2015 Ram 2500 Starts at $31,510; at Dealerships in October

Just the Facts:
    • Prices for the 2015 Ram 2500 pickup truck will start at $31,510 and the 2015 Ram 3500 model will start at $32,105.
    • Production on the heavy-duty Ram pickups begins this week and they are expected to arrive at dealerships early in October.
    • Chrysler claims best-in-class towing and payload capacities for the 2015 Ram 3500.

    AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Prices for the 2015 Ram 2500 pickup truck will start at $31,510 and the 2015 Ram 3500 model will start at $32,105, Nick Cappa, a Chrysler spokesman told Edmunds. The prices include a $1,195 destination charge.

    That represents a $200 increase over 2014 for the Ram 2500, while the Ram 3500 will see no increase over this year.

    Production on the heavy-duty Ram pickups begins this week at Chrysler Group's Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico and they are expected to arrive at dealers early in October, Cappa said.

    Chrysler said the 2015 Ram 2500 offers 17,970 pounds of towing capacity, while the Ram 3500 takes it up a notch to 30,000 pounds capacity. According to Chrysler, both pickups lead their classes in towing, based on SAE J2807 test criteria.

    When it comes to payload, Chrysler also claims best-in-class honors at 7,390 pounds for the 2015 Ram 3500.

    The standard powertrain for both models is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that puts out 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission. Optional gasoline power is available in the form of a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine, which generates 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.

    Both the 2500 and 3500 pickups can be ordered with an optional 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline-6 engine that delivers 350 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The second option for both models is a 370-hp Cummins diesel that generates 800 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

    At the top of the heap, available only on the 2015 Ram 3500, is a 6.7-liter Cummins high-output turbodiesel inline-6 that is paired with a six-speed automatic. It's rated at 385 hp and 865 lb-ft of torque, which Chrysler says puts it at the top of its class.

    Ford, however, has also claimed best-in-class towing for its 2015 F-450 heavy-duty pickup at 31,200 pounds.

    Mike Levine, Ford spokesman told Edmunds: "Ford F-Series Super Duty is the best-selling heavy-duty pickup, offering the segment's best towing capability of 31,200 pounds, and our Ford-designed, Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel rated at 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque for every diesel customer. We're proud to work at continuously improving the power, capability and efficiency of all of our vehicles — regardless of what the competition does."

    So how can two pickups both offer best-in-class towing?

    The explanation may be that, while Chrysler has adopted SAE J2807 testing standards for the 2015 model year, Ford, like other automakers, continued to use its own internal testing system on some models, like the current heavy-duty F-450.

    But Levine noted that Ford has already begun applying the SAE standard to many vehicles, including the 2014 Ford Escape compact SUV, 2014 Transit Connect compact van and 2015 Ford F-150 pickup.

    "Future all-new models will also comply with the standard," he said.

    General Motors has adopted the SAE standards for its latest pickups, including the heavy-duty 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and GMC Sierra 2500HD, as well as the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD and GMC Sierra 3500HD.

    Tom Wilkinson, a GM spokesman told Edmunds: "Our maximum trailer rating for a fifth wheel pickup is 23,200 pounds, while our maximum for conventional towing is 19,700, best in segment. We think that the percentage of people who tow more than that with a pickup is close to zero. Our focus is on making towing easier. We have paid particular attention to the integration of the powertrain grade braking, diesel exhaust brake and cruise control. Think of a power screwdriver. Once you have sufficient capability to do the job you need to do, what matters is how well the tool does the job. Does it fit your hand and work smoothly, or do you go home at the end of the day with a sore wrist?"

    The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) established J2807, a standard test for measuring towing capacity in 2008 and updated it in 2010. But, as previously reported by Edmunds, manufacturers were hesitant to be the first to adopt the new standards for fear of being stuck with lower advertised towing capacities compared to their own internal test procedures.

    But automakers are gradually beginning to adopt SAE J2807. In addition to Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, Toyota is on board. Nissan has said it will adopt the standard as new models roll out.

    Edmunds says: Buyers in the market for a heavy-duty pickup will want to compare towing-capacity claims from the various manufacturers.