2019 Ram 2500 Limited Mega Cab 4X4
Class: Large Pickup Truck
Miles driven: 368
Fuel used: 22.5 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 16.4 mpg
Driving mix: 30% city, 70% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||A-|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||380-hp 6.7-liter|
|Engine Type||6-cylinder turbodiesel|
EPA-estimated fuel economy: NA
Fuel type: Diesel
Base price: $65,700 (not including $1695 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Maximum Steel Metallic paint ($200), 5th-Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group ($445), Limited Level 1 Equipment Group ($2995), Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover ($695), Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle ($445), 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine ($9100), Power Sunroof ($1095), Clearance Lamps ($95), Center High-Mount Stop Lamp w/Cargo View Camera ($345), Auto Level Rear Air Suspension ($1595), Ram Box Delete (-$490)
Price as tested: $83,915
The great: Cavernous, impeccably finished interior; heavy-hauling capability
The good: Better-than-expected fuel economy for a heavy-duty pickup
The not so good: Steep price for diesel engine helps push bottom line past $80K
It seems that an automotive reviewer could drive different Ram pickups from now until the cows come home and still not have sampled them all. A stacked deck of weight classes, engines, drivelines, trim levels, and cab configurations sees to that.
Consumer Guide’s march through the expansive field of all-new 2019 Rams pressed on with a stint in a 2500 motivated by the lower-powered of two 6.7-liter 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine options atop a 4-wheel driveline, and sporting the extended-length 4-door Mega Cab with outright-luxurious Limited trim. It was a big truck but a thin slice of the current Ram pie.
The test model’s engine was one of the inline Cummins diesels long revered by Dodge—and now Ram—truck owners. The turbocharged powerplant made some headlines this year by being first in the full-size-pickup market to the 1000-lb-ft torque milestone. That 400-horsepower job wasn’t in our tester, though; it’s a goody left for Ram 3500 buyers to consider. The 2500 is restricted to a 380-horse/850-lb-ft version as a $9100 upgrade over the standard 6.4-liter gasoline V8, and it comes with a column-shifter 6-speed automatic transmission in place of the Hemi V8’s dial-twister 8-speed autobox.
What the diesel lacks in trigger-quick launch—that turbo has to spool up—it recoups in strength to get the roughly 7500-pound truck and whatever it might be carrying or towing on the move in an orderly fashion. (Payload capacity for the model tested is 3240 pounds and towing capacity is 18,900 pounds.) What may surprise is how capable of keeping up with pretty speedy expressway traffic a Cummins-powered Ram 2500 can be when not loaded down with anything. Plus, the engine is quieter on startup and during acceleration than you might expect from a big diesel six. Over the full term of CG’s test, the truck averaged 16.3 mpg, but one editor whose driving included a slight majority of highway miles saw almost 18 mpg.
The 2500’s ride is not up to the legend that Ram is carving out in this respect, particularly in the 1500 models. Rolling on 20-inch wheels with on-/off-road tires, the unladen tester felt a little “busy” at highway speeds, and potholes and cracks didn’t need to be especially bad to jolt and jostle the truck right through to the cabin. CG’s truck had the optional automatic load-leveling rear air suspension, which we suspect does more for a 2500 with something more to do than take a Sunday drive.
The 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups are available with the Mega Cab 4-door body that adds three inches of rear legroom and a bunch more rear storage space than even the capacious Crew Cab has. A flat floor beneath the rear seat creates lots of in-cab storage when the cushions are flipped up. Rear roof pillars are thicker than on other cab bodies, so drivers will find over-the-shoulder vision more obstructed. The 2500 with Mega Cab comes only with a 6-foot-4-inch cargo bed.
The tested truck had a starting price (with delivery) of $67,395, but the jackpot wheels didn’t stop spinning until they showed $83,915. After the Cummins engine option, the next-costliest add-on was the $2995 Limited Level 1 Group with a 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, Uconnect infotainment upgrade to a tablet-like 12-inch display screen, adaptive cruise control, full-speed forward collision warning, surround-view camera, and Sirius XM 360L radio that adds streaming features to its satellite-radio capability. As a Limited, standard equipment includes things like comfortable seats covered in leather that are both heated and cooled in front and heated in back; heated wood-and-leather steering wheel; dual-zone climate control; Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility; navigation; memory functions for the driver’s seat, mirrors, and pedals; keyless entry; power sliding rear window; handy power-retractable running boards; and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitors.
Come to think of it, with one of these ox-strong Cummins-powered Ram Heavy Duty pickups, you don’t have to wait for the cows to come home—you can tow them there yourself.