Entry price: $33,245
Price as tested: $84,370
This week, we’re behind the wheel of the 2019 RAM 3500 Mega Cab 4x4 Cummins Diesel, clearly one of the biggest pickups we’ve driven. This RAM is so big the EPA classifies it as a “Heavy Duty” vehicle and therefore no MPG figures appear on the window sticker. In place of mileage estimates are two big letters, N/A, which means not applicable.
However, this doesn’t mean this RAM Cummins won’t deliver some decent fuel mileage. If you check www.fuelly.com, you’ll see results from 66 2018 RAM diesel owners with average MPG numbers in at 13.74 combined and a high well over 20 MPG. Seven owners averaged 18, so check this site out for any vehicle you might own.
Outwardly, RAM 3500 is both intimidating in a good way and stunning thanks to its overall mass, 3500 Series Cummins Diesel badges and dually polished aluminum wheels on 17-inch Nexen Roadian tires.
Our RAM 3500 4x4 featured the optional 6.7-liter Cummins 1000 lb. ft. torque High Output (HO) Turbo Diesel hooked to a heavy duty AISIN six-speed automatic. This option will set you back $11,795, but in the world of truck lovers, be it a Ford, Chevy, Nissan or Toyota, this RAM garners respect from onlookers wherever you take it.
Built for serious work, the RAM 3500 Mega Cab is also a mover of passengers weather headed for work at the quarry or taking the kids to a little league game. Family and friends will marvel at the spectacular interior, loaded with every amenity option and safety feature found in today’s top luxury vehicles. I hesitate a bit to say that some people might buy this RAM 3500 as a statement of luxury, but perhaps a certain percentage of owners do so.
Some of the RAM 3500 Mega Cab standard equipment includes ParkView enhanced backup and rear cameras, ParkSense front and rear assist, (you’ll need it with this dually), electric shift on the fly 4x4 case, traction controls, trailer brake control and sway damping, and electronic stability control. If you seek more cargo room, the Crew Cab 3500 series features an 8-foot box versus the Mega Cab’s 6.4-ft. bed.
Still, it’s the HO Cummings diesel we love most, which is unavailable in 1500 and 2500 series RAM pickups. However, both the 3500 and 2500 Series 2019 all-new RAMs offer the “non-HO” Cummins Diesel that delivers 370 horses and 850 lb. ft. of torque for $9,300 more. But if you want the ultimate 400 horse, 1000 lb. ft. Cummins HO, it is strictly a 3500 Series option and pushes tow capacity to an unbelievable 35,100 lbs.
For those who want a RAM 3500 work truck only, a single cab starts at just $33,245, so don’t let out tester’s final $80,000-plus price scare you away. Standard power on all 3500 RAM models is a potent 6.4 liter, 410-horse, 429 lb. ft. torque Hemi V8 connected to an eight-speed automatic. This combo makes for easy “normal” heavy duty towing, but falls short of the tremendous capacity of the Cummins diesels.
Other notable standard features include a Uconnect 8.4 touchscreen, 40-20-40 seating, heated seats and steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, nine-speaker Alpine stereo, spare tire carrier winch, ventilated seats, push button start with remote, dual zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting and much more. Our Laramie came with front bucket seats, reducing passenger capacity to five.
RAM’s underpinnings are configured for the most difficult of work tasks thus the ride is determined by the condition of the road. You’ll feel the bumps on secondary roads, yet relax in comfort on the nation’s smooth turnpikes. Included are numerous skid plates, all safety necessities, 3.73 axle ratio, locking 4x4 system, tow hooks, trailer tow connector and a towing brake controller.
Our RAM upgraded the towing abilities thanks to a $3,695 Maximum Tow Package, which lowers the axle ratio to a 4:10 and then adds a fifth Wheel Gooseneck tow prep kit, three reflecting triangles, auto level rear suspension, center high mount stop lamp with cargo view camera, a DOT roadside emergency kit with fire extinguisher, spare fuses, two red vinyl flags, and a 30,000 lb. capacity direct mount fifth wheel hitch by MOPA. (If you’re towing serious payload, this is a must).
Concerning comfort and amenities, a Laramie Level 2 option will cost you $3,995 but sure add the top line comfort amenities. A 17-speaker, 750-watt Harmon Kardon premium sound system will make any music sound spectacular and a single disc remote CD comes with this option. Included are several SiriusXM additions, automatic high beam headlamps, second row heated seats, rain sensitive wipers, ventilated front seats, and blind spot and cross traffic upgrades.
Another $1,995 option finds a 12-inch deep Unconnect NAV system and improves further the aforementioned SiriusXM services. You RAM dealer will explain in full the advantages of all options along with current buyer incentives.
Pushing the price further upward are numerous ancillary options like two-tone front leather seats with a wireless charging pad for $545; red pearl coat paint for $100; Preferred safety group with adaptive cruise and full speed forward collision warning for $795, protective transfer case skid plate for $95; Tonneau tri-fold cover for $695; power sunroof at $1,095; power running boards $995 (highly recommended); and a spray in bed liner for $595. With $1,695 delivery, this fully loaded dually RAM 3500 Laramie diesel came in at a retail of $84,370.
Important numbers include a 160.4 in. wheelbase, 8,133 lb. dually with diesel curb weight, 31-gallon fuel tank, and 51.6 ft. turn circle.
The RAM 3500 HO Cummins Diesel is one awesome truck. It’s built for massive towing yet still delivers a fine ride on the smooth freeways. It’s also very quiet inside (quieter than last year’s RAM 3500), and the interior lavishness is a game changer when comparing competition.
Throw in the all-new 2019 RAM design and the 3500 Series, gas or diesel, has few if any peers on the road today.
Likes: Torque, new motif, spectacular interior, hard work or play.
Dislikes: Expensive options, very high step-in without running boards, nothing else worth mentioning.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at email@example.com.
Test Drive: 2019 RAM 3500 Laramie 4x4 Mega Cab Cummins Diesel
Entry price: $33,245