Our team at Bob Weaver Auto knows the importance of a reliable truck. We are located in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and want to help you with your used truck buying needs. The Dodge Ram is one of the best-selling, most reliable trucks on the market today. However, with generations starting clear back in 1981, it may be an overwhelming process to find the perfect model year for your needs. So, here is a break-down for you!
First Generation (1981 – 1993)
Bridging from the Ram hood ornament that had been used on Dodge vehicles since the year 1933, the Dodge Ram 1500 first made its debut in the year 1981. However, until the redesign for the second generation in 1994, it hadn’t yet caught the truck-enthusiast’s eyes.
Second Generation (1994 - 2001)
After a design-appeal study among Dodge customers in 1993, the Dodge Ram 1500 was completely redesigned to resemble big-rigs. This new design for the 1994 model year brought with it flocks of truck owners looking for a bolder and more distinctive look and feel. The available engines for the second generation were the 3.9L V6 and 5.2L V8.
Until 1998, there were only Regular and Extended-cab models available. The Quad Cab that was introduced to the lineup this year created an “in-between” option for those wanting a four-door variant of the extended cab where the rear-access doors could only be used when the front doors were already open.
Third Generation (2002 – 2008)
Continuing to gain popularity, the Dodge Ram received a major update in 2002 at the start of its third generation. The Ram 1500 got an all new frame, new powertrain, new suspension, and re-designed interior features.
There were not any major upgrades in 2003, however the new available Hemi V-8 engine made its debut for the first time in 2004 giving the 1500 a diesel engine in its heavy-duty models. This was also the year that the new performance-packed Ram SRT-10 became available offering a more race-centered performance option rather than the typical work-horse performance.
In 2005 Dodge released a new 2500 Power Wagon package allowing an additional option for those in search of a greater amount of power and capability.
The Mega Cab options were released in 2006 which offered an additional 5.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat in comparison to the Ram Crew Cab.
The Flex-Fuel 4.7L V8 was introduced to the Ram lineup in 2007. This new engine option produced a greater amount of horsepower and torque without sacrificing on fuel efficiency with its ability to run on cost-saving E85 ethanol fuel. The optional stability system was another feature added to the 2007 Ram 1500 model.
The year 2008 brought with it an upgraded Flex-Fuel 4.7L V8 that created even more horsepower and torque than in the previous year, when it was originally released.
Fourth Generation (2009 – 2011)
The year 2009 marked the first manufacturing year for the Dodge Ram’s fourth generation. It received all-new interior and exterior designs as well as a more powerful Hemi engine, backseat TV, surround-sound audio system, multilink/coil-spring rear suspension and unique RamBox dry, lockable bed-side storage.
The max tow rating went up by over 1,000 lbs in comparison to the previous year’s model. There was also a new set of fuel-saving features added in 2010 along with a new available trailer-brake controller and towing mirrors.
In 2011 the Dodge Ram got a new factory spray-in bedliner that was available on all models, and a new Garmin Navigation System to aid in more advanced off-road navigation. Also, in the year 2011, Dodge rolled out two additional Trim options; the Outdoorsman and the Laramie Longhorn. The Outdoorsman came ready for any off-road adventure with trailer-towing upgrades, lighting enhancements, a reinforced undercarriage, and beefier tires. The Laramie Longhorn trim came ready to please the opposite category of people, accommodating even the most meticulous of truck owners with the most luxurious Ram truck to date.
Late in 2011 the Dodge Ram 1500 lost the “Dodge” part of its name to allow for a better separation between its other vehicle lines and the Ram Truck line.
Fourth Continuation Generation (2012 – 2018)
Continuing on with the same body style and configurations, the year 2012 marked the first production year where it would be known solely as the Ram 1500. This year brought with it many new special editions and trim options to suit each individual. There was also a new calibration for the six-speed automatic transmission to increase performance.
In 2013 the bones and technology of the Ram 1500 got some substantial upgrades including the introduction of two new engines, a new eight-speed transmission, new high-tech features for improved fuel economy and a completely redesigned frame and chassis reinforced to support the new four-corner air suspension.
A new turbo-diesel V6 was made available in 2014 alongside the already available gas engines.
The Ram didn’t have many changes in 2015, however in 2016 the Ram 1500 could now seat five or six passengers.
Once again, the Ram 1500 skipped a year for any notable feature changes in 2017.
For 2018, the backup camera became standard along with the newly added available Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ capability.
Fifth Generation (2019 – Present)
The largest change for the new generation of Ram 1500 trucks is the addition of the available 12-inch vertical touchscreen, and available V6 hybrid and V8 hybrid engine options.
That brings us to the present model of the Ram 1500 which is sure to carry on the incredibly tough and versatile name that was originally created nearly forty years ago.