Review – 2010 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

Up until recently trucks were not only work vehicles but also daily drivers.  With the rise of gas prices and the fall of the economy, things changed.  People are no longer buying trucks just to drive to work, leaving Detroit in a fierce competition to win over as many high-margin trucks sales as they can.

Exterior-

The 2010 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty is without question a looker.  Starting up front the grille on the heavy duty Ram is more upright than the grille on Ram 1500, playing a major role in the “tough” look of this truck.  The grille and bumpers are all chrome with other bright work scattered about the rest of the truck.  The fresh sheet metal has lines that are well integrated, with a strong line running off the headlight and into the front doors that disappears and then picks up again at the edge of the rear doors leading into the bed.  Without question there was a lot of metal to work with and I think the designers did their best to make the new heavy duty Ram look great.  I would say mission accomplished.

Interior-

The exterior of the Ram has never been its biggest drawback; instead that role was always given to the interior.  The interior has finally been redone and in a big way.  With new materials and a vastly updated design, we now have a Ram that is head and shoulders above its predecessor.  There are soft touch materials where necessary and everything looks great.  Fit and finish is also terrific all around. The Ram sports dual glove boxes along with enough storage cubbies to hold all your gear meaning you should never have stuff flying around.  The touch screen Uconnect setup for the radio works well and is hard drive based.  It was somewhat odd to me that you can only read music or rip music off a flash drive from the USB port on Uconnect head unit.  To use your iPod/iPhone you must buy the proprietary adapter that connects all the way over in the top glove box.  That seems anti-intuitive.  Also having your iPhone all the way in the glove box means you cannot use it as a phone outside of hands free with Ram’s Bluetooth.

Powertrain-

The heart of any heavy duty truck is the engine and this Ram 2500 did not disappoint.  Equipped with the optional 6.7 liter Cummins turbo diesel, this inline six puts out 350 hp and 650 lb-ft through an optional six speed automatic transmission.  Yes you read that correctly, the six speed automatic is optional.  The heavy duty Ram is the only heavy duty truck available with a manual transmission.  The Cummins turbo diesel engine is a $7,615 option.  The exhaust system in the Cummins diesel utilizes a DEF-free catalyst, which uses (expensive) metals that convert the NOx into nitrogen gas and water vapor.  This system was implemented back in 2007 meaning the Cummins diesel was ready for the 2010 emissions—not only before the competition—but before the new standards were even in effect.

Depending on how the vehicle is configured, such as long box vs. short box and crew cab vs. regular cab not to mention mega cab, the new Ram can tow between 17,000 and 20,000 lbs.  Payload is rated at 9,600 lbs, this again depends on your configuration.  While those are not small numbers by any means, the competition is releasing their updated heavy duty trucks this year and beat these numbers with output figures beating the Cummins.  What does that mean?  Well mostly bragging rights.  The competition will be able to brag that they have the most powerful or the most capabilities.  In all reality the numbers put out by the new Ram heavy duty, especially when equipped with the diesel, are more then adequate for almost any job.

The particular Ram 2500 I had was a crew cab long box SLT.  This particular Ram was optioned with-

•  40/20/40 bench seat

•  customer preferred package

•  2FG luxury group, automatic transmission

•  limited slip rear differential

•  6.7 liter Cummins turbo diesel

•  technology group and media center

•  17″ aluminum wheels

•  remote start system

Without question this was a nicely optioned truck.  After destination the sticker price rang up to a whopping $51,765.

I do want to take a second and talk about my personal experience with the truck.  Let’s be real, I am a city boy born and raised.  I live in the suburbs and work downtown.  I drove a 2500 heavy duty truck with four full doors and a long box in the city for a week.  That in itself was an interesting experience.  I made every effort not to change my daily routines, as I wanted to see how this thing could really handle my daily life.  Hard as I tried changes were necessary.  I changed certain streets I took on my way to work due to the turning radius.  Driving downtown was not as terrible as I imagined if only because people seem to get out of your way when you are in such a large vehicle.  Passing never became an issue because people literally just moved.  No one wanted to mess with such a large vehicle.  Parking became an issue and mainly because it took up one and a half spots, not to mention the turning radius when in small parking lots.  Three point turns became habit while moving slowly became another.  Overall driving the truck in the city was quite an experience.

This is without a doubt a heavy duty truck meant for heavy duty work.  The foreman of the site will be very comfortable working on his updates from within the well appointed interior, even on the lower trim trucks.  The workers will appreciate all the storage space and power from that Cummins turbo diesel.  Sure this is no longer the most powerful diesel option in the heavy duty truck segment and no they do not have the highest tow rating, though after spending a week with the new Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, I am not sure it needs those bragging rights to be a great truck.  With fresh new looks and a terrific interior… without a doubt the new Ram 2500 Heavy Duty is a truck anyone in the market should take a look at.

Full Disclosure- The review vehicle was provided by Chrysler

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