Sep
06
2019 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn

2019 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab in Walnut Brown Metallic

2015 Audi Q52019 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4X4 Long Box

Class: Large Pickup Truck

Miles driven: 288

Fuel used: 26.9 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortA
Power and PerformanceA-
Fit and FinishA
Fuel EconomyD
ValueB-
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 GuyB
Tall GuyA
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.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs410-hp 6.4 liter
Engine TypeV8
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive Wheels4WD

Real-world fuel economy: 10.7 mpg

Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: N/A

Fuel type: Mid grade

Base price: $60,750 (not including $1695 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: RV match Walnut Brown Metallic paint ($200), Towing Technology Group ($995), Safety Group ($795), Protection Group ($95), Gooseneck Towing Prep Group ($445), Longhorn Level 1 Equipment Group ($3495), Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover ($695), Power Sunroof ($1095), Auto Level Rear Air Suspension ($1595), Dual Rear Wheels ($1295)

Price as tested: $73,150

 

Quick Hits

The great: Exceptionally spacious, luxuriously trimmed interior; hauling capabilities

The good: Easy-to-use controls; plenty of comfort and convenience features

The not so good: Fuel economy, close-quarters maneuverability

More Ram price and availability information

 

John Biel

Everything has its price.

Take heavy-duty pickup-truck torque, for instance. If you walk into a Ram showroom in search of a 2019-model 3500 with all the grunt they’ve got, get ready to spend $11,795 to secure an even 1000 lb-ft of it via a 400-horsepower “high-output” Cummins turbodiesel inline 6-cylinder engine. Even the “normal” version of this 6.7-liter powerplant—with 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft—will set you back $9100.

2019 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn

Our test vehicle was equipped with a tri-fold tonneau cover ($695) and the Longhorn Level 1 Equipment Group, which includes power-deployable running boards and rear blind-spot/cross-path detection, among other features.

Torque is one of those commodities about which it can be said if you need it, then you need it. Dragging something big up a hill imposes its own rules with little room for compromise. But those stout sixes are options don’t forget. The redesigned 3500’s standard engine is a 6.4-liter gas Hemi V8 rated at 410 horsepower but 429 lb-ft of torque. Consumer Guide tested one with this powerplant, a crew-cab with Laramie Longhorn trim that’s one stop below the top of the line of 4-wheel-drive Ram 3500s.

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Laramie Longhorn Cabin Trim

In Laramie Longhorn form, the Ram 3500’s interior trim and details are better than many luxury-brand vehicles. The jumbo vertically oriented touchscreen is mostly easy to use. Rear-seat space is outstanding, even for tall passengers.

That is a not inconsequential proposition right there, even without inviting a turbodiesel six to take up residence within. With delivery, the starting price of CG’s test truck was $62,445. A stack of 10 options, including a “dually” rear axle, inflated the bottom line to $73,150.

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Laramie Longhorn Cabin Trim

Ram designers went all out–and clearly had some fun–in creating the “old west” trim details of the Laramie Longhorn’s interior. “Weathered” wood-look trim with a “branded” logo, gold-tinted metal trim with filigree decorations, belt-buckle-style badges and a molded barb-wire pattern on the carpeted floor mats, and faux saddlebag-buckle trim on the front-seatback map pockets are the standout special touches. They went all-in on the cowboy theme.

We’re not suggesting that a Hemi-powered 3500 with its 8-speed automatic transmission is any kind of a 98-pound weakling. The test vehicle impressed with its ability to easily reach and maintain pretty brisk cruising speeds on the highway—admittedly without a load—so it ought to have ample power for many types of jobs. The difference is in launching off the line, where the gas engine clearly lacks the degree of “dig down and go” that any large-displacement diesel engine offered in trucks of this type can muster. With the standard V8, the Ram 3500 is rated to carry a payload of 6600 pounds and tow up to 17,130 pounds—which isn’t quite half the towing potential of that 1000-lb-ft monster.

