2011 Ram HD

2011 Ram HD Review

Note: This review was created when the 2011 Ram HD was new.

The Ram HD is a capable workhorse with a great interior. Its towing and hauling abilities and powerful diesel engine make quick work of most tasks, and with its luxurious interior trims you can get the job done in style.

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.8
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable interior
  • Smooth ride
  • Strong diesel engine option
  • Lacks in-bed Ram Box feature of Ram 1500

2011 Ram HD Overview

If you’re thinking of buying a heavy duty truck, reviewers say you can’t go wrong with the Ram Heavy Duty trucks. 2010 saw an overhaul of both Heavy Duty models, as well as the Ram nameplate, which split from Dodge parent to create the Ram Trucks sub brand. Since then, the Ram 2500 and 3500 have offered surprisingly luxurious interiors without sacrificing the burly abilities that make them stand out among the class. Car and Driver writes that the Ram Heavy Duty 2500 is "not just the Heaviest Dutiest Rammiest Ram ever, but also the quietest and most comfortable HD truck we can remember." That’s high praise for any truck.

Reviewers agree that Ram offers the best interior in the class. Both the 2500 and 3500 include convenient under-floor storage and other cargo options inside the cabin, while the Laramie Longhorn trim offers features and materials usually just seen in upscale sedans. The Uconnect navigation and infotainment system that Ram and Dodge share also gets praise for its in-dash hard-drive storage system for music and photos, optional Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and Sirius Backseat TV that features children’s programs.

Ridiculously nice interior options don’t make the Ram HD a slouch on the worksite. When properly configured, the Ram 3500 can tow up to 22,700 pounds and haul as much as 5,130 pounds. Reviewers especially love the exhaust brake Ram includes with all diesel engines. It allows drivers to save their brakes while towing to prevent them from overheating and failing on long downhill inclines. If you’re looking for a workhorse of a truck with  11 tons of towing capacity that you could still drive your grandma and the kids around in, the Ram Heavy Duty trucks are the perfect choice.

Other Heavy Duty Trucks to Consider

The Ram Heavy Duty trucks are capable members of a small but competitive class. Reviewers like the Ram’s upscale interior options and powerful Cummins turbodiesel engine, but the Ford Super Duty may be a better choice for buyers who need a truly outstanding work truck. Reviewers love Ford’s Work Solutions system, which includes an in-dash computer that can manage work projects, print invoices, and keep track of tools. The Ford F-350 Super Duty can also tow and haul the most stuff, although most consumers won’t need to tow 12 tons. The Ford F-250 starts at about $28,500, which is $660 more than the Ram 2500’s $27,845 sticker price. Since these trucks are similarly priced, you should check out the latest Ford and Chevrolet incentives to see which automaker is offering a better deal on their heavy duty trucks.

The GM’s heavy duty truck twins, the Chevrolet Silverado HD and the GMC Sierra HD, are also fine work trucks, but are outstripped in nearly every respect by Ram and Ford. Both trucks are priced in the middle of the class, with the Silverado starting at $28,415 and the Sierra starting at $27,965. Overall, reviewers feel that the neck-and-neck competition between the three automakers means that it’s hard to make a bad choice in this class.

Details: Ram 2500 and 3500

The Ram 2500 and 3500 are available in a variety of configurations, with options including two- or four-wheel drive; Regular, Mega or Crew Cabs; gas- or diesel-powered engines; single or dual rear wheels (on the 3500 only); and up to six different trims. Trim levels vary from the plain-Jane ST to the luxuriously-appointed Laramie Longhorn trim that offers rear-seat entertainment, a Wi-Fi hotspot and tooled metal and leather accents.

Ram’s Heavy Duty trucks were redesigned for 2010, so not much is new for 2011. The off-road-oriented 2500 Outdoorsman replaces last year’s TRX model, and the top-of-the-line Laramie Longhorn trim is optional for the 2500 and 3500. Some models’ gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCWR) has been increased to 22,000 pounds. The navigation system has been updated, and a spray-in bedliner is now available for $450. 

  • "As with the mainstream 1500s, the new Ram heavy-duty makes news for impressive ride comfort and competent handling. The diesel engine is both powerful and refined. Improved cabin trappings over the previous generation are a nice bonus. Chevy and Ford loyalists would do well to check out the Dodge heavy duty trucks. As Walter P. Chrysler used to say, ‘look at all three.’" -- Consumer Guide
  • "Lined up against its few rivals, the 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 is practically in a dead heat against the Ford F-250 and Chevy Silverado 2500HD. But we doubt we'll find any argument when we say the Ram has the most attractive styling and an uncommonly upscale interior.” -- Edmunds
  • "But for the 2011 model year, these big rigs -- in all five trim levels -- finally offer interiors and exteriors that are executive worthy, though the truck has blue collar roots. But now architects can finally arrive on job sites in the same vehicle the crews they hire use." -- Detroit News
  • "It's a monster machine, which means it's not an especially welcome sight, nor is it the most convenient mode of personal transport in a congested urban setting. But up here, where populations tend to be small and the square miles separating them many, with lots to haul and tow in between, over sometimes challenging roads, the Ram 2500 is a welcome friend." -- Washington Post
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