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Although the new Ram 1500 is an extremely popular full-size truck, there are some examples of this vehicle that should be avoided. If you are shopping for a used full-size truck, it is important to conduct the proper research before you buy. That way, you know you are getting something reliable and that is ready to handle your needs as a truck owner. Perhaps one of the worst years for the Ram 1500 was when it was still known as the Dodge Ram back in 2022.

Avoid the 2002 Dodge Ram 1500

Although it is still a competent truck, the 2002 1500 is less than ideal for a few reasons. The interior of this full-size truck is nowhere near as good as it is today. In high heat or sunlight areas, the dashboard was prone to cracking. And, the electronics like cabin lights would fail prematurely. 

Another point of failure was the powertrain. The engine can be incredibly noisy and check engine lights are a frequent occurrence. To make matters worse, the engine can die due to low RPMs which is not something that you want if you need a truck that you can rely on.

For 2003, things were not much better

Much like the 2002 model, the 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 faced some serious issues. For one, the interior was not much of an improvement with some key electrical issues. Other notable problems included car fires.

A 2022 Ram 1500 Classic with racing stripes shows off some off-road capability as a full-size truck.
Ram 1500 Classic | Ram

Then, the transmission and engine were both less than ideal. With engine knocking and poor shifting, do not expect a refined driving experience with this full-size truck.

Want a used Ram 1500? Buy this model

Although it is more than 20 years newer than some of the losing options, the 2020 Ram 1500 is potentially one of the best full-size trucks out there. Being inside the cabin can be described as a luxury experience, and there are a variety of powertrain options to help you get the right amount of performance and capability for your needs.

2020 Ram
2020 Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab | Stellantis

Additionally, the suspension is extremely comfortable. Because of this, the 2020 1500 can even be used as a family truck, and that shows just how far this pickup has come. According to Car and Driver, the best version of the 2020 Ram 1500 may be the Rebel. This trim adds some serious capability to this full-size truck, enabling it to handle some legitimate off-road situations.

Should you buy a used Ram truck?

When it comes to buying used, not one size fits all, but in general, the Ram 1500 is a good truck. By choosing to buy used, you can get more pickup truck for your money. And that is something that most shoppers are likely to appreciate. 

A silver Ram logo, makers of the the Ram 1500 Classic, on a white background.
Ram logo | Getty Images

Whether you are shopping for a pickup with a V6 engine or you need a V8, the Ram 1500 likely offers it. Plus, it can come equipped with features like four-wheel drive, which will keep you from getting stranded when the going gets tough. Just make sure you are buying a truck that is actually road-worthy.


The Ram 1500 Isn’t a Dodge Pickup Truck Anymore