|Positives: The pulling power of a freight train, remarkably quick for something so massive, roomy for all occupants, solid levels of tech.|
|Negatives: Fabric seats feel cheap, ride is on the firm side compared to the competition, wipers/lights/turn signal control on a single stalk can be confusing.|
|Bottom Line: The 2500 diesel is a monster of a heavy duty truck, and now it's better than ever thanks to excellent space, easy driving manners, and serious power|
Heavy duty pickups are all about hauling and towing, but they also have to be daily drivable. The 2500 with the diesel engine is remarkably civilized, and anyone who has to drive it for hours every day will find it more than just a brutish workhorse.
Ride Quality: The 2500 in the Mega Cab configuration can be a bit choppy at times, but we didn't find it upsetting.
Acceleration: The tremendous torque is palpable right off the line, and the diesel mill pulls hard. We're guessing without actually timing that it will get to 60 mph in about 8 seconds. The 8-speed automatic shifts smoothly and quickly.
Braking: The brakes are good but could use a bit better pedal feel. The new automatic emergency braking safety feature is brand new to the model, and Ram claims it will operate at its max towing capacity, as well.
Steering: Steering is remarkably light for a pickup truck, but effort increases during turning. It's responsive and precise for something this big.
Handling: Though weight is down from the last 2500, it's still a very big truck. There's body lean, but the chassis seems to manage things well.
The in-car tech, even for the mid-pack trim, is very good, and the fact that you can get a big hauler with a state-of-the art and intuitive infotainment system is great news. It even comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Infotainment System: Our tester came with the 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation. As with all Uconnect products, the Ram 2500 Big Horn's is responsive, great to look at, and easy to use.
Controls: We prefer more physical buttons versus on-screen, but for a system like this, everything is simple to operate. At least there are large, easy to grip climate control and audio knobs.
A heavy duty truck really needs to look the part, and the 2500 has serious presence to the point of either nods of approval from truck people or frightened looks from other drivers. There might be a bit too much chrome in the 2500 Big Horn for our liking, but in that way, it looks like a shrunken 18-wheeler, probably appropriate.
Front: The first thing you notice, other than the huge grille, is the preponderance of chrome. The entire bumper is chrome clad. The huge mirrors for towing, big LED headlights, and the deeply creased hood all provide the 2500 with a lot of presence head-on.
Rear: Though the back end isn't as dramatic, Ram does a lot with the limited amount of real estate in the tail end. The big Ram emblem, large chrome bumper, and the huge tailpipe are noticeable as the 2500 departs.
Profile: The 2500 in Mega Cab looks great from the side, and there's not as much chrome here as in the other two views. The cab and hood are longer than the bed, but it still looks well-proportioned.
Cabin: We wouldn't say it's low rent in here, but the dark cloth is a bit dreary. At least the quality of the fabric is good, and materials are solid.
The room in the 2500 Mega Cab is at the top of the class, and adults can enjoy huge space to stretch out and comfortable seats in which to pass the hours. If it weren't for the gas mileage and size, this would be a great family vehicle.
Front Seats: The seats are large and comfortable. Too bad they weren't leather in our tester. At least the fabric is very good.
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NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): copy text
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Though the 2500 doesn't crash tested, available safety features have been added such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning, providing the 2500 with a solid set of tech.
IIHS Rating: Not tested.
NHTSA Rating: Not tested.
Standard Tech: The 2500 gets trailer sway/brake control, traction control, stability control, rollover mitigation, a rear camera, and a rear camera as standard equipment.
Optional Tech: Though our tester didn't have all the optional safety tech, it's nice to know you can upgrade. The Big Horn we drove did come with a handy ParkSense front/rear park assist system that helped us manage tighter spots for the big rig.
What good is a big HD truck without great storage options? The cabin was plentiful in terms of gear storage, and the bed was right-sized for ample cargo hauling. Keep in mind, there's only one 6'4" bed for the Mega Cab, but it's plenty big for all but the biggest of loads.
Storage Space: Huge cubbies, big door pockets, and a massively deep armrest make for easy storage of just about any small to medium-sized item. The armrest can hold a full DSLR camera and a laptop.
Cargo Room: Our tester had the 6-foot-4 bed with a cover. No cubic foot measurements are available.
The EPA doesn't have to provide fuel economy figures for heavy duty trucks, but the Ram 2500 with the diesel powertrain is actually pretty good when it comes to efficiency for a large truck.
Observed: 12.8 mpg in combined highway and local driving.
Distance Driven: 73 miles
Our tester had the stock system, and it worked just fine. We didn't toy with it much, but there was no distortion to speak of. The clarity was also decent, as was the bass. Higher trims come standard with the 9-speaker Alpine system with subwoofer. You can opt for it in the Big Horn for a mere $495 as a standalone option, which is a bargain for a premium system.