2019 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4X4 Power Wagon
By Vince Bodiford
Best of all, yes – “this thing’s got a Hemi in it.”
Gone are the days when a new pickup truck was a basic work accessory for farmers, ranchers and the skilled trades. Today, even the most standard full-size pickup truck is massive in scale, choices, and capabilities – with a price tag to match. This is new era of larger, stylish, comfortable and capable pickup truck.
In that mix, Ram offers three totally new major pickup lines – the 1500, 2500, and 3500, with options of heavy-duty versions, 4×4 and engine choices including a whopping 1,000-lb-ft torque Cummins diesel engine, and a standard V8 that allows you to say yes to “that thing got a Hemi in it?” question.
For this test, we chose the 2019 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4X4. Tradesman is the value package, with pricing starting at $37,245 – and ours was equipped with the 6.4-liter Heavy Duty V8 Hemi, and the venerable 2ZA Package – which turns this nicely equipped pickup into the storied Power Wagon, adding a hefty $8,000.00 to price tag – bringing the out-the-door MSRP to $52,450.
You can get the Power Wagon via this package on the Tradesman, or with the stand-alone Power Wagon pickup. Our configuration saves about $1,000.00.
The appearance of the pickup is unique. It has the presence of a full custom off-road pickup, yet the quality of a factory model. Each of the other trim levels among the Ram 2500 are similarly unique with their own “bespoke” look and feel. Those are the Limited ($64,640), Laramie Longhorn ($56,700), Power Wagon ($53,100), Laramie ($49,200), Big Horn ($42,200), and Tradesman ($37,245).
Getting inside the cab of any of the four-doors is awkward. Because of the very tall ride-height, there is no easy or graceful way in or out. It’s a lot like getting on and off a horse – only real cowboys and cowgirls make it look graceful and easy. And so perhaps it may be with these massive pickup trucks.
Once inside, you’ll enjoy a cabin that is quiet, full of handy and needed features, and has feel of high quality. The new instrument panel combines a strong, structurally interlocking appearance, pushing the central controls up and toward the driver, improving overall reachability of system controls. There are four optional audio systems to immerse passengers in a quality sound experience, including a 750-watt Harman Kardon Audio System with 17 speakers, including an 8-inch subwoofer.
I’m impressed with the power of thestandard engine, the proven and potent 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, making 410 horsepower at 5,600-rpm and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.It is mated to the TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic.
Ram HD pickups feature all-new frames built with 98.5-percent high-strength steel, six separate crossmembers, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails.
The Power Wagon features a unique suspension, factory suspension lift, locking front and rear differentials, disconnecting sway bar and a 12,000-lb. winch. New to the Power Wagon is a 360 camera, which includes forward-view camera gridlines to help navigate obstacles. A new and integrated front-mounted WARN Zeon-12 winch features a unique fairlead and fairlead retainer with a new synthetic line that cannot kink, does not fray and is more maneuverable.
The pickup includes more than 100 available safety and security elements, including an array of active and passive systems to assist the driver and passengers, offered in all models.
Overall, this is a nice full-size pickup that should be on your list of test drives when shopping for a new pickup. Offering quality ride, comfort, handling – including capabilities of towing and power, the Ram lineup gives maximum effort all day, every day, with confidence. We think the best value is a Tradesman with some options you like and need.
For more information, see your local Ram pickup dealer, or online at www.ramtrucks.com