2012 Ram HD Review

The 2012 Ram Heavy Duty has one of the best interiors in its class, but those looking for better performance may want to consider its competitors as well.

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Best-in-class interior luxury
  • Innovative RamBox in-bed storage compartments
  • Out-towed by rivals

2012 Ram HD Overview

While reviewers are quick to note that the Ram HD is not a bad truck, and that its on-road performance is a far cry from the crude heavy-duty trucks of a decade ago, many say the Ram’s ride isn’t as smooth or comfortable as some of its competitors’. When properly equipped, the Ram 3500 can tow more than 11 tons, but it still can’t match the higher capacity of the Ford F-450.

Test drivers love the 2012 Ram HD’s interior. They write that even base trims are well-made, well-equipped and upscale, and the higher trims are positively luxurious. The 2012 Ram HD offers class-exclusive features like Sirius Backseat TV, which is a package of children’s television channels that play through the optional rear-seat entertainment system. Reviewers also say that the Ram’s seats are especially comfortable, and that even regular cab models are roomy.

  • "The 2012 Ram 3500 is a top pick for a heavy-duty truck thanks to its top-notch interior, respectable ride quality and impressive towing and hauling capabilities.” -- Edmunds
  • "Dollar-for-dollar, the Ram is every bit the equal of its Ford and Chevy counterparts. About the only reason we can think of not to go with the Ram would be due to a personal preference for one brand over another.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "This brontosaurus is a work truck, not a family-friendly minivan with 1,000 airbags. It's meant to be driven by someone who knows how to drive and takes driving seriously.” -- New York Daily News
  • "Serious workhorses with massive cargo capacity and huge towing capacity (up to 22,750 pounds), these Rams sacrifice comfort in the name of capability. Expect a rough ride and a cab that's a climb to get into.” -- Car and Driver

Other Heavy Duty Trucks to Consider

The 2012 Ford Super Duty is a great choice for shoppers looking for the most towing power. The Ford F-450 can tow more weight than any other heavy duty truck on the market, and its diesel engine offers the same amount of torque as the Ram does, at 800 pound-feet. It also gets better performance ratings than the Ram.

Shoppers should also consider the 2012 GMC Sierra HD. If you were attracted to the Ram HD for its outstanding interior, the Sierra HD Denali offers a cabin that’s almost as luxurious as the Ram’s, and capability that is close to the Ram’s as well. The Sierra also better performance scores.

Compare the Ram HD, Super Duty and Sierra HD »

Details: Ram 2500 and 3500

The 2012 Ram 2500 comes standard with a gasoline engine and six-speed automatic transmission, while the Ram 3500 comes standard with a diesel powerplant and a manual. Depending on the model and trim level, the Ram HD is available with a regular cab or two different sized crew cabs, as well as a short or long bed. The Ram 3500 can be equipped with dual rear wheels. Both models are available in trims ranging from the base ST to the incredibly luxurious Laramie and Laramie Limited. The 2012 Ram 3500 gains the Ram 1500’s RamBox in-bed storage compartments, and the Ram 2500 gains a standard automatic transmission.

See the full list of 2012 Ram HD specs »

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