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Making the Grade in the 2016 Ram 2500

Long-time Ram fans, and those new to the horned element, have been presented with a unique opportunity by the brand this year. The 2016 Ram 2500 features an exclusive attribute, one that sets this ride apart from the rest of the full-size, heavy-duty pickup truck segment. Thanks to the inclusion of a coil spring suspension, rather than the leaf springs we’ve all come to expect, not to mention its pristine interior, the Ram 2500 earned an A from industry authority and trusted automotive resource, Edmunds. What’s so special about a coil spring suspension? Do pickup truck drivers even care about a luxury when it comes to the cabin? Allow us to tackle both those questions in the true-Ram spirit: head on.

It’s What’s Inside that Counts

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With respect to the coil spring suspension, you can expect to enjoy a more secure and comfortable, regardless of how much or how little you’re towing behind you. Maximum towing capacity equals 17, 980 pounds and the 2500 is capable of hauling an extra 3,990 pounds in the truck bed, but more on that later…

We’ve all heard the value of inner beauty, of not judging a book by its cover, a person by his or her looks, a truck by its exterior. The interior of the this year’s Ram 2500 proves that real beauty is found within. Consider the attention to metallic accents, detailed stitching, high-quality, soft-touch features and extra padded seats. No wonder this pickup was awarded “best-in-class” for its interior. And while full-size pickups are often chosen for their ample storage and roomy seats, those wishing for a little extra, relative to reclining seats and more legroom, will want to check out the MegaCab option. Regardless, all 2500 cabins are loaded with easily accessible controls, and the available 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen makes infotainment and safety simple to manage and fun to operate. Broadcasting the view from the rearview camera, the touchscreen is also supported by cargo camera displays and additional screens located in the rearview mirror. Visibility, in other words, is unlike any yet experienced in a Ram, or any other pickup truck for that matter.

Muscle-Bound Beauty

How much muscle? Well, that’s up to you.

The 2016 Ram 2500 offers a trio of engine options, paired with manual or automatic transmissions. First up, the 5.7-liter V8 is the engine that comes standard on the majority of 2500 models. Generating 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, this engine is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain features its own option – a modification that is fed by compressed natural gas (CNG), which yields the exact same performance figures its traditional, gas-powered sibling.

Alternative engines include the 6.4-liter V8, rated at 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, operated by a six-speed automatic transmission. Or, you can flex additional muscle fibers, thanks to the available turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel-fueled inline six-cylinder engine, backed by 350 horses and 660 pound-feet of torque when partnered with the optional six-speed manual transmission. Choosing the six-speed automatic transmission returns 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque.

Performance testing done by Edmunds, returned the following: the 6.4-liter V8, equipping a 4WD Ram 2500 crew cab, made the zero to sixty mph dash in 8.4 seconds, while the turbodiesel option pulled up the rear at 8.7 seconds.
Towing capability is of course, dependent on powertrain configurations, rear axle ratios, and body styles, with the numbers looking a little something like this:

Ram 2500 with standard 5.7-liter V8 – maximum towing: 13,890 pounds
Ram 2500 with CNG V8 – maximum towing: 12,520 pounds
Ram 2500 with 6.4-liter V8 – maximum towing: 16,890 pounds (manual); 17,980 pounds (automatic and diesel)

Trim Levels Galore!

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Even the pickiest pickup driver will have a hard time narrowing down a decision when it comes to the available cab styles and trim level options. Starting with the trio of cabs – the two-door regular cab, four-door crew cab, or the “Mega Cab,” a four-door jumbo crew cab, as the name implies, drivers then have to isolate which of the trims suits them best. Not to mention truck bed sizes: 8-foot the exclusive option for the regular cab, with the crew cab available with either the 8-foot or 6-foot, 4-inch option.

There are seven – that’s right, seven – trims available on the standard Ram 2500, and include the Tradesman and SLT (all three cabs), and the Big Horn/Lone Star (for drivers located in Texas), Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Laramie Limited (which comes with crew of Mega Cab body styles). The optional Power Wagon – exclusively offered as a crew cab with short bed, is optional as Tradesman or Laramie.

A visit to your local Ram dealer will provide you with the opportunity to explore all of these variants; however, just to give you both a starting point and a comparative example, here is what you should know about the entry level Tradesman and the high-end Laramie Limited.

As the standard fare in the Ram 2500 lineup, the Tradesman is predictably basic; however, depending on your work load and pickup truck purposes, it might be just enough. Features include: vinyl upholstery and flooring, however, you can opt for a cloth bench seat at no additional charge, or for real touch work sites, you might consider outfitting your 2500’s interior with the available heavy-duty “Work Grade” vinyl material. Expect power heated mirrors, power locks and windows as standard details on crew-cabs, but are manually operated and without heat in the regular cabs. Other features include automatic headlights, a tilt-only steering wheel, 40/20/40-split bench seat up front, lockable tailgate, black grille and matching black bumpers, all ready for action at op 17-inch steel wheels.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve got the Laramie Limited, which is a culmination of amenities you need and those you just plain want from the entire Ram 2500 line. Unique to the Laramie Limited, however, is its 20-inch wheels, automatic windshield wipers, complemented by automatic high beam headlights, color-keyed bumpers, monotone paint across the entire exterior, keyless entry and ignition, top-quality black leather throughout the interior, and Ram’s own RamBox cargo management system, which affords you extra storage spaces, along with cargo tie-downs and adjustable divider for the truck bed.

From standard to high-end, there are five trims in between, and let’s not forget the Power Wagon for off-roading excursions. Keep in mind, too, that plenty of upper trim features are available as options on the entry-level trims as well. Pricing for the 2016 Ram 2500 starts at the MSRP of $ 31,780. It’s hard to imagine a more affordable and versatile find. Take one for a test drive at your local Ram dealer and see why this model year is such a celebrated competitor in the pickup truck segment.

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