Ram’s heavy-duty pickups ripple with power—up to 1,000 pound-feet of torque to drag more than 18.5 tons of trailer. The 2021 Ram 2500 also shines up better than a new penny and wouldn’t be out of place in a valet lot.
That kind of versatility and capability earns a 5.2 TCC rating with two footnotes: big trucks aren’t crash-tested and don’t report fuel-economy figures. That overall rating would likely drop if both scores were figured into the overall average. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
That’s because like last year, the 2021 Ram heavy-duty is available with one of three cab configurations, a choice between two bed sizes, two engines, single- or dual-rear-wheel options, and two powertrain offerings. The Ram 2500 is the first stop for heavy duty, and the 3500 adds beefier suspension bits for better hauling. Available in Tradesman, Big Horn, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited trim levels, it costs about $35,000 to start and tops out north of $70,000.
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A 6.4-liter V-8 gas engine is standard on all trucks and carries more in its bed, compared to the diesel engine. It makes 410 horsepower and can lug more than 7,600 pounds in the bed and is paired to an 8-speed automatic.
A 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6 dumps up to 1,000 pound-feet of torque down the driveline to lug up to 37,100 pounds of trailer—provided you have that CDL handy.
Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available in all trucks.
Depending on cab and bed setup, the 2021 Ram heavy-duty could be a daytime draft horse or a long-haul champ. Crew cabs are more common and comfortable for a crew—or a family, if needed.
Ram offers active safety features including active lane control and automatic emergency braking, but charges more for them.
The 2021 Ram 2500 Tradesman pickups are spartan and geared for work detail with manual windows and locks, vinyl everything, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment. We’d start with the Big Horn that offers an 8.4-inch touchscreen, cloth upholstery, and more available options. The top trim Limited covers the exterior in chrome, smothers the interior in leather, tops with a 12.0-inch touchscreen, and more. It’s the type of truck equally at home at a Waffle House or Delmonico’s.