Best Pickup Truck of 2016 Preview: 2016 Ram 3500

Ram Limited 3500 II

We will hand out our Best Pickup Truck of 2016 Award during's Best of 2016 event Jan. 12 at the Fillmore Detroit. The awards presentation will cap two press days at the North American International Auto Show, which opens to the public Jan. 16 and runs through Jan. 24. There are six contenders for Best Pickup Truck of 2016, and we are providing a preview of each truck before the big reveal.

Our sixth and final preview focuses on the 2016 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty with the Cummins turbo-diesel.

We've been a huge fan of HD one-ton dualie turbo-diesel pickups for as long as we can remember, but we've never seen numbers like the ones from the new maximum-tow Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Cummins. Newly rated to deliver 900 pounds-feet of torque thanks to some mechanical changes in the turbocharger, injection system and exhaust, the Ram 3500 now has the biggest rear differential and rear axle in the segment.

The maximum payload for the Ram 3500 dualie is 7,390 pounds, and when it is equipped with the high-output Cummins engine tow package it can pull a 32,210-pound gooseneck trailer. This max-torque package is only available with the six-speed automatic Aisin transmission and hulking rear axle. It has the rest of the current-gen one-ton competitors scrambling back to their tech centers.

We had a chance to test the Ram 3500 with the Cummins turbo-diesel a few months ago and came away impressed; check out this video to see it in action.

Check back with us on Jan. 12 to see how the Ram 3500 turbo-diesel stacks up and who the big winner is.

Manufacturer image





Isn't it about time for tandem rear axles with independent [air sprung] rear suspension? Is Tesla going to be the ones to do that
Seriously now, if the price is closer to $75k instead of $50k-the technology should be more advanced that what was produced 50 years ago.

So how soon before a 3500 pu out pulls a semi?

The truck that is pictured isn't rated to pull 32,210. Ram is notorious for false advertising.

@ Scott,

EVERY company advertises this way. Saying Ram is notorious for false advertising is extremely bias and misleading in itself. Doesn't make you look any better than them.

And besides, it was that chose the pictures for this article, not Ram.

Did fiat change the rear axle? Last I heard they added 2 more bolts to the ring gear and said it is good. The max tow F450 uses a DANA S130 so it only makes since to use a larger axle for heavy hauling.

My "manly" truck is hiding in the barn after reading this article!

FIAT beats all the other truck manufacturers in payload and towing capacity in the same category. Ford and GM is no exception.

Good job FIAT.

Go Ram Baby!

Remember Ram, Fiat only beats Ford by a 10lbs and Fiat uses a 2 WD short wheel base dually for that. In fact the Fiat is shorter than a max tow F150. Ford uses a 4WD, 4 door, long bed for their max tow superduty. And don't claim the class 4 truck some try to pass. Both the F450 Superduty max tow and Fiat max tow are both 14000lb GVW trucks.

Hmmm the payload numbers leave just 6600lbs for the truck. That is just heavier than a 1500.

@Scott and LMAO: When making claims about the legitimacy of your favorite manufactures tow ratings, your should always include this link.

This way, the uneducated can decide who the real company is that is notorious for false advertising.

"@ Scott,

EVERY company advertises this way. Saying Ram is notorious for false advertising is extremely bias and misleading in itself. Doesn't make you look any better than them."

Even though I just bought a Ford I would have to say that they have the most egregious misleading statement in their advertising. They keep saying that their new F150 will carry up to 3,000lbs "when properly equipped." The problem is that they haven't built one "properly equipped" in a year and half (since the 2014's went out of production). They don't have a build date yet for properly equipped trucks and when they do start building them many options won't be available on those trucks.

I remember, that FIAT 3500 beats the F 450 in payload and towing.
F350 didn't even try.

GMSNOTSOGREAT, remember that article showed that the data was originally incorrect and was corrected. Both trucks are class 3 140000lb GVW trucks. That is the end of day truth.

Also GMSNOTSOGREAT the F450 is J2807 certified. Takes all the best out of it.

I remember, that when you install spare tire and radio back at your F450, it's not class 3 anymore.

That is incorrect. Options always take away from the numbers. Same as Fiat and gm

The article is about ram... That is why I commented on the Rams misleading propaganda. Not ford or gm's misleading tactics.... That is for another article. But since it was brought up a f450 is a 1 ton with upgraded axles, a few frame enhancements and tires and a 450 badging. Same frame essentially with a brace or 2 added. Ram max tow for 3500 is upgraded axles, upgrade engine, down graded cab options, down graded 4x4 system (2wd) and down grade interior features.

