Used 1998 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Review
The Dodge boys had to know they had a winner when their bold Ram Pickup debuted in 1994. Few trucks have turned as many heads, or prompted so much comment. Whether decked out in Sport trim or wearing conventional chrome on its chest-thumping grille, this is macho mentality sculpted in steel.
Under the hood, the goods range from modest to mammoth. For the practical-minded, there's a mild-mannered 3.9-liter V6; or, a Cummins diesel whose throbbing note and power make a guy want to grab his Stetson and haul on out.Those who'd like a little more muscle have a pair of V8s to choose from. Whoa! You're still not satisfied? Like TV's Tim the Tool Man, you want "more power"? Say no more. Just check the option list and you can barrel homeward with an 8.0-liter V10, blasting out 300 horses, and a locomotivelike 450 pound-feet of torque. The Magnum V10 is available only in heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 series pickups.
One first-season criticism centered on space. Only the regular cab was available, seating three on a bench. Dodge claimed its cab was the most spacious in the industry, but that was little consolation to potential buyers who needed to carry extra people. Two years ago, Dodge introduced a Club Cab that seated six adults, even if access to the rear wasn't so easy. Last year, Club Cab models received standard rear-quarter window glass. For 1998, the rules have changed again. Dodge now offers a Ram Quad Cab, which means rear-access doors on either side of the cab. This is truly the most convenient truck you can buy.
Inside, the Ram Pickup is finally redesigned, creating ergonomics to match the utility of the rest of the truck. A new passenger-side airbag comes standard, and with a cutoff switch so it's safe to strap in a child seat up front. With any engine, tromping the gas produces a reassuring roar -- a reverberation of vitality. Otherwise, it's fairly quiet. Ride and handling are so competent that you almost forget you're in a full-size pickup, though occupants will notice plenty of bumps. Visibility is great, and controls are excellent. Automatic transmission shifts are firm, but not harsh, and the column-mounted gearshift operates easily. For such a large and bulky vehicle, the Ram Pickup is surprisingly agile and reasonably surefooted, but think twice before making any quick maneuvers.
More than a million Ram Pickups went to customers during the first three years of production. Demand is still strong, and Chrysler recently opened a new plant to keep the supply lines full. Curiosity has tapered off, but when pickup owners try to sleep on the idea of buying a new truck, they count Rams.
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This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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