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In recent years, RAM has lagged behind competition from Ford and GM. But with the introduction of a heavily revised lineup for 2013, Chrysler's rugged trucks are fighting their way to the front of the pack. In addition to a freshened interior, the full-size pickups feature a host of upgraded components including the: transmission, transfer case, brakes and steering and electrical systems.
RAM offers the 2500 in five configurations that start with a base Tradesman and a 5.7-liter V8 that generates 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. While a six-speed automatic transmission with manual capabilities is standard, an available six-speed manual transmission means the RAM is the only full-size pickup on the market with this option. The truck's standard rear-wheel drive can also be upgraded to four-wheel drive.
The RAM 2500's cabin does a commendable job of masquerading as a SUV, and delivers a less utilitarian driving experience than you might expect. Controls are smartly grouped on a redesigned center panel with an 8-inch screen.
Despite its interior comfort, this vehicle still handles like a big truck, which is a good thing. You won't get good mileage, but that's hardly the reason to buy a pickup truck like this—its sizable towing capacity is, though. A true workhorse, the 2500 can be configured in a variety of options and trim levels to accommodate almost any need.
With a near-full redesign, the RAM 2500 deserves a look. It's not only a highly dependable, rugged work truck—it's also a comfortable and enjoyable ride.
The Laramie is only available as a crew cab or a mega crew cab. It features the same 5.7-liter engine as the Tradesman with the same six-speed shiftable automatic transmission. A 6.7-liter Cummings Turbo Diesel engine is available with a manual or automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is also available. Like the SLT, the Laramie features the same basic options as the Tradesman with some exceptions. This includes the addition of a 8.4-inch touchscreen, a wood-grain instrument panel, dual-zone climate control, 60/40 split rear seating, remote start, Uconnect voice command with Bluetooth, fog lamps, driver preference memory, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, exterior mirrors with supplemental turn signals, leather trimmed heated and ventilated seats, and a rearview camera.
Options include a Convenience Package and a Cold Weather Package. Standalone options match the SLT with the addition of a sunroof, Rambox cargo management system, center high mount brake light with camera, wheel-to-wheel side steps, power chrome trailer tow mirrors, a rear window defroster, power adjustable pedals with memory, and leather trimmed bucket seats.
The Laramie Longhorn Edition is available as a crew cab or a mega crew cab. The same engine and transmission options are available as at the Laramie trim level. Features are also the same with several additions, including: real wood and leather-trimmed seating, heated second row seats, Laramie Longhorn interior accents, power memory adjustable pedals, premium leather bucket seats, Mopar sill guards, a full-length premium floor console and a rear park assistance system.
Options are also the same as on the Laramie.
Like the Tradesman, the SLT is available as a regular cab, an extended cab or a mega crew cab. It's built upon the Tradesman platform and it features the same engine and transmission. Four-wheel drive and the Cummings Turbo Diesel engine are also available on the SLT. Standard features for the SLT are the same as the Tradesman with several additions, including: 17-inch chrome wheels, chrome bumpers and grille, satellite radio, cloth-trimmed seats, an overhead console, remote entry and trailer brake control.
Options remain the same as the Tradesman, with several additions including: power adjustable pedals, premium speakers, and an engine block heater.
The Ram 2500 Tradesman is available both as a regular cab and a crew cab, and it features a 5.7-liter V8 with 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive and a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission are standard. A 6.7-liter Cummings turbo diesel engine with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission is also available. Four-wheel drive is also available. Features include: quad-halogen headlamps, cruise control, power and tilt-adjustable steering, a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary iPod input, 17-inch steel wheels, antilock four-wheel disc brakes, a locking tailgate with torsion bar, and split bench front seat.
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Several configurations and trim levels, but steering system is sub-par
Hauling and towing capacity are impressive, though the interior console and front seats are oddly designed
Impressive engine and a large interior, but not available in a 2500 model
The same pluses and minuses as the Silverado 2500HD at a similar price