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As full-size pickup trucks go, a light-duty (half-ton) is usually cheaper than its heavy-duty counterpart. This is because of the cost of the components necessary to give a heavy-duty truck its 15,000+ pound towing capacity. But in the case of the 2023 Ram 1500, if you want to add a few options to your truck, you might consider the 3/4-ton Ram 2500 instead.

What’s the MSRP of a Ram 2500?

Ram is advertising its 2023 Ram 1500’s MSRP at $37,410. Upgrading to the Ram 2500 will cost you at least $44,675. This price is for a heavy-duty truck with a V8 and trailer hitch, but it only comes with a two-door “regular” cab.

2023 Ram 2500
2023 Ram 2500 HD pickup | Stellantis

You might be surprised that the heavy-duty Ram 2500 starts at only $7k more than the Ram 1500. Upgrading to a mid-trim Ram 1500 would be much more expensive than upgrading to a 3/4-ton Ram 2500. But the fact that you can’t get the fifth-generation Ram 1500 with just two doors makes it relatively expensive among half-tons.

For this reason, Ram still builds its fourth-generation 1500, badged as the Ram “Classic.” Fleet vehicle operators and budget-minded drivers can order a two-door Ram 1500 Classic starting at $30,695.

Is the entry-level Ram 2500 a good deal?

For $44,675 you can buy a Ram 2500 “Tradesman” trim. At this price you get a 2WD, two-door pickup truck. It has rubber floor mats, steel rims, and vinyl seats. But it also comes with a trailer hitch and V8 engine, both of which cost extra to add to the 1500 “Tradesman.”

Promo photo of a heavy-duty Ram 2500 pickup truck towing a heavy boat.
2022 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn Mega Cab | Stellantis

The MSRP of the 2023 Ram 2500 is for a white or “Flame Red” pickup truck. Upgrading to black, dark blue, or “Delmonico Red” will cost you $200. Silver and gray both cost an extra $250. Upgrading to aluminum wheels will also cost extra, and require a tire upgrade. One popular but expensive upgrade to the Ram 2500 is the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine. This option costs $6,695 but bumps the truck’s maximum towing capacity to 20,000 pounds.

The MSRP of the 2023 Ram 1500 doesn’t include the $1,895 destination fee. Therefore, Ram’s net price for the 2500 is actually $46,570.

The best way to option a Ram 1500 may be to buy a Ram 2500 instead

Promo photo of a white 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel with in-bed Ram box Cargo Boxes.
2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel Cargo Box | Stellantis

The Ram 1500 certainly has a lower entry MSRP than the larger Ram 2500. But once you start optioning the Ram 1500 with features such as a V8 and 4WD, its price begins to climb. The Ram 2500, on the other hand, comes with some valuable standard features. Other upgrades cost less than on the 1500.

The Ram 1500’s base engine is the 3.6-liter, naturally-aspirated “Pentastar” V6. This is the base engine across many Chrysler products, including Dodges and Jeeps. But many truck owners prefer to upgrade to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, which will set you back $2,995. In addition, adding a Class IV receiver hitch bump the total $445. The receiver hitch is included in the Hemi max towing package, but that costs $1,295.

The entry-level Ram 2500, on the other hand, comes with a trailer hitch and the 6.4-liter Hemi V8. The truck’s maximum towing capacity with this engine is over 15,000 pounds. You can see how the totals of the two trucks break down by option in the table below.

Ram 1500Ram 2500
Base MSRP$37,410$44,675
Net Price$39,305$46,570
V8 Price$42,300$46,570
Tow Package/V8 Price$43,595$46,570
4WD/Tow Package/V8$46,690$49,500
Crew Cab/4WD/Tow Package/V8$49,690$53,315

Curious about used heavy-duty trucks? Find out what is considered high mileage for a Ram 2500, or see a Ram 2500 buyer’s guide in the video below: