 half-ton pickup, the 2500 and 3500 models offer a refined interior with comfort in mind. The off-road-minded Power Wagon and Rebel models are where work and adventure meet, as both offer skid plates, all-terrain suspensions, and mud-slinging off-road tires.
What’s New for 2023?
A new Rebel trim has been added to the Ram HD lineup for 2023. The new, off-road-focused model features a lifted suspension, skid plates, and an electronically locking rear differential. The Rebel is offered exclusively on the 2500 model but can be ordered with either the gasoline or diesel powertrain; four-wheel drive is standard. Elsewhere, a few pieces of equipment have been updated for the 2023 Ram 2500 and 3500. A reconfigurable 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster is now available, as is a digital rearview mirror with side camera integration. To make life attached to a trailer a little easier, the 2023 Ram HDs also earn Trailer Reverse Steering control as an option, which simplifies a sometimes tedious driving maneuver. A Mopar performance hood is now available on Laramie and Limited trims.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Most Ram HD buyers are willing to pay up for the diesel, but the standard 410-hp 6.4-liter gas engine is plenty capable, even in the 3500. For the best mix of capability, space, luxury, and price, we would stick with the most popular model, the 2500 4×4 Crew Cab Laramie. Although more are sold with the Cummins, stick with the 410-hp V-8, which is quicker around town and pairs with an excellent eight-speed automatic, unless towing huge trailers is a high priority for you. With the dollars saved, spring for the limited-slip differential and load-leveling air suspension, which further improves the Ram’s already impressive ride quality.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Three engines are available. Standard power in all models comes from a 410-hp 6.4-liter V-8, which makes 429 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an excellent eight-speed automatic. This is the only engine and transmission offered in the Power Wagon, which is exclusively four-wheel drive. However, every other model is also offered with a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel inline-six with either rear- or four-wheel drive. Two versions of the diesel are available. The first is available in both 2500 and 3500 models and makes 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque. The 400-hp high-output version, only available on the 3500, makes an incredible 1075 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are backed by a six-speed automatic, whereas its diesel competitors all pack more modern 10-speed transmissions. At 1060 pounds, the Cummins engine outweighs the V-8 by 490 pounds, so the diesel models don’t handle quite as well around town, and they’re not quick, but they can haul and tow significantly more weight. Ram has done an incredible job refining the Cummins. Although it’s still noisier than the V-8, it’s no longer a raucous beast.
Towing and Payload Capacity
With the high-output Cummins and its 1075 pound-feet of torque, a Ram 3500 has a towing capacity of 37,090 pounds and a maximum payload of 7680 pounds. When equipped with that engine, the more popular 2500 4×4 Crew Cab model offers a max payload of 2380 pounds and a max trailer-weight rating of 19,010 pounds. Those are strong numbers for the class. With the 370-hp version of the Cummins, the 2500 4×4 Crew Cab can haul 3240 pounds and pull 16,870. With the standard V-8, the truck can also handle 3240 pounds, and tow 14,370, which is more than enough for most jobs and weekend expeditions.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy is not estimated by the EPA on commercial vehicles such as the Ram 2500 and 3500 because their Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR) are more than 8500 pounds. A Ram 3500 with the high-output Cummins diesel engine, four-wheel drive, and dual-rear-wheel axle earned 16 mpg on our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen. The less powerful 370-hp diesel engine found in the four-wheel-drive crew-cab 2500 returned slightly better numbers on the highway with an 18-mpg rating.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
As with most pickups, the Ram’s extensive number of trim levels and cab styles mean its interior materials, passenger space, and in-cabin tech features can vary widely in terms of quantity and quality. A single cab, a spacious four-door Crew Cab, and the massive Mega Cab (which offers the largest rear seat in the class) are available. Although heavy-duty trucks from Ford, Chevy, and GMC are also large and luxurious inside, the Ram has the best interior in the segment with luxury-car-level detailing, extreme comfort, and a clean, modern design, while the highest trim levels offer premium materials. The top Longhorn trim even gets striped wood and gold trim on the dash, doors, and gauges, along with the Longhorn logo hand-branded into the wood on the truck’s upper glovebox door. The cabin’s design also features functional controls and a ton of interior cubby storage. Its multilevel center console can accommodate a laptop with a 15.0-inch screen. Every Ram HD also comes with standard acoustic glass and active noise cancellation tied into the audio system, and the result is a truck that’s luxury-car quiet inside—even the diesel models.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Ram also packs its heavy-duty trucks with in-cabin tech, including the latest in infotainment, that rivals some big-buck luxury sedans and SUVs. The Ram’s system is intuitive, with simple menus and prompts. It also responds quickly to user inputs, and its 8.0-inch touchscreen is large and well placed. Ram also offers a giant 12.0-inch reconfigurable touchscreen, which is the largest in the class and gives the truck’s interior a high-tech look and feel. The system also features navigation, a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For your devices, the truck’s interior features five USB ports and up to three 115-volt outlets, which can handle up to 400 watts to run or charge tools quickly.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Both the Ram 2500 and 3500 can be equipped with a long list of driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Ram’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Ram provides its two heavy-duty models with a competitive limited warranty. While both its powertrain coverages span five years, gas-fed engines get 60,000 miles of protection while the diesel offers 100,000 miles—similar to what’s offered by the Ram’s HD rivals. Unlike Chevy and GMC, however, the Ram has no complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Gas powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Diesel powertrain warranty covers five years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2019 Ram 2500/3500
front-engine; rear- or rear-/4-wheel-drive; 2-, 3-, 5-, or 6-passenger; 2- or 4-door pickup
ESTIMATED BASE PRICE
turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 24-valve 6.7-liter diesel inline-6, 370 or 400 hp, 850 or 1000 lb-ft; pushrod 16-valve 6.4-liter V-8, 410 hp, 429 lb-ft
6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode, 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 140.2–169.3 in
Length: 232.0–260.9 in
Width: 79.4–96.5 in
Height: 77.1–80.9 in
Passenger volume: 62–130 cu ft
Curb weight: 5950–9200 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
Zero to 60 mph: 7.0–8.3 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 21.2–25.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.5–16.6 sec
Top speed: 100–105 mph
2019 Ram 2500 Tradesman regular cab 4×4
• 370-hp turbocharged diesel inline-6, 6-sp auto, 7480 lb, base/as-tested price: $37,990/$51,010
Zero to 60 mph: 7.2 sec
Standing 1/4-mile: 15.6 sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (governor limited) 103 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 206 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.69 g
C/D observed fuel economy: 15 mpg
2019 Ram 3500 Limited Mega Cab 4×4
• 400-hp turbocharged diesel inline-6, 6-sp auto, 9120 lb, base/as-tested price: $68,745/$89,520
Zero to 60 mph: 8.1 sec
Standing 1/4-mile: 16.3 sec @ 86 mph
Top speed (governor limited) 103 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 203 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.65 g
C/D observed fuel economy: 12 mpg
More Features and Specs