2014 Ram 2500 6.4L HEMI Review

More Choice Isn't Always Better

2014 Ram 2500 6.4L HEMI Review

Ram is on a roll when it comes to innovating in the pickup truck segment lately. Adding technologies like an air suspension and offering a diesel half-ton are just a couple of ways Ram is setting itself apart.

FAST FACTS

Engine: 6.4L HEMI V8 with 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.

Transmission: Six-speed automatic.

Max as tested towing: 12,230 lbs.

Price as tested: $62,745.

New Powerplant

For 2015, Ram added a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 to the options list for its heavy-duty pickup, offering more horsepower and torque than any other gasoline-powered HD on the market. It cranks out 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque that sounds pretty appealing on paper. That’s a full 371 fewer lb-ft of torque than what you get with the 6.7L Cummins diesel, but it will also save you $6,665 compared to the oil burner, which is an $8,100 option. Opt for the 6.4L and you’ll have to drop $1,495 over the base engine, a 5.7L HEMI V8 that makes 29 lb-ft of torque less than 6.4.

So, going for the new engine will save you money out of the gate. But once you pick up your new gas-powered heavy duty, will it deliver the goods? I never really wanted more power while driving without a load. Paired with a 3.73 rear end, the big gas engine does a respectable job of moving all this steel down the road. Compared to the diesel, the gas engine revs much more quickly and sits higher in the RPM range.

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Where’s the Jam?

Things change when you need to tow. Pulling a 6,000-lb load – roughly 50 percent of what our truck is rated to pull – the HEMI power feels underwhelming. Hills leave it wheezing hard and that is where the tradeoff between cash and power becomes clear. Even if it doesn’t feel the best in its segment, the Cummins doesn’t feel underpowered like the gasoline V8 does.

SEE ALSO: AutoGuide 2015 Heavy Duty Truck Comparison

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Thankfully the weakness of the engine doesn’t translate into other areas of this pickup as the suspension setup and dynamics of this 2500 are quite good. Clearly the frame and hardware taking the load are designed to handle the weight and they do so with ease. Roll in the corners is basically non-existent and nicely weighted steering gives the driver a confident feeling.

The other half of the 6.4-liter’s value story is fuel economy. After a week with the truck, we were averaging just 13 mpg. While towing, that number would regularly drop down to rest around 10 mpg. That is the other major difference between the diesel, which in our experience can average anywhere between 15 and 17 MPG.

Cowboy Limousine

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So poor fuel numbers and a lack of power are two weaknesses of the powertrain, though the package that wraps around it is impressive. A gorgeous and functional interior greets you, especially in the “Laramie Longhorn” trim. This truck does cowboy luxury better than anything else on the market. The leather is rich and even has a great smell. Details in the cabin are everywhere, like the small decorative decals around the gauges, or the fake barbed wire imprinted onto the floor mats. And real wooden accents in the center stack tie it all together for a luxury aura that doesn’t come off feeling fake.

Those wood accents wraps around Ram’s UConnect infotainment system that works flawlessly. It is exceedingly simple and easy to figure out. The real selling point of this system over others though, is its speed. There is never any lag or hesitation here.

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Pricing

The price is one of the make or break factors of this engine option. Choose the HEMI and you will save pretty big right out of the gate. This isn’t a case where the choice will let you down eventually either. If you drive an average of 15,000 miles a year and gasoline costs $3.20 a gallon, you will be dropping roughly $3,700 a year on gasoline if you’re running at 13 mpg. Comparatively, if you’re paying $3.69 a gallon for diesel running at 15 mpg, you’ll be dropping about $3,446 a year, which means you’re only saving just over $200.

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But here is one of the issues. Dressing this truck up in Laramie Long Horn trim and all the options we had, the price rises to $62,745. If you’re dropping that kind of money, odds are you can afford to go a bit further and get the diesel.

The Verdict:

A weak powertrain wrapped in an excellent package, this new 6.4L HEMI powered Ram has its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not looking for the ultimate tow vehicle, than this truck can save you some cash. But let’s be honest for a second. Who is going to buy a Ram HD and not pull big trailers? Who wants a heavy-duty pickup that feels like it can barely get the job done? If you’re bank account is looking scarce, this is a viable option. But from one truck guy to another: spring for the diesel. You won’t regret it.

  • craigcole

    Who doesn’t LOVE some Hemi goodness? Steve Elmer, apparently 🙂

  • Honest Abe

    Diesel or nothing!

  • Troy

    Diesel is .52 cents per gallon more right now, new diesels are not like the old ones. Emissions is killing new diesels. The 6.4 is perfect where a guy does not want the cost of diesel. Its $233 to go1000 miles in a 6.4 hemi at $3.03 a gallon. Its $208 to drive a diesel 1000 miles at 3.55 a gallon. So 25 bucks for a 1000 miles, plud def fluid which costs $15 for 3 gallons.

    my buddy has a new duramax and he gets 15 mpg real numbers, not one someone makes up to make themselves feel better

  • Nick

    I have a 6.4 Hemi. Average 17 mpg highway. 13mpg city. Towed 9,000lbs of hay through some mountains with no problem this week. Averaged 11mpg on the trip. Engine never felt stressed. The break-even for the cummins for me was over 200,000 miles. That’s a long time. I took the more economical route because I’ll never have to tow 30,000 lbs and I’d be wasting cash on power that I just don’t need. Love Cummins, but it just doesn’t fit my needs.

