When thinking of an HD pickup truck, the first things that come to mind are diesel power and a terrible ride.
Only one of those two things is true with the 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4 Long Box.
Our test vehicle came with a lot of upgrades and packages, making it one of the most comfortable three-quarter ton trucks we have ever driven.
This was an attractive truck from nearly any angle. It really stood out from all the other vehicles around it due to its enormous size and alluring deep indigo red paint.
The Limited Tungsten package added a lot of wonderful exterior details to the truck with 20-inch satin carbon rims, halogen projector headlamps, black tail lamps, tungsten power folding trailer tow mirrors, tungsten badges, and body colored handles, running boards and tailgate badge.
The large 285/60R20 tires felt undersized, but that is simply because the truck is so massive. One downside with the body color running boards was that the clear coat on them can get easily scratched and become very noticeable. This truck had only a few thousand miles on it, and the driver’s side step was already scratched up a bit.
For many people, a truck without a long bed is not a truck. With the incredible amount of versatility a bed this size offers, we understand why. Our test truck came with the fifth-wheel prep package, cargo view camera, and LED bed lighting. The cargo view camera can be used to line up while connecting to a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer or to check on the cargo in the bed while driving. We found the LED lighting to be sufficient to fully illuminate the bed for night time tasks.
The interior was beautifully appointed with soft leather surfaces everywhere. The heated and vented front seats, and heated rear outboard seats, were very comfortable for every passenger. There was enough room to put a car seat behind the driver’s seat and still allow a 6-foot tall driver to have a comfortable seating position.
The interior also had a lot of versatility and tons of storage. The front center console was large with the best cell phone holder of any truck we’ve tested so far. One issue with the center console was that it appeared to have enough space to fit 8.5-inch by 11-inch notebooks, but the media ports stop that from happening. There were cup holders throughout and it had plenty of storage pockets for the driver and front passenger.
The upper center console was beautifully appointed with the perfect combination of physical buttons and touch screen functionality, which made it very easy to use.
FCA vehicles also have one of our favorite steering wheel media control systems. You can scan through all stations, and the right-hand buttons allow you to change the source (AM, FM, XM, Media) and control the volume.
The rear passengers are treated with the same high-quality materials as the front passengers. Seat storage on the rear of the front seat is accessed by lifting a magnetic buckle on an embroidered leather flap. The rear seats were split 60/40 and could be folded up to access storage under the seat bottom, or to create a flat load floor. Under the rear seat back, there was room for a small automotive fire extinguisher and road safety equipment.
Like other Ram HD models, there were two boxes under the rear passenger footwells that can be used for anything you want to store in them or they can double as small coolers. This truck came with the premium sound system, which is significantly better than the stock system, but in a truck in this price range we expected more.
One downside to the premium sound system was that some components and a subwoofer took up a significant amount of under-seat storage.
The Limited package must add some sound deadening because one of the first things we noticed was how quiet this truck was when compared to other trim levels of this same model. Having been optioned with the rear air suspension, the ride was excellent. Interestingly, the rear end felt smoother than the front end. The driving dynamics of the Ram were excellent.
It always felt securely planted, with tight steering for something this size. Towing uphill was no problem with the high-power output of the Cummins engine. Nothing seemed to upset the stability of the truck while towing, the exhaust brake did an excellent job with keeping the speed under the limit on downgrades, the large brakes brought the truck to a stop without any fading or overheating, and the suspension kept the trailer from bucking or pushing the truck around. The transmission and exhaust brake could use some better programming and integration.
It was often best to use manual shifting to achieve the best exhaust brake and transmission control.
While the truck is very powerful, it is the slowest diesel three-quarter ton trucks. Fuel mileage was excellent for a vehicle of this size. We averaged 13 mpg while towing a 5,000-pound boar and achieved 20 mpg when driving empty on the freeway. Our overall average for the week we were testing was 18.1 mpg.
We loved this truck and if we were given one vehicle to live with, this would be a good contender. It’s a little large, but the versatility and ride quality are unmatched from any of its competitors.
It manages heavy loads well, although it isn’t as fast as the Ford and GM competitors. The interior is extremely comfortable, but not so much that it puts you to sleep. The seats provide good support for driving all day and not feeling fatigued.
One limiting factor of this truck for many people is the $76,400 price tag.