2013 RAM 3500

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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2013 RAM 3500. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • New features
  • Multiview rear cameras
  • Stability control on all versions
  • Uconnect that turns a smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot

The Bad

  • Big upgrades applied to 2013 3500 and larger models not applied to 2013 2500 series models
  • No long-bed Mega Cab model
  • No air suspension option like 1500
  • Six-speed transmissions now match competitors, but no eight-speed heavy-duty automatic

Notable Features of the 2013 RAM 3500

  • New frame and mechanicals to allow maximum tow ratings to 30,000 pounds and payloads greater than 7,000 pounds
  • New interior
  • Gasoline engine now available on 3500 series

2013 RAM 3500 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

For years builders of heavy-duty pickup trucks engaged in a war of numbers about power, load and tow ratings with incremental increases year to year or month to month that frequently saw the Ram place third. With the 2013 model's significant increases, Ram now tops the list in available torque, fifth-wheel towing capacity and gross combined weight rating.

The frame, steering, brakes, transfer cases, transmissions, cooling and electrical systems have all undergone a thorough upgrade, while the interior has inherited all the additions and advancements Ram applied to the 2013 1500 series.
New for 2013
It would be easier to say the Hemi engine, manual transmission and most body panels aren't new than to list everything that is.

The Ram 3500 has a new frame with stiffer material and stronger cross members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for a rigid platform. Provisions for an optional fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitch are built in, and the receiver hitch is bumped up to a Class V.

The new front suspension is wider and stronger, coupled to revised steering gear and linkage, and the rear suspension has been addressed for 3.5-ton payloads. Four-wheel-drive models bring back a front-axle disconnect system for improved mileage.

The Hemi gasoline engine isn't new but for the first time in years is available on 3500 trucks. It's considerably less expensive than a diesel, allows heavier front axle loads (like big plows) and can still pull and ...

Vehicle Overview

For years builders of heavy-duty pickup trucks engaged in a war of numbers about power, load and tow ratings with incremental increases year to year or month to month that frequently saw the Ram place third. With the 2013 model's significant increases, Ram now tops the list in available torque, fifth-wheel towing capacity and gross combined weight rating.

The frame, steering, brakes, transfer cases, transmissions, cooling and electrical systems have all undergone a thorough upgrade, while the interior has inherited all the additions and advancements Ram applied to the 2013 1500 series.
New for 2013
It would be easier to say the Hemi engine, manual transmission and most body panels aren't new than to list everything that is.

The Ram 3500 has a new frame with stiffer material and stronger cross members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for a rigid platform. Provisions for an optional fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitch are built in, and the receiver hitch is bumped up to a Class V.

The new front suspension is wider and stronger, coupled to revised steering gear and linkage, and the rear suspension has been addressed for 3.5-ton payloads. Four-wheel-drive models bring back a front-axle disconnect system for improved mileage.

The Hemi gasoline engine isn't new but for the first time in years is available on 3500 trucks. It's considerably less expensive than a diesel, allows heavier front axle loads (like big plows) and can still pull and carry respectable trailers and loads.

Cummins diesel engines have been fitted with selective catalytic reduction, an emissions system that uses diesel exhaust fluid like Ford and GM diesels, and has been proven on Ram Chassis Cabs from 2010. Diesel output varies by transmission but all are more powerful than 2012, all are biodiesel capable, all have enhanced exhaust braking, and maintenance intervals are extended to 15,000 miles. Diesels also get dual radiators and transmission fluid coolers, and top models run a four-pinion 11.8-inch rear axle with aluminum cover for cooling.

The new electrical system has an interface that handles up to 72 inputs and outputs for everything from lighting control to throttle and transmission position, better integrating additions like winches, plows, warning lights, PTO equipment and campers.
Exterior 
The 2013 2500/3500 echo the smaller Rams. Major body panels are unchanged from last year but most of the trim, grilles, wheels and accessories have been changed or refreshed.

By design the HDs require a bigger grille to feed and cool more powerful engines, so the HD is taller and has a larger hood to clear the big engines. On upper trim levels the headlights are projector units (halogen, no high-intensity discharge) with LED front signals, marker lamps and taillights.

Ram's RamBox remains optional with plenty of enclosed storage in the bed sides, and now the keyless enter-and-go central locking system includes the RamBoxes and the tailgate. Note RamBox models have slightly lower load ratings and may interfere with utility racks, shells and campers, or fifth-wheel clearance.
 
Chrome, aluminum and polished stainless steel highlight exterior trim, big badges have been reoriented for fitting graphics and banners on a single panel, and rearview mirrors add power-folding units.

Interior
Cabin environments range from vinyl-floor, urethane-steering-wheel simple to perforated leather upholstery and genuine wood trim heavily textured from exposure to barbed wire.

More real estate on the center panel allows for the Uconnect Access 8.4-inch screen. Truck controls are grouped by function and can be optioned for five auxiliary switches; the integrated trailer brake controller is now better located.

Rearview cameras include a higher-definition unit in the tailgate and a new choice next to the center brake light on the cab to ease fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitching.
Under the Hood  
You'll recognize all the engine sizes and transmission gears, but many of them are new. The 5.7 Hemi with 383 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque is standard across the board, backed by a close-ratio six-speed automatic transmission; a factory-built compressed natural gas-capable version is offered in Crew Cab 2500s.

With a six-speed manual transmission — the only full-size pickup to offer one —the Cummins diesel is again rated at 350 hp but torque is up to 660 pounds-feet at 1,500 rpm.

With the Chrysler six-speed automatic the Cummins rates 370 hp at 2,800 rpm and 800 pounds-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm.

On 3500 high-output models, horsepower climbs to 385 and torque to 850 pounds-feet.
Safety  Ram notes more than 45 safety features and systems on the new heavy duty, including but not limited to:

  • Front and seat-mounted side airbags
  • Knee bolsters
  • All-speed traction control
  • Electronic stability control
  • Enhanced accident response trailer
  • Trailer-sway control
  • Integrated trailer brake control
  • ParkView backup camera
  • Available rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps

 


2013 3500 Video

It should come as no surprise that Ram is hoping to make a huge splash in the marketplace with its new 2013 2500 and 3500 HD pickup trucks, the follow-ups to the highly successful Ram 1500 that came out late last year.

Latest 2013 3500 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

God lead me a great truck

by Blessed from USA on August 3, 2018

My truck is a very awesome truck, runs strong, looks awesome, very reliable, very comfortable & I give God all the Glory! Thank you Jesus Read full review

(4.0)

Best MPG. Out of all diesel trucks

by Delon from Houston Tx on April 22, 2018

My Ram 3500 gets better gas mileage than any other vehicle my 3500 gets 18 City and 22 highway miles and sometimes 25 MPG depending on how I drive it Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 RAM 3500 currently has 14 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2013 RAM 3500 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by RAM
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 years/less than 70,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    3 months/3,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    125-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 3500 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker