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Dually Gasser: 2019 Ram 3500 Hemi Test Drive

Last month, we got to test the all-new 2019 Ram 3500 decked out with the luxury-minded Laramie trim level and the optional Cummins high-output diesel engine, but now we’re getting a look at a more work-friendly version of Ram’s new heavy-duty. It’s still a Crew Cab long bed body, but this tester shows a different side of the new heavy-duty truck with the extra capacity of dual-rear wheels and the lower price point of the base gasoline engine and the lower Bighorn trim level.

Keep reading to see how this 2019 Ram 3500 Bighorn Hemi DRW stacks up against the competition.

Ram 3500

2019 Ram 3500 Exterior
Compared to our recent Laramie tester with its abundance of chrome, this 2019 Ram 3500 Bighorn wore a monorchromatic Delmonico Red Pearl Coat paint job thanks to the $895 Sport Appearance Package that adds body-colored door handles, grille surround and bumpers. Since 2010, the Ram 3500 models equipped with the dual rear wheels (also known as a dually) have featured single-piece fender extensions giving these trucks a more finished and aerodynamic appearance, and as giant as our previous Ram 3500 tester was, the new heavy-duty Ram dually looks even more like a big rig.

While the new Silverado HD and F-Series Super Duty do their best to stand apart from their respective half-ton models, the Ram Heavy Duty trucks still have a noticeable family resemblance to the ultra-stylish Ram 1500. And aside from the new front end and added safety features, the overall styling seems to be more of a design refresh from the previous generation instead of a total redesign, and the same can be said for the interior as well.

Ram 3500

2019 Ram 3500 Interior
Ram’s previous-gen trucks already had a very competitive interior in terms of technology and innovation, but the all-new heavy-duty truck lineup is easily at the top of its class. The Laramie we tested we decked out with leather and all of the latest safety and technology the Ram Heavy Duty offers, but it also came with a price tag just shy of $80,000. The Bighorn has more of a budget-friendly interior sticking with the standard cloth bench seat, and while you can’t get the available 12-inch infotainment screen in this trim level, this tester did option up from the standard five-inch screen to Chrysler’s impressive Uconnect 8.4-inch screen with navigation. The only difference between the interiors of the gas and diesel models is the shifter: the diesel-powered variants have a column-mounted shifter while the Hemi gets a rotary shifter. If nothing else, this more basic interior of this Ram 3500 helps show how far heavy-duty truck interiors have come.

But this tester was far from basic thanks in large part to the $4,195 Level 2 Equipment Group. This package might be pricey, but it includes a lot of equipment to upgrade the cabin such as dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, seven-inch TFT gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, power-adjustable pedals and much more. This package also included trailer tow mirrors with power-operated spotter mirrors – normally, these spotter mirrors a pain to get adjusted properly manually, but Ram added a button to allow the power mirror controls to also adjust the smaller mirrors.

Ram 3500

2019 Ram 3500 Powertrain
The 2019 Ram 3500 gets a more streamlined engine lineup with just a single gasoline engine as well as the two versions of the Cummins diesel. Gone is last year’s 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 base engine leaving the powerful 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 as the only gas engine offered, and this is the engine we got to sample with this big truck. This engine produces 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, and while the diesel still uses the six-speed automatic, this gas engine upgrades to the more advanced eight-speed automatic – diesel or gas, the 2019 Ram lineup no longer offers a manual transmission.

Complementing the more powerful base engine option, the 2019 Ram 3500 was given an all-new frame designed for improved strength and efficiency with 98.5-percent high-strength steel, six separate crossmembers, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails. What does this mean for truck buyers? In this configuration (Crew Cab, long bed, DRW, 4×2 and gas engine), the Ram 3500 has a 17,580-pound towing capacity, which is not only more than the 6.4L Hemi 2018 Ram 3500 (by about 1,600 pounds) it’s also more than more than the gasoline versions of the all-new Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD (by about 1,300 pounds) and 2019 Ford F-350 Super Duty (by about 1,600 pounds)!

Ram 3500

2019 Ram 3500 Safety
Although the new Ram 3500 does offer advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control with stop and full-speed forward collision warning (part of the optional Safety Group package), this truck was only equipped with the Towing Technology Group that includes a 360-degree backup camera, trailer reverse guidance and blind spot and cross-path detection. Front and rear parking sensors also came on this truck as part of the Level 2 Equipment Group, and these backup sensors have been specially designed to accommodate for the wider rear fenders of the dually model. Another cool safety feature found on the 2019 Ram 3500 is a tire pressure monitoring system that is able to monitor up to 12 tires, which means you can drive safely and confidently not only with properly inflated tires on the truck but also on a trailer.

Ram 3500

2019 Ram 3500 Overall
While heavy-duty trucks were created with job sites and long hauls in mind, the all-new Ram 3500 is so refined that it getting work done will feel a little less like work. A base 2019 Ram 3500 starts at $35,095*, but even without checking all of the option boxes, the gas-powered Ram 3500 Bighorn dually proves that this heavy-duty truck is still a heavy hitter in its class. The 3500 Big Horn starts at $39,445, and this well-equipped model added plenty of technology and convenience features to go along with an as-tested price of $57,065.

Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Ram dealership and test drive the 2019 Ram 3500 today!

* Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

** MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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