Ram Heavy Duty Gets Outdoorsman Nod
By Don Armstrong
It wasn’t that long ago that heavy duty pickups were relegated to the working class. Most came with stark interiors, pie tin hub caps and little else. As leisure demand has grown, so has the amenities, and the Ram brand is leading the way.
The 2014 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4X4 is the epitome of luxury and capability. It now comes with a larger gasoline engine option and appears to have all the bases covered. Boasting the largest displacement V-8 in the segment, the 6.4-liter Hemi can also lay claim to a whopping 410-horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque.
This new gas engine doesn’t replace the standard 5.7 but rather adds to the options list that includes our favorite, the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel. The Cummins delivers 385-horsepower and 850 lb.-ft. of grunt. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Ride quality in the Heavy Duty class usually suffers due to its stiffer springs, but Ram engineers developed a rear link coil system that helps mitigate some of the unloaded jounce. If that’s not enough, a factory rear air suspension may be what the doctor ordered.
A set of 20-inch wheels aren’t just for rapper rides anymore, you’ll find them as a $1,200 option on Heavy Duties.
Another new option for 2014 is the integrated fifth wheel/gooseneck connection in the bed, a perfect, easy-to-use hookup for the Gulf Coast Mariner who occasionally likes to visit inland water.
Towing and hauling are reasons to purchase a Heavy Duty. With up to a 17,000 pound tow rating and payload approaching 4 tons, you are sure to find the right configuration to meet your needs. Be sure to consider whether you’ll need all the muscle for trips to mountainous terrain, the highway or city. Rear axle ratios are numerous. If slick boat ramps and/or jaunts to snowy areas are in your future, a 4-wheel drive system may be worth consideration, as well.
Inside the Laramie Longhorn, you’ll find an interior that is nicer than main house accommodations at Texas’ most famous ranches. Ram’s UConnect system delivers easy-to-use communications, navigation and entertainment features that will keep you informed, connected and productive through an 8.4-inch touch screen.
The entry level price for the Ram 2500 Crew is $33,685. Our Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4X4 model, with the new 6.4-liter engine, starts at $52,440.