2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500 Review

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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Powerful engine lineup, jumbo-size Mega Cab provides limolike rear passenger space, compliant highway ride, many standard and optional features.
  • Bed configurations aren't ideal, cramped rear seat in Quad Cab.

The heavy-duty Dodge Ram 3500's powerful engine choices and functional interior make it a solid choice for hard-core truck users.

Vehicle overview

You'd have to be a little nutty to buy a 1-ton dually pickup truck and not really need one. Sure, those double tires and wide truck bed look tough, but the stiff-legged ride created by its beefed-up suspension can make highway cruising a jittery affair. Plus, driving a dually around suburbia is only one step removed from piloting a Norwegian Cruise liner down the Erie Canal. The 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 exists for truck buyers who need serious towing capacity, whether they're lugging around Secretariat's relatives or their own relatives in a 30-foot Fleetwood trailer. In other words, posers need not apply.

Only three automakers offer heavy-duty pickup trucks, and the Dodge is the elder statesman of the group, having been introduced in 2003. An interior redesign a few years ago maintained the truck's freshness, while a new 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel debuted last year that seriously upped the Ram 3500's towing and hauling potential. Packing 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the big diesel six-cylinder helps this biggest Ram tow up to 16,350 pounds.

The Ram 3500 features a dual-wheel rear axle (except for short-bed Quad Cabs) and is available in two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive configurations, with the latter being controlled electronically on all but the lowest trim level. The four-wheel-drive 3500 has a solid front axle and recirculating-ball steering setup, while the two-wheel-drive model gets an independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.

The 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 competes against the Ford F-350 and the impressive new 1-ton trucks from GM: the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 3500s. The Ram trails the GM trucks in terms of interior quality, but is much more competitive where it really matters. When equipped for maximum towing, the Ram trails the big GMs by only 150 pounds. The F-350 offers significantly less, though Ford offers a more capable F-450 model.

One aspect that sets the Ram apart from its competitors is the Mega Cab, which stretches the regular crew cab by 20 inches. This provides rear occupants with nearly a foot more legroom, plus it creates storage space behind the reclining rear seatback. This is perfect for those with passenger-hauling priorities, but the Mega Cab can only be had with a short-bed design.

Unless you need the 3500's maximum hauling and towing capabilities, the smoother-riding, less unwieldy half-ton Ram 2500 is a better choice. It is equipped almost identically and can be had with the same choice of engines, while its maximum towing capacity is only 3,000 pounds less than the big dually. Still, for those not-so-nutty people with a legitimate 1-ton need, the 2008 Ram 3500 will certainly serve them well.

2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500 models

The 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup is available in three cab styles: regular, Quad Cab (crew cab) and Mega Cab (a jumbo crew cab). The regular cabs come with a long bed only, while the Quad Cab has either a short or long cargo bed. The Mega Cab rides on the same wheelbase as the Quad Cab long bed but pairs an even bigger cabin with the short bed. The regular cab comes in ST or SLT trims; the Quad Cab in ST, SLT or Laramie trims; and the Mega Cab is SXT or Laramie only. With the exception of Quad Cab short beds, all Ram 3500s have a dual-rear-wheel axle.

The Ram ST is pretty bare-bones, offering little more than 17-inch wheels, vinyl upholstery, 40/20/40-split front bench seat, air-conditioning and a CD player. The SLT adds alloy wheels, cruise control, cloth upholstery, carpet, power accessories and keyless entry. The SXT is equipped similarly, but comes only with the Mega Cab. The luxurious Laramie comes with standard upgrades like dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a power driver seat, upgraded speakers and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Options on the upper trims include niceties like a sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, front bucket seats, Bluetooth, navigation system, satellite radio, an upgraded stereo and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

2008 Highlights

The SLT Mega Cab trim level is now known as the SXT. There is a 1,000-pound increase in the gross vehicle weight rating for 2008 Dodge Ram 3500s with the Cummins turbodiesel and six-speed automatic.

Performance & mpg

The Ram 3500 dually is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8 engine. It makes 345 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. For the V8, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. The latter comes standard with the Laramie trim. Most buyers go for the optional 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline-6 that produces 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. This big mill can be paired to a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. For the diesel, Dodge also includes an exhaust brake. This is an unusual feature for a from-the-factory pickup, and is designed to provide additional stability and braking power when towing very heavy loads. The Cummins is also the first diesel engine in the truck market to meet the more stringent 2010 federal emissions requirements.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard on the 2008 Dodge Ram 3500, and side curtain airbags are optional. Optional on the SLT and standard on the Laramie are power-adjustable pedals. No crash tests have been performed on the Ram 3500, but in government crash tests, the lighter Ram 1500 earned five out of five stars for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. Frontal-offset collision testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety similarly resulted in a top rating of "Good."


