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Ram trucks builds the light-duty 1500 series and heavy-duty 2500 series. The base model Ram 2500 actually costs less than the Ram 1500 Laramie. So which pickup is right for you? Here are the main differences between the 2022 Ram 1500 and Ram 2500.

The 2022 Ram 2500 comes with bigger engines than the 1500

2022 Ram 2500 Heavy-Duty Longhorn Mega Cab | Stellantis

The heavy-duty Ram 2500 is a work-ready truck. Its every component–from frame to brakes to suspension–is designed to stand up to the abuse of towing and trailering. One major upgrade is the Ram 2500’s base engine.

The Ram 1500’s base engine is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. This engine’s maximum tow rating is 7,730 pounds. For $2,295 you can upgrade your Ram 1500 to the 5.7-liter V8. This HEMI engine increases the Ram 1500’s tow rating to up to 12,750 pounds. For $4,995 you can op for the diesel 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. Ram engineered this EcoDiesel for fuel efficiency but it can tow up to 12,560 pounds.

Ram does not offer a V6 in its 2500 series. The Ram 2500’s base engine is the 6.4-liter HEMI V8. A fully equipped HEMI-powered Ram 2500 has a payload capacity of 4,010 pounds and a maximum tow rating of 17,540. This engine is shared with Dodge’s Scat Pack muscle cars but not available in any 2022 Ram 1500.

For $9,400 you can upgrade your Ram 2500 to the legendary 6.7-liter Cummins I6 turbo diesel. The diesel-powered Ram 2500 can tow up to 20,000 pounds.

The Ram 1500 is more comfortable and efficient than the 2500

Heavy-Duty 2022 Ram Trucks | Stellantis

Ram has engineered the 1500 to be able to tackle light-duty work while offering one of the smoothest rides in its class. In addition to the base 1500’s smooth suspension, Ram offers full four-corner air ride suspension for $1,805 on upper-trim 1500s.

The Ram 2500 offers rear-wheel air suspension for its automatic load-leveling feature. Otherwise, the Ram 2500’s suspension rides more like a heavy-duty work truck.

The Ram 1500 also leverages eTorque mild-hybrid technology to improve its V6 and V8 fuel efficiency. Finally, the Ram 1500’s 3.0-liter diesel V6 offers some of the best gas mileage in any full-size truck (33 mpg on the highway in a 2WD truck).

The Ram 2500 costs more up front, more for maintenance

2022 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn Mega Cab | Stellantis

The base model Ram 2500 is the Tradesman. This heavy-duty truck is surprisingly cheap. The 2022 Ram 2500 Tradesman starts at $37,750. That is lower than the out-the-door price of almost any Ram 1500.

For the 2500 Tradesman’s $37,750 MSRP you get a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and heavy-duty chassis. Buying a Ram 2500 may seem like a no-brainer. But the out-the-door price is not the only cost to consider.

Heavy-duty pickups have beefier suspension components and brakes. For this reason, maintaining a heavy-duty truck is more expensive. Once you factor in gasoline, owning a Ram 2500 can be expensive.

Also remember that the Ram 2500 Tradesman’s base MSRP is for a 2WD truck with just two doors. That said, if you need a large truck for heavy-duty towing and hauling, the Ram 2500 is one of the best deals around.

Read about this year’s best pickup trucks or about the growing heavy-duty supertruck class.


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