When it comes to heavy-duty pickup trucks, the levels of power and capacity have become truly astounding. With the right engine and configuration, for example, the 2021 Ram 2500 can tow up to 35,100 pounds and haul a payload of 7,680 pounds.
Not only do these trucks boast incredible utility, but they also can be configured in any number of ways. They range from the base Tradesman regular cab model ($35,020) to the Power Wagon ($55,230), the off-roader of the line, with a rugged suspension, 360-degree camera system, and even a winch. At the top end, a leather-laden Limited model starts over $62,000 and can climb $20,000 from there with options.
The price may be low for the base Tradesman, but keep in mind that it’s pretty basic and is expected to be sold primarily for fleet use.
Our personal favorite is the 2500 Crew Cab (5-passenger) in Limited trim. It’s available with either a 6-foot, 4-inch bed or an 8-foot bed. It’s also available with either 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. Given the conditions these trucks typically work in, like mud and dirt, 4-wheel drive makes the most sense.
Here’s how you can fully load up a 2021 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with all the goodies for a price of $86,150. There are a few different options that can be added, such as various paint colors and such, but expect it still to top out in the mid-to-high $80,000 range.
- 2021 Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4×4 with an 8-foot bed: $65,535
- 6.7-liter Cummins 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine: $9,400
- 8-speed automatic transmission
- Automatic leveling rear air suspension: $1,705
- Dual 380-amp alternators: $395
- 50-gallon fuel tank: $295
- Towing Technology Group: $445
- Night Edition: $995
- Limited Level 1 Equipment Group: $4,085
- Power Sunroof: $1,195
- Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring System: $445
- Ram telematics: $800 (1-year service)
Here is a closer look at some of these key features:
6.7-liter Cummins 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine
An impressive 6.4-liter gasoline V8 engine is standard in the Ram 2500, and with 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, it does an admirable job. Equipped properly, it can tow up to 17,540 pounds.
However, the most important figure regarding towing is torque, which is the power used to actually get the weight moving from a dead stop and continue pulling up a hill. The Ram’s optional 6.7-liter turbodiesel makes a whopping 850 lb-ft of torque, which allows it to smoothly tow up to 20,000 pounds. The 8-speed automatic pairs perfectly and finds the right shift points for driving conditions.
Automatic-leveling Rear Air Suspension
One of the biggest engineering challenges in designing a pickup truck is considering all the options, from a single driver with a completely empty bed to a full load of passengers, a full bed, and a trailer being towed behind. The automatic-leveling rear air suspension helps the bed adjust to any condition for a smoother and more confident ride and also makes it easier to connect a trailer.
Cold Weather Group
Pickups are used for all kinds of jobs in all kinds of conditions, so Ram offers this package with an engine block heater and a front grille cover. There’s even a snowplow prep group with an extra alternator and an underbody shield if you want to use your truck to clear the local roads.
There is a dedicated 4×4 version of the Ram 2500 called the Power Wagon, but the $450 Off-Road package can be added to other models and includes performance-tuned shocks in both front and rear, hill descent control, and a skid-plate shield for the transfer case, which protects it from being bashed by rocks.
Limited Level 1 Equipment Group
For the audiophile, this upgrade includes a 17-speaker/750-watt Harman Kardon audio. system. It also includes some extra safety features, as the base safety features are pretty sparse on the Ram 2500 and only include forward-collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane-keeping assistance.
On the Limited, you get blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. This package also adds adaptive cruise control and adaptive steering, full-speed forward-collision warning, and a surround-view camera system. Another neat feature is trailer reverse guidance, which places the image from the rearview cameras on the touchscreen so the driver has a clearer view.
A popular option on trucks and SUVs is an all-black package. Called the Night Edition here, it includes 20-inch by 8-inch cast aluminum black wheels, black exterior badges, black mirrors, black headlamp bezels, a black tailgate badge, black taillamp bezels, black wheel center hub, body-color door handles, a black grille, power-folding black towing mirrors, a painted front bumper, and tow hooks.
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