2013 Ram 2500 Review
2013 Ram 2500 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- High-quality cabin
- massive torque with diesel/automatic powertrain
- roomy rear-seat room (Mega Cab)
- quiet highway ride.
- Diesel's output is less with manual transmission.
For 2013, the Ram 2500 is redesigned. It may not look it, as most of the changes are under the skin, such as a stronger frame, a more powerful turbodiesel engine and a revised suspension. Others, such as LED turn signals, a slightly refreshed cabin, a new touchscreen and a configurable display within the instrument panel, are more readily apparent.
The 2013 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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2013 Ram 2500 Tradesman 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 Tradesman
Avg. Large Truck
If the battle for heavy-duty pickup truck supremacy involved muscle-bound, heavily tattooed guys instead of trucks, it would resemble an Ultimate Fighting Championship. Either way, the combatants are fierce and not afraid of hard physical work. The 2013 Ram 2500 has all the requisite talents to compete with its full-size foes, including strong powertrains, a well-sorted suspension and a handsome, comfortable cabin. And with this year's more-than-meets-the-eye redesign that boasts a stronger frame and more powerful diesel engine, those talents are even more impressive.
The Ram 2500's standard 5.7-liter V8 is rated at 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, respectable to be sure. But if your truck's duties are going to involve more serious tasks, then we recommend going with the optional turbodiesel, which churns out up to 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. As such, the Ram 2500 more than earns its "heavy-duty" status. Properly equipped, it can tow up to 18,350 pounds (depending on body style and powertrain choice) and haul up to 3,170 pounds.
And yet as it's performing all that grunt work, the big Ram coddles its passengers in the upper trim levels with a handsome cabin furnished with high-quality materials. This year, the Ram 2500 also gains Chrysler's latest electronic features, including an available 7-inch display in the gauge cluster, an 8.4-inch touchscreen and the newest Uconnect services. Adding to its easy-to-live-with demeanor is a quiet, comfortable ride and generous array of available luxury features.
Compared to its 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD and 2013 Ford F-250 rivals, the 2013 Ram 2500 finds itself essentially evenly matched in terms of capability and ruggedness. But considering that it has the newest design along with arguably the most attractive styling and upscale interior, the Ram could very well take the title belt.
Performance & mpg
The 2013 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 660 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed manual transmission, or up to 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed automatic.
Depending on body style and powertrain configuration, the Ram 2500 has a maximum tow rating of 14,350 pounds with the gasoline engine, 17,250 for the manual-equipped diesel and 18,350 with the automatic and diesel engine.
Standard safety equipment for the 2013 Ram 2500 includes antilock disc brakes and side curtain airbags. Optional on the SLT and standard on the Laramie are power-adjustable pedals.
Even though the 2013 Ram 2500 is built to tackle demanding pickup duties, it remains comfortably composed in most situations. The ride is expectedly 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 190 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.
The controls are within easy reach and user-friendly, especially in the upper trims (and any equipped with navigation) with the 8.4-inch touchscreen. With large, logically located virtual buttons, this is one of the best examples of this high-tech interface seen in any vehicle.
2013 Ram 2500 models
The 2013 Ram 2500 heavy-duty pickup is available in three cab styles: two-door regular, four-door 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 Tradesman or SLT trims; the Crew Cab in Tradesman, SLT, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Power Wagon trims; and the Mega Cab in SLT, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn trims.
The Tradesman is the most basic Ram and it comes with 17-inch steel wheels, black grille/bumpers, vinyl upholstery and flooring, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, air-conditioning, cruise control, an electronic vehicle information display, a tilt steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with USB/iPod and auxiliary audio jacks. 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, 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, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio controls), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio.
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, an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, power front seats 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.
On the other end of the spectrum is the luxurious Laramie, which features polished alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, a power driver seat with memory, power-adjustable pedals, auto-dimming mirrors, an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and an upgraded nine-speaker surround-sound audio system with digital music storage. The Laramie Longhorn adds color-keyed bumpers, a spray-in bedliner, remote start, rear park assist, HD radio, bucket seats/console, heated rear seats and a navigation system.
