A truck this size, this capable, and this good looking can only be loved. I love the 2019 RAM 2500 Longhorn Mega Cab.
I get that many people don’t get it. Well, that guys and gals not born and raised on some of the largest land masses in the world don’t get it. Although I’m a city boy, I’ve spent large portions of my youth at cottages, camping and enjoying the great outdoors only minutes away from my occasionally stuffy suburban setting. No matter the reason for leaving town, doing it in a pickup always seems fitting. This is especially true in a 2019 RAM 2500 Longhorn Mega Cab.
RAM introduced the Mega Cab way back in 2005 for the 2006 model year truck. I remember my first encounter with a new RAM Mega Cab back in 2006 and I immediately thought to myself that GM and Ford were undoubtedly copy this extra-large cabin format. Nearly 15 years later, they’ve not.
The advantages to the RAM Mega Cab, offered only with the 2500 and 3500 HD RAMs, are undeniable. The rear bench gains a very important reclining function which, when no one is in place, reveals extra interior storage. For a parent such as myself, it allows me to set up my kids’ seats with ease and, for them, in a comfortable angle.
The downsides are all capability related. I believe this explains why the other two brands opted to not offered this cabin configuration. With similar equipment, powertrain and gearing, the Mega Cab body type provides the least amount of capability.
2500 Laramie Longhorn
My tester was nothing less than a Laramie Longhorn Mega Cab which sports a $78,995 base price. The Laramie Longhorn strikes the perfect balance between the rugged and the uber-luxurious. With options such as the Longhorn Level 1 Equipment Group (power deployable running boards, 12-inch screen), the leather-covered cooled front bucket seats, the polished 20-inch wheels and the must-have Cummins diesel engine, the grand total was of just under $97,000 before destination.
The list of standard features rivals, or nearly, that of an BMW 7 Series. Full power front seats, power adjustable pedals, partial digital instrument cluster, heated steering wheel, LED lighting, Alpine audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto satellite radio and so on and so forth. This is a Heavy-Duty luxury truck.
RAMs are gorgeous
On the outside, the RAM HD is by far the most attractive pickup of its kind. I can’t think of a politically-correct way to describe the GMs so I won’t. The Ford Super Duty does better but the few purposeful angles, character lines and accents, particularly on my Laramie Long Horn, do it justice. Hell, the RAM looks like Justice.
Stepping aboard, with the help of the power running boards, is like dropping into the most glamorous Wild West Saloon ever. The buckles on the front seat-back pockets come to mind… But seriously, the attention to detail, the design and layout harshly put the GM trucks to absolute shame. Then, you throw in the optional 12-inch touchscreen and the deal is done.
RAM decided at least a generation ago that their customers, although highly interested in capacities as a whole, would appreciate styling and a pleasing environment at least as much or more than leading towing and hauling numbers. I think they were and are right.
The price of admission for the 6.7-litre Cummins I-6 turbocharged diesel engine and accompanying 6-speed automatic transmission is $9,450. Numbers for the “regular output” Cummins are the lowest in the segment. That’s right, with 370-horsepower and only 850 lb.-ft. of torque as of 1,700 rpm, the RAM trails its competition. The H.O. Cummins is only offered with the 3500, if you were wondering about the 1,000 lb-torquer.
The Cummins provides all the desirable power at all times, or nearly. The sole weakness, in comparison, is the 6-speed automatic transmission which lags seriously behind the 10-speed auto units found in the GM trucks. With only 60 lb.-ft. of torque extra, the Chevrolet Silverado is far more responsive, and quick.
Driving a comfortable city block
As well, the Cummins is the louder diesel engine, more than the Duramax and Power Stroke. I happen to like this very much and it suits the RAM perfectly. Although it is the prettiest of them all, it’s the least refined drive-wise. The 2019 RAM 2500 Longhorn Mega Cab is still quieter and more docile than any truck capable of pulling 16,000 lbs should ever need to be, but it is last here.
As with all of these vehicles, the RAM 2500 HD can be set up with a dynamic centreline with hookup assist but even here, the competition bests it with countless hookup and towing aids.
And about the Mega Cab, it limits the truck’s ability to tow heavier loads – a crew cab can pull nearly 20,000 lb. The fact that the RAM continues to rely on a multi-link coil spring rear suspension also has pros and cons. This element is in part responsible for the truck’s great drive but also limits the towing capacity. To note, the RAM 3500 HD is set up with a heavy-duty Hotchkiss rear leaf suspension.
RAM, GM, or Ford?
The very-short of this answer is that I would go for a RAM almost every time. It’s priced competitively with the others and is more than capable enough to handle nearly every job. It may not be the most durable or rugged but I suspect that for the majority of personal truck owners, not fleet owners, the RAM is tops.
The new 2019 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn Mega Cab also happens to be more than just a pretty face.