Ace of Base: 2018 Ram 2500 Tradesman Regular Cab 4×2 Longbox

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

New truck season is, without a doubt, the most wonderful time of the year. However, it must be recognized that not every gearhead feels the need to be on the bleeding edge of product development, choosing instead to hoover up deals on last year’s rigs. With the Detroit Three busy bludgeoning each other in the pickup truck game, there are bargains for the taking on their outgoing models.

Case in point? This burly Ram 2500 Tradesman, priced just $300 more than a Ranger XLT 4×4.

Yes, that’s an apples-to-codfish comparison, but you see my point. Much like the phenomenon faced by parents of how children’s clothes – which is made with tiny amounts of material – costs roughly the same as adult apparel, a three-quarter ton pickup can be had for roughly the same cheddar as a mid-sizer. True, the Ram’s cabin is sparsely equipped compared to the Ranger, but you’re here to do work, aren’t you?

Air conditioning is standard equipment, as are tilt steering and cruise control. A backup camera is expected these days, but the inclusion of an auto-dimming rearview mirror is a surprise – thank economies of scale for that one, along with the pair of USB ports. There is also a raft of airbags protecting occupants as they rest themselves on a vinyl bench seat. Hey, at least you won’t stick to it, thanks to the cooling effects of A/C. The floor is of the hose-it-out variety, too.

Under the hood and behind the noble gunsight grille is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 making just under 400 horsepower. The much more appropriate 6.4-liter Hemi V8 is just a $500 decision away, marking a rare occasion in the Ace of Base series where we recommend carefully splashing out the extra bucks. Those who do will net themselves more power and more torque.

Outside, only Flame Red and Bright White are no-cost paint options, with everything else costing at least a hundred bucks. This means buyers have the choice of looking like a contractor or a member of the fire brigade. Painted steel wheels look rough-n-ready and are wrapped in LT-rated tires of a 245/75 section. The rear pumpkin houses 3.73 gears, ready to accept towing duties flung at it thanks to the standard hitch and seven-pin wiring harness. Bring yer measuring tape, as this brute casts a shadow 231 inches long. Its box is a useful 98.3 inches in length.

Sure, the new 2019s are here with their snazzy styling and standard 6.4L, but this 2018 displays a sticker price of just $33,045 (less the raft of discounts dealers are sure to offer once the new trucks wend their way onto the lot).

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 34 comments
  • Gedrven Gedrven on Feb 06, 2019

    "Much more appropriate"? 410ft-lb are inadequate these days? What are you moving, aircraft carriers? Crank windows but mandatory slushbox? I understand - sort of - how that happened, but still... that ain't right. Much more appropriate is the Cummins diesel option, in part because it's available with a proper gearbox.

  • Gtem Gtem on Feb 07, 2019

    I love these things, it'd have to be a 4WD for me, gotta get that solid front axle and manual floor-mounted transfer case, 5.7L is fine. The "3" VIN is a shame.

  • Jkross22 Nope. Too expensive, too little wear. Besides, there are so many great all seasons that are great to use that last longer, the use case for summer tires has gotten smaller.
  • Redapple2 I love my geolander by yokohama. Wild Peak are almost as good.
  • Redapple2 Why is a mexico BYD china car BAD -End of the World! But > gm < Buick Envision good (build more !) ?
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Supporting EVs is supporting Chi-nah.
  • Eliyahu Oh, a nicer looking 2025 Camry!