The pickup-truck market can be intimidating and a little complicated. Trucks come in hundreds of permutations, with different bed lengths, cab sizes, engine and transmission combinations, 4x4 or 2WD, single rear wheels or dual, plus multiple trim levels, tire sizes, and option packages. The new Ram Heavy Duty pickup is much simpler. It's about heavy loads. It offers all the above choices and more, but in the end, the Ram 3500 and 2500 are built for handling the heaviest loads around.

If need be, Ram 3500 pickups can be equipped to tow up to 17,600 pounds or haul 5150 pounds in the bed. Even the lighter-duty 2500 has a GVWR of 9600 pounds. These capability ratings represent increases for 2010. But the biggest difference between the new Ram one-ton and the current generation is the way it drives. The new truck rides and handles better, rolls quieter, and has been updated inside to reflect the latest comfort, safety, and convenience features. That includes multi-stage airbags, enhanced ABS braking, and features like remote keyless entry and Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity.

There are five different trim levels-ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie, and Power Wagon; the ultimate off-roader gets its own distinct trim package along with unique off-road capability enhancers. The old Quad Cab has been replaced with a true Crew Cab, so now the Ram has the same cab configurations as the competition, plus the really big Mega Cab, and a Regular Cab as well.

We found the new interiors essentially mirror the Ram 1500, with similar amenities. Front seats are of premium quality, with enough seat and side support to keep you comfortable for an entire day of driving. Easily accessible storage bins are everywhere, making us think the Ram would be great for long-haul use. We had some time in the rear seat of the Crew Cab, which is nicely designed with ample legroom, but still rather upright. On the other hand, the Mega Cab rear seats actually recline 37 degrees. Mega Cab rear seats might be a better place to relax than the front passenger seat, although some bed length is traded off to gain cab length.