And while the look is new for Ram’s 2500 and 3500 pickups, the primary focus in the development of these pickups was clearly to put Ram back on top of the heap in terms of power.
Though a 6.5-liter HEMI V8 comes standard, a new 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel is an available option, generating a ridiculous 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,800 rpm along with 400 horsepower at 2,800 rpm.
Ram is mating this engine to an Aisin AS69RC six-speed automatic transmission. Ram says this gear box is engineered specifically for the huge torque output from the 6.7L Cummins and the increased vehicle weight ratings. Thanks to a new transmission controller, Ram says the transmission “delivers faster, more precise shifts” in all conditions.
This new powertrain combo pushes 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks back to best in class for towing capacity and payload capacity with 35,100 pounds and 7,680 pounds, respectively.
The 2019 2500 and 3500 will also be available with an alternate variant of this 6.7L Cummins which produces 370 hp at 3,800 rpm and 850 lb.-ft. of torque. Ram is mating this engine to an upgraded version of the 68RFE six-speed automatic.
Those who opt for the standard HEMI will get a TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic.
Like they did with the refresh of the 1500, Ram engineers concentrated a significant portion of the development period of the new HD trucks to improving the ride, both when under load and driving unburdened.
The trucks feature an all-new frame design with fully boxed rear rails and six separate crossmembers, including a rear-axle structural crossmember with provisions for fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitches that has been upgraded to accommodate the trucks’ increased towing capacity.
Should these new HD trucks drive like their smaller counterparts, maybe the new feature to look most forward to is the suspension elements being brought over from the new 1500 pickups.
For 2019, Ram has added progressive springs and upgraded bushings to the suspension system. The 2500 will also get Ram’s excellent five-link coil design which the automaker says “provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system.”
The five-link coil is designed to progress though each ring on the suspension based on how much the truck is loaded down, ensuring a comfortable ride from unloaded all the way up to the truck’s 7,680 lbs. of payload capacity.
Standard on the 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 are Frequency Response Damping shocks on all four corners. Unlike the typical heavy duty truck suspension, which has traditionally been developed for accommodating “constant, heavy payloads,” as Ram puts it, the FRD shocks automatically adjust based on the type of vertical wheel input the truck is experiencing.
As we learned during our review of the 2018 1500 trucks, during cornering and heavy braking, the bypass valve on these shocks is closed for more aggressive damping. During normal driving where vertical shock inputs occur more frequently, the valve opens to soften damping.
An “Active-Level” rear suspension will also be available on the 2019 2500 and 3500. This suspension replaces the rear coil springs with air bags and includes a new bed-lowering mode for easier trailer hook-ups.
Power Wagon and 4WD
The HD refresh also means a new Power Wagon for 2019 with Ram calling it the “most capable production off-road truck in the industry.”
This souped-up 2500 features a unique suspension, factory suspension lift, locking front and rear differentials, a disconnecting sway bar and a 12,000-lb. winch.
Ram is also including a 360-degree camera on the new Power Wagon, which allows the driver to access a forward-facing view in order to help navigate off-road obstacles.
All four-wheel drive versions of Ram’s new HD trucks are equipped with a BorgWarner part-time transfer case, the company says.
“Trucks equipped with the HEMI or the weaker variant of the 6.7L Cummins drive power through either an electronic (BW 44-46) or manual shift (BW 44-47) transfer case, depending on the model. Ram Heavy Duty trucks with the high output version of the Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel are equipped with an all-new part-time BorgWarner transfer case (BW 44-48). This transfer case is designed to handle the higher input loads for maximum towing capability up to 35,100 lbs,” Ram says.
The 2018 Ram 1500 won over lots of critics thanks to its smooth ride, sophisticated exterior design and a plush new interior. Ram’s execution of those three elements on the latest 1500 models represents a successful marriage of luxury vehicle with highly-capable truck.
Smartly, Ram has brought over just about everything great about the design of the 1500, both inside and out, over to the new 2500 and 3500.
For starters, there’s a huge 258 liters of storage volume on the Mega Cab Ram 2500 and 3500, including two bins behind the rear seats and a center console with 12 different storage combinations and 22.6 liters of storage capacity.
Like the one found on the 1500, the HD trucks’ center console features a three-position sliding cup holder tray that can be stowed under the center armrest to reveal a deep storage tub that can hold a 15-inch laptop.
In addition to all the storage space, the trucks feature active noise cancelling for a quieter ride, a 17-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system, wireless charging dock, five USB charging ports with USB-C, a new HVAC system with 30 percent more air flow at lower noise levels, standard push-button start and the optional 12-inch UConnect touchscreen display that debuted on the 2018 1500. The display supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and can display apps in full- or split screen.
On the exterior, Ram says the 2500 and 3500 get a new lighter aluminum hood and a larger front grille opening with side different grille styles. Ram adds that the new front bumper features larger openings for greater airflow to “the largest turbo inter cooler Ram has ever adapted to its halo pickups.”
Three different headlamp designs are available: Halogen, full LED/reflector and full LED/projector with the Adaptive Front-lighting System, providing up to 15 degrees of movement in the expected direction of travel, Ram says.
The trucks also feature the RamBox storage bins built into the bed rails. The bins are weatherproof, lockable, illuminated, and feature a 115-volt outlet with up to 400 watts of power.
The following driver assistance features are available on Ram’s new HD pickups:
- Automatic Emergency braking
- 360-degree camera display with trailer reverse guidance
- Selectable tire pressures
- Tire pressure monitoring, now including trailer tire pressure monitoring for up to 12 trailer tires
- Rear-view camera
- A secondary rear-view camera for monitoring payload in the bed
- New back-up sensors now cover added width of dual rear wheels