For those on staff who weren't part of Motor Trend's 2010 Truck of the Year testing, the first time driving the Ram was a bit of a shock. "Man, is this truck big!" was the most frequent initial reaction, often followed by, "but it's really nice." The combination of sheer capability and refinement is a big part of why the Ram won Truck of the Year honors for 2010, and the long-termer Ram Truck sent us reflects the best of both of those worlds.

We chose a four-wheel-drive 2500, a crew cab with a short bed (6 feet, 4 inches) and Laramie trim. This would give us the chance to try out most of the interior amenities offered by the manufacturer in a package that offered plenty of capability, too. To get the maximum towing capacity, you'd have to buy a base-model ST 3500 dualie, but the 16,600-pound towing of our long-termer isn't that far off from the max 17,600 anyway. It's painted Austin Tan with a beige and brown interior, and the Laramie package includes items such as chrome grille, power heated/auto-dimming side mirrors; bumpers; dual-zone climate control; a 10-speaker (nine speakers plus subwoofer) Alpine AM/FM/CD/DVD system with a year of Sirius Satellite Radio and an aux jack; heated front seats; and a power-sliding rear window.

We added a few more key features, the most expensive of which was the Cummins turbodiesel ($7615) plus the optional six-speed automatic ($405). Our long-termer also has the available ventilated leather bucket seats in front, a heated second-row leather bench, rear backup camera, media center with a 30GB hard drive, integrated trailer brake controller, and more, bringing the total to $53,675.

This long-termer has already made its first visit to the dealer, for its 5000-mile service. The techs performed a lube, oil, and filter change, rotated the tires and checked pressures, and did an overall inspection. Had this been a truck that uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid, the dealer likely would have refilled the tank, but the Ram line is the only one of the Big Three that doesn't need the urea-based fluid to meet 20101/2 emissions standards.

The Cummins turbodiesel's 650 pound-feet of torque has already been put to work by many staffers, some of whom used the Ram to move to new homes; took it on long road trips; or tested the Ram's mettle as a launch vehicle at a local lake. It has worked flawlessly so far, providing a quiet ride and an observed 15.3 mpg. After a bit more than three months in our fleet, it has racked up nearly 6000 miles on the odometer. We'll let you know how the lux lugger performs over the long haul.


2010 Ram 2500 HD Laramie Crew Cab
Price $53,675
Engine 6.7L/350-hp/650-lb-ft turbocharged diesel OHV 24-valve I-6
Miles 5515
EPA city/hwy fuel econ Not rated
CO2 emissions 1.48 lb/mile (observed)
Observed average mpg 15.3 mpg
Observed worst mpg 13.0 mpg
Observed best mpg 19.4 mpg
Average distance per fill-up 347.3 miles
Average cost per fill-up $77.18
Number of Services 1
Overall cost $180.44

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