Although half-ton pickups sell in notably higher numbers, it's the three-quarter-ton and 1-ton models that do most of the heavy lifting. In the relatively small world of heavy-duty trucks, the 2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 HD reign supreme in terms of all-out capability. For instance, the Ram 3500's available Cummins turbodiesel cranks out a colossal 850 lb-ft of torque for a class-leading 30,000-pound tow rating. 2014's Ram 2500 models benefit from a new segment-exclusive multilink coil rear suspension for better on-road comfort than the outgoing leaf-spring setup. Rival pickups like the Chevy Silverado HD (or its GMC clone) and Ford's Super Duty offerings come close, but when it comes to blending harmonious levels of capability and refinement, the Ram 2500/3500 HD remains our top pick.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're a longtime devotee of Ram HD trucks and it's time to trade in your old outfit, the improvements made to the 2014 Ram 2500/3500 should rekindle your loyalty to the brand. Conversely, Ford and Chevy owners who long for a more upscale interior will find a lot to like in the Ram HD.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Because full-size trucks have the most faithful customers in the industry, deciding among a Ford Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD or Ram HD will likely boil down to personal preference.
Ram 2500 models gain a new 5-link independent rear suspension for 2014. A new 6.4-liter Hemi V8 along with load-leveling rear air suspension is also available on both the Ram 2500 and 3500.
Driving the 2500 Crew Cab
As is the case with every heavy-duty pickup, the Ram HD's capability story begins with its potent powertrains. We found the standard 5.7-liter Hemi V8 powerful enough to tow up...
... to 14,000 pounds without issue, while loads pushing the 20,000-pound mark were best left to the new 6.4-liter Hemi V8. We recommend choosing the torque-rich Cummins turbodiesel for loads exceeding 10 tons. Perhaps the most remarkable trait of the 2014 Ram HD is its civilized road manners. In town, the Ram 2500's new coil-spring rear suspension provides a surprisingly smooth, compliant ride, while generous use of sound-deadening materials gives an upscale feel to the interior of both the 2500 and 3500. Those in need of a heavy-duty truck designed to withstand the most demanding off-road situations should consider the Ram Power Wagon. This purpose-built variant treads through the rough stuff by way of 4-wheel drive, locking front and rear differentials and electronically disconnecting sway bars.
UCONNECT ACCESS High technology doesn't need to be highly complicated. Case in point, the Ram's available Uconnect Access is one of the most intuitive full-featured infotainment systems on the market. From its large 8.4-inch touch screen to its conversational voice-recognition software, Uconnect Access is the new benchmark in vehicle connectivity.
CLASS-LEADING POWER AND TOWING Whether you're really using all that might or just boasting, it's hard not to be impressed with these figures: 30,000 and 850. The first represents the maximum towing capacity of Ram 3500 models, while the latter designates the torque produced from the optional 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine.
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Details
Climb into a 2014 Ram heavy-duty pickup and you'll find a very unworkman-like interior. Even base trims seem relatively polished, while upper-crust Laramie models evoke a near-luxury feel with leather-lined and climate-controlled seats, a heated steering wheel, high-quality interior materials – the list goes on. The 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.
Ram heavy-duty trucks are available in three cab configurations: 2-door Regular Cab, 4-door Crew Cab and 4-door Mega Cab. 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 are a larger grille, a taller hood with stamped louvers, and large chrome or black bumpers. Keep in mind that all heavy-duty trucks are sizable vehicles. If you plan to park one in a garage, measure accordingly.
In base Tradesman form, the 2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 HD come equipped with a 40/20/40 split front bench seat with rear storage, air conditioning, vinyl flooring, cruise control, a driver information center, automatic on/off headlights, a tilt steering wheel, manual windows and door locks, and a 6-speaker audio system with a USB port for digital music players. Safety features include six airbags and a full complement of electronic stability aids.
The Ram HD lineup is as tech-savvy as it is tough, with an options list consisting of touch-screen navigation, conversational voice recognition, Sirius Backseat TV (offering Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network), a 10-speaker premium sound system by Alpine, backup sonar proximity sensors, and a rearview camera for easier trailer hookups. The 2014 Ram HD also offers an integrated trailer brake as standard equipment on SLT, Outdoorsman, Laramie and Power Wagon models.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is available with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8, a new 6.4-liter Hemi V8, or a considerably more powerful 6.7-liter Cummins inline-6 turbodiesel. The diesel engine is available in two power outputs, with the upgraded version available exclusively in the 3500. The 5.7-liter V8 is standard issue in the 2500 and 3500. Though costly, the standard Hemi engine can be retrofitted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of gasoline. The sole transmission for gasoline-powered models is a 6-speed automatic. Diesel models can be linked to a segment-exclusive 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic. Diesel models also feature exhaust braking for added stopping power.
5.7-liter V8 383 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm 400 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
6.4-liter V8 410 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm 428 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
A 2014 Ram 2500 regular cab carries a starting price of right around $27,500, with the entry-level 3500 commanding an additional $700. At these prices, the 2014 Ram HD holds the title as the most affordable heavy-duty truck on the market. For comparison, HD models from Chevy, GMC and Ford begin in the low-$30,000 range. Checking all the options boxes for a range-topping Ram 3500 Laramie Limited will amount to $65,000 worth of truck. But regardless of which model grade you choose, we suggest you take a look at KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price tool at the bottom of this page to see what others in your area are paying for their heavy-duty pickups. Although the 2014 Ram HD has an enticing up-front cost, its long-term residual values trail the competition by a few percentage points.
"I like the engine. 6.7l Diesel pulls and runs powerfully and strong. The truck was sold to me with 250 miles. It had Corrosion not rust on the underside. The Best Ram would do was scrape it off. The exhaust system was not addressed although the corrosion was obvious there also. I'm not talking rust here. Corrosion is the only word as the underside of the truck (Ram got the pics)looked like it had been driven in snow/salt country for many years. Photos are too large to post"
Pros: "Great value. Good looking truck. Many compliments."
Cons: "A tall truck, even stock. You need the sideboards."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"See summary above. I have driven for over 50 years and find this hands-down the most powerful, comfortable truck ever. Tows 10,000 pounds on any grade like it's not even there. Handles substandard roads in any weather with ease. Quiet. Passenger comfort excellent."
Pros: "FANTASTIC SMOOTH , QUIET , RIDE. MORE POWER THAN E"
Cons: "NO CONS"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"ABSOLUTELY THE FINEST VEHICLE I HAVE OWNED , I HAVE HAD CHEV , FORD , JEEP. NEVER ANY MECHANICAL PROBLEMS , LAST RAM HAD 222,000MILES AND ONLY REPAIR WAS AC EVAPORATOR. CANNOT PRAISE CUMMINS DIESEL ENOUGH."