RAM 2500 Sport 4WD PickUp 2019 Review

RAM 2500 PICKUP ROAD TEST REVIEW

2019 RAM 2500 Sport RAM 2500 Sport capitalises on the Australian love affair with Utes. With 4 of the 10 top selling vehicles Utes they have certainly grown in popularity over the years.

However until recently if a buyer wanted one of the larger American styled Ute and Pick Up trucks they had to rely on a small number of aftermarket conversion manufacturers, like Performax and Harrison F Truck. That changed with the introduction of RAM trucks that are imported by ASV (American Special Vehicles) into Australia and NZ.

With an upgraded model arriving in 2018, the RAM trucks start out life in the factory built for RHD and are brought to a special factory in Melbourne where they are remanufactured for the RHD finishing touches. This factory employs around 300 workers.

As a fully factory approved import that is built in North America specifically for the Australian market, the RAM 2500 and 3500 may be ordered with factory fitted optional equipment.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What is the RAM 2500 exterior like?

The thing I LOVE about the Pickup trucks like the 2500 is that they look cool. They are big, bold and brash with an aggressive style and are just so different from the normal Utes we see here every day.

We had the Sport Appearance model. The RAM Sport Appearance package adds a range of features and additional equipment that includes a colour coded grille and front and rear bumpers that replace existing chrome components; black tubular cab-length side steps, performance -tuned shock absorbers, and black 20” rims & Nitto 275/65 R20 All Terrain tyres, black badging and dark lined bi-function Halogen projector headlights.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

Our test vehicle didn’t have the RamBoxes, the unique cargo management system, however as an option you can order it with them. Note that it is a completely different tub, rather than an add-on.

RamBoxes include two 243 litre lockers, one on either side of the tray and easily accessible even with the tub is fully loaded, and racking system for the tub, now comes with a full, secure tonneau cover as standard.

The remote central locking includes the optional RamBox cargo management system and tailgate powerlocks creating a convenient solution for locking down the truck with the push of a button.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What is the RAM 2500 interior like?

You literally step up into the RAM 2500. I use the side steps every time, grab the handle and then slide into the seat. Fun and I reckon I would never tire of it.

The electrically adjustable air conditioned front seats are very comfortable with additional lumbar support. In front of the driver is a height only adjustable heated leather steering wheel that frames the large 7 inch instrument binnacle which has six dials that are clear and easy to read with a configurable centre MFD. I actually would have liked the steering wheel to have reach adjustment as well.

There are a couple of cool features, like remote starting to heat or cool the car before you get in, auto dimming rear view mirror and both external mirrors tilt when reversing.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

The centre stack contains the usual controls for dual zone air-conditioning, audio, air conditions seats, as well as a 100W/240V and 12V plug. The 8 inch top screen houses the UConnect infotainment system. With good clarity and sensitive touch. With 9 speakers the sound is pretty good as well. Overhead is a safety auto reverse sunroof.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

The standard RAM 2500 is equipped with six seats; for 2018 the RAM 2500 may now be ordered with five seats which includes two bucket seats in the front. That is what we had and there is an enormous centre console in place of the middle seat. There are three cup holders, front storage trays and inside there are USB ports and 12V Plug.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

The air-conditioned rear seat is sculptured to favour two occupants but will accommodate three with ease. Seat back are reclined for increased comfort. In the back there are under floor storage bins, a centre arm rest with cup holders, air vents, coat hanger hooks and reading lights. They will also fold flat 60/40 for extra storage.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What technology and features does RAM 2500 have?

The days of American vehicles being a poor second cousin have long gone. The RAM 2500 is absolutely packed with technology and comfort features you would expect from a prestige SUV.

These include:

  • The latest uConnect 4 system that brings a new 8.4-inch touch screen with pinch to zoom operation, 9 speakers and steering wheel controls.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android compatibility and USB flip connection, which allows two phones to be plugged into the system simultaneously and, at the touch of the screen, the system will switch between the two phones without them being plugged in and out.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

Other convenience features as standard include:

  • Remote start and keyless entry
  • Rain sensing wipers and
  • Auto high beam headlights that dip automatically for approaching vehicles.
  • The load bay lights may now be set to come on automatically when the RAM is unlocked.
  • Auto reverse power windows,
  • ParkView rear back-up camera,
  • Power-adjustable pedals: Allows brake and accelerator pedals to move toward or away from the driver to achieve a comfortable seating position for improved vehicle control

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What engine and drivetrain does the RAM 2500 have?

