When it comes to towing and hauling, nothing can take on more work than a full-size, heavy-duty pickup truck. Armed with stiffened suspensions, rugged frames and the most powerful engines available, these trucks are the preferred choice for commercial users and those with big jobs to undertake.
Only three automakers offer heavies, and the 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 serve as DaimlerChrysler's offerings. The difference between the two mostly relates to capacity -- the 3500 can take on a heavier payload thanks to its stiffer suspension and optional dual-wheel rear axle. The beefier 3500 might seem like the obvious bigger-is-better choice, but unless you need max capacity, the 2500's more friendly ride quality when unloaded might be beneficial.
The current Ram 2500 design has been around since 2003. A significant powertrain upgrade occurs this year. A 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline six-cylinder engine (late availability) replaces the previous 5.9-liter Cummins. It produces 350 hp at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. Dodge says it's quieter and less polluting than the 5.9 and available with an industry-first exhaust brake. For reference, the 5.9, which will likely be found on some early-build 2007 2500s, makes 325 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque. The new 6.7 Cummins will come with an all-new six-speed automatic that replaces the previous four-speed automatic.
As you would expect, two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive configurations are offered. The 4WD system is manually or electronically controlled, depending on trim level. Four-wheel-drive trucks have a solid front axle, while two-wheel-drive Rams get an independent front suspension. Additionally, the 2WD trucks have a rack-and-pinion steering system, while 4WD trucks utilize a recirculating-ball setup.
For potential buyers wanting an off-road-capable truck, Dodge offers a specialized model called the Power Wagon. This truck comes with electric driver-controlled locking front and rear differentials, an electronic disconnecting front antiroll bar, 33-inch tires, a 12,000-pound winch, a 2.5-inch taller stance and unique suspension tuning. In terms of getting a factory-prepped full-size pickup for off-roading, it doesn't get any better than this.
The 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 is certainly worth consideration. Its distinctive styling should be a bonus for many people, as should the availability of the Mega Cab model and its impressively roomy rear seat. Potential drawbacks are few, but some might take issue with bed capacity. The standard bed is a bit shorter than typical, and the Mega Cab's truncated bed could potentially limit some fifth-wheel trailering applications.
The 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 is a heavy-duty pickup truck available in three cab styles: regular, Quad Cab (crew cab) and Mega (really big crew cab). The regular cabs come with a long bed only, while the Quad Cab has either a short or long cargo bed. The Mega Cab rides on the same wheelbase as the Quad Cab long bed but pairs an even bigger cabin with the short bed. The regular cab and Quad Cab come in ST, SLT or Laramie trim; the Mega Cab is SLT or Laramie only.
The Ram ST is pretty bare-bones, offering 17-inch wheels, vinyl seating, air-conditioning and a CD player. Go with the SLT for alloy wheels, cruise control, cloth seating, keyless entry and powered accessories. The luxurious Laramie comes with standard upgrades like dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a power driver seat, a six-CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Many other features, such as a rear-seat entertainment system for crew cabs, are optional. For 4x4 regular cabs and Quad Cabs, Dodge also offers the Power Wagon trim. This Ram is highly specialized for off-road duty thanks to its raised suspension, front and rear differential locks, an electronically disengaging front stabilizer bar, 33-inch tires, a 12,000-pound winch and full skid plates.
The Ram's interior is notable for the above-average quality of its interior materials, simple control layout and solid collection of up-to-date features like navigation and Bluetooth cell phone connectivity. If backseat passenger room is a priority for you, just buy the Mega Cab and be done with it. There's not only more than enough room to stretch out, there's room left over for extra storage behind the rear seats. It's that big. And when you fold the seats flat it looks more like a spare bedroom than the cab of a pickup truck.
The Ram 2500 is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8 engine. It makes 345 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. For the V8, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. The latter comes standard with the Laramie trim, and is the only option with Mega Cabs. For additional power, Dodge offers an optional diesel-fueled engine. The previously available 325-hp 5.9-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine will be installed on some early-build 2007 Rams, but the smarter choice is to wait until the new 6.7-liter diesel becomes available. This updated engine makes more power (350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque) and runs quieter and cleaner. Paired to it is an all-new, six-speed automatic transmission. For the 6.7, Dodge will also offer an exhaust brake. An unusual feature for a from-the-factory pickup, an exhaust brake can be used to provide additional stability and braking power when towing very heavy loads.
Although it's built to take on the most demanding tasks, the 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 is still a surprisingly comfortable truck for daily use. Its steering is light and its turning radius is smaller than that of other heavy-duty pickup trucks. Ride quality is also respectably supple and is nearly as comfortable as most half-tons. The V8 is a competent all-around engine, but for serious towing and hauling, the new 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel is essential.
Antilock disc brakes are standard on the heavy-duty Ram 2500, and side curtain airbags are optional. Optional on the SLT and standard on the Laramie are power-adjustable pedals. No crash tests have been performed on the Ram 2500, but in NHTSA crash tests, the lighter Ram 1500 earned five out of five stars for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. Frontal-offset collision testing performed by the IIHS similarly resulted in a top rating of "Good."
An upgraded diesel-fueled engine is expected to debut at the beginning of calendar-year 2007. Replacing the previous 5.9-liter engine, the new 6.7-liter turbodiesel delivers 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. It comes paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission and an optional exhaust brake.