For decades, the Ram was Dodge's iconic full-size pickup. Starting for 2011, however, parent company Chrysler decided to make the Ram name an actual brand. So, yes, this truck's name is now just Ram, with 3500 added on to specify its status as a heavy-duty truck. The Ram 3500 ranks as the most robust truck in the lineup, with more hauling capabilities than the 2500 and standard full-size 1500.
Current Ram 3500
This Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup is available in three cab styles: regular, Crew Cab (with four forward-opening doors) and Mega Cab (jumbo crew cab). The regular cabs come with a long bed only, while the Crew Cabs have either a short or long cargo bed. The Mega Cab rides on the same wheelbase as the Crew Cab long bed but is paired to an even bigger cabin with the short bed. Main trim levels range from base ST to midgrade SLT and luxurious Laramie. With the exception of Crew Cab short beds, all Ram 3500s have a dual-rear-wheel axle.
Rear-wheel or four-wheel drive are available. A 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline-6 is standard and cranks out 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual with an option for a six-speed automatic. With the automatic, the diesel engine's torque output rises to 800 lb-ft. The Cummins also comes with a big-rig-like exhaust brake that provides additional stability and braking power when towing.
We found this Ram 3500 to be quite pleasant to drive and enjoy its nicely crafted interior that boasts numerous available luxuries. Opt for the manual transmission and the penalty in torque delivery puts the Ram 3500 at a distinct disadvantage over other heavy-duty trucks. For that reason, we suggest the automatic transmission, which meets or beats competing Ford and GM trucks in power output.
Past Ram 3500 Models
The new Ram 3500 name came into being for 2011. In reality, though, it's just the next model year of what was formerly the fourth-generation Dodge Ram 3500. Revisions since the name change are few, with the most significant being a boost in diesel torque to 800 lb-ft for the automatic that occurred halfway through the 2011 model year. Navigation was included as a standard feature for Laramie and Longhorn trims for the 2012 model year.
For more information on the Dodge version and its previous generations, please read our Dodge Ram 3500 review.