This is what I LOVE about these big American Pickup trucks. The RAM 2500 is powered by a 6.7 litre Cummins Turbo Diesel engine that boasts 276 kW @2800 rpm and stump pulling torque of 1084 kW @ 1600 rpm. This is coupled with a column shift six speed automatic transmission.

The Ram Heavy Duty features a segment-exclusive front axle disconnecting system with a Borg-Warner part-time transfer case with the BW 44-46 is an electric shift on the fly part-time transfer case with 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD Low and Neutral.

With revised Australian tuned suspension settings in the 2018 update, the Sport Accessory also features performance tuned shock absorbers. Front suspension is three link with Track Bar, Coil Springs, Stabilizer Bar, Solid Axle and rear suspension is a five link with Track Bar, Coil Springs, Stabilizer Bar, and Solid Axle. There is also a factory fitted optional rear level air suspension set up available.

You can’t have something this big without big brakes and the RAM 2500 is fitted with Four-wheel disc brakes are standard. Front rotors measure 373 mm in diameter while rear rotors are 356 mm, both using dual-piston callipers.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What is the RAM 2500 like to drive?

Awesome fun. That’ll do!

For those that want more detail, it’s big, no huge and it takes a while to adjust to its size. However that doesn’t make it hard to drive, on the contrary it’s very easy to drive. Plenty of power and torque, the power steering has enough direct feedback for good feel. On the freeway it simply cruises along at around 1600 rpm and glides past humble sedans and hatchbacks.

The Sport Appearance Australian tuned performance suspension certainly improves the handling, but at the expense of ride which is harsh over speed bumps and road irregularities.

Having that much torque on tap changes your driving style, it’s really lazy. However it will lift its skirt and run when asked to. Just remember you are propelling some 3.5T along at 110km/h.

Off road the sheer size and bulk make it more suited to outback tourer, rather than on any tight trails or tracks. On the Australian outback roads like the Birdsville Track, Strzelecki or Oodnadatta, it will eat kilometres with ease and comfort, however I would not choose the Sport but rather a variant with softer front suspension.

However when you get into suburbia the story changes. This is where the bulk becomes a hindrance. I tried to negotiate an inner-city roundabout in Surry Hills and ended up driving over the top of it. Suburban carparks are a nightmare, often parking over two spots as it’s too long for one, taking 3-4 shunts to back into a spot because the other cars are too close and watch out for low roof heights.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What is the towing capacity of the RAM 2500?

Towing is a RAM speciality and with a tongue and 50 mm ball they can tow 3.5 tonnes; fit a 70 mm ball to the tongue and this increases to 4.5 tonnes and add a pintle and the maximum towing capacity is 6.9 tonnes – or nearly double what most Utes at best can tow.

But the RAM 2500 towing ability is not just about weights and payloads, these trucks also have the technology built into them to make towing safe, easy and economical. There is also a 12 pin wiring harness.

RAM 2500 has as standard a full exhaust brake system with manual and auto settings that provides smooth, progressive speed reduction and reduces wear and tear on brakes; a slider control for electric trailer brakes is not only standard and built into the dashboard, it also brings up two displays in the instrument pack to enable the driver to refine the settings for maximum effectiveness.

The RAM 2500 and 3500’s chassis electronic and gearbox may be switched, via dashboard button, into a special tow/haul mode that, as the name suggests provides the ideal set up for towing while the gearbox has a pre-select button that enables gears to be preselected for optimal deceleration through engine braking.

Both the tray and reversing cameras may be used at all times to check loads and hitches. In addition, both models have four-wheel drive as standard, operating in two-wheel drive under normal conditions for good economy, with four-wheel drive in both high and low range able to be called upon when conditions and loads demand.

In addition there is the Trailer-sway control which reduces trailer sway and improves handling in adverse towing conditions caused by crosswinds and traffic. For 5th wheel towing, in the rear portion of the new sub frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross member with provisions for 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What are the RAM 2500 dimensions and capacity?

