The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty models boast some of the highest tow ratings among pickups. Ram HDs offer five engine power ratings and a range of interiors from commercial-friendly to luxury.
The three-quarter ton Ram 2500 series receives the bulk of the changes for the 2014 model year. The 2014 Ram 2500 gets a new front suspension and a unique rear suspension. Ram 2500 offers rear air suspension while Ram 3500 offers rear air assist. Also new for 2014, a second Hemi gasoline V8 joins the lineup. Fleet and plow operators will appreciate the expansion of gasoline-power availability. The current-generation Ram Heavy Duty pickups began with the 2003 model year. 2010 brought revised styling and more refinement throughout. For 2013, headlamps and tail lamps were updated, chrome and power folding mirrors were added.
Maximum towing for the 2014 Ram 2500 is nearly 18,000 pounds and for the 2014 Ram 3500 it is 30,000 pounds; top payload approaches 4000 pounds for a Ram 2500 and is 7320 pounds on Ram 3500. Like all full-size pickup trucks, the maximum tow rating and maximum load rating apply to different trucks and not simultaneously. While Ram’s payload numbers are fully competitive, the 3500’s towing ability is literally tons better than the challengers. (Most HD pickups pulling a trailer rated for anything near their maximum load capacity may require some sort of driver’s license beyond the norm or an endorsement.)
Chrysler’s 383-hp Hemi 5.7-liter V8 with 6-speed automatic is the standard setup; a CNG version has limited availability. The new 6.4-liter 410-hp Hemi is designed for regular unleaded fuel and has cylinder deactivation for lower light-load fuel consumption. Most models offer at least two powertrain choices, though Longhorns are automatic only and Power Wagons are gas engine only.
The 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel comes in three variants: 350-hp, 660 lb-ft with 6-speed manual; 370 hp, 800 lb-ft with 6-speed automatic; 385-hp, 850 lb-ft with 6-speed automatic on the MaxTow package.
Ram HD rides well and cruises quietly by heavy-duty pickup standards but you can’t compare the ride to a car, nor noise from six tires, lots of airflow and trailer hardware. We found the rear-air suspended Ram 2500 rode quite comfortably empty or towing, while four-door Ram 3500s towed comfortably into the 28,000-pound range. As with most full-size pickups, four-door cabs’ better body mounts and a longer wheelbase help ride quality and isolation.
Equipment levels vary from the Ram Tradesman’s rubber-vinyl coverings and crank windows to Ram Laramie’s heated steering wheel and rear seats, heated/ventilated front seats, driver memory system, configurable instrument cluster and text-to-voice infotainment systems. All cabs are roomy but the Ram MegaCab offers more cabin lounging space than any HD pickup.
(The 2014 Ram Power Wagon will be a late introduction. Expect the new suspension design to be taller than a standard 2014 but just as flexible as the previous Power Wagon. We’re expecting gas-engine only.)
Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models compete with Ford Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and GMC Sierra HD pickups. Ram HD shares many interior elements and styling cues with Ram 1500 models, though they are not identical.
Ram HDs remain a compelling choice for anyone in need of a heavy-duty pickup truck. Ram Heavy Duty models are an excellent choice for anyone pulling big travel trailers, multi-car race trailers, big boats or a stable of horses. They are a good choice for anyone who has work to do, be it hauling construction tools and materials or substituting for a medium-duty when a primary business rig is on downtime.