Trucks & SUVs

This Is the Best Model Year to Buy a Used RAM 1500

The RAM 1500 has proved to be a formidable pickup truck even before it became its own brand for the 2012 model year. Competitively priced, high-performing, and functional, it’s easy to see why buyers continue to choose RAM trucks. But if you’re in the market for a used pickup truck, it’s essential to understand that not every model year is created equal. In fact, there’s one used RAM 1500 model that has proven to be more reliable than any other.

The most reliable RAM 1500 model year

RAM 1500 trucks for sale at a dealership
Used RAM 1500 Models | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The people at CarComplaints.com compile data from a variety of sources to inform owners and potential buyers of the problems or complaints on a particular vehicle model year. After gathering all research on the RAM 1500, there is certainly proof that some model years may be a better investment than others. Out of all used model years, the 2018 RAM 1500 appears to have the least amount of overall complaints and receives CarComplaints.com’s rank as best used RAM 1500 model year.

Garnering just 12 total complaints, the 2018 model year seems to be more reliable than other pre-owned RAM 1500s. The most common problem with the 2018 model year seems to be an issue with the fuel system, which includes four total complaints regarding fuel spills while refueling and difficulty refueling. Though there aren’t too many complaints about the fuel system, CarComplaints.com still gives the issue a severity rating of 8.7, as it has an early onset timing of under 3,000 miles.

Aside from a few issues with the fuel system, there are only three complaints regarding interior accessory problems, two for engine problems, and one complaint in each of the paint/body, electrical, and transmission categories. Though there are nine total recalls by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the likelihood that all issues will be resolved at the dealership are high. Because the 2018 RAM 1500 is very close to new, most recalls will have been dealt with prior to sale.

RAM 1500 model years to stay away from

Keep in mind that the information from CarComplaints.com is only derived from RAM 1500 model years 2012 and up and does not include pickups from when the automaker was under the Dodge brand. But when looking at all these included years, it’s easy to see why some used RAM 1500 model years should be avoided at all costs. According to CarComplaints.com’s model year comparison of the RAM 1500, it’s clear that the 2014 model year has the most complaints.

The 2014 RAM 1500 has received an astounding 293 complaints, while the 2013 model year comes close behind with 241. There are more than 50 complaints regarding the 2014 RAM 1500’s transmission as well as interior accessories. More than 30 complaints exist about the model year’s electrical system and engine as well.

What you’ll love about the 2018 RAM 1500

Consumer Reports gives the 2018 RAM 1500 an average reliability and owner satisfaction score of three out of five. Aside from achieving impressive results in crash testing, the 2018 Ram 1500 received perfect ratings (five out of five) from Consumer Reports in the following categories: transmission, noise, and rear-seat comfort. It received near-perfect ratings of four out of five in acceleration, ride comfort, front-seat comfort, front/rear access, usability, trunk/cargo area, and climate system.

The areas in which the 2018 RAM 1500 excel the least are also the same areas in which you would expect a truck to lag. Its fuel economy receives the lowest possible rating of one (out of five), while routine and emergency handling receive a rating of two.