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2003 Dodge Ram 2500

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2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Review

Great choice for those looking for a heavy-duty work vehicle.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The Dodge Ram 2500 receives a major update for the 2003 model year. New powertrains mean extra towing power and payload capacities, making it a great choice for those who want a working truck. It isn’t simply limited to the hardworking; the quad cab version provides four doors and an extra back bench for extra passengers. Really, it is designed for commercial use. Dodge put the 2500 through its paces before releasing it to the public, testing the vehicle in a wide range of temperatures and packing it to bursting with payload. This commercial vehicle is so strong it even put the Chevy and Ford models of the same year to shame. This is one of the best heavy-duty trucks available.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck
Engines: 5.9-liter six-cylinder, 5.7-liter V-8, 5.9-liter six-cylinder, 8.0-liter V-10
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: ST, SLT, Laramie

What's New

The 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 finally gets its redesign, one year after the introduction of the new 1500. It gets new styling, more powerful engines to choose from, increased towing and payload capacities, and new safety equipment.


The 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 comes in two models: a two-door regular cab and a four-door quad cab. Previous quad cab models had rear hinged doors that refused to open unless the front doors were opened first. Dodge fits the redesigned trucks with front hinged doors, solving this headache of a problem. Regular cab models receive an eight-foot long cargo bed and ride on a 140.5-inch wheelbase. The quad cab models come with a 6.3- or eight-foot cargo bed and ride on a 140.5- or 160.5-inch long wheelbase, respectively. Both pickup models are big and bad, probably not worth using as a commuter vehicle or something to get the kids in.


The 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 isn’t what buyers expect from a working vehicle; bare-bones design is available, but there are little thrills as well. The front seat is a 40/20/40 split that will sit three occupants. There is a center business console that will hold a laptop computer for, say, auto-CAD blueprints. The center portion of the bench has an under-the-seat storage bin as well. The quad cab also offers a folding back seat as well that has a 60/40 split. The seat splits to offer a tall storage area. Standard features include vinyl upholstery on the ST and cloth upholstery on the SLT. The Laramie edition includes leather seating as a standard feature. Optional equipment on the ST and SLT models include leather seating and adjustable pedals.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 comes with four different engine options. A 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is available that produces 345 horsepower with 375 lb-ft of torque. An 8.0t-liter V-10 model is also available that produces 305 horsepower. Both of these engines use regular gasoline. A Cummings 5.9-liter, turbo-diesel engine is available that produces 250 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is used on all the vehicles as standard. A four-speed automatic is also available. The only engine that uses a different transmission is the high-output turbo-diesel, which utilizes a six-speed manual gearbox. It is a big truck meant for big things. This isn’t a vehicle for maneuverability or for on the track; it is best suited to the work site. Expect a great suspension, lots of towing power and a big payload capacity, but don’t expect sport-like handling and acceleration.


The 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 comes with all-disc rear anti-lock brakes (ABS) as standard. Four-wheel ABS is available as an option on both models. The NHTSA and the IIHS has not tested it for reliability in front or side crash tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Ram 2500 Regular Cab ST: N/A

You'll Like

  • Powerful engines available
  • New design
  • Working truck
  • Huge payload and towing capacity
  • Safe vehicle

You Won't Like

  • Short standard bed

Sum Up

Great choice for those looking for a heavy-duty work vehicle.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
  • Chevrolet Ford F-150 SuperCrew

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