Ram 2500 vs 3500 Compared: Choosing a Pickup Truck for All Your Needs

Ram 2500 vs 3500 Compared: Choosing a Pickup Truck for All Your Needs

Ram trucks have a long history, and over the years they have been recognized as one of the best heavy-duty pickup trucks the auto industry has ever produced.  Throughout the years the Dodge Ram brand has gone through major makeovers, and Ram pickup trucks you can find on the market today, actually belong to the fourth generation of this iconic brand.

The now-iconic Ram 2500 and 3500 models are famous for their versatility as you can use them to move large payloads or on your daily commutes to work. The question remains which of these heavy-duty pickup trucks is better?  That’s why in this article we’re comparing the Ram 2500 vs 3500 in hopes of helping you reach the decision which of these vehicles is a better choice for you.

Main differences Between Ram 2500 vs Ram 3500

The main differences between the Ram 2500 vs Ram 3500 are:

  • Ram 2500 pickup trucks have 850 lbs-ft of torque, whereas Ram 3500 models have a 1000 lb-ft of torque
  • Ram 3500 can tow 34,480 pounds of weight, whereas Ram 2500 has the maximum towing capacity of 19,780 pounds.
  • Ram 3500 has 370 hps, whereas Ram2500 has 410 hps
  • Ram 2500 has an 8-speed automatic transmission, whereas Ram 350 has a 6-speed automatic transmission

A quick glance at a Ram 2500 model and a Ram 3500 model will reveal how difficult it is to differentiate between these two pickup trucks. Besides the obvious similarities in the exterior design, the base models of Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 also have a lot in common when it comes to interior amenities and infotainment.

All of these factors make understanding what sets apart these two industry-leading pickup trucks apart more complicated. So let’s take a look at some of the main differences between Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. Even though Ram 3500 seems to be a more reliable option for drivers who transport heavy payloads often, the differences between these two heavy-duty pickup trucks are minor.

Becoming a member of the Ram family

Ram 2500

There are only a few options on the heavy-duty pickup market that can offer more than Ram trucks. The fact that Ram trucks won so many prestigious awards over the years further supports this claim, as Ram models are frequently mentioned in discussions about the best heavy-duty trucks.

Furthermore, Ram has won MotorTrend’s Truck of the Year five times this decade, which shows you how highly esteemed the Dodge Ram trucks are.  Although it may seem that Ram 1500 has overshadowed the Ram 2500 and 3500 models, these pickup trucks are capable of stunning performances regardless of the trim you pick.

The models from Ram 2500 and 3500 series were introduced to the market in 2010, and since that time we’ve seen some major improvements that brought minor design changes, better engines, larger cabs, and more interior amenities.  One thing is for sure, Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks are absolute beasts that provide an enjoyable driving experience regardless of the terrain or weather conditions.

How many different trims of Ram 2500 and 3500 are there?

ram 3500

The exact specs of a Ram 2500 or Ram 3500 truck depend on the trim you select, as you can choose between two or four-wheel drives and a variety of other configuration features.

Furthermore, each of the last few model years brought upgrades to the models from Ram 2500 and 3500 series, so how much horsepower or which audio system the Ram pickup truck you are considering is going to have, depends on the year in which that model is produced.

For instance, there are 28 different configurations of 2019 Ram 3500, and you can choose between Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Longhorn or Limited trim levels of the pickup truck. Some trim levels of Ram 2500 such as Laramie or Big Horn share their names with the trims of Ram 3500, although the Power Wagon trim is only available for Ram 2500 models.

In addition, the manufacturer also allows its customers to customize their Ram 2500 and 3500 vehicles so that they can pick a configuration that is best suited for their needs.

The comfort and the available technology

Each trim of Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 offers a unique driving experience that can be matched by a handful of heavy-duty pickup trucks that are currently available on the market.  A number of features, including the 360° camera view and Collision Warning with Active Braking technology significantly improve the safety of the passengers.

Both Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 models are equipped with an Adaptive Forward Lighting System that enables the lamps to increase nighttime visibility up to fifteen percent. In addition, the Adaptive Cruise Control enables drivers to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road and reduce the vehicle’s speed automatically when slower traffic is detected.

