The Ram 3500 may be one of the most under-appreciated pickups in the entire industry. The heavy-duty truck is often overshadowed by the Ram 1500 and 2500s, which makes plenty of sense considering the duo’s affordability and ability to appeal to a wider range of customers. Furthermore, several rival vehicles receive higher accolades or have better sales numbers.
Well, we’re going to do our best to reestablish the Ram 3500 as the ultimate pickup truck. The vehicle delivers unmatched power specs (resulting in an incredible towing capacity), several exclusive interior features, and a variety of protective safety measures. Plus, to put it over the top, the Ram 3500 is more affordable than several of its rivals, including the 2016 Sierra 3500HD and the 2016 Ford Super Duty F-350.
We decided to put these three pickup trucks head-to-head to see where the Ram 3500 truly ranks among the bunch. We don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say when you’re finished reading, you’ll likely be itching to shop for a Ram 3500 in Miami…
Size isn’t everything, and the Ram 3500’s engine certainly confirms that notion. Despite being only 5.7 liters, the unit delivers some of the best specs among heavy-duty trucks. The Ram’s V8 engine can pump out 383 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque. Coupled with four-wheel-drive capabilities and sequential MPI fuel injection, you can expect unmatched power from the pickup.
The other options don’t stand up against the Ram’s V8. The Ford Super Duty F-350 offers the biggest engine of the group at 6.2 liters. However, the specs drastically trail those produced by the Ram, with the motor producing 316 horsepower and 397 pounds-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the 6.0-liter V8 featured in the Sierra 3500HD delivers 360 horsepower and 380 pounds-feet of torque. Each of these engines may be larger, but as we mentioned, size certainly isn’t everything.
The Ram 3500 even offers better transmission options. While the Sierra and Ford only feature a six-speed automatic transmission, the Ram offers a manual and a pair of automatic transmissions (which both include overdrive and auto-manual capabilities).
This results in a giant difference in the truck’s towing capabilities. The Ram can tow an incredible 31,210 pounds, while the Ford and GMC can only haul between 14,000 and 14,500 pounds. Surprisingly, the Ram isn’t even the heaviest of the bunch, with a 6,200-pound curb weight. The truck isn’t as light as the GMC (5,950 pounds), but it’s still not nearly as heavy as the Ford (6,298 pounds). The towing abilities are even more incredible when you consider the exterior dimensions, as you wouldn’t expect a smaller body to result in superior power specs.
It’s tough to juggle ideal interior dimensions and ideal exterior dimensions, especially when it comes to a pickup. Engineers presumably design their pickups to be as compact as possible, making them better suited for speed and urban driving. However, by decreasing the size of the truck, you’d be compromising the interior measurements. It’s definitely difficult to successfully pull off a smaller pickup with adequate interior dimensions.
Luckily, the Ram 3500 somehow makes that a reality. The two rival trucks are nearly 20 inches wider than the Ram, but the 3500 still offers similar wheelbase (169.5) and height (79.6) dimensions. As a result, the designers did little to compromise those interior measurements. The Ram 3500’s head room, hip room, leg room, and shoulder room are within two inches of the other two trucks, an impressive feat considering the discrepancy in exterior dimensions.
When you start comparing some of the top-end pickup options, you’ll notice that they’re pretty similar… especially when it comes to the interior. The trucks all include some of the most innovative and advanced technology in the entire class. They all feature some sort of advanced infotainment center, and these systems are often accompanied by satellite radio and navigation capabilities. Still, despite these similarities, the Ram 3500 has managed to slightly separate itself from the pack.
The 3500 includes several interior features, standard or optional, that aren’t included in either the Ram or GMC. The keyless ignition is the most significant inclusion, as it adds another security protection (meaning only the truck’s owner can operate the vehicle). The parking assistance technology can help ease your parking ability (which can be especially difficult in a truck), and the built-in hard drive will allow you to store music or any other necessary files.
While there aren’t enough differences in the trucks’ exteriors to commit an entire section, it’s worth noting that the Ram 3500 offers many of the same features as the Ford and the GMC. You can even opt for side steps (allowing passengers to better climb into the pickup), an exterior amenities that isn’t available on the other two trucks. On the flip side, the Ram doesn’t include daytime running lamps like the Sierra. However, when you think about the toll that feature has on your truck’s battery, you’re probably better off without.
We always prioritize safety features when we’re shopping for a new vehicle, and the Ram 3500 certainly delivers several capabilities that aren’t available in Ford or GMC. Perhaps this is why the vehicle was awarded a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The most significant exclusive feature in the Electronic Stability Control system. The unit combines several technologies that will help increase your vehicle’s traction and handling. This means you can rely on your hulking pickup regardless of the conditions, and you can be assured that the truck will be doing everything in its power to keep the occupants safe.
The Ram also offers an In-Vehicle Communications and Assistance Service, a technology that’s not available in the Ford F-350. The system allows drivers to seek help immediately following an accident, and emergency personnel will immediately be sent to provide assistance. This feature has the opportunity to save lives, so it’s crucial that it’s included in your new pickup.
Other exclusive safety features (standard or optional) include the rear parking aid and the back-up camera, two inclusions that should hopefully prevent your Ram from developing several scratches or dents.
So considering all of the advantages that accompany the Ram 3500, you’d assume that the pickup was the most expensive of the bunch. Surprisingly, this is incorrect.
The Ram 3500 starts at a very affordable $36,595. This is a couple grand less than the Ford F-350 ($37,280) and nearly six grand less than the Sierra 3500HD ($42,460).
One factor that can be ignored (at least for comparison’s sake) are the accompanying warranties. Each of the three trucks include several protections, and they’re all identical:
- A Three-Year, 36,000-Mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty
- A Five-Year, 60,000-Mile Powertrain/Drivetrain Limited Warranty
- A Five-Year, 60,000-Mile Roadside Assistance Program
What did we tell you? The Ram 3500 is truly the best of the bunch, and even that sentiment may be selling the pickup short. The 3500 isn’t only one of the best heavy-duty trucks on the market… it’s one of the best trucks, period.