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)
By envelopo on Sunday, December 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "HD 6.4 hemi, towing stability, comfort, quiet, mpg"
Cons: "climate control, ram theme"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Never thought I would buy a dodge but after checking out their latest offerings due to the need for a decent hd gas engine, I have the 6.4 Hemi Big Horn CCSB 4WD, air bag suspension. I bought this truck as a hd tow alternative to a diesel (due to reliability problems with todays govt. mandated diesel emissions). This truck delivers as a good hd tow platform, gets reasonable fuel mileage - averaging 14.5 and up to 19 at 70 on the highway. I tow an 8500 lb travel trailer and get 8.5 to 9. The rear air suspension helps the ride some, but not much. Overall the truck has been very reliable, the quality is very good, power is excellent even when towing (not as good as a diesel but that is to be expected). So far in 7000 miles I have had zero issues and have not had to return to the dealer. Pricing was excellent with the incentives available and the truck is packed with features. Connectivity is also outstanding. Overall I would recommend. The only things I dont like is the climate control buttons for temp (this should be a rotary knob) and the over the top big RAM theme."
33 people out of 63 found this review helpful
By Oscar1962 on Sunday, December 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,450overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "I like ram truck is fan to drive"
Cons: "The engine take too much gas not good"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The only problem for mi is it takes lot of gas .i drive the truck all day and I spend $ 100 x day. Before a have a ram 1500 and it was very good on gas ,with the same engine the only difference was this truck had the economic system but for the cargo not good every day I put on the truck like 750 pounds my mistake was not to buy a diesel truck but now I have to buy one diesel truck ."
10 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Bob on Sunday, November 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,250overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sits high, tows well, built to last forever."
Cons: "A bit rougn riding, tranny jerks sometimes."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This Ram 2500 diesel is a truck designed for heavy work or towing, but it can double as a daily driver like I use mine. The two things I don't like about this truck are it's rather jarring ride, and the transmission, which seems to have a mind of its own sometimes. The shift pattern is poor, with a large jump into a high ratio from 4th into 5th and above, making it necessary to manually keep gears in a lower range by using the column mounted shift button while in town. Otherwise you'll find yourself tooling around town at 1,000 rpm, hardly enough to keep the soot filter clean. Other that, it's a magnificent truck, built for a lifetime of use. As for depreciation, it seems to hold its value better than most vehicles sold today, making it's high initial purchase price a bit more tolerable. My SLT Bighorn has almost every option I could want, except for auto climate control & ventilated seats. I think it's a great choice compared to the Laramie/Longhorn, which seems too highly priced to me and has few needed options above the Bighorn. BTW, if you tow a lot, this is the truck to do it with -- you'll never know your tow vehicle is there unless you look in the rear view mirror. Get your Ram today -- they seem to be going up about $4,000 a year -- but the 2014's are clearing out now with good discounts."
16 people out of 31 found this review helpful
By levi on Friday, September 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,822overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Like it for the auxillary sound system"
Cons: "price is to high"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This 2013 Ram 2500 ccb Cummins turbo diesel rides and drives better than any HD truck I have owned and it gets upwards of 19.5 to 20.5 on the freeway and secondary roads, and rides very good and is very responsive from the stop, or while traveling, have had no major issues, the only thing I do not like is the tpms and the reason for that is the low pressure light is always on because I do not and will not keep max pressure in the tires nor will I keep the 60 lbs front nor the 45 lbs rear tire pressure because the 80 lb rear is to high not loaded and the 45 lb light load for the same is way to low. 45 lbs wears the shoulders out and the 80 if not loaded wears the center out. The 60 lb front seems to be okay, but I change the tire pressure after a few thousand to try and keep the tire wear even all around, and the high pressure and the low pressure in the back can and does cause premature tire wear. I run anywhere from 50 to 60 lbs all around when not loaded and when loaded I run 70 or maybe a little more all around and that makes for better economy and tire wear. The big white ox I own is the best Ram I have ever owned. The oil being constantly black because of the oil making these new epa controlled diesels do is not good for the engine nor ... leave it at that, the Ram Cummins is still a very nice vehicle to drive and the interior , transmission are also good."
29 people out of 63 found this review helpful
By BirdDog on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance & looks"
Cons: "Economy & space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Not the best with mileage, but it could be worse. It looks great, and I get a lot of compliments on it, more than any other vehicle, but it is large. Plenty of room, but it can be tough to park in the city. In the country, it rules, but in the city, it can be a challenge at times."
18 people out of 38 found this review helpful
By Mikey on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Everything about it"
Cons: "If I have too, the fact the rear seats don't fold"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is by far the best truck of the 13 I have owned. I usually buy a new truck every 18 months. I drive a lot of miles both country roads and highway. It is the best fuel mileage as well. I have a gas engine and have installed k & n and I average 18 mph highway 15.8 country/city. Very nice standard features. I have not had 1 issue with this truck. I used to drive Chevy, had issues that had to FIGHT Chevy for coverage, then switched to ford and got very good at replacing ball joints. Haven't touched this or my last Dodge. Last one had 60,000 miles with original tires, brakes etc."
42 people out of 73 found this review helpful