The Years with The Best and Worst Dodge Ram 1500 Vehicles. Since the Ram series of trucks was released by Dodge in the 1980s, it has been one of the most popular options for consumers on the market. Dodge introduced the first Ram 1500 version in 1994. Since then, the 1500 has established a reputation as a dependable and award-winning truck. While the most of them have been solid, a few have been less than desired. So, which years are the greatest and worst for Dodge Ram 1500 trucks? We previously examined the best and worst years of the Ford F-150, but now we’re discussing Dodges.
While the answer is controversial, we’ll use our years of Ram 1500 knowledge to reach a decision. Dodge has had several spectacular seasons, as well as some problem-filled and widely criticised years. We’ll look at the best and worst years for Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, as well as their associated difficulties, strengths, reviews, and, most crucially, engine options.
History of the best and worst years for Dodge Ram 1500 trucks
Before we go, we must realise that this is a highly contentious topic. Throughout our investigation, we came across numerous users who said that the same year and trim level were the best and worst years for Dodge Ram 1500 pickups. So, with that in mind, let’s begin by reviewing the Dodge Rams’ whole history.
Ram 1500 models from the first and second generations
Dodge introduced their Ram pickup truck range in 1981. They had models 150 (12 tonne), 250 (34 tonne), and 350 (1 tonne). They were available in normal, “club” (extended), and crew cab configurations. Dodge employed a lot of sheet metal in the early Rams, which made them stand out and made them more resistant to rust. They were basically facelifted versions of the Dodge D-series trucks that first appeared in the early 1970s.
The Dodge Ram’s second generation debuted in 1994 and lasted until 2001. During this generation, Dodge dropped the 150 badge in favour of the Ram 1500. It was named Motor Trend Truck of the Year right away and was a big success in its first year. The Ram 1500 was available with normal or extended club cabs, as well as a short or long bed.
The Ram 1500’s second generation came with three engine options: two V8s and a smaller V6. The Magnum V6 produced 175 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.9 L Magnum V8 produced 245 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. There was also a considerably larger V10 with 300 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, as well as a Cummins turbo-diesel with up to 505 lb-ft of torque. These, however, were only available in larger 34 or 1 tonne truck types.
Ram 1500s from the third, fourth, and fifth generations
Dodge introduced the third generation of the Ram series in 2002, which lasted until 2008. The Ram was completely redesigned for the third generation. The independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering were new for 2002. The third generation offered four engine options: a 3.7L Magnum V6, a 4.7L Magnum V8, a 5.9L Magnum V8, and a 5.7L HEMI V8. The HEMI was the most powerful, with 245 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque.
The fourth generation was introduced for the 2009 model year and continued through 2018. Ram established its own brand in 2012, apart from Dodge. The current generation is the fifth generation, which launched in 2019. The fifth generation is offered with three engines: the gasoline 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8, as well as the EcoDiesel 3.6L V6 for the time being. Both petrol engines are augmented by a 48-volt hybrid system. All Ram 1500s come with an optional air ride suspension system with adjustable ride height and excellent performance.
The Ram 1500 has also had a few special versions, such the Ram 1500 PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric car) and 1500 TRX. The PHEV was a very short-lived model that debuted in 2011 and was powered by a 5.7L HEMI V8 and a 12.9 kWh 335V lithium-ion battery. The 1500 TRX’s 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8 produces 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. It’s designed to be a tough off-road beast, and boy does it deliver.
Years with the Best and Worst Ram 1500 Trucks
Now that we’ve covered some of the fundamentals of the Dodge Ram 1500 throughout the years, let’s look at the greatest and worst years for Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles.
We took several factors into account while determining the greatest years of the Ram 1500. The engine comes first and foremost. Whatever else a truck has, it must have a powerful and dependable power plant to guide it. We’re not just talking about peak horsepower here; we’re also talking about towing capacity and, most significantly, the width of the torque-power spectrum. If you want a good vehicle, you’ll need a lot of low-end torque or you’ll struggle to get started.
We emphasised on appearances, interior quality, suspension and gearbox considerations, electronics, and general reliability after considering the total engine and towing capacities. While excellent screens and infotainment systems were not required for early Rams, as the market evolved, so did the Ram’s competitors, making it fair game now.
Best Dodge Ram 1500 Years
The Dodge Ram 1500’s greatest years are 1994-1999, 2013-2014, and 2017+. When it comes to the Ram 1500, the common view is that the later the model, the better. The Ram’s early years in the 1980s and early 1990s lacked a lot to be desired. It wasn’t until the second generation Ram that Dodge began to produce some competent trucks, and there were still some serious challenges in the years that followed.
