Last year, Chrysler overhauled the Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups with new exteriors and interiors.
Almost everything above the heavy-duty Ram's frame was freshened, including its aerodynamic exterior and all-new interior, which is shared with the Ram 1500. The front axle and suspension have been strengthened to accommodate a wider range of snowplow prep packages for winter work. New hydraulic body mounts under the cabin are said to smooth out freeway hop.
A new four-door crew cab with bigger back doors and more rear passenger space replaces the previous, smaller four-door Quad Cab. A new 8-foot cargo box option (a 6-foot-4-inch bed is standard) should make the crew cab Ram HD an attractive choice for fifth-wheel towing.
The 6.7-liter Cummins six-cylinder diesel and Hemi V-8 powertrains remain unchanged, as does the Hemi-powered Power Wagon off-road version of the Ram HD. It's the only Ram HD with a 4.56 rear axle and locking front and rear differentials.
New for 2011
The Ram Outdoorsman replaces last year’s TRX model with a package aimed at avid hunters, campers and fishermen. An optional fishing rod and rifle rack can be added at Ram dealers for trucks equipped with the optional RamBox cargo box side storage. It also includes trailer-towing upgrades, interior and exterior convenience, lighting enhancements, all-terrain tires and underbody protection.
The Laramie Longhorn model is new and the most luxurious Ram truck yet. It’s aimed at Ford’s King Ranch and GMC’s Denali trims, with a leather interior that includes cowboy boot-style patterns, burled walnut trim and all-weather rubber mats with removable Berber inserts. The Laramie Longhorn also includes a unique two-tone paint job.
Power folding mirrors are a new option, and Hunter Green Pearl, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl and Sagebrush Green (Laramie Longhorn only) have been added as new exterior colors.
Ram heavy-duty pickups share headlamps and fenders with the 1500, but the grille is bigger to keep the engine cool while towing big trailers, and the hood is different to make room for the Cummins diesel. The front bumper has aggressive stamping. The single-piece chrome bumper wraps around the front fenders to give it a modern look and improved aerodynamics to help gas mileage.
The plastic snap-on rear fenders on previous-generation Ram HDs with dual rear wheels have been replaced with sculpted fenders stamped into the sides of the cargo box. They look clean and modern, but if they're dinged or damaged, they'll require bodywork instead of replacements.
The side mirrors can be pivoted horizontally or vertically, depending on trailer size, and the mirrors are larger and convex to improve visibility. Turn signals are integrated.
The inside features all the high-quality materials and ergonomic and electronic options the Ram 1500 has, and it adds a new integrated trailer brake controller like Ford and GM offer in their heavy-duty pickups. The brake controller eliminates the need for an aftermarket kit to control a trailer's electric brakes for improved towing control.
Buyers who tow long distances will appreciate the Ram's seating improvements, which include better ergonomics and comfort. The seats can be equipped with heat and ventilation for the driver and front passenger. Rear-seat heating is also optional, as is a heated steering wheel.
The new Laramie Longhorn is ultra-luxurious. It has full leather seating with laser-etched bolsters, and the front seatbacks have metal buckles (bearing the Ram logo) with magnetic clasps, like a mailbag. An exclusive instrument cluster has the appearance of hand-wrought jewelry with six chrome gauge rings set against a painted taupe silver background and a tooled-metal Laramie Longhorn edition badge. The carpet is protected by specially designed all-weather rubber mats with polished metal badging and removable carpet inserts. The Laramie Longhorn is equipped with all of the standard equipment found on the top-level Ram Laramie plus navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, front ventilated seats and rear heated seats.
Other interior features include:
- Revised navigation system
- Optional power-adjustable pedals
- Optional Sirius Backseat TV with three channels of programming
- UConnect system with 30GB hard drive and available 10-speaker surround-sound stereo system
- Numerous storage options, including in-floor storage
Under the Hood
- 383-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 400 pounds-feet of torque
- 350-hp, turbocharged 6.7-liter inline-six-cylinder diesel with iron block and cylinder head, cam-in-block, four valves per cylinder and 650 pounds-feet of torque with the automatic, 610 pounds-feet with the manual
- Six-speed manual (5.94:1 1st gear) standard with 6.7-liter engine
- Five-speed automatic standard with 5.7-liter engine
- Six-speed automatic available with 6.7-liter engine
Of Interest to Truck Owners
- Maximum gross vehicle weight rating: Regular cab, crew cab 3500 DRW, 12,200 pounds (6.7-liter)
- Maximum payload capacity: Regular cab 3500 DRW, 5,110 pounds
- Maximum towing capacity: Mega Cab 3500 DRW, 19,950 pounds with fifth-wheel hitch
- Axle ratio: 3.42:1, 3.73:1, 4.10:1, 4.56:1 (Power Wagon only)
- Transfer-case ratio low range: 2.72:1
- Minimum ground clearance: 7.1-8.0 inches (depending on model)
- Cargo-bed load height: 32.7-37.2 inches, 36.3 inches (Power Wagon)