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Ram 3500 6.4L Hemi

The Ram 3500’s standard 6.4-liter Hemi V8 makes 410 horsepower and comes paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Of course, a big truck with a large V8 and two drive axles is not anyone’s idea of a gas-sipper. This driver averaged all of 11.6 mpg after a stint of 173 miles, with lots of free-rolling expressway driving and just 45 percent city-type operation.

The entire Ram line has been redone for 2019, with new ½-ton 1500 models launched in mid 2018 and heftier 2500 and 3500 models catching up more recently. Cab configurations and many trim levels are carried throughout the Ram line, but there are sufficient differences. For one thing, the excellent ride quality of the 1500 trucks isn’t nearly as good in the 3500. Unladen, the long-bed test truck—which was outfitted with the optional automatically leveling rear air suspension—rocked and shuddered over surface cracks and other imperfections. At least it did so fairly quietly with no squeaks, rattles, or clatter, and it rebounded quickly from shocks, snapping back to form and getting itself ready to get going in a straight line again. Plus, this bruiser handled better than you might expect for something so huge that rides so high. There was great control of body lean—but you don’t flick through lane changes without checking (and maybe rechecking) the big external mirrors.

To help the 3500 carry out its expected workhorse role, it comes with standard trailer-sway damping. The test truck was enhanced with a towing option group with a surround-view camera and trailer-reverse guidance, a fifth-wheel/gooseneck prep option for the cargo bed, and the mightier rear axle.

By actually climbing aboard the tested truck, you’d have a harder time imagining it as a work vehicle. The Laramie Longhorn is duded up with plush leather upholstery and generous applications of soft-touch surfaces around the cabin. Front and rear seats are heated, and the front buckets, both of which have 8-way power adjustment, are ventilated, too. The heated steering wheel is wrapped in leather—but only where it’s not shaped from polished wood. Gold-toned trim bits (even on the key fob) give off a “gold package” vibe this reviewer never thought he’d live to see in a heavy-duty truck.

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Ram 3500 6.4L Hemi

Selecting the $1295 dually package replaces the Ram 3500’s 18-inch wheels with 17-inch wheels, which look almost small in the cavernous wheel wells.

The stack of conveniences is deep too. There’s a remote release for the dampened tailgate. A Longhorn-specific option group inserted a 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and 12-inch infotainment display screen in place of the standard 9-speaker Alpine audio and 8.4-inch screen. Navigation; Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity satellite radio and traffic services; dual-zone climate control; memory functions for the driver’s seat, mirrors, and pedals; and keyless entry and starting are included in the base price. A power sunroof, power retractable running boards, wireless charging pad, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts were among the extras added to the test truck.

The length of the Ram crew cab was extended by four inches for ’19, which leaves more legroom than any average-size passenger—and most above-average ones—will need. Three adults will fit across the rear seat with room to spare. Headroom is similarly generous. Doors open wide, so entry and exit are never a problem, but only because the running boards are there to mitigate the high step-in.

The cabin abounds with storage. There are two glove boxes, a covered bin atop the dash, bilevel door pockets (with bottle holders in the long lower ones), and “saddlebag”-look pouches on the backs of the front seats. The broad console has a shallow covered space under the padded armrest, but beneath this sits a vast open bin with a sliding panel that holds twin cup holders. Narrow pockets are cut into the sides of the console. A flat floor under the rear seat presents generous in-cab storage when the cushions are flipped up. Rear passengers can use the two cup holders in the pull-down center armrest, the two cut into the back of the console, or the pair at floor level ahead of the center seating position.

From the inside, the Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn disguises its work-truck aspect. Outside, there’s nowhere to hide.

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Ram 3500 6.4L Hemi

It’s gigantic on the outside and gigantic on the inside, and much more luxurious than you might expect a heavy-duty dually to be. As expected, it’s not cheap to buy or cheap to run, but the Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn can tow and haul while coddling its occupants in the lap of luxury.

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2019 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn