2020 Ram 3500

2020 Ram 3500 Review: Leading The Way

by Deiondre van der Merwe

For the last 30 years, Ram has managed to keep the most cars on the road of any automaker thanks to its reliability, with one of the models holding up the record being the Ram 3500 heavy-duty truck. The truck leads the segment in more ways than one, though, once setting the benchmark for towing with a figure of 35,100 pounds. That may since have been usurped by chief rival, the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, with the Ford F-350 Super Duty coming close, too, but the Ram is still among the best in the segment. But where the Ram remains untouched is in its luxurious appointments, refined ride quality, and practical niceties, with an interior second to none and a suspension setup that makes the big bruiser as comfortable on the road as many a smaller truck. When it's equipped with the most powerful engine and it's in Mega Cab guise, you'll be living in high cotton.

Read in this review:

2020 Ram 3500 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 3500?

This year's Ram 3500 lineup gets some minor updates to keep it relevant, and one of these is the Heavy Duty Night Edition package for Big Horn and Laramie trims, which adds black 20-inch wheels, black badging and a black interior. Newly available safety features are inclusive of lane keep assist and adaptive steering, while blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage is standard across the range. The 3500 is now equipped with an auxiliary camera system that supports a maximum of two cameras. A 50-gallon fuel tank is newly available for Crew Cab models with an eight-foot bed, and Hydro Blue and Olive Green have been added to the exterior paint palette.

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent engine lineup
  • Premium interior on upper trims
  • Commendable standard features
  • Mega Cab offers class-leading space
  • Class-leading towing capability
  • Expensive Cummins engine
  • Harsh ride with no trailer attached

Best Deals on 3500

2020 Ram 3500 Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Tradesman
6.4-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$35,345
Big Horn
6.4-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$39,345
Lone Star
6.4-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$39,345
Laramie
6.4-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$50,800
Longhorn
6.4-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$58,100

3500 Exterior

Every aspect of the Ram 3500 screams utilitarian, from its mammoth countenance to its no-nonsense face. The 3500's visage is dominated by a large grille and intimidating headlights that house halogen bulbs in the lower three trims, and full-LED strips in the upper three. All models except for the Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited share the same old-school incandescent taillights, with the exceptions boasting LED-lit taillights. The first five trims come with 18-inch wheels as standard, and the range-topping Limited boasts a set of 20-inch wheels. LED bed lighting is also standard on the top two trims.

2020 Ram 3500 Front Angle View Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Front Angle View 1 Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Rear Angle View Ram
See All 2020 Ram 3500 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The size of your Ram 3500 will be dependent on the configuration you choose. The smallest one would be the Regular Cab with an eight-foot box, measuring at a total length of 232 inches. Next up is the Crew Cab with the 6.4-foot bed that measures in at 237.3 inches from front to back and then comes the Crew Cab with the eight-foot bed that has a whopping total length of 260.8 inches, and the Mega Cab with the 6.4-foot bed shares the same total length measurement. All models have a maximum width of 79.1 inches and stand 77.8 inches tall. Notably, the height increases to 78.5 inches on Limited models with 4x4 and the Mega Cab. The Tradesman in 4x2 guise with a regular cab is the lightest of the bunch and has a curb weight of 6,056 pounds. The Limited in 4x4 guise with the Mega Cab weighs in at 7,536 lbs and is the heaviest of them all.

  • Length 232.0 in
  • Wheelbase 140.0 in
  • Height 77.8 in
  • Max Width 79.4 in

2020 Ram 3500 Exterior Colors

  • Hydro Blue Pearlcoat
  • Olive Green Pearlcoat
  • Delmonico Red Pearlcoat
  • Diamond Black Crystal Pearlcoat
  • Patriot Blue Pearlcoat
  • Pearl White
  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat
  • Maximum Steel Metallic Clearcoat
  • RV Match Walnut Brown Metallic Clearcoat
  • National Safety Yellow, Minimum Build Quantity of 10.
  • Power Tan, Minimum Build Quantity of 10.
  • Utility Orange, Minimum Build Quantity of 10.
  • Case IH Red, Minimum Build Quantity of 10.
  • Black Clearcoat, Minimum Build Quantity of 10.
See all 32 colors

3500 Performance

2020 Ram 3500 Front View Driving Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Front View Driving 1 Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Gearbox Controls Ram

Engine and Transmission

There are three things that truck shoppers are particularly concerned about and those are power, power, and power. Luckily, the 3500 comes standard with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine that means business, and a class-leading diesel engine is optionally available. The V8 powerhouse has 410 horses and 429 lb-ft of torque lying in wait for the right opportunity, allowing for a maximum payload of 3,240 pounds and a towing capacity of 14,370 lbs depending on the configuration as well. If that's a little "all hat and no cattle" for you, a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine is available and bumps torque figures and capability up by a mile. Opting for that one means you'll have 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft to work with, increasing the maximum towing capacity to 19,780 pounds. The true king of them all is the 6.7-liter Cummins HO turbo diesel that has a whopping 1,000 lb-ft of torque. Opting for this engine allows for a maximum payload of 7,680 pounds and a towing capacity of up to 35,100 pounds depending on which model you choose. Three different transmissions are available, with an eight-speed automatic as standard for all trims.

  • Engine
    6.4-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Your experience behind the wheel of the 3500 will vary depending on which engine you opt for, but even with its puniest engine, it delivers enough power to get the wheels turning without obvious signs of struggle. That being said, the more powerful Cummins engine is far more capable of getting up to speed, working in perfect harmony with the transmission sourced from Aisin. Common amongst large haulers, bumps and cracks in the road are made known to the cabin immediately, though this is significantly mitigated when there's a particularly heavy trailer attached to it. Going 60 miles an hour in something the size of a mammoth feels fast, but the brakes are always ready to stop the beast of burden with enough force. Parking the truck will take 3-5 business days without the 360-degree camera equipped, but the steering isn't half bad which makes it somewhat easier.

3500 Gas Mileage

While there are no official EPA estimated figures for any of the three engines, real-world reports suggest that the 6.7-liter Cummins engine will deliver a combined figure of 16 mpg with mixed driving and the 6.8-liter V8 will manage around 12.3 mpg. A 32-gallon fuel tank is standard on all models, but a 50-gallon fuel tank is optionally available for Crew Cab models with an eight-foot bed.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    32.0 Gallons
* 2020 Ram 3500 Tradesman 4x2Regular Cab 8' Box

3500 Interior

2020 Ram 3500 Dashboard Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Gauge Cluster Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Infotainment System Ram
See All 2020 Ram 3500 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The smallest Regular Cab 3500 will manage three adults comfortably and Crew Cab models offer enough seating for six. The rear space offering of the latter is impressive, but falls slightly behind the back of the Ford F-350 in terms of legroom. If space is what you desire, the Mega Cab offers the most interior space of the segment for five occupants and annihilates the F-350's biggest model. The Ram also has more premium upholstery than most rivals and offers extremely comfortable and supportive seating in the front and the rear.

  • Seating capacity
    3-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Front Head Room 39.8 in

3500 Trunk and Cargo Space

Big trucks like the 3500 don't typically have a lot of space inside to store items and rely mostly on their beds for storage. You'll have a lot to work with when you opt for the 6.4-foot bed, but the ultimate option for the most space would be the eight-foot bed. The former has a bed height of 20.1 inches, while the latter marginally increases this to 20.2 inches. Both beds have a width of 66.4 inches. The 6.4-foot bed has a total of 57.5 cubic feet to carry cargo, and the eight-foot bed allows for 74.7 cubes of storage space. A cargo management system called RamBox is available and this adds two lockable storage bins to the bed.

In-cabin storage is decent enough thanks to a cavernous bin in the center console, with Mega Cab models boasting two boxes behind the rear seats. There is overhead storage and a glovebox, too.

2020 Ram 3500 Rear Passenger Seats Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Rear Passenger Seats 1 Ram
2020 Ram 3500 Rear Passenger Seats 2 Ram

3500 Infotainment and Features

Features

The bare-bones Tradesman is the most affordable 3500 that money can buy, and this is made possible by the inclusion of limited features. The fleet-focused truck has standard features that include four-way manually adjustable front seats and push-button start, as well as cruise control, air conditioning, and a 12V power outlet. The Lone Star adds power front windows and the Laramie adds keyless entry, a heated, leather-clad multifunction steering wheel, heated eight-way power-adjustable front seats with two-way lumbar support, dual-zone climate control and power-adjustable pedals. Added to the Laramie Longhorn is ventilation and memory for the front seats and the top of the range Limited model adds wireless charging. For the Tradesman, a rearview camera and hill start assist are standard. The Laramie adds blind spot monitoring and the Limited adds cross-path detection.

Infotainment

The infotainment features in the fleet model are relatively limited, but the suite improves by a large measurement in the upper three trim levels. The Tradesman comes standard with a five-inch touchscreen that enables Bluetooth streaming, AM/FM radio, and an aux input as well as a USB port and a six-speaker sound system is standard. The Lone Star and Big Horn models don't offer much to improve this, but the Laramie adds a 7-inch color instrument cluster and most notably, an 8.4-inch touchscreen and a nine-speaker Alpine sound system. It also adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM to the mix along with an extra USB port. The Longhorn adds an improved Uconnect 4 software system with a navigation system and a five-year SiriusXM traffic subscription, and the Limited gets upgraded to a 12-inch touchscreen. They also add HD Radio. An upgraded system is additionally available on all models except for the Tradesman and the Big Horn along with a 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

