2016 Ram 3500 Dually is the Daily-Driven Battleship of Your Dreams
There are many disadvantages to driving a dual rear wheel pickup truck every day. The main thing is ride quality. A truck that’s designed to tow more than 30,000 pounds is a bit bouncy when there’s no load in the bed, or no trailer hitched up. It really only makes sense to have one of these trucks as a work truck. But is that REALLY the case? The Ram 3500 dually we tested was the high-spec Limited option, with every available option the company offers. Why would you order that unless you were, in fact, going to drive the truck every day?
I spent a little over a week in the new Limited dually, and spent most of my time driving it with nothing more than me on board. To address the ride quality issues right up front, this is the most comfortable heavy duty truck I’ve driven so far without a load in the back. Yes, it’s bouncy, but it’s not as bouncy as some other big trucks that I’ve driven. On many roads, it’s tolerable every day.
What else is tolerable every day? The interior. The Limited trim is covered in leather, even in places you wouldn’t expect there to be leather. Everything is soft to the touch, and the wood trim on the steering wheel doesn’t feel like it belongs in your grandfather’s Buick. It feels right at home in this modern interior.
Some cool touches include floor mats that have removable carpet and convert to all-weather floor mats, and the rear outboard seats are heated. The only disappointment in the interior really is an overabundance of power options. I’ve been in other FCA vehicles that have lots of them. In the Ram there’s a 110v plug up front, along with a 12v in the console, and then in the rear there’s a 12v. If you were in a Chrysler 200, you’d find more outlets than seats.
Outside the truck looks the business. I know many of you aren’t fans of the new front chrome grille, or the big chrome lettering RAM stamped on the tailgate. I’m really not either, but after living with it for awhile I see the point. It separates this truck from every other Ram out there, and really doesn’t feel that out of place on such a big truck.
Driving this battleship couldn’t be any easier. The 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel makes an Earth-rotation-stopping 900 lb-ft of torque. If you get that with the AISIN 6-speed automatic, like ours was, the SAE J2807 towing capacity of our truck, as tested, is 30,050 lbs. The payload is 5,436 pounds. But it’s easy to steer and the transmission shifts pretty smooth for being so heavy-duty.
The only time it truly feels big is when you’re trying to maneuver in a parking lot. It does have the turning radius of a battleship. But during my week of testing I surprisingly only ran over one curb. I expected that tally to be much higher.
But a tally that was surprisingly high was the fuel economy. On my typical fuel economy test route of 57 miles, the truck achieved 19.3 miles per gallon. Over the course of a week of mixed and high-speed driving, it fell off to about 16.2 mpg. Considering that’s the same mileage you get on some smaller trucks (the last Ford Raptor I was in for a week got 13 mpg), that’s not too bad. Especially when you consider the capability of the truck.
Just be careful with the fenders. It’s one of the single largest pieces of steel used in automotive, and probably isn’t cheap to fix. Another small gripe is the brightness of the headlights. Ford uses LEDs now on the F-150 and the upcoming Super Duty, and the halogen projectors on the Ram just aren’t that bright.
As tested, our Ram 3500 Limited Crew Cab 4×4 Long Box rang in at $76,065. It’s not cheap to be the boss, but if you want a truck that could quite possibly do everything, it’s hard to ignore this vehicle. I have absolutely no reason to have a vehicle like this, but at the end of the week I still didn’t want to give it back.
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