2012 Ram 2500 Review
2012 Ram 2500 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- High-quality cabin
- massive torque with diesel/automatic powertrain
- massive rear-seat room (Mega Cab)
- quiet highway ride.
- Fussy audio system controls (with navigation).
For 2012, the Ram 2500 gets a six-speed automatic for the 5.7-liter V8, the option of the RamBox bed side compartments for the 6-foot-4-inch bed and a few more versions of the Power Wagon.
The 2012 Ram 2500 is a top pick for a heavy-duty truck thanks to its top-notch interior, comfortable ride quality and impressive towing and hauling capabilities.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2012 Ram 2500 ST 2dr Regular Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of N/A undefined in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Not Available for 2500 ST
Avg. Large Truck
The 2012 Ram 2500 finds itself in the thick of a three-way brawl for heavy-duty pickup truck supremacy. Fortunately, it comes packing the right talents in the form of powerful powertrains, a well-sorted suspension and a handsome cabin. The latter is especially notable for its high-quality look and feel and many upscale features. The burly Ram also provides its occupants with a fairly comfortable and quiet ride, thanks to a relatively forgiving suspension, hydraulic cab-to-frame mounts and low levels of road and wind noise.
The Ram 2500's standard 5.7-liter V8 is rated at 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, but to maximize its work potential, we recommend going with the diesel. The 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline-6 churns out 350 hp and a best-in-class 800 lb-ft of torque when equipped with an automatic transmission. As such, the Ram 2500 more than earns its "heavy-duty" status. Properly equipped, it can tow up to 15,500 pounds (depending on body style and powertrain choice), while maximum hauling capacity tops out at 3,190 pounds.
Compared to its Chevy Silverado 2500HD and Ford F-250 rivals, the 2012 Ram 2500 finds itself essentially evenly matched in terms of capability and ruggedness. But few would argue when we say that the Ram boasts the most attractive styling, along with an uncommonly upscale cabin.
Performance & mpg
The 2012 Ram 2500 is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (4WD is electronically engaged at the high trim levels and mechanically engaged at the lowest one). 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.
Every Ram 2500 comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The 5.7 is paired with a six-speed automatic. In Edmunds testing, a 4WD 2500 Power Wagon equipped with the gasoline V8 and the previous five-speed automatic went from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 8.1 seconds. The optional engine is a 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6 that produces 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed manual transmission, or 800 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed automatic.
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. The Ram 2500 has a maximum tow rating of 14,000 pounds with the gasoline engine, 13,400 for the manual-equipped diesel and 15,500 with the automatic and diesel engine.
Standard safety equipment for the 2012 Ram 2500 includes antilock disc brakes and side curtain airbags. Optional on the SLT and standard on the Laramie are power-adjustable pedals. In Edmunds braking tests, a Dodge Ram Power Wagon came to a stop from 60 mph in 141 feet, which is about average for a heavy-duty pickup.
Even though the 2012 Ram 2500 is 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 coil-spring rear suspension), but the 2500's leaf spring rear is as good as most other 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 of an unloaded heavy-duty truck. On the highway, road and wind noise are nicely quelled. Both of the Ram's engines are strong and provide plenty of power for towing and hauling heavy loads. Still, we highly recommend the big diesel matched to the six-speed automatic transmission, as its 150 extra lb-ft of torque over the diesel with the manual gearbox makes a noticeable difference in towing ability.
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. Unique to this pickup is the optional RamBox feature, which places a pair of lockable compartments over the rear fenders inside the truck bed. It's a neat feature, though we've found that the compartments aren't as durable as one would expect.
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.
2012 Ram 2500 models
The 2012 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 it combines an even bigger cabin with a short bed.
The regular cab comes in ST or SLT trims; the Crew Cab in ST, SLT, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Power Wagon trims; and the Mega Cab in SLT, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn only.
The Ram ST is the bare-bones trim level that comes with 17-inch steel wheels, black grille/bumpers, vinyl upholstery and flooring, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, air-conditioning, an electronic vehicle information display, a tilt steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. Power windows and door locks are standard on Crew Cab models, while regular cabs have manual controls.