The RAM 2500 has an

  • overall length of 6030mm,
  • wheelbase of 3797mm,
  • width of 2009mm and
  • Height of 1974mm.
  • Unladen ground clearance is 218mm
  • Approach angle is 21.8 degrees, rampover is 18.2degrees and departure angle is 22.3 degrees.
  • Wading depth is TBC mm
  • Turning circle is 13.38m,
  • Kerb mass of 3577kg and Payload of 913kg. (3500 payload is 1713kg)
  • GVM of 4490kg, GCM of 7990kg, (3.5T towing) and up to 11,430kg with optional pintle hook.
  • Fuel tank is 117L
  • Towing capacity is 3500kg and tow ball rating is up to 350kg WITH 50mm ball.

The standard RAM 2500 and 3500 comes with a six-foot four-inch tub and this is now supplemented by an option eight tub which includes a boost in fuel tank size to 132 litres. With eight-foot tub interior tub length rises from 1938 mm to 2496 mm with tailgate closed, while minimum width remains 1295 mm between the wheel arches. This means that, loaded to the top lip of the tray, interior volume rises from 1.6 cubic metres to 2.1 cubic metres.

Also available for the RAM 2500 as a factory fitted option is auto-levelling rear air suspension with the eight foot tub which automatically detects load on the suspension from a trailer or payload. The air pressure increases until the vehicle reaches normal ride height, levelling the truck and improving the loaded ride. In addition, the rear may be lowered by an inch to assist with hitching up trailers.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

What about safety features for the RAM 2500?

When it comes to safety and security, Ram Heavy Duty trucks use a two-fold approach. The first includes passive features such as supplemental air bags. The second is comprised of accident-avoidance features including responsive steering, load-braking and load-handling.

Ram 2500 doesn’t have an ANCAP safety rating as such but does have more than 45 active and passive safety and security features, including:

  • Advanced multi stage front air bags and seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS),
  • BeltAlert system and ParkView rear back-up camera system.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC), which hosts a number of technologies including
    • all-speed traction control,
    • trailer-sway control,
    • Hill-start Assist and
    • Anti-lock brake system (ABS).
  • Brake assist
  • Brake-lock differential system (BLDS),
  • Brake Override,
  • Brake/Park interlock,
  • And a heap more individual features.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

RAM 2500 Summary

I like the RAM 2500. It looks cool, will tow anything I would want to, has more than enough power and torque and feedback to engage the driver and will fit 5 tall occupants in comfort.

Ideally suited for the towing brigade, large boats, horse floats, fifth wheelers, larger caravans, it provides a viable alternative to the more expensive LandCruisers and Land Rovers etc.

Perfectly suited as an outback touring vehicle and with surprising levels of comfort and safety features it provides a level of practicality and interior space that is hard to match.

Would I take one over the RAM 1500 Laramie, I’m not sure? Fuel economy is about the same and unless you are towing something huge,

I just LOVE the RAM 2500 though, maybe I had a deprived childhood or am a closet American Truck aficionado, but I would have either one in the driveway anytime.

2019 RAM 2500 Sport

Also Look At

What’s good?

  • Power and torque
  • Towing ability
  • Internal Comfort

What’s not so good?

  • Slightly harsh front end
  • Negotiating suburban car parks and inner city roundabouts
  • Heavy fuel use

Model:  RAM 2500 Sport Appearance

  • Model Price:  $146,550 MLP*
  • Engine:  6.7L V8 Cummins Diesel
  • Drivetrain: 4WD 6 speed Auto
  • Power:  276 kW @ 2,800 rpm
  • Torque:  1084 Nm @ 1,600 rpm
  • Safety:  TBA ANCAP
  • CO2 Emissions:  TBA g/km
  • Economy ADR:   14.6 L/100km
  • Tow Capacity:    3500KG/4500KG kg
  • Tow Ball Rating: 350/450 kg
  • Servicing: Capped Price
  • Warranty: 3yr/ 100,000 km with 3 Yr. roadside assist

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Overall Rating     81/100

  • Behind the Wheel 8
  • Comfort 9
  • Equipment 9
  • Performance 10
  • Ride & Handling 9
  • Practicality 9
  • Fit for Purpose 10
  • Towing Ability   10
  • Off Road Ability 8
  • Value for Money 9
RAM 2500 Sport Appearance
4.0

Summary

I like the RAM 2500. It looks cool, will tow anything I would want to, has more than enough power and torque and feedback to engage the driver and will fit 5 tall occupants in comfort.

Ideally suited for the towing brigade, large boats, horse floats, fifth wheelers, larger caravans, it provides a viable alternative to the more expensive LandCruisers and Land Rovers etc.

About Rob Fraser 898 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, many years ago. He has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive.

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