The 2018 Ram 2500 balances style, comfort, and capability very well.
The 2018 Ram 2500 heavy-duty pickup truck is a bulldozer for most of our sand castles.
In our eyes, the Ram 2500 scores a commendable 6.3 out of 10, albeit with some asterisks. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
That heady score doesn’t take into account safety or fuel economy ratings since it’s never been crash-tested by federal or independent agencies. Big trucks of its ilk are unfortunately exempt from EPA testing thanks to a loophole not likely to be closed up any time soon.
This year, the Ram 2500 lineup grows with the addition of a new, ultra-decadent range-topper: the Limited Tungsten. A rearview camera is also now standard and the Ram’s optional 8.4-inch infotainment system sees some worthwhile upgrades that boost its usability with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as its resolution.
The Ram 2500 line is available in five body styles with a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. Eight trim levels are on offer: Tradesman, SLT, Big Horn/Lone Star, Sport, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, Limited, and the new Limited Tungsten. Our advice? Narrow down a price point and see what fits.
Ram 2500s come standard with a 5.7-liter V-8 rated at 383 horsepower, while a 6.4-liter V-8 with 410 hp is on the options list. The pricey 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6 is just the ticket for heavy haulers, though, with a maximum of 930 pound-feet of torque available in certain gears on the tougher Ram 3500. Equipped just right—and it takes a careful selection of options—the Ram 2500 is rated to tow up to nearly 18,000 pounds. Crew-cab, four-wheel-drive versions of the Ram 2500 generally come in closer to 16,000 pounds. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard with the turbodiesel, while a 6-speed automatic is optional there and mandatory with both gas engines.
Like other heavy-duty pickups, the Ram line uses solid front and rear axles, but it stands out from its rivals by including coil springs rather than leaf springs out back and by offering an air suspension as an extra-cost option. At every level, the Ram 2500 is a workhorse, but the Power Wagon is particularly notable for its tenacity off-road. It’s too big for most trails, but it offers up gobs of ground clearance, massive all-terrain tires, and locking front and rear differentials.