Trucks in today’s market hold their value well over time, and the last decade of Ram trucks has been a very good one for the brand. In the realm of heavy-duty trucks, few competitors provide the kind of brawn matched with an interior so comfortable and a driving experience so easy to manage. Ram trucks are not only powerful, but exude a level of luxury and technology not found in a typical truck cabin. What’s more, if you purchase a used Ram 2500, you’re likely to find a truck that stands up to the test of time.
This is a truck made for hauling and towing if ever there was one. The ease of towing with a Ram 2500 is a snap, even if you find a used truck that only has tow/haul mode and an electronic brake for help. With a Cummins diesel engine, you’ll never feel the tug of the weight behind you. Not when you first put the car into gear and not when you’re flying down the highway. If you plan to live the RV life, the Ram 2500 is a perfect truck for the job. Anyone planning to tow heavy loads will be pleased with the capability this truck has to offer, but it can also handle off-road terrain, hauling beastly loads in the bed, and can be outfitted for plowing duties, too.
While some may argue this truck is too big to be your only vehicle, that is perhaps limited to those who aren’t comfortable driving a big rig. It does take getting comfortable with the size, and you may often choose to park farther out in parking lots to avoid having to contend with sandwiching yourself into a space, but if you need a truck that can haul, the Ram 2500 really can serve as the go-to for getting groceries and taking day trips. For those days when it gets snowy or muddy, do what everyone has been doing for decades: fill the back end with plenty of sandbags and have a fun time with your four-wheel drive.
How Does It Drive?
Once upon a time, driving a truck felt more like wrestling a bull. Cranking that steering wheel could give you an arm ache in short order, but trucks today have such easy steering in comparison. It’s not such a brutal learning curve. Taking the Ram 2500 out for a spin will give you that sense of height that so many truck-lovers enjoy, although it can be intimidating at first if you haven’t driven a truck before. Like anything, it takes practice. Behind the wheel, the height gives you a good view of what’s around you, but you have to watch blind spots. If you find a used Ram 2500 with a blind-spot monitor – which can be had in models starting in 2018 – that will help. Otherwise, you have to be vigilant about checking your sightlines for other vehicles on the road.
Steering is easy, making such a large and powerful truck quite manageable. Compared to trucks of past decades, this is more like driving an old large car in terms of the steering response. The turbo-diesel engine also provides immediate torque, unlike what you may be used to with a gasoline engine. You will notice bounce and some translation of the road’s bumps in the cabin, but this is a truck made for hard work, and that suspension will smooth out once you hitch up a trailer or load the bed with cargo.
Depending on the trim you choose for your used 2500, the interior could be vinyl, cloth, or leather in a variety of color combinations. Seat features for the driver are better in most trims until you reach the more expensive Laramie, which offers powered seats with lumbar control for the passenger as well. It’s worth finding a truck with this added benefit if you plan to travel long distances; otherwise, your passenger may not be as comfortable as you might like. Rams that come with the bench front seat are incredibly useful when you happen to be the only game in town for driving on rough roads in the wilderness with a car-load of friends. Six can sit in the cabin with front and back bench seats, though you want that front middle passenger to be on the small side.
Plenty of storage is available in the center console that doubles as a massive armrest big enough to be a table. This folds up to reveal the center seat underneath for the bench versions, while the bucket seats will have a deeper storage space between them. Other small storage in the center stack, large glove box, pockets in all four doors (for all but regular cabs), and under-seat storage in the back means ample space for whatever you need to stash. The split-back rear seats will fold up against the back of the interior for extra cargo space, large enough for big coolers, dog kennels, or large luggage so you won’t have to leave those items in the bed while you travel.
Engines, Off-Road, and Towing
Buying a used Ram 2500 usually means you plan to use it for heavy-duty work. This type of truck isn’t typically the kind you buy for off-road fun, although it can do that with the height, power, and rear limited-slip differential that comes with many trims. Those, along with the unique rear coil suspension introduced in 2014, make the Ram 2500 a great off-road vehicle for terrain that would be too challenging for most SUVs. The Ram 2500 will capably drive up steep mountainsides, over rocky terrain, and through water that won’t flood the engine.
If you happen to live on a farm or on a back road that gets muddy whenever it rains, the Ram will work well as a vehicle to get you around easily, especially if you weigh down the bed with sandbags or equipment. Some critics will say this is a design flaw, but this is what a truck is made to do: haul things in the bed. An empty bed will mean a truck doesn’t perform as well because the lack of weight will allow the back end to fishtail when roads are slippery, but a good driver will be able to handle this issue. Practice is all that’s required.
In the last several years, the Ram 2500 has come with three engine options. The standard engine that came with most trims from 2010 to 2018 is a 5.7-liter V8 HEMI, which runs on gas and provides 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That translates into plenty of towing power, although the truck configuration and model year will affect the exact tow rating. If you are shopping for a used Ram, locate the specs for that particular configuration to find out how much it actually tows. Either the dealer should know, or you can find it on the Ram website in the form of a PDF that will rate each type of truck. It may also be in the paperwork included in the vehicle’s documents.
The optional 6.4-liter V8 HEMI was introduced for 2014 and provides 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Last is the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel, the real workhorse of the bunch. The first version of this engine appeared back in 2007, but its power ratings have increased several times over the years, and the latest iteration offers 850 lb-ft of torque. If you plan to tow an RV or other large trailer, the diesel engine is going to give you the best performance and fuel economy. If you’ve never driven a diesel before, don’t worry. Modern diesel engines have come a long way and are now just as clean and responsive as gasoline engines.
Experience the Power and Luxury of a Ram
The trim, configuration, and engine will determine the capability of a used Ram 2500, so take the time to ask questions when you head to a dealership. This is a truck you want to test drive to see how you feel behind the wheel, but it will work hard for you if you need a heavy-duty vehicle. Remember, don’t be afraid to give it time and practice if this is your first time driving a big truck. The reward of having a hard-working vehicle that will last you for many, many years is worth taking the time.