After slugging it out with five other competitors, the Dodge Ram was dubbed Four Wheeler's 2002 Pickup Truck of the Year back in our January '02 issue. Since then, we have been able to rack up close to 10,000 miles on our Dodge to develop even more impressions of it. Some of them are positive, and some not so positive.
At the top of the list of positives is the Ram's spacious and well-thought-out interior. Plenty of stowage can be found throughout the Ram's interior, and its spacious Quad Cab actually allows room for backseat occupants. On the negative side is the less-than-stellar performance of the 4.7L V-8. Unloaded, this truck's performance is adequate, but loading up the Ram taxes the engine and mileage becomes less than impressive.
The Ram's miles haven't been completely trouble-free, as it has been haunted by a couple of electrical glitches. A taillight went out and a power module that controls both the airbag and the horn failed. While these components were replaced under warranty, the Ram did have to spend four days in a service bay waiting for parts.
The very first thing you realize when driving the Ram on the trail is that it is low. This makes for a decent amount of frame-smacking and high-centering when on rougher trails. Not aiding the matter is its rather long wheelbase. However, praise does have to go to its well-working limited slip.
On the street and around town, the Dodge feels big. Parking can be a challenge as sometimes seeing over its massive hood can be difficult. Out on the open road, though, it is a quiet and comfortable ride in which it is easy to tick off some miles.
This would have to be a toss up between its rack-and-pinion steering and interior. The steering is quick, precise, and light-years ahead of the previous generation's. It actually communicates with the driver by providing good feedback and road feel. The interior is also well-liked for being roomy and comfortable.
Miles to date: 9,604
Average mpg: 12.9
Best tank mpg: 15.7
Worst tank mpg: 10.1
Oil consumed (qts.): 1
Stucks to date: 1
P7,500-mile dealer service
Replace power distribution center
Cost: Covered Under WarrantyReplace taillight bulb
Cost: Covered Under Warranty
Five Words Describing The Dodge Ram:
What We Like Most:
The Dodge Ram Quad Cab is a handy and versatile pickup. Its Quad Cab has plenty of room for people or gear and the bed is still a good size.
What We Dislike Most:
A smallish V-8 that delivers the power of a V-6 with the fuel economy of a big-block.
* "Very comfortable on long drives."
* "A little difficult to park due to long wheelbase."
* "Seats have lots of adjustability."
* "Small gas tank and poor mileage make for limited range on one tank."