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1996 Dodge Ram 2500

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1996 Dodge Ram 2500 Review

Powerful, attractive, and affordable.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Rugged, powerful, and built for heavy-duty work, the Ram line of pickup trucks is the most prominent brand released by Dodge. The Ram divides into three different model ranges based on the power and carrying capacity. The 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 serves as the mid-range version, with better capabilities than the Ram 1500, but less than the Ram 3500. While the performance differs, the Ram models remain largely the same in terms of most other features.

The 1996 Dodge Ram focuses primarily on its performance as a workhorse pickup, as opposed to comfort and handling. Despite this, the Ram 2500 still makes a relatively comfortable vehicle to operate. It may lack the features of a passenger vehicle, but it provides at least the bare essentials to ensure comfort. Handling remains very similar to comfort. The Dodge Ram is designed primarily around power and hauling capacity, but it still offers adequate cornering and handling. Drivers looking for a pickup truck for a day-to-day vehicle might be better off with another truck, but the Dodge Ram definitely makes a strong choice for drivers who want a well-built, powerful pickup truck.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck
Engines: 5.2-liter eight-cylinder, 5.9-liter eight-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed manual, five-speed manual
Models: Dodge Ram 2500 LT, Dodge Ram 2500 ST, Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie SLT

What's New

The 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 receives some minor changes to many existing systems. The torque of the 5.9-liter, eight-cylinder engine increases. Light Kiwi Pearl and Spruce Pearl provide new color options.


The Dodge Ram 2500 offers a regular or extended cab for the Ram 2500 ST and Ram 2500 Laramie SLT. The regular cab and extended cap versions both measure 224 inches long. The 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 has an attractive, sheet metal exterior. A bed liner, a camper towing package, two-tone paint, special factory paint, a chrome step bumper, and fog lights provide optional equipment.


The 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 focuses on performance rather than personal comfort. It includes virtually nothing in the way of standard amenities. The only standard feature on the Ram 2500 LT is an AM/FM radio. The Ram 2500 Laramie SLT adds power windows, power locks, and a cassette player as standard equipment. Keyless entry, leather seating, air-conditioning, and cruise control can be added as optional equipment. The extended cab feels roomy for the driver and front passenger, but the rear-seat legroom feels somewhat cramped, especially for a full-size adult.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 delivers good performance overall. The 5.2-liter, eight-cylinder engine gives the Ram 2500 good acceleration, especially for a vehicle this size. The optional 5.9-liter, eight-cylinder engine further improves upon this with additional power and torque. Turning remains very tight to the point that it feels like a much smaller vehicle. With a full payload, performance decreases a bit, but this marks a common issue with any pickup truck. Overall, the Ram 2500 represents one of the better performing pickups available, even when loaded down.


The 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 includes a driver’s side airbag and rear-wheel anti-lock brakes as standard equipment on all models. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes remain available as optional equipment.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Ram 2500, 5.2-liter eight-cylinder: 12/16 mpg city/highway
Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9-liter eight-cylinder: 11/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • High performance
  • Good handling
  • Four-wheel drive

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cannot haul as much weight as the Ram 3500

Sum Up

Powerful, attractive, and affordable.

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