If you’re looking for a used diesel truck, hunt down a 2005 Dodge Ram. It might be hard to find, but if you can snag one, hang on and don’t let go. Many car publications, including MotorTrend, have praised the 2005 Dodge Ram as one of the best diesel pickups ever manufactured.
What makes a good diesel pickup truck?
Arguably the most significant feature that sets diesel pickups apart from their gas-powered counterparts is acceleration. Diesel trucks boast more torque than most gas-powered trucks. And when you’re climbing a hill or hauling a colossal payload, torque is critical. Diesel trucks also usually have higher towing capacities than their gas-powered brethren. Some older diesel trucks had lower horsepower than gas counterparts, but that’s not necessarily the case with newer models.
Traditionally, diesel engines have required less maintenance than gas-powered motors. They typically have longer operating lives, too. You’ll also save money on fuel costs over time. Usually, you’ll pay more upfront for a diesel truck, but over time, you’ll save in repair and fuel costs. Because well-maintained diesel trucks perform well over time, many owners hold on to them, making many models hard to find.
Those reasons are why savvy truck buyers typically look for diesel pickups rather than gas-fueled ones. However, the best diesel trucks are not just powerful, reliable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Trucks with quiet diesel engines stand out because they’re known for their noise. Used diesel vehicles that pass current emissions standards are also coveted because today’s diesel vehicles are more heavily regulated than they once were. And, finally, older diesel vehicles were workhorses and not known for luxury. So if you can find an older model with some frills, grab it.
The 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 is an excellent diesel pickup truck for all of the above reasons. And because of that, it may be tough to find.
The 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel
You’ll find plenty of power in the 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel that MotorTrend has included on its list “The 10 Best Diesel Pickup Trucks of All Time” And if you want hauling and performance power, look for a used Power Wagon trim model. In addition to sporting 33-inch off-road tires and a 12,000-pound winch, the Power Wagon comes with a supercharged Cummins 5.9-liter, six-cylinder turbodiesel engine boasting 325 hp and a whopping 610 lb-ft of torque.
Though the Cummins engine is one of the noisier ones on the market, it’s nevertheless well-regarded, in large part, because it meets emissions standards in all 50 states, MotorTrend reports. The Cummins engine can run 350,000 miles before an overhaul might be needed and requires oil changes only every 15,000 miles.
The base model — with 17-inch tires, a 9,000-pound payload capacity, and a 2,750 towing capacity — is still a great find. The cockpit is roomy, and there’s plenty of cargo space. But don’t expect luxury. The 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 is a workhorse that performs like a thoroughbred.
But good luck finding a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel
It’s not just the critics who love the 2005 Ram 2500. Owners are passionate about this truck for its long-lasting reliability and performance. Many owners are quick to write reviews when there’s a malfunction but arguably slower to offer praise when their vehicle exceeds expectations. But automotive websites like Edmunds are filled with glowing reviews from long-time 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 owners.
Take this one from Mike: “I have had my Power Wagon for a month, and use it daily in the construction business, and it has been everything I was looking for in a work truck. It has comfort, style and is dependable. Its towing ability is great, and I get plenty of comments on how good the truck looks. My last Dodge had 160,000 miles on it and is still going strong, and I think this one will do even better. No complaints about this truck. It fits the construction needs and then some.”
Or this one from Greg: “I have truly enjoyed my Dodge heavy-duty pickup. I drive it to work every day and get reasonable fuel economy (diesel) for such a large vehicle, even though my foot is a little heavy. On weekends and after hours, I put it to good use on the farm. It is all tricked out with the Laramie package and GPS navigation system, so it makes a rather fancy work truck for the farm, but I intend to keep it and use it on the farm until it dies. As reliable as it has been, it may outlast me! The long bed is well worth the extra couple of hundred dollars, though driving it in a parking deck is much like tackling a slalom course in a school bus.”
Considering that 80 percent of consumers give the 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 a 5-star rating on Edmunds — along with 4.6 on Cars.com and 4.5 on Kelley Blue Book — you might have trouble finding this diesel dynamo. Owners like Mike and Greg will hold onto theirs until their trucks die. And with Rams able to run hundreds of thousands of miles, that may not be anytime soon.