3500 Problems and Reliability

The 2020 Ram 3500 has been the victim of three recalls so far, for issues including the possibility of a transmission fluid leak being the cause of a fire, faulty rearview camera, and the bed step may fail unexpectedly. Ram does well to ease the minds of shoppers with a three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile drivetrain warranty. Roadside assistance is standard for five years or 100,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles

3500 Safety

While the Ram 3500 hasn't been officially tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS, its standard safety features should be enough to rid one of concerns. All models come with six airbags. The base model comes standard with a rearview camera, electronic roll mitigation, electronic stability control, hill start assist, and trailer sway damping. The Laramie adds front and rear park sensors and the top of the range model adds blind-spot monitoring. Various additional safety features are available and include an auxiliary camera system that allows for a maximum of two cameras. The Safety Group Package costs around $2,000 to start, but varies considerably between the trim levels. It adds adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring as well as cross-path detection.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2020 Ram 3500 a good Truck?

Ram enjoys the highest owner loyalty of any of the USA's pickups and this is because it produces trucks that set the benchmark for the rest of the segment. The Ram 3500 is the truck to beat in America, thanks to the lineup hosting a powerful Cummins turbo diesel engine and boasting the strongest towing capacity out of all of its rivals. While there's room for improvement on lower trims levels, the higher trim levels like the Longhorn and Limited models leave rivals far behind in terms of luxury and comfort. The Ram delivers on all the important fronts and keeps its prices relative to the rest of the market. The great thing about the lineup is that there's a 3500 for everybody thanks to a number of configurations and trim levels to choose from. The Ram 3500 is an excellent choice if you're after a dedicated workhorse that doesn't compromise on comfort or luxury.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Ram 3500?

If we had to delve into the price of every 3500, we'd be at it until the cows came home, so we'll give you the gist of it. Only three trim levels are available in Regular Cab guise with an eight-foot box and the most affordable one is the Tradesman that costs $35,345 and the most expensive configuration is the Bighorn at $39,445. You get your pick of the litter if you're opting for the Crew Cab with a 6.4-foot box, and the mid-range Laramie in this guise will cost $50,900. The lower-level Big Horn will cost $44,000 in Crew Cab with an eight-foot box and the Limited will cost $65,900 in this guise. The most luxurious model in the lineup would be the Limited as a Mega Cab with a 6.4-inch box and will cost $67,700. Adding a 4x4 drive system to any model will increase the price by just under $3,000 depending on the trim level, and the prices will vary according to which engine you choose. All prices are exclusive of the $1,695 destination charge.

See All 2020 Ram 3500 Trims and Specs

🚗What Ram 3500 Model Should I Buy?

If you have the budget for it, an AWD-equipped Limited in Mega Cab guise screams intimidation and power, but if you're trying to stick to a budget, the Laramie is worth considering. It adds a whole bunch of tech including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as SiriusXM and improves its convenience features with additions including keyless entry, heated eight-way power-adjustable front seats and dual-zone climate control. We'd recommend opting for the expensive Cummins HO engine for maximum capability if you plan on hauling heavy items and you have the budget for it. We'd also recommend adding the Safety Group Package for $1,095. This package adds features including lane-keep assist, forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring.

2020 Ram 3500 Comparisons

Ram 2500 Ram
Ford F-350 Super Duty Ford
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ram 3500410 hpTBC$35,345
Ram 2500 410 hpTBC$33,895
Ford F-350 Super Duty 385 hpTBC$35,550

2020 Ram 3500 vs Ram 2500

These two Ram pickups share plenty of DNA, and this is obvious when you look at the exterior resemblance. The 2500 is the little brother to the 3500, and doesn't offer the high-output Cummins turbo diesel engine, but it does offer one that's almost as good. The 2500 at its strongest can manage a maximum towing capacity of 19,780 pounds which is upwards of 10,000 lbs less than what its big brother accomplishes. The 3500 can also handle double the payload that the 2500 can. Both of the trucks come standard with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine that produces 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque and an eight-speed automatic transmission and offer similar standard features. Choosing the right one for you comes down to whether you want a big truck for minor hauling or a true workhorse that's capable of hauling an American football field across the border.

See Ram 2500 Review

2020 Ram 3500 vs Ford F-350 Super Duty

There is an obvious rivalry between America's favorite pickups, and the two offer similar experiences and pricing. They're just wrapped up in different packaging. It must be said that the Ram outperforms the Ford in most of the important areas for the segment and when its most powerful engine is opted for, it offers better towing capacity and the ability to handle a heavier payload. It also offers more space from its Mega Cab model than the F-350 manages in its biggest model. Ram also has a renowned reputation for offering the most luxurious cabins in the segment and this is true for the 3500 as well. While discounted materials are still present in the Ford's higher trims, the Ram utilizes premium materials throughout its upper two trims. Out of the two, the Ram is the better buy.

See Ford F-350 Super Duty Review

Ram 3500 Popular Comparisons

2020 Ram 3500 Video Review

Check out some informative Ram 3500 video reviews below.

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