Sometimes it seems like everyone is driving a pickup truck no wonder trucks are the family car of choice for increasing numbers of households. But there are still plenty of people that rely on trucks to do real work not to mention there are a lot of big toys out there that need towing around. So for that you need a heavy duty rig like this one from Ram.
In the world of pickup trucks, particularly the Heavy Duty realm where this 2019 Ram 2500 dwells, it’s all about the numbers.
So, getting right to them; there’s a new 6.7-liter Cummins diesel in town, and the available high-output version of it, puts out a magical 1,000 lb-ft. of torque. That allows for a class best 35,100-lbs. of towing and 7,680-lbs. of payload. But, you have to step up to the 3500 to get it.
Our 2500, has the regular output version of the 6.7-liter inline-6 available; which puts out “only” 850 lb-ft., along with 370-horsepower.
If you select the Cummins option, you get much more than just the engine itself; also included are an exhaust brake, twin 730-amp batteries, unique front bumper treatment with tow hooks and active air cooling, supplemental heater, and even an active noise control system, as well as a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Seeking some numbers of our own, we took our Laramie equipped 4X4 Crew Cab to the test track.
The biggest surprise right away, was that all of that torque is not overwhelming in the unlimited tire smoking sort of way. Rather, the truck is set up to easily handle it. It launches in a smooth traction-minded way that seems very practical for stuff like pulling a big boat out of the water on a wet ramp.
We hit 60 in 8.5-seconds. Pretty good for any truck. Power stayed very linear throughout the ¼-mile; with no lapse in pulling, even when a nicely-mapped shift was triggered. 16.5-seconds was our best time, at 86 miles-per-hour.
It’s hard to make direct comparisons, with so many different configurations when it comes to Heavy Duty pickups; but both numbers are ½ a second quicker than we’ve ever gotten with a Chevy Duramax or Ford Powerstroke.
You certainly won’t be whipping in and out of cones through a slalom course at the job site; but doing so here, enabled us to get a feel for how the Ram would behave should perform in emergency maneuvers, or when pulling a big load up a curvy mountain road.
Turn-ins are slow, and the tires feel like they want to roll over, but the Ram remains very stable, with seemingly zero body roll. Steering is light, and at times you feel like a seafaring Captain battling a storm with how much input it takes; but ultimately it gets the job done.
You certainly ride high, and the pavement appears a long way down. Think taxing a 747.
Now, this new Ram 2500 is about more than just big numbers from a diesel engine. The interior has been completely redesigned. And much like the Ram 1500 that inspired it, which is the greatest interior in all of truckdom; it takes interior comfort, technology, and flexibility to new levels for the HD ranks.
All riding on a new frame and suspension as well.
But, not everyone needs a tank-towing diesel, so we also spent some time in a base Tradesman 2500 with the standard 410-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with 429 lb-ft. of torque.
It comes with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Max towing here, is a mere 17,580-lbs.
No Government Fuel Economy Ratings for Heavy Duty vehicles, but we averaged 13.1 in our gas fueled 4X2 Tradesman Regular Cab, and 19.7 miles-per-gallon of diesel in our 4X4 Crew Cab. That’s a 50% improvement.
A base HEMI-powered 2500 Tradesman starts at just $35,090. The Cummins Diesel can be added to just about any 2500 for an additional $9,100. With all HDs, the sky’s the limit from there. Our Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 came in at $77,990. To get a 3500 with the high output Cummins, you’re looking at at least $48,335.
If you’ve got work to do, the 2019 Ram lineup of Heavy Duty pickups is willing and plenty capable to help. As it stands right now, Ram is at the top of the Heavy Duty heap. But, if we’ve learned anything in our 39-plus years of testing pickup trucks, nobody stays there for long.
Engine: 6.7 liter
Horsepower: 850 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 8.5 seconds
1/4 mile: 16.5 seconds @ 86 mph