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  • John Diether
    Automotive Editor - August 28, 2015

    2016 RAM 3500 OVERVIEW

    The beastliest RAM you can buy, the 3500 is designed for that slice of buyers who need maximum grunt from a pickup. Sure, you can dress it up into a posh rig, but all that is secondary to its astonishing ability to tow a load.

    What's New for 2016

    The available Cummins turbodiesel engine gets a boost in torque, and a new Laramie Limited trim level raises the bar on exterior bling.

    Choosing Your RAM 3500

    The 3500 is available as a two-door Regular Cab, a four-door Crew Cab with room for six, or a Mega Cab with even more interior space than the Crew. The Regular Cab gets an 8-foot bed, which is also available on the Crew in place of the standard 6-foot-4-inch bed. The Mega comes only with the shorter length.

    The standard 5.7-liter V8 produces 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The available 6.4-liter V8 achieves 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. Both V8s are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

    The top mill is actually a six-cylinder, the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel, which lays down 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque with the standard six-speed automatic. You can also get a six-speed manual, which reduces horsepower and torque to 350 and 660 respectively. New this year is a high-output version of the Cummins with 385 horsepower and a record-shattering 900 pound-feet of torque, paired with a heavy-duty Aisin six-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive is either optional or standard on all 3500s, and dual rear wheels are available across the board.

    Properly equipped, the 5.7-liter tows up to 13,901 pounds, while the 6.4-liter tops out at 16,870. The Cummins turbodiesel can pull 22,550 pounds with the automatic transmission and 18,5100 with the manual. The high-out version can handle an eye-popping 31,210 pounds, more than any other production vehicle.

    The RAM 3500 comes in five progressive trim levels:


    Available in Regular and Crew forms, the basic 3500 comes with an all-vinyl interior, black exterior trim, 17-inch steel wheels, and a six-speaker AM/FM sound system. You get a few extras like power heated mirrors, air conditioning, and cruise control. The Crew also receives power windows. Cloth seating and full carpeting are available.


    Comes in all three cab styles, along with an expanded equipment list that includes a power sliding rear window, keyless entry, power window and locks, a trailer brake controller, 18-inch wheels, Bluetooth, and a touchscreen sound system with satellite radio. The SLT replaces the Tradesman's black plastic exterior trim with chrome. Crew and Mega models can get the Big Horn package (known as Lone Star in Texas) with polished forged aluminum wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, additional chrome trim, a power driver seat, and the Uconnect infotainment interface. For the 4x4 Crew, there's an Outdoorsman package with unique exterior trim, a transfer case skid plate, auto-dimming mirrors, and a rearview camera.


    Builds on the SLT with leather upholstery, heated front seats with passenger power, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high-beam control, and a premium 10-speaker audio system. The revised backup camera can now provide views of the cargo bed. Note that the Regular Cab is no longer available starting at this trim level.

    Laramie Longhorn

    Equipped like the regular Laramie, but with several upscale add-ons: front buckets seats with console, heated rear seats, navigation, HD radio, remote start, power-adjustable pedals, and color-keyed bumpers. LED bed accents lights are new this year.

    Laramie Limited

    Gets its own attention-grabbing grille and tailgate trim, plus unique wheels, an all-black interior, and painted bumpers (chrome optional).

    CarsDirect Tip

    The heroic Cummins engine gives the 3500 unparalleled capability, but few civilian buyers actually need this level of grunt. For most of us, the far more sensible -- and affordable -- choice is the mid-level 6.4-liter V8.

    Get your price on a RAM 3500 »

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