Ram made headlines this year by adding an EcoDiesel V-6 option to its half-ton 1500 pickup range. Our test subject here should not be mistaken for that truck. No, siree, Sergio. Although it was all-new for 2013, the heavy-duty Ram 2500 made its own kind of news this year by ditching traditional leaf springs in favor of a coil-spring, five-link rear suspension with an auto-leveling air-spring option and by sharing the full-ton 3500 model’s stiffer frame.
In an odd way, though, this truck makes a good case for its EcoDiesel V-6 kid brother in the Ram’s range. Opting for the $8160 Cummins diesel engine on a 4×4 Ram 2500 crew cab (three-quarter ton by traditional nomenclature, although the rated payload capacity is 2180 pounds) results in, frankly, way too much truck for most users who don’t haul or tow heavy stuff. The Cummins workhorse is too costly and too strong for those buyers who’d just like to take advantage of a modern clean diesel’s efficiency advantages. Thus, it leaves figurative tons of room for the lighter diesel in the market below this truck’s price point (a gas-powered 2500 HD Longhorn starts at $54,110, and the Cummins diesel version was optioned up here to $67,875) and literal tons below its capabilities.
Goin’ for Cummins
All but identical to the engines Cummins sells for use in construction equipment, commercial haulers, and buses, the Ram unit is a 6.7-liter six churning out 370 horsepower and 800 lb-ft when coupled to a six-speed automatic. (The Cummins can be mated with a manual transmission in lower trim levels, in which case it has to be down-rated to 350 horses and a mere 660 lb-ft.) As with the big diesels from Ford and GM, there’s an exhaust-brake function to help when pulling big loads. The diesel now features Ram Active Air, which is a valve in the intake airbox that pulls presumably cooler, denser intake air through a port at the top of the grille rather than from the wheel well, but only under extreme circumstances of load and heat. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by KEVIN A. WILSON