By KBB.com Editors
In the world of heavy-duty pickups, the 2012 Ram 2500/3500 HD reigns supreme. Powered by a monstrous 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine, the 2012 Ram HD pickup outguns the Chevy Silverado HD Duramax in torque, and equals that of the Ford PowerStroke. With 350 horsepower and an astounding 800 lb-ft of torque and a tow rating up to 22,750 pounds, there isn't much a Ram HD truck can't move. Those not requiring such Herculean power can opt to go with the Ram HD's standard gasoline Hemi V8, which makes an equally impressive 383 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. With stats like these, plus pricing and trim levels on par with its principle competition, the 2012 Ram 2500/3500 HD pickup should continue to help pull more of the lucrative truck market back into the Ram fold.
If you need to pull 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 pounds behind you, the PeterBilt-like towing power of the 2012 Ram HD pickup should do the trick.
Dollar-for-dollar, the Ram is every bit the equal of its Ford and Chevy counterparts. About the only reason we can think of not to go with the Ram would be due to a personal preference for one brand over another.
The 2012 Ram HD pickup gains a new 6-speed automatic transmission on Hemi powered trucks, plus a new longer RamBox cargo organizer to fit 6-foot 4-inch beds. The Ram Power Wagon model range is expanded to include ST and Laramie trims.
Driving Impressions In between delighting at the 2012 Ram Power Wagon pickup truck's seemingly limitless ability to pull big things, and pushing it over tough off-road regiments, we decided to see how...the Ram HD would stack up against the competition. In a back-to-back comparison with the Chevy Silverado HD pickup, most of our testers concluded that the 2012 Ram Power Wagon is more visually appealing than the Chevy. We were also quite amazed at how much better the 2012 Ram HD pickup performed in everyday driving, especially in the areas of ride comfort, refinement and interior noise levels. Though it lacks the softer coil-spring suspension found on the Ram 1500 pickups, the HD truck's carefully-tuned leaf springs, coupled with fluid-filled hydro mounts beneath the cab, help keep harsh vibrations from entering the cab.
If bouncing around the farm in your Daddy's 1972 Dodge pickup formed your opinion about how trucks should behave, you owe it to yourself to experience the smooth, comfortable ride afforded by the 2012 Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks.
The 2012 Ram Power Wagon is an off-road beast. It's a Hemi-powered 2500 Crew Cab with electric-locking front and rear differentials, electronic-disconnecting sway bar, Bilstein shocks, 32-inch tires, skid plates, 4.56 axle ratio for hill climbing and a 12,000-pound winch.
Inside the 2012 Ram Heavy Duty pickups is a very un-workman-like interior. Even base trims feel a bit upscale, and upscale trims feel downright plush. Along with its roomy cab, comfortable seats and loads of storage bins and power outlets, the 2012 Ram Heavy Duty pickup offers an amazing array of available features, including heating elements for the steering wheel and rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable foot pedals – the list goes on and on. A massive center console is long and deep enough to swallow a larger laptop or multiple tablets; it can even hold a set of hanging files. Reclining rear seats are one of the perks to be had with the Mega Cab, while Crew Cab owners enjoy convenient under-floor storage compartments.
Available in Regular, Crew and Mega Cab styles, there is a 2012 Ram Heavy Duty pickup to fit just about any need. Bed lengths vary between 6-feet, 4-inches and 8 feet, depending on cab style, while the rear-axle configuration can be had with choice of the standard 2-wheel or heavy duty 4-wheel dually setup. Visually separating the Ram 2500/3500 HD trucks from the basic Ram 1500 truck is a larger grille (needed to get more air to the Cummins diesel), a taller hood with stamped louvers, and large chrome or black bumpers.
Standard feature highlights on a base-priced 2012 Ram Heavy Duty ST include air conditioning, tilt steering, six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, plus front and side-curtain airbags. More basic features include manual windows/locks/mirrors, vinyl seats and black vinyl flooring.
The 2012 Ram HD is as tech-savvy as it is tough, with an options list that includes navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Sirius Backseat TV (offering Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network) , USB music connectivity, 30-gigabyte hard drive, 10-speaker Surround Sound, backup sensors and a backup camera (for easier trailer hook-ups). The 2012 Ram HD also offers an integrated trailer-brake as standard equipment on SLT, Outdoorsman, Laramie and Power Wagon.
About 90 percent of Ram HD buyers choose the Cummins Turbo Diesel, which is standard on the 3500, is offered with a choice of 6-speed automatic or manual transmissions and includes the segment's only standard exhaust brake (we didn't get to properly evaluate the braking and stability advantages of the exhaust brake, but it sounded great). The new High-Output Cummins Turbo Diesel does not require diesel exhaust fluid and, although horsepower remains unchanged, delivers up to 40 more horsepower at cruising speeds than the previous Cummins engine. The lineup also includes two 4x4 transfer cases (a manual unit standard on 4X4 ST and Power Wagon, an electric unit on all others) and four available axle ratios: 3.42, 3.73, 4.10 or 4.56. For those who prefer a gasoline engine, Ram offers the 5.7-liter Hemi backed by a new 6-speed automatic transmission.