The SLT adds chrome exterior trim, chrome-clad wheels, electronic trailer brake control, power-folding/heated side mirrors, a sliding rear window, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control 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 and a universal garage door opener.
There is also the Outdoorsman package for the SLT that adds the diesel engine, a limited-slip rear differential, tow hooks, polished alloy wheels (with white-letter tires), two-tone paint, wheel flares, a body-color grille frame, foglights, remote starting, auto-dimming mirrors, an overhead console, a 115-volt power point, illuminated vanity mirrors, power driver (10-way) and passenger (six-way) seats (with power lumbar supports) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio controls).
For those planning on using the Ram for serious off-road duties, the Power Wagon (available only as a Crew Cab 4WD with the short bed and 5.7-liter V8) should be of interest. It includes tow hooks, skid plates, all-terrain tires, a manual transfer case, a 4.56 axle ratio with electronically locking differentials, a power winch rated at 12,000 pounds of capacity, a front antiroll bar that disconnects electronically to improve wheel articulation off-road, rooftop running lights, foglights, quad headlights and Bluetooth. The Power Wagon is actually offered in three sub-trims -- ST, SLT and Laramie -- and as such comes with the standard features of those respective trims levels.
On the other end of the spectrum is the luxurious Laramie, which features polished alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, heated front seats, 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 digital music storage and iPod integration. The Laramie Longhorn adds color-keyed bumpers, remote start, rear park assist with rearview camera, bucket seats/console, ventilated front seats and a navigation system.
A spray-in bedliner is available across the board, while many of the upper trims' standard features are available as options in lower ones. Other option highlights include the RamBox cargo management system (which includes bedside storage compartments and an adjustable bed divider and tie-downs), a sunroof, an upgraded stereo and a rear-seat entertainment system.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
1.88 out of 5 stars
Worst Decision I've Ever Made.
2012 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn Limited Edition 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A)
First of all, when I bought this truck brand new in 2012, I loved it. For 93,000 I drove it around and honestly didn't think there was a better truck on the road. I bought the top of the line Laramie Longhorn Megacab 4x4 with the diesel. The engine worked great, and pulled anything. There was an issue here and there, but when you put so many luxury features in a truck, little things are … going to break. However, when my drivetrain broke, Chrysler refused to cover it under the warranty, even with the service records. The damage caused was so severe (more than $30k) that my insurance had to total the vehicle. Dealing with the warranty claims department took months, and they were useless.
5 out of 5 stars
2012 Ram 2500 Laramie 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A)
I have the 6.7 Cummins Diesel. Love the truck. The U Connect is ahead of its time for being a 2011. Horrible MPG with the PDF and EGR system but it's almost completely worth it just for the power and reliability. Need to improve the wheel well design which is a magnet for rust..... same with the frame. For the price of these trucks I think Ram could afford a rust proof frame.
4.5 out of 5 stars
2500 ST 6.7L Diesel 4X4 Automatic (for some reason, this was not an option on the *Model list)
2011 Ram 2500 ST 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
Up to this point, the truck has been great. The only issue I have had so far is the O2 sensor acted up, activating the "check engine" light. Once replaced, I experienced no further issues with it. It has a ton of power and torque. The interior layout is ergonomical and comfortable. The ride is quiet and smooth. In fact, people frequently comment about how quiet it is for a diesel truck. … It brakes well considering its size and weight. I use this truck both on and off road, and so far it has performed admirably. Overall, a great value.
5 out of 5 stars
2011 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn Edition 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
Best 3/4 ton on the road. Comfortable, Nice styling cues, Ergonomic designed cabin. Everything is at your finger tips, Great in cabin storage as well. Not to mention you do NOT need DEF Fluid, Fuel mileage on this monster has been better than expected. It turns heads everywhere i go. Drive one and you will understand. This truck can handle the farm or a nice night out on the town. Its … really hard to find a flaw with this new truck, Ram Trucks hit this one out of the ballpark.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2012 Ram 2500, so we've included reviews for other years of the 2500 since its last redesign.
2012 2500 Highlights
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Max Towing Capacity||15,100 lbs.|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover15.5%