A perennial rival to Ford’s F-250 and Chevrolet's Silverado 2500, the three-quarter-ton Ram 2500 still looks and feels like a work truck. An updated Power Wagon and a 4x4 Off-Road package are new for 2017.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $33,540 (destination charge included), the Ram 2500 pickup is capable of heavier-duty tasks than its light-duty 1500 cousin. A 5.7-liter V8 engine that develops 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque is standard except in the off-road-ready Power Wagon, Laramie, and Limited models. These higher-end models get a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet. Buyers can also choose a 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline six-cylinder engine, which generates 370 hp, 800 lb-ft of torque, and is capable of hauling almost 18,000 pounds. All models use a six-speed automatic transmission, although Ram does sell a handful of diesels with a manual gearbox. Naturally, four-wheel drive is available, as are a range of cab sizes and bed lengths.

Trim levels range from the Tradesman work truck through SLT, Big Horn, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Power Wagon, and Laramie Longhorn, all the way to the Limited.

Standard equipment on the popular SLT trim includes:

  • Heated power mirrors
  • Automatic headlights
  • Cloth split-bench front seat
  • Uconnect 5.0 touchscreen radio
  • Heated power mirrors
  • Trailer harness

Performance Pros

RAM 2500
  • Use of coil springs rather than leaf springs improves ride quality.
  • Diesel engine provides extreme capabilities for towing and hauling.
  • Manual-transmission availability, though only with diesel power.

Performance Cons

  • Optional diesel V8 is a bit on the coarse side compared to heavy-duty rivals from GM and Ford.
  • Even though heavier-duty trucks aren’t evaluated by the EPA, it’s safe to assume that fuel economy is far from a strong point.

Interior Pros

  • A basic regular-cab model is still available, for those who need nothing more than power.
  • Chrysler’s Uconnect touchscreen, up to 8.4 inches in size, is installed in a number of models. It remains one of the best on the market.

Interior Cons

RAM 2500
  • Base-model trucks are sparsely equipped, with vinyl upholstery and little more than an AM/FM radio. The regular-cab Tradesman pickup even lacks power windows and door locks.
  • Plenty of amenities are available, either by picking a higher trim level or adding options; but they send the price skyward in a hurry.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

While some other large pickups have been focusing more on fashion and amenities, Ram sticks firmly with its heavy-duty demeanor, even on upper versions that lean toward the classy side. There’s little doubt that a Ram 2500 is a work truck, placing utility ahead of comfort.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Safety technology is far from up-to-date, and advanced safety features seem barely known in this segment. Fuel-economy measures have been largely ignored, too.

The Bottom Line

Rugged design gives each the Ram 2500 a blue-collar workaday look, focusing most on capability, not fashion or comforts. As a result, it could be considered a veritable masterwork of heavy-duty tasks. Like its domestic-brand competitors, there’s a dizzying selection of trim levels, not to mention so many other choices to make, from cab type to axle ratio.