My 1996 Ram 2500 with the Cummins 5.9L i6 turbo diesel is a great truck. What I've found, though, is that the engine is far better than the truck. The truck has only left me stranded once in 210,000 miles due to a broken clutch. The interior is a good design, but the dashboard is falling apart, knobs stop working, and the A/C is just awful. The engine, on the other hand, is bulletproof. I have never had a problem with the engine; tons of power and torque, and is surprisingly quick for a 2500 truck! This truck will get you from point A to point B every time, but not always in the best comfort. If I had the option, I would most definitely buy this truck again.
I have a 1996 ram 2500 2 wheel drive standard box. This truck was ordered with the old and reliable 318 8 cyl. gas engine. We use this in our business here in BC Canada. I haul a 20 foot flat bed trailer out of the mountains on Vancouver Island with up to 20 8 x 6 inch x 18 foot cants of red cedar.
We just finished a 10,000 KM ( 6213 mile ) trip The engine used three liters of oil ( .79 gal ) of oil. Fuel economy was in the 20 mile per gallon range. I have never had a more reliable truck. We change the oil every 5000 KM ( 3000 ) and the transmission oil every 12 months. Regular maintance is all we have done and the truck just keep on going. Dodge builds a great product.
The full 8 foot box is a must for our work.
Drives great and easy to run through heavy traffic in large cities.
Breaks are great.
Easy to maintain.
A better radio/cd package would be welcomed.
A higher quality schock at delivery is required
Larger size tires would be an improvement for the rough gravel roads we work on.
the mediam metal and paper brake pads should be a factory standard.
We used it as a work horse the first ten years, hauling furniture, sawdust, rocks and etc., but putting very few miles on it as used car for out of town trips. Then with only 20,000 miles and a dozen years old decided to put a camper on it's back. Performs beautifully with a 8.5 camper fully loaded. Makes hills with little effort, as much as diesels do, if we do not lose RPM behind a truck. Never had it in the repair garage until this year, other than normal maintenance. This year have to have A/C fan fixed. Averaging 12-14 mpg with camper.
Best feature is cruise control. We set it at top of the hill and it reduces braking going downhill. Second favorite is great interior design and layout.
Would be nice if it had a pyrometer installed as standard equipment to measure turbo temperature.