Engine6.4L Hemi V8
Power410 HP / 429 LB-FT
As Tested Price$58,465
While Ram heavy duty trucks may be known for packing wonderful Cummins inline-six diesel engines, this particular model has a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 under the hood. The Laramie trim sits dead in the middle of the Ram lineup, just below the much-beloved Power Wagon. While it may not pack all the off-road capabilities of the Power Wagon, it has a few more comfort and convenience features that make it better to live with day-to-day.
Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: The first thing that struck me besides the towering ride height of the Ram 2500 Laramie was the firmness of the ride. Despite bouncing around quite a bit on our uneven city road surfaces, I kind of enjoyed the joyful feeling of the stiff suspension. I could see myself growing tired of it, though, after a long day of driving. Still, this truck was pretty fun — and surprisingly easy — to drive in traffic, which is not something I usually say or feel about pickups. The brake effort when coming up on highway jams was the only thing that really shook my confidence in the Ram.
It's a beefy machine, too. It garners attention and a wide berth on the road. My 2-year-old son was instantly impressed with it, of course (though a little sad he couldn't fit in the center console storage bin like he could in the Ford F-150). A friend of mine who'd never before struck me as the pickup type (though now that I think about it ...) saw photos I posted on Twitter and commented, "I'd drive that truck, dang." Then, later in our conversation, she summed up in just a few characters the conflicted feelings that this particular pickup had been stirring up in me all night:
I should care more about fuel economy, but when it comes to trucks, I like em nice & burly— Mariah (@mariahc) August 1, 2017
I'm not likely to own a truck, let alone an HD. This Ram, though, did what other pickups haven't in a long time. It provided me with guilty pleasure, instead of just guilt.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: What's better than a Ram 1500? How about a 2500. Call it the Power Wagon syndrome: Suddenly I feel like I need a 2500 to do anything. This one is sweet. The 6.4-liter Hemi sounds good. It's menacing but subtle. This might be my favorite FCA US engine. The force-induction 6.2-liter is great for the devilish Dodges (and a Jeep), but it's hard to beat the visceral dynamic of the naturally aspirated 6.4 V8.
Inside and out, the Ram makes a statement. The cabin is total luxury. Ram has been decking out its cabins for years, and even the mid-level Laramie trim is richly appointed with a color infotainment screen, Uconnect, and heated and vented seats (I used them to chill my lunch leftovers). We also slathered on optional leather bucket seats, which are supremely comfy. Meanwhile, the exterior is bold and accented with blacked-out wheels and trim. Oh, and the official color of this thing? Delmonico Red. I love to compare muscle-bound vehicles to meat-and-potatoes dishes. A V8 Ram HD truck named after a steak — I'll just leave it there.
Associate Editor Reese Counts: For the most part, I'm not really a truck guy. I don't do any off-roading, and I rarely carry anything that's too big to fit inside a hatchback. I suppose that's my qualifier for the following few paragraphs. I really like this truck. Not as much as the Power Wagon we had a few months back, but more so than the competition from Chevy and Ford.
First off, this thing looks great. Ram has the best styling of the big three, and no one comes close on wonderful paint options. The deep red paint is the color of deoxygenated blood mixed with metallic shavings. It's rich. While I'm not always a fan of blacked-out badges, they look just perfect on this particular truck. Despite carrying on with the same basic bodywork as the 2009 model, the Ram 2500 still looks sporty and tough. I dig it.
While I'm a big fan of the Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six diesel, I have to say I'm a bigger fan of this 6.4-liter Hemi V8. It sounds awesome, and has enough low-end torque to really move this porker off the line. While it's hard to pin down truck weights because there are so many body, cab, and engine combinations, this crew-cab six-foot four-inch bed 4x4 model should weigh well over three tons.
From behind the wheel, the Ram is fairly easy to maneuver. I don't think it drives better or worse than the competition, but compared to the trucks I was driving when I worked construction a decade ago, this thing is lightyears ahead. If I were buying a truck, I'd probably go with one of the midsize models from Chevy or Toyota. If I wanted something to haul my non-existent boat, I'd go with the Ram.
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: I was surprised how much I liked the 6.4-liter gas V8 over the Cummins in that glitzy Laramie Longhorn we had before. The V8 feels much more responsive than the lethargic diesel. It definitely accelerates the Ram quicker, and it makes a pretty good noise, too.
There's no forgetting this is a truck, though. The steering is really vague, and you can tell that you're carrying a lot of weight whenever you're turning or stopping. At least the steering is weighted nicely. The ride is classic truck firm, too. I was getting bounced around a lot over expansion joints on the interstate.
I do like the way this particular Ram looks, though. It's bold and mean with the dark red metallic and black wheels and trim, but not in the same, overcompensating way as the Ram Rebel. I also appreciate the lack of clearance lamps. I don't need to pretend I'm driving a semi-truck. And this is tall enough as it is, I don't need anything more sticking up off the roof. The interior is a respectable, tough, truck-like place to be, though there is one part of the Longhorn I wish transferred to this Ram: the actual wood trim. I've never been a fan of wood from the plastic tree.
Managing Editor Greg Rasa: My farmer father had a saying he'd use when driving down the road in his dirty old work truck. He'd point to a townie's fancy pickup with extended cab and short bed, or to those silly stepside beds that were popular years ago — and he especially delighted in saying it about SUVs: "Look! There's a truck you can't haul anything in."
(He would then speculate about the owner's loan payments and how underwater he was, concluding that his own truck was paid for. Heard it a hundred times.)
The people I know who drive pickups are farmers. They'd never spring for an interior this nice — you'd just get it dirty. Trucks are for work, not driving to church. And they'd never go for the king cab if it meant anything less than an 8-foot bed. Although this truck's box is a bit shorter than my dad's ideal, at least it is full-width, unlike the Ram bed option that integrates toolboxes into the sides. What any farmer would like, though, is the Hemi and the solid, heavy-duty, old-school feel of this rig. It could traverse a muddy field. And it could definitely haul or tow something — something really, really heavy.