Trucks & SUVs

Why the Ram 1500 Is the Worst Truck to Buy New

Most new truck buyers come to expect depreciation as part of the dilemma of buying new versus used. But some vehicles are worse than others when it comes to holding value off the dealership lot. Let’s take a closer look at the Dodge Ram 1500. Is it really the worst in retaining value?

Depreciation affects all vehicles

It’s important to preface by saying no vehicle is exempt from depreciation. While the economy often dictates the automotive market, prices will fluctuate in terms of the cost to produce, deliver, and service.

Window sticker prices versus used or certified pre-owned will always be different, regardless of a make and model. The important aspect for you to consider is identifying how long you plan to have your truck and how much depreciation will matter to you individually and financially.

What the Ram 1500 data says

2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck at the 2018 North American International Auto Show
2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The latest study from iSeeCars.com examined seven million new and used cars, trucks, and SUVs, including hybrid, sports car, and luxury models, sold between August 2018 and January 2019. The goal was to compare new car prices with slightly used car prices, usually within the first year of used status.

Then, iSeeCars.com created a list of the top 10 used cars with the most prominent gaps between new to used pricing. This means the top 10 vehicles did not hold their value in transition off the new car lot. One notable finding: The overall average vehicle after one year of purchase costs 23.2% less than the original new price.

The Ram 1500 has the biggest gap in pricing and value

According to the iSeeCars.com study, the used Ram 1500 top the list with a substantial 29.2% difference in price from new to used. That percentage may not seem terribly high, considering the average difference is 23.2%, but in terms of dollars, that’s $12,674.

If you had the choice to spend this on a new Ram 1500 or save this amount by purchasing a used one, which would you choose? Again, it may come down to personal and financial preference.

How does a top-selling truck struggle to hold value?

A misconception perhaps rooted in some historical truth, the Ram 1500 has critics who claim you get what you pay for. Some consumers online state that the Rams are or have always been cheaply made trucks.

The sticker prices are often reduced compared to Ford and GMC counterparts, which makes them popular. However, in losing value for potential trade-in and having to make repairs early on in mileage life, many claim the trucks just aren’t reliable.

Are Ram 1500s getting a bad rap?

With a fresh redesign in 2019, the Dodge Ram 1500 has a lot to love. New buyers are enjoying up to 22-25 MPG. They’re impressed with this year’s interior tech. It’s looking to be a strong contender in the daily-driver, everyday use, and lifestyle space.

The Ram 1500 looks sharp, too. It could be that the newer versions are looking to improve their ability to hold value for the next round of studies.

For now, if depreciation and value are dealbreakers for you, you may want to steer clear of the new Ram 1500. Again, the study reviewed pricing from 2018-19. This gap may come closer to the average price difference for next year. Until then, see if you can get comfortable in a one-year-old Ram 1500 instead. It may just save you $12,000.