Many of the upper trims' features are available as options in lower ones. Other option highlights include the RamBox cargo management system (which includes bedside storage compartments, an adjustable bed divider and tie-downs), a sunroof, an upgraded stereo and a rear-seat entertainment system.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
2 out of 5 stars
2013 Ram Cummins SLT 4 dr. long bed
Habitual Dodge Cummins owner, 08/08/2018
2013 Ram 2500 SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl 6A)
Think long and hard before you buy this truck. I traded in my '02 model, similarly equipped, knowing that the older model would require some shop time, before long. It turned out that the new truck spent much more time in the shop than the old one ever did. High points are the refinements. The new 6.7L Cummins in the later Ram models are whisper-quiet at highway speeds. The new truck is … much more stable. Gone is the death wobble that threatened the older models at higher speeds. Mileage is on par with the older, 12v Cummins in the Dodge Rams. Highway mileage regularly calculates above 20 mpg, with a best ever of 23.9, driven at or below the speed limit on a round trip between Soldotna and Seward, AK. With a heavy trailer, right at the 17k lb. capacity of the truck, mileage dropped below 10 mpg on the same highway (a hilly, twisty highway). Here are the downsides: this truck has been in the shop for repair for three months, in the two and a half years that I've owned it, starting with a check engine light on the first drive home from the dealership. It was back and forth to their shop seven times, all for different problems, in the first nine months that I owned it, for a total of two months in that time period. I also replaced the water pump, myself, during that time. It has been replaced a second time, since then. The main exhaust emission components were all replaced twice. The rear differential failed, and was rebuilt. The heater fan quit working, and one dealer took two weeks to fix it, replacing the fuse box, at a cost to me of $1k. As soon as the warranty was out on the emissions system, I pulled it all off, and installed the biggest muffler I could buy. I like to be able to hear myself think. That cost $1,300 for materials and the programmer, not including my time to weld the exhaust and remove the problematic devices. Now, at 67,500 miles, the variable geometry turbo actuator has failed. The dealer first quoted me $2,800 for the device, which is in stock, and said they could drop it to as low as $1,950. Since the powertrain warranty ran out two months ago, this is my cost. I opted to mail the actuator to a repair place, at a cost of $500, and two weeks out of service. Again, not counting my labor. Speaking of the VGT, the exhaust brake is a nice feature that doesn't work like it should, with the automatic. It works best with a heavy trailer, but only if you are using the brakes. At highway speeds, the exhaust brake will slow you down to 55, then the torque converter unlocks, and the truck coasts at an idle. You get better compression braking naturally with the exhaust brake off, because the torque converter stays locked. You can make the exhaust brake work better by downshifting manually, but touching the throttle will leave you coasting when the torque converter unlocks, and the control for manually shifting barely works. The A/C quit working not long after they fixed the heater fan, and I haven't gotten it fixed, yet. One of the two USB ports does not work. The sheet metal on the body is thin, and both doors were already dinged when I bought it, at 20k miles, apparently by people pushing the doors, near the handle, to close them. The left third of the rearview mirror turns into the backup camera, which basically makes the mirror useless for backing up the truck, especially if it's dark. The truck is prone to understeer, and traction control is an unwelcome inconvenience that can't be turned completely off unless in four wheel drive, at a dead stop. It also leaves you with a considerable throttle lag, as the computer decides whether or not it can give the throttle input you desire. The value of the truck has declined steadily, since I bought it, and it is still barely worth what I owe on it. Summing it up, the truck fails in several of the categories which are the main reasons to buy a diesel pickup, including reliability, durability, and resale value. Good power, mileage, refinement, and work ability. The roomy interior is nice to sit in, even when the truck doesn't run.
4.63 out of 5 stars
2013 Ram 2500 Laramie 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 6A)
Bought a new 2013 Ram 6.7L and love it supper over kill for my little boat but it does the job and more. I have had no problems up to now and gas mileage is around 20MPG in the San Antonio metro area not BAD! I will buy this truck again. Interior looks amazing they did skimp on the very fine details but its almost unnoticeable. Good truck probably the best for money and value.
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.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2013 Ram 2500, so we've included reviews for other years of the 2500 since its last redesign.
2013 2500 Highlights
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Max Towing Capacity||17,950 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%
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