2015 Ram 3500 Review

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2015 Ram 3500 Overview

Got some heavy hauling to do, and you want to look good doing it? Run, don’t walk to your nearest Ram dealership and take a look at the 2015 Ram 3500 lineup. This one-ton hunk of American-made (well, North-American-made) heavy-duty full-size pickup truck can now be delivered with an available tweaked turbodiesel that adds an extra 15 lb-ft of torque to the regular turbodiesel powerplant's output. While towing numbers remain a class-leading 30,000 pounds (with the fifth-wheel package), those added turbodiesel torque figures mean your Ram 3500 retains its title as the most powerful HD pickup on the market. Meanwhile, this hefty workhorse still struts one of the most handsome profiles around, and all trims remain available with a payload-perking dual-rear-wheel (DRW) setup.

Again for 2015, this big rig is offered in 3 cab configurations, the 3-seat Regular cab, the 6-passenger, 4-door Crew cab and the big-guy-friendly 6-passenger, 4-door Mega cab. Bed lengths also stand pat for 2015, with the capacious 8-foot long bed standard on Regular and Crew cab iterations, with a 6.4-foot short bed adorning Crew and Mega cab editions.

The trim listing, meantime, remains the base Tradesman, the up-featured SLT and the posh Laramie. The SLT, of course, can again be delivered in available Lone Star (Texas)/ Big Horn (everywhere else) iterations, while the Laramie can be up-fitted into the available Longhorn and super-plush Limited variants.

Standard power throughout the 2015 Ram 3500 lineup remains a ubiquitous and eminently capable 5.7-liter V8 engine that’s mated with a standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to put out 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Mileage is unavailable for any Ram powertrain since the EPA doesn’t track vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds, but towing with a properly equipped 5.7-liter-toting 3500 is maxed out at 13,850 pounds.

Need more grunt? Pick up a 2015 Ram 3500 with the available 6.4-liter V8 powerplant with its 6-speed shiftable automatic to revel in 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Look for towing numbers to max out at 16,200 pounds packing this perked-up and properly equipped V8, while payload in single-rear-wheel (SRW) versions returns maxed out at well over 4,000 pounds.

For the touted 30,000-pound towing maximum, on the other hand, you’ll need to drive off the lot in the Ram 3500 boasting an available Cummins 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline 6-cylinder (I6) mill. Again sporting the 6-speed shiftable automatic, this forced-air diesel powerplant puts out 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque, but with the available Asin HD 6-speed automatic, horsepower jumps to 385 and torque rises to 850 lb-ft. But wait, there’s more. For those who want to feel their driving oats and still tow a trailer, a 6-speed manual transmission allows 350 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque from the Cummins I6.

New for 2015, meantime, is that aforementioned tweaked version of the turbodiesel I6 that’ll still pump out 385 hp but takes torque numbers to the stratosphere at 865 lb-ft. Alas, towing numbers remain maxed out at a class-leading 30,000 pounds with either properly equipped turbodiesel 3500 variation, but you might make it up the hill a second or two faster with the newly up-powered version.

In any case, this hefty hauler is delivered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), while all variants once again qualify for an available part-time, shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel-drive (4WD) configuration with a manual or electronic 2-speed transfer case and auto-locking hubs.

Appearance-wise, look for various 2015 Ram 3500 trims to sport 18-inch steel or alloy wheels, a chrome grille and various chrome trim pieces, as well as side steps, a limited-slip rear differential, auxiliary transmission cooling and power-adjustable, power-folding mirrors, not to mention a standard trailer hitch and wiring.

Inside, again depending on the selected trim, expect your new 3500 to come with vinyl, cloth or leather upholstery, full power accessories, cruise control, tilt-wheel steering and remote engine start, not to mention the power-adjustable pedals, dual-zone auto climate control, front bucket seats and memory for driver’s settings found in higher trims.

Techno bling, meantime, includes front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera in higher trims, as well as Bluetooth hands-free calling and, in the Laramie Longhorn and Limited iterations, standard GPS navigation with an 8-inch touchscreen display.

Basic Uconnect (3.0) is standard in the 2015 Ram 3500 Tradesman and interfaces with 6 speakers and an auxiliary iPod input. The SLT adds upgraded Uconnect directions with a 5-inch touchscreen, along with satellite radio, while the Laramie throws in a 506-watt 7-speaker Premium Alpine audio system, and the Laramie Limited returns boasting a standard 9-speaker premium Surround Sound stereo.

Optional equipment in lower trims remains a choice among many of the goodies that come standard in higher trims, while a power sunroof and dual rear wheels (DRW) remain among the most notable of returning available standalone options for select trims. A cargo-view camera and/or a single-CD/DVD player are again optional to higher Ram 3500 trims for 2015, while a fifth-wheel towing-prep package remains available lineup-wide, as does an integrated trailer brake controller.

Finally, standard safety equipment returning to the 2015 Ram 3500 lineup includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and front (and in Crew and Mega cabs, rear) head airbags. Dusk-sensing headlights and a post-collision safety system also return to each trim, while the SLT and higher trims boast standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors, even as SLT Big Horn/Lone Star versions, as well as the Laramie trio, boast front fog/driving lights. Oh, and the Laramie in Regular, as well as Longhorn and Limited costume, returns sporting standard Uconnect emergency assistance communications and a remote antitheft alarm.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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