5.7-liter Hemi V8
383 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
400 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel
350 horsepower @ 3,000 rpm
800 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
650 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm (manual)
The 2012 Ram HD starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) beginning around $29,000 and climbs all the way to around $60,000 when fully loaded. As the Ram HD trucks are a hot commodity, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to get an idea of what others in your area paid for their trucks. As for resale, the Ram 2500 trucks hold slightly lower values than their Ford and Chevrolet counterparts, but the 3500 models are more than capable of holding their own against similarly-equipped F-350 and Silverado 3500 models.
By BobMac (NY) on Monday, November 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Plenty of power, styling, great deal"
Cons: "Rough ride on washboard dirt roads"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've owned primarily Ford trucks in the past, (gas). Looked at all the models this time for my first Diesel, and chose the RAM Cummins, (not sure why Ford changes their Diesel engines every 2-3 years...That scared me. Chevy just didn't cut it with the interior). I've had this truck for about 3 weeks now, and the only concern that I have is being able to keep rear tires on the truck. It's heavy overall, and light in the rear. The rear tires spin easily when pulling out into traffic, but the Stabilization Control makes certain you remain in control and put the power where it needs to be. The second day I had it, I was towing a 1.5ton trailer. Never knew it was back there. The rear tires broke free during shifts when I put the pedal to the floor. Tire rubber coated the inside of the rear wheel wells. If you take it easy, she does just fine... The exhaust brake works very well when pulling, or loaded. NOTE: DO NOT USE THE EXHAUST BRAKE WHEN THE ROADS ARE SLIPPERY, it can cause the rear-end to loose traction, especially when hauling. The fit and finish are superb. I have the 2013 2500 Laramie w/8.4an. Lots of features. The sound system is incredible. That paired with the SUPER quiet interior, and you can listen to crisp, clear music at a low volume, (nice). The seats are comfortable, but the ride itself is stiff. I have the optional Plow Ready Package, and without the plow on, it can be jar your teeth traveling slow on washboard dirt roads. Never had any complaint on the highway, though. The rear seat configuration is great. Plenty of room for 3 large people. When you lift the seats to place items instead of people, I think Chevy did a better job. Chevy gives you more room for rear Storage than RAM. Don't get me wrong, RAM has plenty of storage back there. RAM has the Fold Flat panels you have to unfold after you lift the seats due to under seat storage compartments. Chevy's seats are of a Cantilever design, so, fold the seats up and you have level floor all across the back. After working with my dealer, I was able to get this monster for $45,000. That's a FREE Diesel upgrade, and then some! Way less than Chevy or Ford were willing for the same trim level. Overall, VERY nice truck. I'm happy- :D"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Sailor (FL) on Thursday, August 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We have the 2011 Dodge Ram Laramie. Owned 3 others just great trucks. Each time we have upgraded. Love them and no issues."
By dumpbucket (IL) on Saturday, July 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "real horse to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"the cummins is the only good diesel on the market you don't have to change computer for horse power have it already has it the 6 speed auto is great. i pull loades grossing 41000lb with a gooseneck trailer behind a 2500 ram and the rest of the truck is just as good. jim"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Delta (MD) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks good"
Cons: "Ram Customer Service the WORST"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My map light does not work, I have contacted dealer & customer service numerous times and was told they were looking into it. After 2 & half months Ram Cust Service said they have NO parts for repairs and don't know when part replacement will be available. Not that a map light is so important, but really they don't have a map light for a $61,000 truck and won't pull a part from the factory build line. I'm glad it's not a starter or gear shift or a radio knob broken they may not have those parts either. In addition to this the electronics have shut off a couple of times and you have to re-start to get them working. All in all (so far) I like the truck. But I have never had a Chevy or Ford dealer or their customer service say they don't have replacement parts. So to me the warranty is not worth nothing. I noticed the map light was not working 1 week after I purchased the truck."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By JB (GA) on Monday, July 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, Ride,& Reliability"
Cons: "Fuel cost."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Ram 2500 HD has amazing power. The only thing I can think of that would make it better is increased fuel economy. I get between 17 & 18 MPH on the highway w/o pulling my trailer."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By rzrbckchap (TX) on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Capability, Luxury, Infotainment, Quite Ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Longtime truck and suv owner - I always thought myself as a GM guy. I needed a truck to be able to tow a 30ft Chaparral on a triple axle - Avg tow weight 9,600lbs - I tow it 8-12 times a month between 5-50miles, with a long trip now and then 500 miles. I seriously considered the GMC Sierra Denali 2500 because of the capability and interior features and I felt the Ford was too boxy and dull. I researched and researched, test drove, spoke to owners, spoke to dealers and read blogs/watched videos. I had spent months looking over internet sites and comments. I found the truck that fits the bill and I believe that my 2013 RAM Laramie Longhorn 6.7L Cummins cannot be beat. The exterior look, interior tech / luxury appointments, capability to tow 17,000 lbs. The fit and finish is just amazing - I've packed on 5,000 miles so far and this rig rides great, the torque is off the hook, very comfortable, avg 22.5 mph highway and 17.5 city, backup camera/sensors, and the creature comforts are too cool "Remote start and the truck know's if it needs the heated seats/steering wheel to turn on or if it's hot outside to turn on the cooled seats - Very Nice!" Yeah I could have just got a base 3/4 ton truck - but I wanted something that had it all!"
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful