7 Best & Worst Ram 1500 Years (Stats & Examples)

You should always check the best and worst years for specific models of vehicles that they are considering purchasing.

As with any other model, the Ram 1500 had its peaks and valleys.

Today, we want to explore the best and worst years for the Ram 1500s.

Best Years for Ram 1500

It’s always best to start with the shining example of when the makers of the Ram 1500 got things exactly right.

This is why we first must look at the best years for the Ram 1500.

2020 Dodge Ram 1500

The world might have had a terrible year in 2020 with a pandemic and various other crisis situations to worry about, but the Dodge Ram 1500 happened to be one of the best years for the Dodge Ram 1500.

The two biggest things that people care about when it comes to getting their hands on the truck of their dreams is making sure that it is reliable and has great performance features.

Luckily, the Dodge Ram 1500 does all of that.

The V6 engine is something that has helped keep things powerful and useful for all Dodge Ram 1500 owners.

They like that they can rely on their truck to go the distance as far as getting sturdy and steady performance out of it every time.

Owners say that the cabin of this truck provides very little vibration when they are driving, which is exactly what they want out of it. They are pleased that they don’t necessarily have to fear that they will experience a lot of turbulence when they are driving.

They are taken care of, and that makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable for them.

The recent Ram 1500 also has increased towing capacity.

2010 Dodge Ram 1500

Don’t let the fact that this vehicle is more than a decade old scare you.

The performance and quality of the 2010 model of the Dodge Ram 1500 is just as powerful and forceful as many newer trucks on the road. It as a V8 engine to propel it to new heights.

The interior of the 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 is what catches the eyes of many owners right from the start.

They appreciate the ergonomic design and the fact that this truck is clearly built with drivers in mind. It has all of the comfort and safety features that you would expect from a Dodge Ram, and you will never give up any quality with this truck just because it is more than ten years old.

Also, they have excellent cargo capacity. Check the cargo capacity for each Ram 1500 here.

2012 Dodge Ram 1500

Again, a V8 engine under the hood of this model year makes the 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 a top contender for being one of the best models of Dodge Ram 1500 out there.

The comfort level that can be enjoyed in this one makes it ideal for long road trips.

You don’t often hear that about a truck, but the 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 was designed with this concept in mind. You do NOT want to miss out on everything that it has to offer you.

Many people are surprised to learn that a truck that is ten years old can still keep up, but that just goes to show you that a lot of work goes into designing the perfect Dodge Ram 1500 for owners.

Ram 1500 Years to avoid

Just like with any other type of vehicle on the road, there are bound to be some years that you want to skip when thinking about buying a Dodge Ram 1500.

Knowing which ones have less than favorable reviews from customers can help you avoid making the same kind of mistakes that people before you have made.

2002 Dodge Ram 1500

Owners have decried the 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 for a number of issues.

The most highlighted issue for this vehicle are problems with its interior. Unfortunately, lower quality materials were used for some of the dashboard components on this model, and that makes those materials more prone to cracking.

In addition to that issue, there were also some mechanical issues noted by previous owners who said that it was common for cabin lights to fail. Then, there were some other problems such as unusual noises coming from the engine, the check engine light coming on and off at random, and the engine being cut off due to low RPMs.

If you opt to get this model anyway, you might expect to spend thousands of dollars on repairs to get these various issues taken care of.

2001 Dodge Ram 1500

This model of Dodge Ram 1500 was not ideal at all. Things would get even worse just a year later when the 2002 model came out and created even more problems for owners.

However, some of the same issues that exist in the 2002 model started to show up a year before. The 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 has similar dashboard cracking issues.

Also, some owners have reported that the AC unit in their 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 seems to go out without notice, and they don’t appreciate having to deal with that constantly

(who would?).

Sadly, the dashboard cracking issues are not something that can simply be pushed to the side as unimportant.

They are extremely important, and there are people who have faced serious consequences by not having a properly functioning dashboard.

For example, it is a known fact that the dashboard on this model can inadvertently trigger the airbag to go off. When that happens, it is possible for the driver to sustain very serious injuries, or even death. This is a model year to be avoided at all costs.

2013 Dodge Ram 1500

There are tremendous engine issues with the 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 that drivers need to be aware of.

In fact, some users say that they have total engine failure with this model with fewer than 100,000 miles on the truck.

Unfortunately, for people in that situation, there aren’t any replacement parts on the vehicle that they can easily obtain. They simply aren’t made any longer, and that can be a very big issue for anyone stuck in this predicament.

Numerous owners have reported knocking sounds on the engine of their 2013 Dodge Ram 1500, and that is also concerning.

It may be an early sign of engine failure down the road. The camshaft and the lifters are also vulnerable on this model, and they are expensive to replace.

If you end up with the misfortune of owning a 2013 Dodge Ram 1500, you might spend thousands of dollars just to keep it repaired and up to shape.

Which Ram 1500 Generation Should You Buy?

Most people recommend a fourth-generation Ram 1500. This is a happy medium between an affordable vehicle and one that will provide you with reliability that you can count on.

Fourth-generation models are considered to be the Ram 1500s that were put out between 2009 and 2018.

Make sure you avoid trouble years such as 2013, but you should be fairly safe going with a fourth generation Ram 1500 in most cases.

What Year is the Most Reliable Ram 1500?

The 2017 model Ram 1500 is probably the most reliable Ram 1500 ever made. It is part of the fourth generation of Ram 1500s, and owners say that it is holding up for them incredibly well.  Coming in at just five years old at this point, many 2017 Ram 1500s have plenty of life left in them.

On top of that, you can find the parts that you need if you should need to replace anything on it.

What are the Most Common Problems with Ram 1500s?

There are a number of issues that you might encounter with your Ram 1500, and no two of these vehicles are exactly alike.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you look at how different Ram 1500 models might work best for you.

Common issues include:

  • Leaking coolant near the water pump
  • Engine knocking
  • Engine failure
  • Poor acceleration
  • Cam and lifter failure

Any of these issues should be immediately checked out by a licensed mechanic to avoid risking putting your vehicle in any further danger.

How Many Miles Will a Ram 1500 Last?

A Ram 1500 can last as much as 300,000 with regular maintenance performed on it. This means getting it checked out when it has oil filter issues, needs an oil change, or has any mechanical issue pop up with it.

We have a full article here on How long the ram 1500 lasts.

You should take it to a mechanic right away to insure that you keep your Ram 1500 running just as smoothly as the day that you purchased it.

What are the Closest Competitors to the Ram 1500?

Many companies attempt to make a vehicle that is comparable to the Ram 1500. The success of those companies might be questionable simply given how wonderful the Ram 1500 is under all conditions.

That said, a few of the following are attempts by other companies to pull off something similar:

  • Ford F-Models (including Ford F-150 etc.)
  • Chevy Silverado
  • GMC Sierra
  • Toyota Tundra

Again, this is the closest competition that the Ram 1500 has.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that these competitors are a great imitation of what Dodge has done, but simply the best that they could muster.

How Long do the Transmissions Normally Last on These Models?

The transmission on your Dodge Ram 1500 should last somewhere between 150,000 to 300,000 miles. This will depend, in part, on how well you maintain your vehicle. There haven’t been major issues reported with the transmissions on the Ram models other than the 2012 and 2014 models.

Those who do a good job of taking care of their Dodge Ram 1500 will generally get more mileage out of it before the transmission begins to give them problems.

You can read more here about when you should expect problems with your Ram 1500.

However, it is all about properly maintaining your vehicle and ensuring that you get the most life out of it possible.


Go back to overview of best/worst years for ram models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.