A blue 2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon is in front of a sunset.

How a Giant Levels Up: The 2021 Ram 2500

When it comes to power, performance, and presence, the Ram 2500 has no equal. It shares the unrivaled drivability of its “little” sibling, the Ram 1500, with the heavy-duty essence of its big sibling, the Ram 3500. But the 2021 Ram 2500 isn’t hiding in the middle child position. Instead, it’s the exact blend of “not too much” and “not too little” that creates a sweet spot for truck owners who need something rugged and fierce that can also drive downtown and park in a regular driveway.

The 2021 Ram 2500 gets a lot of details “just right” for drivers who need heavy-duty power and capability without losing the best features of a passenger truck. They want nimble handling, uncompromised towing prowess, and the latest in technology. After all, a long haul is always made better with some familiar tunes streaming through the Bluetooth connection. For those drivers looking to find that sweet spot in a heavy-duty truck, the 2021 Ram 2500 is worth a closer look.

The 2021 Ram 2500 Powertrain

While the 2021 Ram 1500 offers a selection of five increasingly capable engines, the 2021 Ram 2500 asks one simple question: gasoline or diesel? The 2021 Ram 2500 gets away with asking straightforward questions because the power of this work beast is already understood.

The standard engine is a gasoline-powered 6.4L HEMI V8 featuring Variable-Cam Timing (VCT), which has become something of a legend amongst Ram drivers. With its 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, this engine sets the “standard” awfully high. It’s paired to an advanced eight-speed automatic transmission, resulting in a vehicle that accelerates smoothly and with enough power to give a driver an extra boost of confidence when towing a larger load.

The diesel option is, naturally, a Cummins Turbo Diesel. The long-time diesel partnership between Ram and Cummins continues with this 6.7L I6 engine, which manages to combine a responsive, nimble towing experience with almost double the torque of the gasoline HEMI. Offering 370 horsepower and a mighty 850 lb-ft of torque, this is the engine of choice for anyone who needs excellent towing capacity. The Cummins Turbo Diesel engine is paired with a more robust six-speed automatic transmission. This transmission has been specifically tuned for this engine, with optimized gear ratios, along with reducing that “diesel thunder” that creates noise and vibration in other trucks.

A black 2021 Ram 2500 is towing a trailer on a city street at night.

2021 Ram 2500 Configurations and Capability

Ram understands that its drivers have different needs when it comes to truck size and capability. Nearly every trim comes with a choice of bed and cab configurations, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, as well as a choice between the standard 3.73 axle ratio or the available 4.10 axle ratio for greater torque. The maximum payload capacity is 4,010 pounds, with a maximum towing capacity of 19,680 pounds.

The base Tradesman trim is available with a regular or crew cab, regardless of whether rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive is chosen. Crew cab models include a choice of the 6’4″ regular box or the longer 8′ box, which accompanies the regular cab. The Big Horn trim is offered with the same three configurations when rear-wheel drive is chosen, but those who select four-wheel drive open up the option of Ram’s segment-exclusive Mega Cab. With even more back seat space than the crew cab – enough for reclining rear seats – the Mega Cab is paired with a 6’4″ box only.

The Laramie trim drops the regular cab option but otherwise retains all the configurations of the Big Horn. The uppermost trims, the Limited Longhorn and Limited, are also offered in crew cab and Mega Cab configurations only, with the Mega cab reserved for 4×4 models. All three of these trims offer a level of comfort and technology previously unheard of in a three-quarter-ton truck.

The Power Wagon trim differs from the rest of the lineup. Considered the off-road capable Ram 2500 variant, the Power Wagon is intended for a different line of work altogether. It is offered only in four-wheel drive with a crew cab and a 6’4″ box. It has somewhat reduced payload and towing capacities compared to the other trims because of the added weight of all its off-road performance features. The Power Wagon’s greatest strengths lie in its off-road capability and rugged engineering.

Given the 2021 Ram 2500’s focus on towing, it is no surprise that Ram offers equipment that enhances its basic capability. Towing and trailering features are available for those who need an extra hand in hauling those larger loads. These include integrated mounting hardware for adding fifth wheel or gooseneck hitches and an available Bed Lowering Mode when the Auto-Level Rear Air Suspension feature is chosen, which lowers the rear suspension for easier hitching and loading.

An available 360-degree Surround View Camera with Trailer Reverse Guidance View provides exactly what it advertises- a full view of all of the truck’s surroundings, courtesy of five strategically placed cameras. Drivers can also add auxiliary cameras to the interior or exterior of the trailer itself with the optional Trailer Camera Prep feature. A Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring System is also available, providing real-time readings of up to 12 tires per trailer, keeping drivers safe on the road at all times.

Trims and Features of the 2021 Ram 2500

The black interior of a 2021 Ram 2500 is shown.

With six different trims available, and multiple optional packages per trim, it is easy to build the ideal 2021 Ram 2500 for any driver. All regular cab models include a 40/20/40 split-folding front bench seat, but where the Tradesman trim includes heavy-duty vinyl upholstery, the Big Horn gives drivers the option to bump that up to comfortable cloth. Crew cab models include a 40/60 split-folding rear seat, again with upholstery that ranges from practical to premium. Mega cab versions offer an even more spacious rear seat that rides more like an SUV, with cup holders and storage spaces befitting a family vehicle.

The integrated trailer brake controller is offered on the Big Horn trim and above. The Laramie trim makes the 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system standard, although this is an option on the lower trims as well. The Limited Longhorn trim adds LED exterior lighting, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, and a spray-in bed liner. The Limited trim increases the size of the touchscreen to 12 inches with built-in navigation and adds a full suite of driver assistance technology, such as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.

The Power Wagon has the most distinctive features of the 2021 Ram 2500 lineup. While its stablemates are focused on heavy-duty work, the Power Wagon is designed to pick up where the road ends. To this end, it’s equipped with Bilstein gas-charged monotube shocks for climbing, front and rear electronic locking differentials to effectively distribute torque, an electronic disconnecting front sway bar for the highest level of axle articulation, and a Warn Zeon-12 winch.

Ready For Anything

For drivers who are searching for the sweet spot between power and drivability in a heavy-duty truck, the 2021 Ram 2500 delivers both. With a choice of two powerful engines and a full range of cab and bed configurations, there’s a Ram 2500 to meet the needs of every job. Each trim is intelligently designed to create a wide range of options, and there are plenty of options and packages that further allow drivers to create exactly the ride they need. And if those needs happen to turn to the trail less traveled, the 2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon is equipped with all of the off-road features that make mud, rocks, and streams as fun as they ought to be. Drivers deserve to have fun, even when driving a heavy-duty truck, and the 2021 Ram 2500 delivers in every possible way.