I’ve never opened a review by mentioning parking, but it demands to be addressed in the first paragraph. After more than 15 years of reviewing cars, the RAM 3500 is the first one where I had to plan where I would park the vehicle before I even left the house.
There you go. Now you have an idea of just how big this truck is.
It’s not like the heavy-duty truck category is crowded - there are only a handful for you to choose from - but it is intensely competitive. All it takes is a tweak here and a shift there for one manufacturer to suddenly crow that they’re the best haulin’/hardest workin’ man's-man-of-a-truck in the history of pickin’-em-up.
You can find the 3500 with a 6.4-liter V8, but for a few days I tooled around town - and down a few dirt roads - in the mac-daddy of RAMs: the Cummins turbo diesel Laramie crew cab, with its four doors, mind-boggling torque numbers, and Panzer tank demeanor.
Okay, so I’m maybe overdoing the “this thing is huge” aspect, but keep in mind that only a few weeks earlier I was testing a VW Beetle - which could literally fit in the cab of the RAM.
But enough about that; how was the ride?
Actually quite good, including the miles that I put in around town. You’d think something that can tow 30,000 pounds would bounce you all over the road, but the 3500 does a nice job of providing a comfortable, smooth ride. Sure, your basic three-point turn might become a five-point turn, but you’re doing it in style.
I liked the interior layout, too. You’ll find very good quality in the materials and the design (fancy stitching, anyone?), and the interface with its tech components is intuitive and user-friendly.
The EPA doesn’t require fuel ratings for heavy-duty trucks, so you won’t find the numbers plastered on the side window at the lot. People in the know (or so they would appear to be) have guestimated that the RAM does 12-15 in the city, and maybe a smidge better on the highway.
And the price? The 3500 crew cab that I tested is base-priced close to $54k; with options, it was just a hair under 70 thousand. Yeah, I hear you whistling, but I think this truck would survive a nuclear attack.
If this kind of vehicle is what you need, essentially you’re choosing between one Ford, one Chevy, and the RAM. The 3500 holds its own quite well in that battle, and is worthy of your attention (and test drive).
Just resign yourself to the fact that you won’t be cruising through the drive-thru at Starbucks, okay? Look at the bright side: by parking on the far side of the lot you’ll be getting some exercise.
Reviewed by Dom Testa
Vehicle provided by the manufacturer