2018 One-Ton Truck Challenge Preview: Meet the 2018 Ram 3500 Laramie

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By Brian Normile

The final competitor in our 2018 One-Ton Heavy-Duty Truck Challenge was this 2018 Ram 3500 Laramie. If you've been following our previews, you know that it faced off against a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 High Country and a 2018 Ford F-350 Lariat.

Like the Ford and Chevy, the Ram 3500 was a crew-cab 4x4 single-rear-wheel one-ton truck powered by a diesel engine. Adding the turbo-diesel 6.7-liter inline six-cylinder Cummins engine racks up an additional $8,700 in costs, similar to the competitors.

Where the Ram differs is in the additional transmission options; a six-speed manual and two six-speed automatics can be paired with the Cummins, resulting in three different sets of power figures. Our tester came with the top-of-the-line Aisin six-speed (an extra $2,695 on top of the $8,700 for the motor) that allows the engine to produce its highest quoted power figures of 385 horsepower and 930 pounds-feet of torque. Adding the Aisin transmission also equipped the Ram with a 3.42:1 rear axle ratio.

This Ram also had the Sport Appearance Group package at a cost of $1,895. And who doesn't want their heavy-duty truck to look sporty? In fairness, the body-color badges, door handles, grille and front and rear bumpers looked great, especially with the $395 black-painted wheels.

Towing and hauling help came in the form of a fifth-wheel and gooseneck prep package ($445) as well as an auto-leveling air suspension in the rear ($1,595). A center- and high-mounted stop lamp and camera aided in hitching up when it came time to tow.

All told, the Ram 3500 had $20,545 in options — just shy of the Ford's $20,640. Including the $1,645 destination charge — the highest of the test — made the price rise from a $52,245 starting point to a final cost of $74,435, making the Ram 3500 the second-most expensive behind the Ford.

We'll reveal the winner of the Challenge Monday, so stay tuned to find out which truck took the crown.

Cars.com photos by Chris Collard

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2018 Ram 3500 Monroney_large

 


 

Comments

highly capable powertrain and a highly questionable rolling chassis and towing components

Let the complaints begin.

GUTS
GLORY
WINNER OF THE 1 TON CHALLENGE
RAM HD

The RAM will destroy the other two truck in this comparison!

If the competition was just about looks it would already be over. The RAM is a hands down winner in the style department (exterior). They all look great on the inside but the RAM owns the exterior styling and pure badass presence.

After too many issues with GM products - I would take the Ford or the Ram way before the dura-crap.

I wish Ram would have sent a Longhorn. That truck is absolutely beautiful!

The only truck in this comparison with no visible rust underneath.

nice looking truck. A true workhorse! Love how u can see inside engine bay, unlike the other 2 diesels.

Bout the only thing that truck has going for it is the engine. Hands down it has the worst reliability track record of any truck on the market.

I wish Toyota would get into the HD market. Now that's real quality and reliability!

The outside is too plain and outdated. If you like plain Jane ugly or if this was 23 years ago this is the exterior for you. Just saying.

this is the exterior for you. Just saying.
Posted by: Walkabout Creek | Jul 27, 2018

@WC

Which Prius do you drive? Have you looked at the Ridgeline yet?

BLOATED STYLING.
DATED POWER TRAIN.
THIRD PLACE TROPHY.
BEND OVER,
RAM !!

I have driving both a 250 lariat and a 2500 ram and the ram on short 500 mile tow trips and I preferred the ram. Felt more confident on the road and even thou the the ram was basically a work truck model, I felt more comfortable in the seat, was able to spend longer times with out needing to pull over and stretch my legs

I haven't driven anything with the Duramax to comepare in with these two

Funny the Liberal Snowflake Ford owners always cry and put down a truck they feel threatened by...RAM is the Best !!

I will say,Ford styling is from 2004 for the F 150..YES IT IS !!!The Super Duty goes back to 1998 !!! They only switched to aluminum but Ford looks the exact same as it did then !!

RAM evolved,Ford just same only aluminum lol !

This is a great, fantastic truck. RAM is just not into the WAR as Ford and Chevy is, and I think it will either fair in last or second.

No raw metal on the chassis to rust. Only HD with factory air bag suspension. For me it has always boiled down to the simplicity of the Cummins, that’s why I’m on my fourth one.

Ford reportedly considering small unibody pickup
Ranchero revival? Courier special delivery?
GREG RASA
Jul 27th 2018 at 11:05AM

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3
comments

In a future where Ford is focused on trucks and SUVs, it stands to reason that it would expand its portfolio of each. On the truck front, what more can be done? One possibility is a return to a vehicle of the past — a car-based pickup.