While ram downgrades options and choice for the customer to lessen there weight to achieve there tow numbers ford upgrades components to give people there want. The ram 3500 that can tow 32,210 is a marketing ploy that the ram fans eat up in the brainless statements.

In other news the f series had a huge month on the back of the aluminum f150 for December. Huge month!!!!

MONTADS, good point, we all remember the GM twins article about how they strip the truck down to get the payload, and towing numbers up, if I remember right, you wouls ismply remove all the bumpers, center console, spare tires and such then you could tow that much,lol. I think Ford got caught for the same thing

In other news the f series had a huge month on the back of the aluminum f150 for December. Huge month!!!!
Posted by: Scott | Jan 5, 2016 9:25:15 AM

So how many aluminium F150 ford sold in December? No one knows. Eh?

FIAT 3500 still beats F450 in towing and payload capacity.

BAFO is that you? Sure sounds a lot like you are the same.




Whoa, two Dodges in the running? How did that sneak by? What's a fiat 3500? You gals and your who can tow the most crack me up. They all exaggerate, it's called trying to relieve you of your money. Buy what you want, buy what you need

Breaking News:

Ford's December sales of 239,242 were up 8% from a year ago with F-Series trucks up 15%. The 85,211 pickup sales added last month were enough to cement the truck's 39th year as the best-selling pickup and 34 years as best-selling vehicle.

"It was the first time we exceeded 85,000 sales in a decade," said Mark LaNeve, head of U.S. sales, marketing and service.

In other news the f series had a huge month on the back of the aluminum f150 for December. Huge month!!!!

Posted by: Scott | Jan 5, 2016 9:25:15 AM

Sounds like ford is up to their old tricks and are dumping left overs onto the rentals truck companies. Accept it , ford investors, you didn't make any money in December.

Damn, half the comment are from welfare LMAO kid, from his welfare phone, and his best butt buddy Scott . What two useless TOOLS!

WOW GM blew Ford out of the water! 824,683 vs Ford's 780,354, and that's now even with midsized added! With midsized added GM sold 939,190 trucks! Better luck next year beer can Fords!

johnny doe,
Yeah, I'm surprised at the difference between GM and Ford.

935 000 pickups sold by GM.

780 000 from Ford.

GM sold 155 000 more than Ford. Even without the GM midsizers GM outsold Ford.

That's quite a gap, GM sold around 20% more pickups. If you add the same platformed GM SUVs, GM really did shine.

The GM midsizers have sold quite well, over 110 000.

Ram even had gains in total sales over Ford and that is with an outdated pickup.

Interesting link.

I wonder if the F Series numbers will lose a little when the Cummins powered Titan's start to move.

lol, radio and spare tire is "optional" for GM and Ford?

Yup, these are an everday pickup for the average drivers.

I do like those mature comments regarding "Best in Class".

The reality is no matter what a vehicle tows if you need to tow a particular load you will buy a vehicle to suit.

It doesn't make a vehicle a better vehicle because it can tow more.

What's odd is in real life and towing those numbers have little effect on the overall performance of the vehicle's ability to tow.

A SRT Grand Cherokee is much faster than my ute. Does that make it a better off roader?

Ford F-series outsold Silverado series in 2015 by over 180,000 truck. Again Ford truck's 39th year as the best-selling pickup and 34 years as best-selling vehicle.

It's sure is lonely (ford) at the top. LOL

BAFO. You may want to check your math... Gm combining it two brands of full size didn't out sell ford by 155,000 fullsize. Also ram didn't gain on ford. Double check you math and clarify your comments.




I thought the new F150 was ground breaking? They must of over looked this HAHA!

Combined, Chevrolet and GMC sold 1.2 million trucks in 2015, up 14 percent compared to 2014. This includes 939,198 pickups. GM’s retail share of the full-size pickup segment improved by more than one percentage point to 39.2 percent, according to PIN. GM’s retail share of the mid-size pickup segment is now 32.5 percent, up from less than 5 percent in 2014, the launch year for the all-new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

Ford Motor Co. 2,471,315 5.3%

General Motors 2,935,008 5.0%


Oh chucky kid

"The Camaro's gain, even coinciding with the Mustang's decline, didn't allow the Camaro to sell anywhere near as often as the current dominant muscle car.

