Very few vehicles hold their value like a late model used Ram 2500. These heavy-duty trucks are reliable workhorses that ride softly enough to be easy on the spine but are powerful enough to make tough jobs a breeze. Unlike many other cars and trucks, the Ram 2500s from 2010 onward retain the majority of their value a decade after they leave the showroom, largely because they still work just like they did when they were brand-new. All this means is that while a 20 or 30 percent drop in price for a used model might not seem like a great deal, in reality, the buyer would be getting a practically like-new truck for as much as a third off. And that’s worth it, whether the Ram 2500 in question is intended for work, play, or a mix of both.
Use Cases and Value
The multi-use nature of the Ram 2500 plays a big part in its value proposition, as normal indicators of wear such as mileage generally matter less. The trucks that have low mileage tend to have been used as work vehicles, and those with higher mileage could only have clocked such distance if it was on the highway. Highway miles are easy on vehicles across the board, and for a Ram 2500, they might as well have been spent idling in the driveway.
A significant number of used Ram 2500s are on the market after being used commercially to haul materials and tradesmen from job to job. These trucks often have quite a few of those soft highway miles and are more than ready for another decade of productive work with nary a hiccup. In some cases, these trucks are even optioned well enough to make for surprisingly luxurious personal vehicles.
A used Ram 2500 makes for just as good of a personal towing rig as it does for business hauling, and it is equally at home towing a boat as it is towing job site materials. The truck excels in this area, hauling several tons of trailers with ease. And if one looks around, a practically new truck for the purpose can be found several thousand dollars less than new model.
One of the main defining features of the Ram 2500 lineup is the family of high-performance gasoline and diesel engines available for the truck. A total of seven different drivetrain options have available over the lifespan of the late model Ram 2500, each forming a rung on the ladder between maximum value and maximum power. Each of these options is derived from either the powerful Hemi V8 or the monstrously torquey Cummins Diesel.
There are two Hemi options available, the cheap and relatively economical 5.7-liter and the more robust 6.4-liter. Both offer the ability to easily fill up from any gas station and enough power to haul any reasonable load. It should be noted that the 6.4-liter was only an option from 2014 onwards, while the 5.7-liter was discontinued after 2018.
The Cummins Diesel is a 6.7-liter beast that comes in five forms in the Ram 2500, each with a different tune and transmission. These transmissions are all six-speed units, with both manual and automatic variants available. The weakest torque output of any of these variants is a staggering 650 lb-ft. That is roughly equivalent to over four economy cars put together. The top of the range offers a truly earth-shaking 1000 lb-ft of torque, a number that some of the fastest cars in the world fail to reach. But in the Ram 2500, that torque is not for going fast – it’s for pulling hard.
Pulling massive objects is something the Ram 2500 excels in. Even the thrifty 5.7-liter Hemi V8 can pull nearly seven tons, with a maximum towing capacity of 13,880 pounds. With more powerful engines, the limits only increase. The 6.4-liter Hemi can tow up to 17,540 pounds depending on the model year and configuration, but to truly get the most out of a used Ram 2500, you will need one of the legendary Cummins diesel engines. The most recent diesels allow the truck to pull a staggering 19,680 pounds, but even the decade-old 2010 model is capable of hauling a solid 13,450 pounds.
Towing is one important part of a pickup’s capabilities, but being able to haul things around in the bed is often more common. Bed sizes include the long 8-foot bed and the shorter 6-foot four-inch bed. Even the oldest 2010 Ram 2500s have over a ton and a half of pickup bed payload, at up to 3,160 pounds. However, to get the most payload out of your used Ram 2500, you should opt for one of Hemi engines. While they are less powerful than the might Cummins diesels, they are also lighter, which means more weight for payload. The standout option is the most recent 6.4-liter Hemi, which has a maximum payload of up to 4,010 pounds.
One of the important factors often overlooked with full-size trucks is fuel economy, especially relating to trucks used for commercial tasks. Part of this is because the EPA does not publish fuel consumption figures for heavy-duty trucks. However, good fuel economy means longer drives without stopping for fuel and more time spent on the job rather than at the pump.
While exact fuel economy will depend on how the truck is driven, and the payload is also a significant factor that will impede economy greatly on any truck, there are some general rules. Newer Ram trucks will be more efficient than older models, and diesel trucks will have a significantly better range than gasoline trucks. The good news is that this means that when you are shopping for a used Ram 2500, the more powerful models are also generally the more efficient ones.
The Ram 2500 is built to work, but it is just as good at play. These trucks are extremely customizable even from the factory, and the Cummins powered models will surprise many with their ability to get up and go when not towing more than their own weight. With up to a thousand pound-feet of torque, when leaving a stoplight or accelerating from a stop offroad, that Ram’s heavy weight just adds more traction for the launch.
The Ram 2500 also comes with selectable 4WD, which can be switched on while stopped or in motion. This means that sportier rear-drive handling characteristics can be swapped for four-wheel drive traction on the fly, and vice versa. All of this makes for a truck that can be an actual performance machine and one that has the respectable looks of a brand new truck build for work.
Go Find Your Ram
While the late model Ram 2500’s do not precipitously lose their value once they leave the showroom, that doesn’t mean they are not a potentially excellent deal when bought used. These vehicles are as hardy and reliable as they are comfortable and powerful, and they are quite simply worth the money. They are worth it for work, play, and everything in between, thanks to powerful engines and impressive capability in both payload and towing.