Starting with the 1994-1999 Dodge Rams, these are typically regarded as fairly dependable. The 1994 Ram was named Truck of the Year by Motor Trend, and it was a significant improvement over the first version. While they didn’t have the strongest power plant, with the 5.9 Magnum V8 having numerous issues, the Rams performed very well for themselves overall.
The third generation experienced a lot of problems in the early years, and it wasn’t until 2013-2014 that Dodge started producing reliable Rams again. Both the 2013 and 2014 Ram 1500 were named Trucks of the Year by Motor Trend. Following the dismal 2012 model year, the newer Rams appeared to be very threatening. The 2014 Ram received the EcoDiesel, which is renowned for issues, but the 5.7 HEMI engine is amazing.
Dodge began installing the 5.7 HEMI engine in the Ram 1500 in 2003, and it has proven to be by far the greatest power unit for the vehicle. Despite a few frequent 5.7 HEMI issues, it delivers amazing performance and reliability.
Since 2017, the Dodge Ram has been a pretty dependable pickup. It has received positive feedback, has an excellent powertrain, and has won numerous honours. The 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 was named Truck of the Year by Motor Trend, and the prize for 2020 went to the somewhat larger Ram Heavy Duty.
Ram 1500’s Single Best Years
For most people, the Ram 1500’s greatest years are 2017 and beyond. The exceptional 5.7L HEMI V8 engine produces 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. There haven’t been many recalls on them, and critics have commended the HEMI’s towing and performance. The newest Rams’ looks are also very beautiful, with a redesigned and aggressive grille and optional hood vents (depending on engine). An air ride suspension is available as an option, and it is by far the greatest suspension the Ram has ever seen.
Furthermore, the interiors and entertainment systems of the 2017 and Fifth Generation Ram 1500s are impressive. While older versions may have been less complete, the later versions are far more complete. The touch screen can be up to 8.4-inch with a high-resolution display, depending on whatever version of the Uconnect system you get. The 2018 Ram was named one of Ward’s ten greatest interiors, demonstrating how far it has progressed.
While no vehicle is perfect, and the fifth generation Ram has had some issues, they are highly reliable pickups in general. These aren’t your average D series or first-generation Rams from the 1980s. So far, the 2020 year has been singled out as being quite trustworthy.
Avoid Ram 1500 Years
The Ram 1500 should be avoided from 1999 to 2003, 2010 to 2012, and 2015 to 2016. The interiors and engines of the late 1990s and early 2000s Rams were the most problematic. The dashboards were prone to cracking and shattering, and there were several problems with basic items such as lighting and windows. These were also the years of the 5.9L Magnum V8, prior to the introduction of the 5.7L HEMI V8 in 2003.
Other problems with early Rams included transmissions, spark plugs, and air conditioning. Transmissions would struggle to shift and catch gears, and some might entirely fail. The majority of the third generation was unremarkable, although they weren’t prone to many difficulties.
From 2010 through 2012, the Ram received numerous negative evaluations and complaints. The TIPM (totally integrated power module) system was always prone to failure and was the source of the most complaints. There were also concerns with the valve train’s lifters wearing out, which might lead to major camshaft problems. There were also numerous issues with electrical systems and lighting, which were caused in part by the TIPM system. Another issue with these cars was their poor gas mileage.
Complaints about the 2015-2016 Ram 1500s are also common. Much of this was due to the introduction of the EcoDiesel V6, one of Dodge’s most reviled engines. Both years had more than ten recalls, with the most serious faults including the infotainment, electrical, and GPS systems.
Related : The Upgrade Guide for Ram 1500 Headers
Summary of the Ram 1500’s Best and Worst Years
Since its introduction, the Dodge Ram 1500 has been a popular and (at times) dependable vehicle in the American market. We recommend the 1994-1999, 2013-2014, and 2017+, with the 2017+ being by far the most dependable. Granted, because they are still relatively new, there hasn’t been much time to iron out all of the problems. However, they have shown to be excellent options thus far. The powertrain is fantastic, as is the new optional air ride suspension and infotainment system.
We recommend avoiding the 1999-2003, 2010-2012, and 2015-2016 Dodge Ram 1500 models. These years were plagued by problems ranging from cracked dashboards to malfunctioning transmissions, engines, and electrical systems. While some have experienced minor issues over the years, they are widely recognised as the worst of the worst.