I've been thinking about writing this for a week or two now and it's mostly just what I've seen. This may or may not be useful, hopefully someone will find it a good read, for those of you that don't, I'll toss ins a pretty picture or two!
Anyway.. Three weeks ago, I started a new job that pays a lot more but took away my company vehicle. Since then I've been commuting roughly 80 miles a day round trip. To save money and miles, I tend to drive my old (Now wife's truck) to and from work most of the time. Typically I drive mine two days, her's three.
Aside from a CAI, her truck has zero performance mods. It's a 1500 Sport CCSB 2wd with no LSD. My 2500 is a CCMB CTD with 4.10/LSD and zero mods other than a Ranch Hand grill guard Ram was nice enough to buy for me.
What I'm wanting to talk about is the difference in driving. I often see people asking what it's like driving a 2500 after a 1500.
Let's start by talking power. The 1500 feels really sporty, hangs on in corner's like a champ (Even with my two bald tires..). When you stomp the throttle you don't have the huge takeoff feeling, you expect, but it does take off rather quickly. The truck feels very light.
With the 2500, You feel the power, any little pressure change on the "Giggle Peddle" makes a noticeable difference in speed. I often have to set my cruse just to keep myself from jumping 10 mph in speed without even noticing it. When you floor it, it feels like a beast. It will bark the tires through the first three gear shifts without missing a beat. With that said, you really don't move very fast though, it's all bark so to speak. While moving however the CTD has no issues passing even the most arrogant of *cough* drivers.
Ride: Every one tells you the ride will suffer, no one really explains it more than that though. You can change the ride by finding a good tire PSI, but that's not as big of a deal as you would expect (At least in the front). The back bounces. When I say it bounces, I mean it BOUNCES. You'd be wise to take tight bumpy corner's with a LOT of caution. I've swung the rear of my 2500 around twice now, both going the speed limit.
I find myself bracing for bumpy spots when driving the 1500 that I don't need to, mental training from my 2500. Places in the middle of the road that look perfectly fine that will knock your teeth out. The 1500 as you would expect soaks up even the worst of train tracks.
I also find my 2500 walking a lot. I'm not sure if it's just my truck, or if it's a common problem. It's not a huge amount, but it can take you by surprise if you hit a hard bump expectantly.
Attaching even light trailers makes a world of difference in the ride quality. Hooking my boat up made it ride like my 2500. Towing is where the 2500 shines. Honestly, if I hadn't planned on towing something above what the 1500 would do, I would never buy another.
MPG: The 1500 gets on average 19.5 MPG. I drive a fairly hilly stretch of route 66, most of the time without cruse control to get good mileage. Gas here last week was $2.94 a gallon. My 2500 gets 16.6-7 MPG going no faster than 67-68. This is driving without rushing, no fast accelerating from stop lights, coasting to stale (Soon to turn yellow) lights. I go through all of four stop lights during my trip, the rest is open road, which drops to 45 at one spot. Diesel was $3.49 a gallon here.
At those costs, it will cost me roughly $1,200 more a year to drive my 2500. You also have to consider the costs of extra maintenance and filters.
If you're thinking "Oh, I'll delete it and get good gas mileage!" Consider this. It costs $1,000/1,500 for a "Modified" street tuner, plus another $200 for a delete pipe.. For that price, you can find a cheap fuel efficient car that will save you that much over even the 1500 in a year.
For us, the truck was bought to pulled a fifth wheel. If I had it to do over again, I would have probably bought a 3500 (I may still).
It's a very fun truck to drive, people tend to notice you, more so to get out of your way. Just remember it's a purpose built machine.
I thought I would also toss this tidbit in.
My 1500 Sport has every option, I bought it in 2011 with 5,000 miles for 22,000.
The 2500 is a 2012 ST with a few minor options (Brake controller for Evic, electronic 4x4, roof lights, AT wheels). With lots of discounts, it was 34,000
My wife had a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and she thought my truck was more plush than it was.