Don't let the numbers fool you – despite Ram's perennial third-place finish in full-size truck sales, the brand has never been more eager to move up the podium. The all-new 2019 Ram 2500 truck reflects this ambition. Equal parts beauty and brawn, it's ready to coddle occupants in luxury while lugging incredible loads. Whether extreme towing is in the cards or not, this rig is bound to impress even the staunchest Ford or Chevrolet fan.
What's New for 2019
The Ram 2500 has been fully redesigned for 2019.
Choosing Your RAM 2500
Like its less-capable 1500 sibling, the 2500 offers a bevy of trim levels from which to choose. The full roster of cabs and bed lengths are also available, which means picking out a Regular, Crew, or Mega Cab and either a 6-foot-4-inch or 8-foot bed.
Stick with the standard powertrain and Ram gives you a 410-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 engine putting out 429 pound-feet of torque. It's enough juice to tow up to 17,580 pounds when properly equipped. By properly equipped, Ram is referring to a Regular Cab truck outfitted with the 6-foot-4-inch bed and a 4.10 rear axle.
The 6.4-liter motor is now backed by the same, but beefed up, eight-speed automatic transmission found in the light-duty trucks, marking the first time more than six gears have found their way into the Heavy Duty lineup. We'd venture a guess to say this will probably improve gas mileage, but since the EPA considers this class of truck too heavy for their efficiency scale, no one can say for sure until real-world results come trickling in.
The big kahuna of this segment has always been the vaunted diesel engine. In this case, the 2500's optional 6.7-liter straight-six turbodiesel built by Cummins. The massive six-cylinder motor has been a staple in the Ram lineup for over three decades now, and this latest version has been thoroughly reworked.
A lighter block, new cylinder head design, lighter and stronger internal parts, and other notable improvements all contribute to its output of 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. All that twisting power amounts to a maximum tow rating of 19,780 pounds. The cost for this much torque is $9,100.
Keeping the Cummins engine in check is a six-speed automatic gearbox built by Aisin. It's a stout unit, but fans of the stick shift will be saddened to learn that the six-speed manual is no longer available. Its disappearance means there's no longer any full-size pickup truck that lets drivers row their own gears. RIP, three-pedaled friend.
To make these rigs more livable, Ram has updated the 2500 lineup to include the same level of comfort, convenience, and ease of use that pervades the light-duty truck. Advancements found across all trims include push-button start, an active noise cancellation system for a quieter cabin, and 258 liters of total storage space.
There's a cornucopia of available packages that do their best to overwhelm and intimidate. There isn't space here to detail each one, but a few widely-available packages are worth mentioning.
The Safety Group ($2,195 on base models, but cheaper elsewhere as more features become standard) is one such standout. It includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, LED lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and adaptive high beams. Some iteration of this package is available on every trim, as even the prestigious Limited trim doesn't get all of these features standard.
The Tow Technology Group aids trailering endeavors with a surround-view camera, trailer-reverse guidance, trailer-tow mirror, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The $495 Off-Road Group is only available on the four-wheel-drive 2500 trucks; it adds Bilstein shocks, skid plates for the transfer case, hill-descent control, all-terrain tires, tow-hooks, and the all-important off-road decals.
Mechanical options with widespread availability include a selection of heavy-duty alternators, a $445 limited-slip differential, and a $1,595 auto-leveling rear suspension.
The 2500 trucks are offered in six different trim levels. All prices below reflect the cheapest iteration of the corresponding trim. Note that four-wheel drive is a $2,900 option on all models except the Power Wagon, where it comes standard.
The Big Horn is the sweet spot in the 2019 Ram 2500 lineup: not too pricey, yet available with all the features you'd want in a truck. We'd add the Level 1 Equipment Group and the Tow Technology Package before heading on our way. If towing regularly is in the cards – and it probably is if you're considering a bruiser like this – we'd also upgrade to the diesel engine. It makes hauling anything an effortless exercise.