The cooler is packed, the fishing poles loaded, and everyone is filled with the excitement only the prospect of an adventure can bring. Nothing beats the anticipation of an epic road trip. It’s an easy formula: mix great friends and/or family, a perfect mix of tunes, and a fun, reliable vehicle to haul all your gear. Whether you enjoy hiking a remote patch of wilderness or casting your line in a mighty river, your adventure is simply better with a reliable vehicle. That’s why a new or used Ram 1500 comes to mind almost immediately. Ram is synonymous with rugged adventure, and if you like your road trip with a side of dependability and grit, the Ram 1500 line of trucks has you covered, whether you choose new or used.
Ram Trucks enjoys a long history of manufacturing popular light-duty trucks. It all started back in 1981 when the Ram name was born. Dodge, a brand of the Chrysler family, originally called its full-size pickup the Dodge Ram, but in 2010 Dodge decided to differentiate the line into its own standalone brand; thus, the Ram Trucks line emerged. Ram has a long tradition of earning accolades from prestigious automotive publications. This is well-earned, as the line is widely considered among the best trucks ever made. In fact, the Ram 1500 won Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year in 2019 and 2020. What is it about Ram trucks, and the Ram 1500 specifically, that justifies all the attention, and why is it such a favorite among adventure seekers everywhere?
Ram 1500 Generations One-Three: The Early Years
Ram Trucks are currently in their fifth generation of production. Over the years, the Ram brand has consistently evolved at each stage of its growth to meet consumer needs. In its first generation (1981-1993), the Ram truck evolved from the Dodge D-Series line. The Ram badging first appeared in this round of trucks, and several versions were offered, including either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with a standard cab or crew cab. Bed lengths of 6.5-ft and 8.0-ft rounded out the body style choices, and powertrain options included just two engines: a 225 cu.in. slant-6 and a 360 cu.in. V8. In 1989, a Cummins Diesel engine option was added.
Second generation (1994-2002) Ram Trucks saw design leaning more toward today’s big grille front ends and a departure from the common boxy truck style. It was risky to attempt a complete facelift, but ultimately the design was well-received by consumers. This generation, launched in 1993, saw its first “Truck of the Year” award by Motor Trend magazine.
The third-generation Ram Trucks (2002-2009) included several structural and performance modifications, and while the outside received a facelift as well, Ram stuck with the theme of the second generation’s appearance. A new steel frame and independent front suspension improved durability, ride, and handling.
Ram 1500 Generations Four & Five: Refined Style
The fourth-generation (2009-2019) made its debut in 2008 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Still bearing the Dodge name, this generation of Ram Trucks now offered the popular Hemi engine. A Hemi motor––short for hemispherical combustion chamber––burns fuel more efficiently by trapping heat during combustion. This is due to the Hemi’s surface area being dome-shaped and smaller than that of other engine types. Dodge also released its Rambox during this generation. The Rambox is a nifty enclosed storage box that utilizes all the typically “dead” space between the bed wall and the outside fender.
Ram Trucks are currently in their fifth generation. The fifth-generation launched as a 2019 model and included a plethora of new equipment. Highlights include a unique multifunction tailgate with swing-out doors that can transform into a traditional tailgate; several powertrain upgrades including an EcoDiesel and other fuel-efficient options; and multiple design and package options.
What do these five generations of product evolution share in common? All are infused with the essence of Ram Trucks: a combination of style and maximum utility. This is why outdoor enthusiasts turn to Ram when looking to purchase a vehicle that can enable all of their adventures, no matter how far and no matter how much gear is needed.
The Benefits of a Fourth-Generation Used 1500 Ram
All generations of Ram have their merits, but zeroing in on generation four trucks gives buyers a newer and likely wider selection of trucks to choose from, and since the newer fifth generation was just released, you’re likely to get a better deal. This generation includes many of the modern conveniences drivers have grown to depend on, like Bluetooth connectivity and navigation, without the hefty price tag of a new Ram 1500 Truck.
When considering a used Ram 1500 truck, the first step is to determine the body style that best fits your needs. Things like typical passenger load, towing, and room for hauling cargo are usually the most important considerations. Other areas to consider are trim line and your must-have convenience and comfort features. Luckily the Ram 1500 offers a wide range of choices, so you likely won’t need to compromise.
This generation of the Ram truck is available in a 2-door regular cab, 4-door quad cab, and 4-door crew cab. Consider how many passengers are likely to travel with you. If you’re a family, consider a 4-door. Young couple? A 2-door configuration might work well. Don’t forget about your four-legged family, because trying to usher a dog into a cramped rear seat may prove to be difficult.
Towing capacity varies by model year, powertrain, and the trim chosen. As an example, the 2017 Ram 1500 offers a maximum towing capacity of 10,640 pounds. In addition, many available features for this model year make trailer hook-up easier, and safety features like Trailer Sway Control help detect when your trailer sways and can adjust engine power to help correct any potentially dangerous problems. Look carefully at towing capacity if you plan to haul a boat or a trailer.
Today’s truck buyers consider more than just the basics like hauling and towing capacity. They’re looking for a vehicle that provides comfort, safety, convenience, and utility. The price tag of a new half-ton truck is hefty; that’s why many wisely consider a newer used model. Used trucks have already taken the biggest hit to residual value, which adds “practical” to the list of adjectives that best describe the choice of buying used versus new. Many truck buyers want to be first in line at the dealership when a new generation is released, and their eagerness is your opportunity. Truck owners are extremely brand loyal, so it’s likely this flood of new truck buyers has a used one to trade or sell. Keep an eye on local dealer inventory too. Dealers take great care of their used vehicle inventory, and each vehicle is likely to be run through a series of rigorous tests before landing on the showroom floor.
If you’re in the market for a used truck, take a closer look at the used 1500 Ram line of half-ton trucks. These highly regarded, popular trucks do more than get you where you want to go––they get your there safely and in style. Check out your area’s used 1500 Ram trucks today. You’ll be surprised at the broad range of features they offer, and you will join millions of others who enjoy the durability and reliability of the Ram Brand. It’s the perfect choice to take you to all of your future adventures.