Why Buy a Ram?Buying Guides • Advice • Reviews
The Dodge Ram pickup is a popular truck that’s been chosen for everything from family vehicle to heavy-duty work truck. The truck has been honored as Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year five times, and it’s still one of the top selling vehicles in the United States. If you’re considering investing in one of these vehicles, then you may be interested to learn more about their history.
1981 – Introduction with the First Generation
The Ram truck first hit the market in 1981. The name was inspired by the Ram hood ornament that graced Dodge vehicles in 1933. The early options included the 150 one-half-ton truck, the 250 three-quarter-ton truck, and the 350 one-ton truck. Consumers could also choose a standard cab, club extended ca or crew cab depending on their individual needs. The Dodge Rams actually replaced the D-Series trucks that had been introduced in 1972, and they featured a few key changes. The tail lamps wrapped around, the headlamps were singular rectangles, and the body lines were more square.
1988 – More Power
Truck owners are commonly looking for more power, and they found it with the 1988 models. This is the years that Dodge introduced the fuel-injected V6 that provided owners with up to 25 percent more power. Electronic fuel injection also came into play, anti-lock brakes were an option on some of the models.
1985 – The Four Door Crew Cab was Dropped, and Ram-Trac was Introduced
When Dodge started offering the Ram, consumers could also buy a four door crew cab that provided easy access to the back row. The 1985 model year saw another important change in the Ram-Trac shift-on-the-fly transfer case.
1989 – Better Fuel Economy
Dodge continued looking for ways to improve their trucks, and that included finding ways to boost fuel efficiency. They met this goal by introducing an overdrive automatic transmission that provided better gas mileage. This model year saw the introduction of the Cummins B Series engine which ultimately led to higher sales for the company.
1994 – Third Generation
In 1994, Dodge redesigned the trucks with a fresh exterior look that took the market by storm. Previously, the trucks were criticized for seeming too flat and looking more like sedans than trucks. With this change, the front end was redesigned to look more like a big rig, and a large grille dominated the front of the truck. The Dodge stood out from trucks offered by Ford and Chevy, and consumers responded. Sales grew rapidly with this change going from 78,000 trucks sold in 1993 to 240,000 in 1994, another jump to 410,000 in 1995 and an impressive 480,000 in 1996. However, the jump in sales would not last. Figures remained steady at just over 400,000 for a few years before starting to decline again in 1999.
2002- Third Generation
This generation hit the market in 2002 and featured a redesigned frame, suspension, interior, and powertrain. The grill was larger, and some models were given an independent front suspension system. These changes helped to bolster sales, but Dodge was unable to keep up with Ford or GM trucks that were steadily increasing their sales numbers. This is blamed primarily on Dodge’s lack of a crew cab that could help Dodge compete with the full lineup.
Designers at Dodge brought some big changes to this model year, including the Mega Cab. This option featured seating for up to six with rear reclining seats, in-dash navigation as an option, and a rea seat DVD entertainment center.
2009 - Fourth Generation
This model made its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, and it continues to be a popular truck. Major changes for this year included the introduction of a new Hemi engine, an improved storage system called the Rambox that let owners store items inside the walls of the truck bed, and improved suspension. A four-door cab style was also introduced, and this generation also features a coil spring rear suspension for a smoother ride, better performance off-road, and lighter weight levels.
2011- The Only Choice for Manual Transmissions
While other manufacturers are dropping their manual lines, Dodge is still offering this type of transmission. This makes Dodge the only choice for drivers who prefer handling the shifting themselves for any reason.
The Dodge Ram has been in production for more than three decades, and it continues to be a proven line for the Dodge company. In reviews, Dodge is hailed for offering performance, comfort, and quality in one truck. The vehicles are attractive, and many people consider them to be enjoyable to drive. The Dodge continues to be one of the top choices for people who are interested in full-size pickups.