Automobile magazine is reporting that Ford is working on a compact pickup based on the next-generation Focus platform, and though it's being planned for Europe and elsewhere, it could come to the U.S. market in 2022.

It would be bigger than the Brazilian Fiesta-based Courier subcompact pickup (shown above), which was produced through 2013 — but smaller than the upcoming Ford Ranger. Unibody vehicles cost more to build, so it wouldn't be quite the profit center as the F-150, which is selling so hot right now it might set a record this year. But the little truck would be an offering that GM, Ram or Toyota don't currently have. In a world where full-sized pickups cost more than a lot of cars, midsize trucks like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma are slightly more affordable alternatives and are selling well. An even smaller, less expensive option might do the same.

And as part of Ford's plan to cut traditional cars from the U.S. market, including the Focus sedan and hatchback, it's also not surprising that a Focus-based truck alternative might find a place in the lineup, alongside the Crosstrek-challenging Focus Active crossover. When Ford announced its move away from traditional cars, it offered assurances that it would still offer affordable vehicle choices.

The likely place of manufacture would be Ford's plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, so what happens with tariffs and NAFTA may have some bearing on whether the U.S. gets the little truck.

Courier is a name Americans may vaguely remember. Ford used it here on a Mazda B-Series truck in the early 1970s, a competitor to the Chevy LUV. Automobile ended with a suggestion to ditch the Courier name, which does sound a bit too much like a delivery truck. So meanwhile, back at the Ranchero ...

And guess what GARBAGE MOTORS IS GONNA TRY TO REVIVE EL CAMINO. Just watch.

And guess what GARBAGE MOTORS IS GONNA TRY TO REVIVE EL CAMINO. Just watch.

440TNT: Get a clue. Most Ford owners aren't libs--GM and Chry Co. took the bailout--remember?

"The Super Duty dates back to '98"? Really?? Only a moron would say this.

Do you also think hippos are friendly?

What I like:

Very good engine
Big rig exterior looks, slightly dated, but has aged decently
Decent interior
Column shifter

What I don't like:

Weak 6 speed auto transmission (std)
Horrific overall reliability, by far worst in class
Loses most performance tests vs GM and Ford


Ram underneath definitely looks the best.. but working in production, I can tell you that there are plenty of components under all mfg trucks that will have surface rust.. does that affect anything.. no, only asthetics..when you talk about the extra cost associated with surface rust preventative measures.. that might be why the GM is so much cheaper.. cost vs reward scenario... All my factory components on my 07 Sierra HD with 230k miles performed as good as new with surface rust... Just saying..


BLOATED STYLING.
DATED POWER TRAIN.
THIRD PLACE TROPHY.
BEND OVER,
RAM !!

Posted by: redbloodedxy | Jul 27, 2018 10:23:35 AM

CLUELESS
BLIND
POOR TASTE
BAD JUDGEMENT
FORD AND GM FANBOYS

No 4.10 gears? I would've opted for them if going aisin.

That Chingon guy is a fruitcake.

Fiat can’t even engineer their own engine or heavy duty automatic transmission

Call it Ficummintoyot

I just got rid of my 2016 3500 ram and purchased 2017 f350. The Ram towed great but rides like crap. The Ford out performs the ram on all levels. The styling of the ram is like a 2 dollar hooker while Ford is like a high priced call girl. And she’s much nicer to drive. Real smooth!!!! The girl not thing the ram has over the Ford is fuel mileage. That’s it!!

you'll be better off buying a used 2004 Ford F-250 with the 5.4 engine and 160,000 miles than a new Ram Heavy Duty

you'll be better off buying a used 2004 Ford F-250 with the 5.4 engine and 160,000 miles than a new Ram Heavy Duty

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Jul 27, 2018 3:04:29 PM

Wow, at least you are recognizing how bad those 5.4 are

^^^

Wow! Genius at it's best.

The 2018 One-Ton Challenge will be a battle between the Cummins and the Duramax for 1st place.

^^^^
What a m0ron Frank is. Always tr0lling the blogs with stupid comments.

I just got rid of my 2016 3500 ram and purchased 2017 f350. The Ram towed great but rides like crap. The Ford out performs the ram on all levels. The styling of the ram is like a 2 dollar hooker while Ford is like a high priced call girl. And she’s much nicer to drive. Real smooth!!!! The girl not thing the ram has over the Ford is fuel mileage. That’s it!!
Posted by: Doug Petroskey | Jul 27, 2018 2:48:21 PM

Fords ride nice because they lightened (weakened) up the suspension components and used extra-soft (short-lived) bushings on all of them. The end result will be death wobble in half of the time it would take a Super Duty to start wobbling 15 years ago. Ford also softened up the rear suspension for better ride but it ended up causing the rear to sag way more than the competition with the same load on it.

