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Dodge Ram Model Overview: 2002-2018

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Ram pickup trucks are some of the most aggressive styled trucks on the market. They’re big, they’re bad, and they’re loaded with serious power. Even long before the Hemi, these trucks were known for their impressive powertrain options and sheer ruggedness, and over four generations have proven that humble beginnings aren’t always needed to leave a lasting impression.

The Birth of Ram

The biggest change through the past 15 years would be Ram separating into its own brand. In 2011 the Ram would break away from the Dodge lineup to identify as a truck-only brand.

The Dakota would follow along with its big brother for a very brief period before it would fade away. This isn’t to say they are totally separated from Dodge. They still fall under the umbrella of the Chrysler corporation, and in fact still use the same powertrains as Dodge.

Dodge Ram: 2009-2018

In 2009 the Dodge Ram was ready to take another trip to the drawing board. The new age is upon us, and it’s time to get with it. Dodge’s current day Ram is much sleeker than its predecessors and is done with the bubble-look of the 2000s.

These trucks are even bigger and even badder and are a ton more powerful than ever before. The Hemi lives on in these trucks as the front runner, and you can find any of the following power plants in this new age beast.

The 1500s engine options:

  • 3.6 V6 (305 hp; 269 lb/ft)
  • 5.7 V8 Hemi (395 hp; 410 lb/ft)
  • 3.0 V6 Ecodiesel (240 hp; 420 lb/ft)

2500-3500s come available with:

  • 5.7 V8 Hemi (383 hp; 400 lb/ft)
  • 6.4 V8 Hemi (410 hp; 429 lb/ft)
  • 6.7 I6 Cummins Diesel (285 hp; 900 lb/ft)

This new generation truck comes in all different shapes and sizes to ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for. As for the bed sizes, you can get a 5.5, 6.5, and an 8-foot bed on the 1500s, and of course the 2500 and 3500 trucks only come available with 6.5 and 8-foot beds. 

Additionally, Ramboxes are a feature that may be found on these trucks. The Ramboxes are tool boxes, or storage compartments, built right into the bed of the truck. Though they do directly impact the width of the inside of the bed they are super handy to have.

Cab options would be updated as well; it is dependent on what truck you’re talking about though. 1500s are available in standard cab, quad cab, and crew cab. The quad cab is the newest introduction as it is a short crew cab. It’s a recycled term from the prior year and can be confusing, but once you see it you’ll never forget it. 2500 and 3500s are available with a standard cab and crew cab, but the mega cab has returned exclusively to these trucks. 

There are a wide variety of trim levels available for the current generation of Rams. They are as follows (the list is oriented to show the trim levels available to the Ram’s from 2009 ranging from least luxurious to most with Specialty trims toward the bottom):

  • Sport
  • ST
  • Limited
  • SLT
  • Laramie
  • Laramie Longhorn
  • TRX
  • TRX4
  • Power Wagon
  • Big Horn
  • Express
  • Lonestar
  • Rebel

Dodge Ram Overview: 2002-2008

The second-generation Dodge Rams were closing in on the sunset. After an eight-year run with the classically inspired body style powered by the mighty Magnum engines, Dodge was left with some serious shoes to fill that would appear to also be in the shade. They wouldn’t disappoint the crowd though as the third generation would come roaring onto the scene dressed to impress.

Body styling would be totally overhauled making for a sleeker sexier looking truck. This new style would be the bearer of a long forgotten relic that would change the game entirely for Dodge vehicles. The Hemi returned and blew everyone away, and Dodge knew it. A very famous commercial would feature a couple of guys pulling up to a red light, one in a classic A-body muscle car of the 1970s and the other hauling the iconic second-generation Dodge Charger behind the brand-new Dodge Ram making the phrase “that thing got a Hemi?” the catchphrase of this lineup.

That isn’t to say the Hemi was the only feature available to this truck. In fact, the available power trains available to the 1500 were as follows:

  • 3.7 V6 (215 hp; 235 lb/ft of torque)
  • 4.7 V8 (235 hp; 295 lb/ft)
  • 5.7 V8 Hemi (345 hp; 375 lb/ft)

The 2500-3500 platform came with the following:

  • 5.7 V8 Hemi (345 hp; 375 lb/ft)
  • 5.9 I6 Cummins Diesel (325 hp; 610 lb/ft)
  • 6.7 I6 Cummins Diesel (350 hp; 650 lb/ft)
  • (2002 only) 8.0 V10 (310 hp; 450 lb/ft)

For this line up there were only two cab options early on. The standard cab and quad cab, which was a crew cab, would be all that you would be able to find. Though when the 2006 model year rolled around the mega cab was introduced.

These cabs were built to give rear riding passengers maximum space. It should also be noted only two bed options would be available to this generation. The sizes were 6.5 foot and 8-foot beds. 

In 2006 this generation of Dodge Ram would visit the surgeon for a facelift. The grille and headlights would be reshaped to create a much more appealing look. There otherwise no other modifications to this truck which is why it would stay classified as a third-generation Ram.

Dodge Ram Towing Capacity

Towing ratings for this truck are spread out over a huge range. Different factors directly impact this vehicle’s towing capacity. For instance, ring and pinions, along with engine size and cab sizes, would dictate how much your truck can pull. That being said, over the past two generations these trucks were impressive numbers. 

Ram 2009-Current
• Ram 1500: 4190 - 10,140 lbs.
• Ram 2500: 9910 - 11,890 lbs.
• Ram 3500: 10,780 - 11,910 lbs.
Ram 2002-2008
• Ram 1500: 3050 - 9150 lbs.
• Ram 2500: 9400 lbs - 13,850 lbs.
• Ram 3500: 15,350 - 16,300 lbs.

Dodge Ram: Special Editions

Aside from your run of the mill trim packages, Dodge would release a few special edition type trucks during this time span. Two of the most notable trim options available would be the Rumble Bee and the SRT-10. 

These trucks played off the whole performance aspect of the Dodge powertrains during the era. The Rumble Bee was a Hemi-powered truck that featured unique body styling and callouts that would be a throwback to the super bees of the 70s. 

The SRT-10 would come bearing another legendary Dodge engine; the very same V10 you would find at home in a Viper. These trucks were all sorts of insanity boasting an astounding 510 hp and 535 lb/ft of torque and certainly did their part in putting this truck in the history books.

Dodge Ram Rebel

Through the current generation of Ram trucks there is a plethora of sub models available - a documentary could probably be written about this subject alone. The real prize winner of the bunch is without a doubt the Ram Rebel. These trucks feature their own unique styling and come with all sorts of bells and whistles not found on a regular Dodge Ram.

One really amazing feature is the air suspension. On command, it can adjust the vehicle's ride-height and even do each corner independently. This truck was designed to be an excellent performer both on and off-road and with the suspension and overpowered drivetrain, it certainly delivers.

Fitment includes: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT-10, STL, ST, Laramie, Sport, SXT, TRX, TRX4, RT, LaramieLonghorn, Tradesman, Express, HFE, Rebel, LongHorn, LoneStar, OutDoorsman, Limted, BigHorn