Although it's built to take on the most demanding tasks, the 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 is still a surprisingly comfortable truck. Its steering is light and its turning circle is smaller than that of other heavy-duty pickup trucks. Ride quality is also respectably supple and is nearly as comfortable as most half-tons. The V8 is a competent all-around engine, but for serious towing and hauling (plus decent fuel economy), the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel is essential.


The 2008 Ram's cabin features white-faced gauges, simple twist-knob climate controls and a huge center armrest/bin. Although it is a straightforward, user-friendly design, materials quality trails that of the new GM 1-ton pickups. Crew cabs can seat up to six people and the rear seats fold up to reveal a flat load floor for carrying large items inside. Unfortunately, rear seating in Quad Cabs is noticeably more cramped than in competitors' crew cab trucks. The Mega Cab more than compensates by expanding legroom by nearly a foot and offering a comfy, reclining backseat. If carrying passengers in comfort is a priority equal to pickup utility, it's hard to do better than a Ram 2500 Mega Cab model.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars
So far I have no complaints
ST 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
Have had this truck for a month and so far have no complaints. Have put over 10,000 miles on it and am very happy with performance and the fuel mileage. If I stay between 65 to 75, I am getting 18 mpg and have gotten up 19.5 if I am cruising 60 to 65. On recent drive between Challlis, ID and Boise going over Lowman pass, elevation 5020 got 18.5
3.75 out of 5 stars
Fix your 6.7
Laramie 4dr Mega Cab SB DRW (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
I haul drilling equipment the first 10k miles my truck was in the shop about 16 to 18 times same problem all the time check motor light running out of fuel to the motor under load I got tired of it Dodge offered to give me back $30,000 of the $50,000 I paid for the truck well that was bull, a friend of mine told me of a old diesel mechanic that had a fix for it so I went to see him i left my truck there for the day he told me I would have no warranty but I feel like I have no warranty any how when I came back he had a pile of junk on the floor that looked like cats tubing and hoses and he went in to my dash and killed the red light I now have 32k miles no problems and 23 mpg on the highway its fixed
4.25 out of 5 stars
Laramie SWLBQC 4x4 68RFE
Laramie 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB DRW (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
I bought this truck in June, with 32,000 miles, to pull a 32' toy hauler 5er'. The only major issue so far is the DPF clogged at about 40,000. This is the second HD I've owned; the other was an 04' 5.9 2X4 automatic. Stock, the 6.7 has much more grunt and this driveline is superior in all respects. All the complaints about emissions, fuel economy and injection systems are common across the big 3. Don't harp on Dodge-Cummins builds these engines and Uncle Sam demands clean tailpipes. As for fuel economy; with mandated ULSD I bet you won't get mid 20's out of the 5.9 anymore, either; in fact, I don't remember getting above 20 in my 04'. Don't buy into driving harder to kill C.E.L.-lazy dealer.
1.88 out of 5 stars
DPF nightmare
Laramie 4dr Quad Cab SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
We purchased a 2008 6.7 Laramie. Now it only has 20,000 miles and it has been towed three times in 2 weeks. It shut itself off when Catalytic warning came on. My husband lost power brakes and steering doing HWY speeds. My hubby and 7 yr old were almost killed in the truck. We will never buy another Dodge truck again. We have went to a Lemon Law attorney who is suing Chrysler. Our linkage cable to shifter went out. DPF filter and whole exhaust had to be replaced, check engine light on. Although covered under warranty it was a $8,000+ fix not including labor. Had to have rental for 18 days We pray every day our truck will make it.

More about the 2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500

Used 2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500 Overview

The Used 2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500 is offered in the following submodels: Ram Pickup 3500 Mega Cab, Ram Pickup 3500 Regular Cab, Ram Pickup 3500 Quad Cab, Ram Pickup 3500 Diesel. Available styles include SLT 4dr Quad Cab 4WD LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), SLT 4dr Quad Cab LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), Laramie 4dr Quad Cab 4WD LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), SXT 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB DRW (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), Laramie 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB DRW (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), SLT 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), SLT 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), Laramie 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), ST 4dr Quad Cab 4WD LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), SLT 2dr Regular Cab LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), ST 4dr Quad Cab LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), SXT 4dr Mega Cab SB DRW (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), ST 2dr Regular Cab LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), Laramie 4dr Quad Cab LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), ST 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB DRW (5.7L 8cyl 6M), Laramie 4dr Mega Cab SB DRW (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), SLT 4dr Quad Cab SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), Laramie 4dr Quad Cab SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), ST 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M), and ST 4dr Quad Cab SB (6.7L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6M). Pre-owned Dodge Ram Pickup 3500 models are available with a 5.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 330 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500 comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The Used 2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a unlimited yr./ unlimited mi. powertrain warranty.

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Dodge Ram Pickup 3500?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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