Buyer's Guide

2021 Ram 3500
Select a Different Model (35 Available): Big Horn 2WD DRW Regular Cab
Towing (Max) $ 14630 lbs.
Payload (Max) 4598 lbs.
Horsepower 410@5,600
Torque 429@4,000
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2021 Ram 3500 MODEL OVERVIEW


  • Great ride quality, laden or unladen
  • Confident towing and hauling
  • Strong gas and diesel engine options


  • We wish the diesel had an eight-speed auto

The Ram 3500 is its automaker's largest and most capable consumer pickup, positioned above the 1500 Classic, 1500, and 2500. After a full redesign for the 2019 model year, the truck gains a Limited Night Edition with blacked-out aesthetics for 2021. We're such big fans of the heavy duty Ram that we named it our 2020 Truck of the Year (along with the 2500 model). It competes with other heavy-duty pickups including the Ford F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, and GMC Sierra 3500HD.

What We Think

Not only is the Ram 3500 massively capable and confident in terms of towing and hauling, the heavy-duty truck offers a well-rounded skill set—and that's why it earned the 2020 Truck of the Year award, along with the 2500 model.

The 3500 excels in both interior and exterior design; it's available with six different front grilles and an elegant mobile office of an interior loaded with clever useful tech. The UConnect infotainment system is easy to use and the available 12.0-inch touchscreen display feels more Tesla than truck. Both available engines provide plenty of grunt and even return decent fuel economy, even if we'd like to see an eight-speed auto for the diesel. Models with 4WD are more capable than we'd expect off-road, too.

The Ram's ride quality is impressively smooth both laden and unladen, no small feat for a heavy-duty pickup. We also appreciate the available active safety features that are available on all trims. All these strengths make the Ram 3500 a strong competitor, but its impressive value puts it over the top. Right now, it's the best heavy-duty pickup you can buy.

Engines and Performance

Ram gives buyers the option of gas or diesel power under the hood of their heavy-duty pickup. The gas engine is a 6.4-liter V-8 developing 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque, and it works with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Either engine can be ordered with standard RWD or available 4WD.

Opting for the diesel swaps the gas V-8 for a 6.7-liter Cummins turbocharged I-6 and the eight-speed auto for a beefed up six-speed unit, but that inline-six is offered in two states of tune. The standard oil-burner generates an impressive 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, though spending the extra cash for the high output version nets 400 hp and a segment-first 1,000 lb-ft of torque. When we tested a 4x4 dually 3500 with the high-output diesel, the 8,800-pound truck reached 60 mph in 8.8 seconds. It also returned 13.2/18.0 mpg city/highway in RealMPG testing.

Towing and Payload

The best reason to buy Ram's most capable truck is to put it to work. For maximum payload, you'll want a regular cab RWD Tradesman with the gas V-8, eight-foot bed, and 4.10 axle ratio, which can carry up to 7,680 pounds. The Ram 3500 with the least payload capacity is a crew cab 4x4 Limited with the high-output diesel, 3.73 axle ratio, and shorter bed, which is rated for 3,590 pounds.

If you're looking to tow your weight rather than tossing it in the bed, the best option is a regular cab, RWD Tradesman with the eight-foot bed but fitted with the high-output Cummins engine. With that setup, you could tow up to 35,100 pounds. At the other end of things, a mega cab 3500 Limited 4x4 with the short bed and gas V-8 can tug along "just" 15,990 pounds.

Cab and Bed Configurations

Ram offers a multitude of options for configuring your heavy-duty pickup. Tradesman and Big Horn/Lone Star trims come standard with the regular cab and eight-foot bed but can be ordered with a crew cab fitted with the eight-foot long bed or the six-foot-four-inch short bed. Big Horn/Lone Star models can also fit the largest available mega cab with the shorter bed.

Higher trims do not offer the regular cab/long bed option but come standard with the crew cab and short bed but can be configured as crew cab/long bed or mega cab/short bed.


Like most heavy-duty trucks, the Ram 3500 has not been evaluated by either major safety organization, but some driver-assist safety features are available. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist can all be had as part of the Safety Group.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

The big Ram's cargo space depends on whether you order the 6-foot, 4-inch bed or the longer 8-foot box. Choosing the former provides 57.5 cubic feet of volume; the longer bed measures 74.7 cubic feet.

As with cargo capacity, seating capacity and leg room change based on which cab is fitted. The regular cab offers seating for two or three with 40.9 inches of legroom. Crew and mega cab variants provide the same amount of front legroom, but rear legroom measures 40.2 and a limo-like 43.1 inches, respectively.


The entry-level 3500 Tradesman features a basic 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Bluetooth connectivity and available satellite radio. An 8.4-inch system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality is available on all models and standard on the Laramie trim. Integrated navigation is available. The infotainment highlight for these Rams is the available tablet-style 12.0-inch infotainment display that is available on all but the base Tradesman and is standard on the top-spec 3500 Limited. Four speaker audio is standard, a 10-speaker system is standard on higher trims, and a premium 17-speaker setup is available on higher trims.

Key Competitors:

Engine Name
Engine: V8 6.4 Liter HEMI
Transmission Name
Transmission, 8 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode (8HP75-LCV)
Big Horn 2WD DRW Regular Cab
Full-Size Pickup HD
Standard MPG
Body Style
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
Package Invoice Retail
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IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
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NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
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Not Rated
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NHTSA Rating Rear Side
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Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 0% Financing for a maximum term of 36 Months - FCA announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 48 Months - FCA announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 3.9% Financing for a maximum term of 60 Months - FCA announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 5.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - FCA announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$500 FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models for eligible Military personnel. 01-03-2022
$500 FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models to customers currently leasing an FCA vehicle. 02-01-2021
$500 FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer to consumers currently leasing a competitive vehicle who will be purchasing or leasing a new select model. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 02-01-2021