All trims of Ram 2500 and 3500 feature the Uconnect® interface with a 5-inch touchscreen, as well as integrated voice command, two USB ports, an AUX audio input, and Harman Kardon® premium audio system.

Pricing options

2500 and 3500 ram

How much money you have to spend on Ram 2500 or Ram 3500 pickup truck depends on the trim you select.

Base trims of Ram 2500 are available for $36.950, but Power Wagon and Longhorn trims cost more than $50.000. Moreover, 2WD models of Ram 2500 are less expensive than 4WD models, however none of the Ram 2500 trims that are currently available cost more than $60.000

The least expensive trim of Ram 3500 can be purchased for $38.380, while the price of some Limited trims starts at $67.300. As the price of a Ram 3500 trim increases so does the amount of available features within the configuration you are considering.

Hence, you should choose a model that has all the amenities you are going to need on a daily basis since the size of the wheels or the number of available safety features can make your driving experience more enjoyable.

It is worth noting that the engine Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 models have doesn’t change with the trim, although you can choose between three different engine options. This means that you are not going to get a more powerful engine if you opt for a pricier model of Ram 2500 or Ram 3500 pickup trucks.

Ram 2500 VS 3500: How to know which heavy-duty pickup truck is better?

There is no doubt that both Ram 2500 and 3500 models are capable of stunning performances in a broad range of contexts.  So instead of trying to figure out which of these heavy-duty pickup trucks is better, you should determine which trim of Ram 2500 and 3500 is best suited for your needs.

The terrain through which you are going to drive the vehicle, the amount of payload you intend on transporting or the amount of money you want to spend on your next pickup truck are all factors you should consider before opting for Ram 2500 or Ram 3500 model.

Additionally, factors like the size of the cabin or if the pickup truck you are considering is a 4×2 or 4×4 model can help you select the best option for you.  Here are some of the most important aspects you need to look into before choosing either Ram 2500 or Ram 3500.

The engines and the fuel consumption

The choice between Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 models released in 2019 can often come down to the choice between a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 and a 6.7-liter turbo diesel inline-6 engine.

However, you should keep in mind that the exact specs of the engine depending on the model year, so if you are thinking of getting a 2017 Ram 2500 you will get a different engine than if you opt for the 2019 Ram model. The same goes for earlier Ram 3500 models.

The engines on 2019 Ram 2500 base models have 410 horsepower at 5600 rpm, while 2019 Ram 3500 base models feature engines that have 370 hp at 3600 rpm. Even though fuel economy may not be your first priority while choosing a heavy-duty truck, this is still not an aspect you should ignore entirely.

The tests have shown that average gas mileage for 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine is approximately 12 miles per gallon, while 6.7-liter turbo diesel inline-6 engines consume around a gallon of fuel every 16 miles. However, the exact fuel economy data for different trims of Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 pickup trucks are not available.

The cab sizes and why they matter

mega cab

Mega Cab option has been available since the first Ram trucks hit the market more than a decade ago. Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks can be purchased with a four and two-door crew cab depending on the model you select.

The Mega Cab is 11.1-inches longer than the crew cab and it offers 5.7 cubic feet of additional storage space. If you opt for a regular crew cab model you’ll only have 3.4 cubic feet storage space at your disposal, while the four-door models offer 9.1 cubic feet of storage space.

You can only get 4X4 configuration if you opt for a Mega Cab that has a 6-foot, 4-inches long bed. The Ram 2500 and 3500 models that offer extra storage space are approximately $1.500 more expensive than the regular crew cab model.  So if you are looking for a Ram 2500 or Ram 3500 that offers additional storage and passenger space, you should consider the Mega Cab option.

Does Ram 2500 have more towing capacity than Ram 3500?

This is probably one of the most important aspects for drivers in need of a heavy-duty pickup truck that enables them to tow campers or boats.  The Ram 2500 trims have the maximum towing capacity of 19,780 pounds which is more than enough to move trailers around with ease.