  • mykaelp

    I dunno. I have this truck in the Mega Cab, and have never wanted more power with this engine. Even when towing in western Oregon. I agree that diesel is the way to go if you’re going to tow over 10k constantly. Even then, you will take ~200k miles or so to break even. Otherwise, perfectly content with the 6.4L Hemi. I get very nearly 18 mpg unloaded on level highway at 65, of course things get much worse around town, 10-11 or so. Pretty good for what it is.

  • just john

    Take into account the cost of matenence and the urea ,when you idle really drinks it,anddpu regein,,gas is way cheaper to own,and it will tow 20000 pds,just leav it in 3are4 gear,,

  • Jeff

    I own a ram 2500 6.4 hemi and im very dissappionted with what was writting. You can’t compare a gasser to a diesel, of course the diesel has my torque. So far I’ve been really impressed, the 6.4 has more than enough power. My truck with 4.10 gears is rated above 15k and only a few hundred shy of the 6.7 cummins. Put the 6.4 up against any other gas engine and it will blow them out of the water. So stop comparing it to diesels dumb ass. I bet the dude who wrote this drives a honda.

  • chris

    Yeah your wrong i have the the 6.4 and pull a 6000 pound travel trailer and you cant even tell its back there. The dodge is a tank it will pull anything you hook to the rear of it.

  • johnnyQME

    I think for all around features, seems to me the 5.7 Hemi would be enough. It doesn’t lag that far behind the 6.4 and burns regular unleaded. Towing is what makes the big difference in which way to go with engine selections. I was on the lot the other day and I couldn’t find a diesel under $55K, with most of them over $60K. If you go to the Dodge website and build your own truck like you could do in the old days, you come up with a satisfying rig features wise that costs much less than the upsell units on the lot.

  • tim

    I just got a 3500. Dually reg cab 8ft box. 6.4 hd hemi. For 9yrs i drove a diesel ram. I though i was in heaven then the dodge problems popped up. So i decided to look at a gasser. I should have stuck with the over priced over cost of maintenance dodge ram. Im in the canadian military not a great paying job but it pays. Only thing is esso canada is getting 3/4 of my money yes this truck pulls the shit out of what ever u hook too. But gimme a break i get like 450 km to a fill but as i drive i rrally get like 330. Km pulling 12k wtf dodge. Thx for making a great fuel eating peice of shit. Im so glad my paycheck goes out the pipe tdh ….alberta Canadian

  • Chuck Brown

    Your are exactly right, I have 6.4 Ram and I am overly impressed with the power and fuel mileage. This editor doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  • Joe Horton

    I have a 2014 ram 3500 with the 6.4 hemi and it is my welding truck. It has 7000 to 8000 lb on it all the time not counting when I pull a trailer. So far I have put 40000 miles on it and have not had any problems it get 11.5 mpg 9.5 with a full load never has it felt under powered and this is the first gaser I have had in 12 years. The best part is no epa crap no filter to stop up and no deff to put in. And because of that it is cheaper to run then the last 2 diesels I have had.

  • Joe Horton

    Of course it not going to get 20 miles to the gallon it’s a huge gas motor but it gets perry good I get 11.5 mpg and I drive like a nut

  • mykaelp

    You realize you bought a one ton gasser, right? Seems a bit bizarre to not expect to spend a fair amount on fuel. Perhaps you are unrealistic in your expectations. Those pesky laws of physics and what not. Want fuel economy? Perhaps a one ton truck is not in your future. Buy a Honda.

  • C.P.

    I own a Ram 2500 4 door with a 6.4 Hemi. The truck is under powered. The motor went out at about 15800 miles. I was given a 1/2 ton to drive while they fixed mine. I lost several jobs costing over $6000. Ram doesnot care. Based on my experience, Get something else.

  • C.P.

    I use to own a 1978 Ford F250 it got 12 mpg. If the best Ram can get us that then they need new design team.

  • Mj Foley

    Own a 2014 Ram 2500 with 6.4L gets 19 highway miles, and 12 towing 6000 pounds over 500 miles. Also loaded with 2 tons of topsoil domed over the bed 11.2 miles gallon. Truck handled like a sports car when loaded. All in all 6.4L over diesel for costs as 10k is a lot of fuel! Couldn’t be happier and the writer is wrong. All the power you will ever need in this class. And that’s from an all truck guy. I would not hesitate to buy this vehicle again.

  • Michael Fornetti

    Has anyone experienced any transmission gear hunting while pulling about 7,000# high drag enclosed trailer? My old 2004 2500 hemi likes to hunt gears, up and down, even on level road.

  • P.M.

    I just love the crap people put out about mileage when towing and not towing. I have had both gas and currently diesel. There was no way in hell I ever got to 19 MPG even going down hill with out the gas. More like 12 not towing and 8 towing. My 6.7 best is about 17 but more like 14 and towing is about 12. Lets be realistic people. We just laugh at the crap you think you get.

