2016 Ram 2500: A Best-in-Class Truck
Whether it’s the 2016 Ram 1500, 2016 Ram 2500, or 2016 Ram 3500, Ram Trucks provide vehicles that are making some serious waves in the market. Apart from almost catching up to Chevy on the sales charts, their trucks have also received a lot of best-in-class ratings for whatever you can think of. Even their diesel powertrain warranty is unsurpassed on the market. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see the middleman 2500 truck sitting here with a couple performance related best-in-class ratings. The 2016 Ram 2500 currently offers a best-in-class gas-powered engine and best-in-class diesel towing.
Let’s explore these two areas of interest, and see how this truck that’s caught in the middle is able to stand apart from the crowd.
The Runner Up Engine
While it might not receive a best-in-class rating, the base engine found on the Ram 2500 is still a solid option. The legendary 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine comes with Variable Valve Timing (VVT), so it can keep-up with efficiency without sacrificing performance capability. The VVT is able to provide optimal torque output of a large RPM range, which means sustained power regardless of where that needle falls. This engine cranks out 383 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, which allows it a towing capacity of 13,890 pounds and a payload of 3,060 pounds.
While it’s not best-in-class, it’s not that far off from the other competitor’s engines, nor is it that far away from receiving a best-in-class engine rating — as you’ll see momentarily.
Best-in-Class Gas Powered
The best-in-class gas powered engine is the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that also comes with fuel saver technology. However, unlike the 5.7-liter, this technology is slightly more advanced. It’s actually able to shut down four cylinders when cruising or going downhill to optimize efficiency, and also has two spark plugs per cylinder for increased power and torque. Even so, it’s still a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 so it’s not like the fuel-efficiency is anything miraculous. Is it above average for an engine this size? Probably, but that’s not what’s important here.
What’s important is the horsepower and torque, since that’s why it received a best-in-class title. This beast of an engine produces 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, which is obviously the highest in its class. It’s able to haul a payload of 3,990 pounds and tows up to 16,320 pounds.
While we know it’s already the best horsepower and torque available in the class, let’s take a look at Ford and Chevy’s 3/4 ton models to see how close they came to beating it. Coming in at a close second is Ford’s 2016 F-250 XL truck, with its engine putting out a best-in-class STANDARD (not overall) 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately for them, the Ram’s 2500 base engine is closer to nabbing best-in-class standard horsepower and torque than Ford is to getting the overall best-in-class rating. Ouch.
If Ford landed best-in-class standard horsepower and torque, and Ram landed best-in-class gas-powered engine, that means Chevy’s Silverado 2500 HD is even further away from the pack. With the 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine only able to put out 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, it doesn't even come close to the Ram 2500’s performance.
Horsepower and torque aren't the only metrics that Ram crushed Ford and Chevy in for 3/4-ton truck class, either.
Best-in-Class Diesel Towing
Along with the Ram 3500 landing best-in-class diesel towing in the one-ton truck class, the Ram 2500 was able to land that same rating in the 3/4-ton segment. With the available 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 engine equipped, the 2016 Ram 2500 is able to thoroughly stomp on the competition when it comes to towing.
Before we get into that, it’s important to note that this engine also has another best-in-class title, along with a class-exclusive feature capability. Apart from the towing capacity, it also has a best-in-class 15,000 mile oil change, and a class-exclusive smart diesel exhaust brake. The exhaust brake is simply an alternative way of slowing down the vehicle. Instead of relying on your typical brake pads, the exhaust brake can be used by closing down the exhaust path, and stop the gases from emanating out of the exhaust pipe.
Because of this, pressure is built back in the cylinders and manifold. This makes the engine work backwards, and slows the vehicle down. Not only is it a unique and cool way to slow down a vehicle, but it does promote better fuel efficiency, and works well regardless of the vehicle's size or weight. Therefore, this engine is not only powerful and practical, but innovative and equipped with advanced technology as well.
Now, let’s take a look at the towing specs. This engine provides the 2500 with a massive 17,980 pound maximum towing capacity, and a payload of 3,040 pounds. The horsepower sits at 350, which is lower than the base engine — as expected because it’s a diesel — and the torque sky-rockets to 660 lb-ft in order to provide the power necessary to tow such a massive load.
Again, the competition can’t even come close to this. Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V8 only gives their F-250 XL a towing capacity of 16,300 pounds at most, while Chevy’s 6.6-liter Duramax Turbodiesel V8 only gives their Silverado 2500 HD a towing capacity of up to 14,500 pounds. Even though Chevy’s website claims a maximum 18,000 pound towing capacity on the 2500 HD homepage, many other sources disagree (including Chevy’s own spec sheet).
In terms of diesel towing and gas-powered performance, the 2016 Ram 2500 reigns supreme. But, is it really surprising at this point? After all, Ram has become the quickest growing truck company on the market since they split from Dodge in 2009. Obviously, it was a smart move on their part since it let them create trucks the like Ram 2500. Without that split, they might not have ever been inspired to produce such high-quality trucks like those we see today.