Dodge, like Ford, is known for its trio of heavy-duty trucks. Each larger than the last, they’re capable of standing on their own but unstoppable when joined together. Though we discuss the Ram 1500 in a separate article, we’d like to compare and contrast its older brothers — the 2500 and 3500 — in this quick guide to the Dodge family.
Each section below will be split between what’s offered for the 2019 Dodge Ram 2500 and its 2019 Ram 3500 counterpart. While trim levels and engine options may not differ much, we’d be lying if we said the two models are twins. Deciding between the two, however, can be quite a challenge for some. Let’s take a closer look at what each has to offer.
In terms of powertrain options, the Ram 2500 and 3500 share a base gasoline 6.4-liter V8 engine capable of 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic, it’s the only gasoline engine available on either model.
If you’re looking for a diesel-powered 2500 or 3500, look no further than the 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-six engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Ram 2500 models will only achieve 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque, while the Ram 3500s enjoy the high-output version with 400 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque.
At the time of writing, the fuel efficiency ratings for either truck haven’t been released.
According to Consumer Reports, the Ram 2500’s payload capacity at just over 4,000 pounds, with an overall towing capacity of nearly 20,000 pounds. The 2019 Ram 3500 is capable of towing just over 35,000 pounds. Both trucks are available as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.
Though the 2019 Ram 2500 and the 2019 Ram 3500 color schemes have not yet been released, we’re guessing they’ll be similar to the paint options for the 2019 Ram 1500, which are as follows:
- Ivory Tricoat
- Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat
- Billet Silver Metallic Clear-Coat
- Bright White Clear-Coat
- Rugged Brown Pearl-Coat
- Black Forest Green Pearl-Coat
- Patriot Blue Pearl-Coat
- Delmonico Red Pearl-Coat
- Flame Red Clear-Coat
- Maximum Steel Metallic Clear-Coat
- Blue Streak Pearl-Coat
- Granite Crystal Metallic Clear-Coat
Entertainment and Safety Features
Though neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has rated the 2019 Ram 2500 or 3500, there are several safety features available on both models — some standard while others are optional. Available safety features include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and rear parking sensors. There is also an optional 360-degree camera system for a bird’s-eye view of the entire truck.
As far as trim levels go, we expect the same lineup as the 2019 Ram 1500. The base model, known as the Tradesman, is the perfect work truck. With sparse interior appointments and a carpet-less cab, this model is all work and no play. For a bit more pizzazz, choose the Big Horn — or Lone Star, as it is known in Texas. It’s what we would consider to be the base model for those looking to use for work. Power Wagon models are back for 2019 and feature “a unique suspension, factory lift kit, locking front and rear differentials, and a 12,000-pound winch.”
The top trim levels include the Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and the Limited. Buyers will enjoy the Frequency Responsive Damping that provides these Rams with such good ride quality, featuring Normal, Trailering, and Bed Lowering modes. Infotainment perks aren’t lacking here either, between a 12-inch touchscreen and a “750-watt Harman Kardon audio system with 17 speakers.” Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on all 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 models. So, sit back and recline those rear seats — yes, we said rear — as you tow ahead in style.
Speaking of towing: the 2019 Ram 2500 is capable of filtering up to 18 wheels’ tire pressure monitoring systems. This means your truck can have up to six wheels monitored and 12 wheels with a trailer. It just won’t change any of them for you in the event of a flat or blow-out.
How the 2019 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Compare
It’s pretty easy to see the differences between the Ram 2500 and 3500. While they share similar engines, it’s clear the Ram 3500 is the more capable when it comes to towing. At the same time, the Ram 2500 might be a good middle option for those who aren’t serious about payloads but want a bit more than is offered in the Ram 1500. With the Ram 2500, you get the towing capacity but not the requirement for two parking spots wherever you travel.
Compared to the spectrum of trucks out there, however, Dodge really competes head-to-head with Ford. The F-Series lineup is numbered similarly, with the F-150/Raptor challenging the Ram 1500 and the F-250 and F-350 sparring against the Ram 2500 and 3500. Chevrolet throws itself into the ring with the Silverado 1500, 2500, and 3500, not to be confused with the GMC Sierra 1500, 2500, and 3500.
Ford has certainly stepped up its game in terms of interior accouterments, but it’s GMC that really brings Cadillac quality to the heavy-duty ring. The Denali trim offered on the Sierra models brings the creature comforts of typical Cadillac sedans to the 4×4 platform. Chevy does a good job on their interiors as well, but their value lies somewhere between utility and style.
The only other similar trucks on the road besides these four giants are the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra. The Titan’s Cummins turbodiesel engine makes it a strong contender, considering Dodge had historically been the only brand to offer such a powertrain. However, both the Titan and the Tundra straddle the gray area between models like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins and the Ram 2500/3500 duo. They’re not quite full-size powerhouses, but they’re certainly no slouches either.
- Gasoline and diesel engines available
- Enormous towing/torque capabilities
- Affordable and capable
- Variety of trim options to choose from
- Some safety features not standard
- Options can add to base price quickly
- Ram Rebel is not available as 2500 or 3500
Choosing between the 2019 Ram 2500 and the 3500 really boils down to picking large or extra-large. Would you like torque with that, or do you want to upgrade for a few more thousand? Either model you choose, Dodge has the Ram for you. We suggest you test drive each of the Ram threesome and decide which best fits your needs and lifestyle. After all, we don’t want you regretting your decision, wishing you had just that much more truck for your buck.