2015 will be the first year since 2009 that the Mustang has outsold the Camaro. But with the Camaro picking up steam and the Mustang no longer presenting itself as the freshest face in the class, 2016 may very well be a return to the norm."

Bye bye Ford ruststain LOL!

DETROIT – General Motors’ (NYSE: GM) Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands delivered 290,230 vehicles in December 2015, driven by an 8 percent year-over-year increase in retail deliveries and the company’s 26th consecutive month of Commercial sales growth. Total sales were up 6 percent.

For the year, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers delivered 3.1 million vehicles, driven by an 8 percent increase in retail deliveries compared to 2014. Total sales were up 5 percent.

No, every vehicle manufacturer does not advertise this way.

Ram states that they have "best in class" towing of 31,210 lbs and 7,390 lbs payload. Problem is that these are two different trucks. The truck that is rated to tow 31,210 lbs is a regular cab DRW 2WD with a Cummins. The truck that has the 7,390 lbs payload is a regular cab DRW 2WD with a 6.4L Hemi. In order for you to get the "best in class" towing number of 31,210 lbs that Ram markets in only in a regular cab configuration.

On the flip side, the 31,200 lbs towing that Ford markets is in a more common crew cab DRW 4WD configuration. That same configuration in Ram is rated to tow 30,310 lbs. So you have one manufacturer marketing numbers from a truck that is usually purchased and another marketing numbers on a truck that is rarely purchased just so they can say "best in class". That is the difference that Scott was talking about.

I love how everyone including BAFO, love to jumble everything together in GM to make it look like FORD was overtaken, nice job, when in actuality, F series beat Silverado, and F series beat Sierra, and every other truck, thats a fact, Ford wins again,and that is the headline. Even take the time to read the beginning of that article, where it says GM TWINS for the first time since 2009 beat Ford, meaning again, that it takes a company to combine sales of numerous vehicles to say they beat Ford.

If I was a GM fan I certainly wouldn't be gloating that it takes 4 pickup brands to beat one brand of Ford.

It's quite pathetic, but so are all GM Trvlls.

"GM TWINS for the first time since 2009 beat Ford":

@nitro: I expect this trend to continue for..........well infinity.

@ Frank, funny isnt it? I love how BIg AL cant even talk anymore about the aluminum truck, really he cant, since the aluminum f150 was up 15% in DEC, those are selling strong and continue to do so. I'm not even a Ford fan boy and I see that,lol


It's laughable at best, these are the same guys that say "McDonalds sells the most hamburgers, it doesn't make them the best."

I laugh and laugh at their stupidity.

This should be the winner, and Ram needs to put the Aisin and high-output Cummins in the 2500.

@LMAO That is incorrect the F450 does not have a GVWR of 14,000lbs. Ford on there offical site claim. The GCWR is 40,400 with a towing of 31,200. 40,400-31,200=9,200lbs for the truck weight. Now add 9,200 (truck weight) into the 7,050lbs (the claimed payload) 9,200+7,050=16,250lbs GVWR for the F450 putting it well into class 4.

Payload capacity on a 450 is 5300 pounds not 7050. Curb weight is 8611. Gvwr on a 450 is 14,000..... It's on fords website under specs.

@scott How can the truck weight be 8611LBs if the GCWR is 40,400LBs & towing is 31,200Lbs? The specs are on fords site under "towing" F450 & all way over to crew cab. The max payload i was looking was for a reg cab 450,my mistake. The lightest payload puts it @ 14,500Lbs GVWR The max crew cab payload package & GCWR does put it over 16k GVWR tho.


Scott is correct, Ford lowered the payload rating of the F450 so that the GVWR is under 14,000 lbs which makes it a class 3 vehicle. This kind of stuff has been done for years. For example, prior to 2003 all single rear wheel F350, Chevy 3500, and Ram 3500 trucks had a GVWR of 9,900 lbs and were actually a class 2b truck in the same class as the 250/2500 trucks. Only the dual rear wheel trucks back then were actually class 3 trucks.

The numbers on the doors are just model variations these days and there is no law stipulating an F450 must be a class 4 or a that an 3500 must be a class 3. Ram or any other make can put a 550/5500 in class 2a with the 1500s if they wanted to just as long as they give it the proper GVWR for that class. Saying that an F450 should not be in the same class as other class 3 trucks just because it says 450 on the door is false. Ford can derate their trucks to fit into a lower class if they want to just as Ram can overate their truck to be in a higher class regardless of the numbers on the door.

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