Can you please post towing specs of these trucks? I’m talking specific to the truck and most importantly the payload of each truck as configured? This would be very helpful. Thanks

GUTS

GLORY

THE FUTURE WINNER OF THIS COMPARISON

BEST IN CLASS RAM HEAVY DUTY

"...you'll be better off buying a used 2004 Ford F-250 with the 5.4 engine and 160,000 miles than a new Ram Heavy Duty..."
Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Jul 27, 2018 3:04:29 PM

Speaking about Ecobust....

https://fortune.com/2018/07/18/ford-escape-fusion-recall/

https://fortune.com/2018/04/06/ford-f-150-trucks-recalled/

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/ford-escape-investigation-targets-stalling-problem/

Ford...lel

Why are the step bars already bent?

Garbage Motor recall: 800k units....

https://fortune.com/2017/08/06/gm-truck-steering-recall/

Really!

the stalling issues on the Eco-Boost are caused by sticking throttle bodies, NOT turbo failure !

the throttle body issue is a cheap and easy fix at $160

also the recalls on the F-150 Eco-Boost are for seat bolts and door locks freezing in cold weather, NOT ENGINE RELATED !

my F-150 Eco-Boost is wonderful, not only does it have more power and performance than any truck you own but it hauls and tows MORE and it gets BETTER MPG's
......that's why it's #1 in sales

@Ecobust Rules

Easy fix!

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/2018-ford-truck-suv-recall/

heeeheeee

Ecobust Rules

Easy fix!

https://www.theepochtimes.com/ford-recalls-550000-vehicles-over-rollaway-concerns_2595693.html

Don't worry be happy!

Ecobust Rules

Easy fix, not a problem...right Ecobust?

https://www.autoblog.com/2018/07/05/safety-group-ford-explorers-fume-leaks/

Heeeheeee...and the beat goes on!

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ford-faces-engine-failure-claims-dz2wrv0s2

"More than 650 people said that their EcoBoost engines failed without warning, alleging that the manufacturer refused to pay for replacement engines despite knowing of the problem. Owners said complaints were ignored...."

Not a problem...easy fix, isn't that right Ecobust?

Ford Urge Owners to Stop Driving Growing List of Pickups!

Easy Fix right Ecobust! Just stop driving a ford...what could be easier!

https://www.trucks.com/2018/02/12/ford-mazda-pickup-truck-recall/

Really!

yea, it's an easy fix if you have enough brains like me and know what's wrong
the throttle body physically sticks open upon quick acceleration and all I do is take the intake hose off and stick a screwdriver in it and pry the throttle plate closed
problem fixed
my throttle body was replaced kinda under warranty, I mean I had to pay for the new throttle body but it was only $160
I don't want to explain why I had to pay for it under warranty, cause you wouldn't understand
I asked every Ford Dealer technician I meet if they ever replaced a turbo and none of them did.
Turbo failure is all lies, or some parts replacer mechanic replaced the turbo when it wasn't bad

,,,,,and the links you sent are about the older Ranger and SUV's
NOT THE F-150 ! ! !

Buying a new F-150 Eco-Boost is playing it safe.
The 2019 Chevy and Ram is going to major design changes and the first year models are going to have problems.
The 2019 F-150 Eco-Boost isn't changed but Ford corrected the past problems so the 2018-19 will be the best and most reliable F-150 ever.
Every year the Eco-Boost came up with MORE power and BETTER gas mileage numbers and all the past problems were corrected.
Plus you can easy get $12K to $15K off sticker price on a new F-150 Eco-Boost
You'll be the envy of your friends owning a F-150 Eco-Boost
Plus Consumer Reports rated it their top recommended truck
and the F-150 has the best resale value than any of the full size where used F-150's are selling for MORE than what a new one costs.
The F-150 Eco-Boost is not only the best, it's also a great investment!

Price out a new F-150 yourself!
The sticker on a well equipped F-150 Eco-Boost Crew cab is $50K
so subtract $15K off and you can buy it for $35K

now look up a used F-150 Eco-Boost equipped the same way and the price would be $40K
(there are tons of used car price sites like cars.com to look up those numbers yourself)

just think how happy you'll be when you drive that new F-150 Eco-Boost off the dealers lot and you just made an extra $5000 investment, that F-150 Eco-Boost is worth MORE than what you paid for it !

I know the wife is "kinda funny" about you buying a new truck so just show her the evidence that a used F-150 Eco-Boost is worth MORE as an investment and she will be happy

now look up a used F-150 Eco-Boost equipped the same way and the price would be $40K (there are tons of used car price sites like cars.com to look up those numbers yourself)

@Ecoboostrules

Don't you realize that online ads give the ASKING PRICE??? That does not mean the truck SELLS at that price. Good God man you sound like you're 10 years old.



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