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