  • Frank Landa

    the diesel drives FUNNY and rattles and sounds like a FAG truck you also forget the DEF fluid costs and higher maintenance costs of the diesel The HEMI ROARS like a REAL MAN truck !

  • Dennis Mcdonald

    I hate it when people make wrong comparisons like gas to diesel. If you are going to do that, then tell the whole story. The guy who wants the gas truck may only pull 10 times a year. Also, he/she may only pull a compact tractor with a yard box. Also, the gas engine equipped truck costs much less. Also, the maitainence cost is much less on the gas truck. I bought the Tradesman package gas 6.4L. Same truck with diesel at the same dealership cost 8,600 more! Not to mention the noisy engine and diesel smell and everything gets oily with the diesel truck. No. Been there done that. I much prefer my gas truck unless I have to depend on frequent heavy hauling that really needs massive torque. Two completely different needs.

  • Dan

    Got the 6.4 with 4:10 gear, bought a 31 ft fifth wheel 11000 lbs. first trip I did the fifth wheel was from lethbridge ,ab to sourie PEI . I was averaging 24 litre per 100k . There is some decent hill in Ontario and there wasn’t a hill where I couldn’t do the speed limit, the slowest I went up a hill was 90 Km. I didn’t had to step on the gas to get a run at it either. I pretty much tow that fifthwheel every 2 week from job to job and I have no regret not having a diesel. I use to have a diesel , I don’t miss it.

  • paul

    great advice. I wish these reviews would compare the 6.4L to the 6.0L Chevy or the 6.2L Ford

  • paul

    great point about the def fluid.

  • Tim Ercanbrack

    Comparing diesels to gassers, it’s all based on your particular needs . I have a 2500 6.4 and there is plenty of power . I don’t tow heavy loads just 2000-7500 lbs. Once or twice a month and even on the high weight side this truck doesn’t feel like it’s even breaking a sweat. I had a 1500 GMC ( Brand new ’15 5.3 ) and although it would pull whatever I needed it to the lower payload rating,constant gear hunting, and high rpm’s to keep speed while towing left a lot to be desired . I knew I wanted something just a little more heavy duty and this truck fit just right. I can pull 7500 lbs. Comfortably and confidently for many miles , I live in Texas so no high elevation where I’m at and even going uphills the truck rarely needs more than. 4K rpm’s to keep speed pulling 7500 lbs . Still this hemi is detuned and specifically made for heavy work , you can run high rpm’s all day in these and get a ton of miles out of them . You tow 12000+ lbs all the time get a diesel, otherwise take a serious look at one of these 6.4 hemis.

  • KRISTA LUJAN

    Good article, Thanks!

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.
    3 Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5 cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60 % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency………. Tests say I’m a GENIUS but I just love the thrill.
    Plus the difference in money Canadian is about $ 2,300 with tax for a 6.4….Opt for the 6.4L and you’ll have to drop $1,495 over the base engine, a 5.7L HEMI V8 that makes 29 lb-ft of torque less than 6.4.

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.
    3
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60% of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 to a 6.4
    Plus
    the difference in money Canadian is about $ 2,300 with tax for a
    6.4….Opt for the 6.4L and you’ll have to drop $1,495 over the base
    engine, a 5.7L HEMI V8 that makes 29 lb-ft of torque less than 6.4.

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.
    3
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60
    % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency………. Tests say I’m a GENIUS but I just love the thrill.
    Plus
    the difference in money Canadian is about $ 2,300 with tax for a
    6.4….Opt for the 6.4L and you’ll have to drop $1,495 over the base
    engine, a 5.7L HEMI V8 that makes 29 lb-ft of torque less than 6.4.

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.
    3
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60
    % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency………. Tests say I’m a GENIUS but I just love the thrill.

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.
    3
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60
    % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency..

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.after 3 years of testing.
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60
    % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency..

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.after 3 years of testing and running numbers.
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60
    % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency..

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through. after 3 years of trying chemical mixes.
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60
    % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency..

  • SOCIALISMROCKS

    After playing with cars back in the 1970’s and working out engine formulas I finally had a break through.after 3 that is now confirming the physics .YOU CAN CHANGE A MOTOR and change performance like formula cars.
    Years ago I began researching and testing 2 cars with a super formula
    that is one pert military and one part engine Friction reducer and 5
    cleaners and a top oil.
    The test cars ran for hours at highway speeds of 60 mph showed a 39.46 % improvement in less friction and improved MPG.
    1) Ford 3.0 litre Duritec 2007 = 29 mpg went to 40 mpg.
    2) Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec 2004 = 31 mpg went to 43.12
    60
    % of your engine is FRICTION and after they took the lead out pf fuel
    they are really dry and have dry starts and over heat more often but
    this formula treats the metal.
    I can now buy a Ram 1500 and take it empty highway to 34 MPG !!
    The numbers show a 8 % higher Torque and 8 % HP raise.
    The 5.7 become the 6.4 with 40 % improved efficiency..