One of the biggest success stories in the truck business has been the Ram pickup. It is one of the best vehicles out there, with its advanced engineering, availability of diesel engines from its half-ton all the way up to its bigger cab-chassis models and sporting one of the best interiors of any truck around.
Then why are people still calling them Dodges? Before 2009, the Ram truck brand used to be a part of the Dodge family. The truck business split with the car/SUV/minivan brand that year, so every pickup sold by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is called Ram.
You can still get a Dodge pickup…as long as it is 2008 and older.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the trucks themselves!
Chrysler’s pickup truck starts with a frame that is strong and long-lasting. Dodge/Ram designed their frames for longevity, which makes them popular when new. Body components – the cab and box – are bolted in a way to increase rigidity
Cab interiors are designed for everyone – work or play. The instrument panel is straightforward with comprehensive gauges to keep tabs on what's going on with the truck. There are a lot of hard plastics on the interiors of earlier Dodge Rams, but they are durable enough to withstand the change in climate in East Tennessee. Ram interiors improved after the brand change with higher grade materials on models from the mid-level SLT to the Laramie Longhorn and Limited.
Later models offer touch screens, UConnect is part of the package. Older models offer solid audio systems to entertain everyone. SiriusXM satellite radio was offered on models from 2004.
Seats are normally big on comfort with enough space in the Crew Cab models for up to six people. Quad Cab models were very popular and are easily found. Rear seat room is better suited for children, however. The SLT trim was a very popular choice for the Dodge and Ram, equipped with almost the same level of features than more expensive models – the Big Horn, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Laramie Limited trims. Sportier trims were available – the R/T, Express, Sport, Super Bee, along with a V-10-powered SRT model that came out in the mid-2000s.
Most Dodges and Rams come with a V8 engine. Earlier trucks offered two Magnum V8s, a 5.2 liter and a 5.9 liter. A smaller 4.7 liter Magnum V8 was introduced in 2001, with the 5.7 liter HEMI arriving by 2002. The HEMI became the only V8 available on the Ram 1500 since 2013. These were selected for towing and payload with true torque available. Customers have complained about the reliability of the older Dodge and some early Ram pickups, although many of them are still on the road. Older models came equipped with a V6 and a manual transmission. These models are quite rare. Dodge and Ram had issues with their older automatic transmissions – a four-speed on older models, six speeds for more recent versions. Four-wheel drive is very common in East Tennessee, and they are a great system with a two-speed transfer box that is electronically control by a switch in the cab. Hubs are automatically locked.
Rams were tested in 2010 for crash testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They received five stars on front passenger safety, but moderate ratings on rollover tests. Airbags are available, along with anti-lock brakes.
Because their reputation has increased in recent years, Dodge and Ram pickups retain a high value out on the market. For a good eight-year-old F-150, prices fall between $14,000-22,000, depending on trim and equipment. Younger models could be priced from $25,000 and up.
At Knoxville Auto Brokers, there is a good selection of trucks available to check out. If the Dodge Ram 1500
or 2009-and-younger Ram 1500
is the choice, there will be one at the right direct, hassle free price.