Full 2010 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 Review
What's New for 2010
The 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 has been redesigned. Highlights include a roomier Crew Cab model, revised suspension tuning and updated styling.
For much of 2008 and 2009, Chrysler had more than its fair share of bad news. If it wasn't tanking sales of trucks and SUVs, it was, well, bankruptcy. But we're fairly confident that the redesigned 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 will be a bright spot. The truck has been fully redesigned for added comfort and quality, yet it keeps its tough-truck persona that its forebears were known for.
A bigger, forward-leaning grille and a bulging hood are some of the more obvious exterior enhancements for 2010. More significant changes can be found inside the 2500's cabin, as the interior has been updated with a sharper design and top-notch materials similar to the recently redone Ram 1500. Additionally, the previous-generation's much-maligned Quad Cab has been discontinued, replaced by a roomier Crew Cab version that can, like the old Quad Cab, be combined with a long bed. Comfort also sees marked improvements thanks to a retuned suspension and hydraulic cab-to-frame mounts.
But don't think for a second that the big bad Ram has gone soft. The Ram 2500 boasts a maximum towing capacity of 13,450 pounds, while payload tops out at 3,160 pounds when properly equipped. Making all of this heavy hauling possible is an optional 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline-6 that cranks out 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The standard 5.7-liter V8, rated at 355 hp and 395 lb-ft, is no slouch either, but to fully live up to the truck's heavy-duty classification, you'll want to go with the diesel.
When compared to the few 2500-series heavy-duty trucks in this class, the 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 is practically in a dead heat against the Ford F-250 and Chevy Silverado 2500. But the Dodge has the advantage when it comes to bold styling and an uncommonly upscale interior. All things considered, the 2010 Ram 2500 should easily satisfy anyone in need of a heavy-duty workhorse.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 heavy-duty pickup is available in three cab styles: regular, Crew Cab and Mega Cab (a jumbo crew cab). The regular cabs come with a long bed only, while the Crew Cab has either a short or long cargo bed. The Mega Cab rides on the same wheelbase as the Crew Cab long bed but pairs an even bigger cabin with the short bed. The regular cab comes in ST or SLT trims; the Crew Cab in ST, SLT or Laramie trims; and the Mega Cab in SLT or Laramie only.
The Ram ST is the bare-bones trim level, offering little more than 17-inch steel wheels, vinyl upholstery and flooring, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player. Power windows are standard on Crew Cab models, while regular cabs have manual cranks.
The SLT adds chrome exterior trim, chrome-clad wheels, heated side mirrors, a sliding rear window, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, keyless entry and satellite radio. SLT Crew Cab and Mega Cab Rams are eligible to upgrade to the Big Horn package (sold as the Lone Star package in Texas). This includes a chrome grille, foglights, brighter quad headlights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener and trailer brake control.
For those planning on using the Ram for off-road duties, the TRX and Power Wagon option packages should be of interest. The TRX package includes a limited-slip differential, foglights, tow hooks, skid plates, all-terrain tires and quad headlights. The Power Wagon package (available only on the 2500 SLT Crew Cab 4WD with the short bed and the 5.7-liter V8) adds a manual transfer case, 4.56 axle ratios with electronically locking differentials, a 12,000-pound-capacity power winch, rooftop running lights, an electronically disconnecting front sway bar and Bluetooth.
The luxurious Laramie gains polished alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a power driver seat with memory, power-adjustable pedals, auto-dimming mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and an upgraded nine-speaker surround-sound audio system with a 30 GB music server and iPod integration.
Options on the upper trims include a sunroof, remote start, power-adjustable pedals, front bucket seats, Bluetooth, a navigation system, satellite radio, an upgraded stereo and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2010 Ram 2500 is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (electronically controlled on all but the lowest trim level). The 4WD version has a solid front axle and recirculating-ball steering setup, while the 2WD model gets an independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.
All come standard with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 355 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. The 5.7 comes paired solely with a five-speed automatic. Optional is a Cummins 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6 that produces 350 hp and a whopping 650 lb-ft of torque. The diesel can be paired to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Opting for the diesel will also get you an exhaust brake. Typically seen only on big rigs, an exhaust brake provides additional stability and braking power when towing very heavy loads. And those loads can be quite substantial, considering the Ram 2500's maximum tow rating of 13,450 pounds and payload capacity of 3,160 pounds.
Standard safety equipment for the 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 includes antilock disc brakes and side curtain airbags. Optional on the SLT and standard on the Laramie are power-adjustable pedals. Trailer brake control is available as an option on all trims.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Ram 2500 takes a page out of the Ram 1500's playbook by offering the best interior among all pickups. On the higher trim levels, soft-touch materials and tasteful stitching are abundant throughout the cabin, while the plush seats and metallic accents are almost too nice for work truck status. Interior storage is generous, with plenty of bins and pockets to supplement the dual gloveboxes.
The controls are within easy reach and user-friendly, except for the audio system when it's paired with the optional navigation. In this configuration, the absence of hard buttons and knobs needlessly complicates some of the most basic functions. Fortunately, the steering-wheel-mounted controls help alleviate this problem.
Even though the 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 was built to tackle demanding pickup duties, it remains comfortably composed in most situations. The ride is firmer than that of its smaller 1500 sibling (which features a trick coil-spring rear suspension), but the 2500's leaf spring rear is as good as it gets among heavy-duty trucks.
Further isolating the occupants from the outside world are hydraulic cab-to-frame mounts that are tuned to reduce the jolting ride that is typical for an unloaded heavy-duty truck. On the highway, road and wind noise are nicely quelled.