However, if you need a vehicle for really massive hauls then any of the Ram 3500 models are a better choice for you as you’ll gain access to a pickup truck that has the maximum towing capacity of 34,480 pounds. Towing capacity is probably the largest difference between Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 since you can’t really use any of the Ram 2500 trims for really heavy hauls.

That is why Ram 3500 is a much more reliable solution for all drivers who frequently move heavy equipment or huge payloads.

The overall driving experience

Comfortable cabins, a host of cutting-edge safety features, and powerful diesel or gas engines make all trims of Ram 3500 and 2500 a joy to drive. These heavy-duty pickup trucks offer equally smooth driving experience on highways and on dirt roads and enable you to enjoy the great outdoors or long rides with your family.

The spacious cabins provide enough legroom for all passengers to feel comfortable, while the state of art Harman Kardon® premium audio system enables you to provide high-quality entertainment to them.

However, the exact features you will have access to depend on the configuration you select, so you must make sure the trim you are interested in has all the accessories you need before you purchase it. Both Ram 3500 and Ram 2500 come with Powertrain Coverage that is valid for five years or 100.000 miles for diesel models and 5 years or 60.000 miles for gas models.

Pros and Cons

3500 ram

RAM 2500

Pros

  • Less expensive than Ram 3500
  • Trims are available in a broad range of configurations
  • Excellent safety features
  • State of the art infotainment system

Cons

  • Limited towing capacity
  • Gas mileage could be better

RAM 3500

Pros

  • Has the maximum towing capacity of 34.480 pounds
  • Can carry payloads that weigh up to 7,050 pounds
  • Integrated Voice Command with Bluetooth
  • Features a Trailer Tire Pressure monitoring system

Cons

  • More expensive than Ram 2500
  • The engine produces a lot of noise

The verdict: Does Ram 3500 outperform Ram 2500?

The choice between Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 comes down to the purpose for which you are planning to use your heavy-duty pickup truck. If you are in the market for a pickup truck you can use to commute to work and occasionally tow your camper when vacationing with your family, then Ram 2500 is the right choice for you.

Ram 3500, on the other hand, is the more powerful option designed to help drivers transport massive payloads or move heavy machinery.

Even so, the differences between Ram 2500 and 3500 are marginal as the pickup trucks share many of the same features. Furthermore, you will have to pay extra if you want to enjoy the advantages Ram 3500 has to offer, which only makes sense if you are transporting large amounts of cargo on an almost daily basis.

FAQ’s About RAM 2500 vs 3500

Do Ram 2500 and 3500 use diesel of gas?

The answer to this question depends on the engine that is included in a particular trim of Ram 3500 or 2500, as there are models that use either gas or diesel.

Are there any differences between the infotainment systems featured on Ram 2500 and Ram 3500?

No, there isn’t, as the infotainment systems featured on different trims of Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 are identical.

Is Ram 3500 more powerful than Ram 2500?

Yes, Ram 3500 is more powerful, since it has better towing capacity and it can carry heavier cargos.

Do Ram 3500 and Ram 2500 pickup trucks come with a warranty?

You will get a 100.000-mile warranty for all diesel models of Ram 2500 and 3500 or a 60.000-mile warranty for all trims that are equipped with engines that run on gas.

Conclusion

There are only a few heavy-duty pickup trucks on the market that can be compared to Ram pickup trucks, which makes choosing between Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 rather difficult. This choice is further complicated by the fact that these pickup trucks have a similar design and share many of the interior amenities.

Ram 3500 trims are more powerful which makes them better suited for drivers who can truly utilize their towing capacities. Even so, the fact remains that both Ram 2500 and 3500 are considered royalty among heavy-duty pickup trucks.

That is why the purpose for which you intend to use your vehicle, as well as your budget, is the best way to determine which trim and which configuration of Ram 3500 or 2500 is the right choice for you.

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David Borgogni

David has been working with cars for over 10 years and is a freelance writer who specializes in automotive technology. He covers the topics that matter most to the consumer. Anything new in the automotive industry? David will likely be able to tell you about it.
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