1997 Dodge Ram Wagon Review

Used Ram Wagon for sale
List Price Estimate:$832 - $1,409
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Dodge Ram Wagon model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Seriously undercuts Chevy, Ford and GMC competitors
  • Original engineering dates to the Nixon presidency

Vehicle overview

Dodge's full-size vans and wagons haven't changed all that much through nearly three decades of existence. Squint your eyes and focus away from the front end (which was redesigned in 1994), and the latest big Rams could almost be mistaken for 1971 models. Does that matter to their fans? Not in the least. Dodge's brawny haulers have earned an enviable reputation over the years, proving their worth against rivals from Ford and General Motors. Like those makes, Dodge offers a bewildering selection of models, in three capacities with payloads as great as 4,264 pounds--not to mention the dazzlingly long list of options to be considered. Wagons can be equipped to carry as many as 15 passengers.

A driver's airbag is standard, and all Rams have rear-wheel anti-lock braking (four-wheel on the Wagons). Base engine in the 1500 and 2500 series is a 3.9-liter V-6, but most buyers would be better off with a V-8 (standard in the 3500 series). With 295 pound-feet of torque on tap, the 5.2-liter V-8 yields a rewarding combination of strength and economy, but no Ram vehicle ranks miserly at the gas pump.

For demanding applications, whether in cargo-carrying or passenger-seating, the 5.9-liter V-8, packing 330 pound-feet of twisting force, might be a better bet. To compensate for thirsty engine choices, Dodge includes a 35-gallon gas tank on all Ram Vans and Wagons.

New this year are wider cargo doors, upgraded stereo systems, and an improved ignition switch with anti-theft protection (Like theft is a problem here. Ooooh! Can't wait to get my thieving hands on that antique Dodge Van in mint condition...hey! Wait a minute! That's an airbag. This van is new!). Front quarter vent windows disappear for 1997, and underhood service points feature colored identification.

Plenty of RV converters turn out fancied-up variants of the Dodge Ram, but even the stock models can be fitted with a few comforts and conveniences to make driving pleasant, if not exactly posh. Wagons can have a power driver's seat, for instance, and you can even get a CD player with a graphic equalizer and Infinity speakers. An upscale SLT Wagon Package includes cupholders, seat map pockets, and cloth trim panels. Standard gear includes dual side doors, tinted windows, power steering, and a front stabilizer bar.

We find the Ram Van and Wagon to be packed full of value and think that they are a reasonable alternative to the full-size offerings from Ford and Chevy for those on a strict budget. When searching in this market segment, price is often the only thing separating somewhat unequal competitors.

1997 Highlights

New this year are wider cargo doors, upgraded stereo systems, and an improved ignition switch with anti-theft protection. Front quarter vent windows disappear for 1997, and underhood service points feature colored identification.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.25 out of 5 stars
bang for buck
2500 3dr Ext Van
my Dodge 2500 conversion 3.9 V6 has power like a rocket kept tuned and oiled,excellent gas mileage. Had minor electrical issues not resolved by dealership on three tries independent solved it. Chicago to Mississippi pulling u-hauls with ease. Ride and sight good decent rode manners. Drove this van in police transport work also. Handles best with maintenance kept.In 5 yrs ownership always started never broke down.Chrysler got it wrong not up-dating. Benz/Chrysler replacement van ugly. I have spent maybe $ 1000.00 in repair during 5yrs.
3.25 out of 5 stars
3500 Ram van holds its own
3500 SLT 3dr Ext Van
Dodge fulll size 15 passenger vans have their good and bad pts. Turning radius is poor but that seems to be status quo for most vans of this size and year. Gas mileage really isn't that bad for such a huge vehicle, and over many steep hills back and forth on the hwy here in Branson, MO, we get 15-16 mpg on an engine with 135K on it. Transmission went out at 127K, along with the computer(questionable repair by dealer), fuel pump( again questionable repair) and O2 sensor. Some is normal wear and tear, it has towed horse trailers!! Interior design is kinda poor though, its tall to get into, and hard to seat people. If style hasnt changed, Chevy would be my next pick for new van ( mpg and design)
4.38 out of 5 stars
Van Conversion
2500 SLT 3dr Ext Van
This has been an outstanding vehicle for me. It is a van conversion and the quality is superior. Mechanically we have not had any major repairs. This vehicle pulls my 3-horse slant all over town with pretty good performance. The gas mileage is between 12-15 mpg. I have even had it as high as 20 mpg driving cross country.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon

Used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon Overview

The Used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon is offered in the following submodels: Ram Wagon Van. Available styles include 2500 SLT 3dr Ext Van, 2500 3dr Ext Van, 3500 3dr Ext Van, 1500 SLT 3dr Van, 1500 3dr Van, 3500 SLT 3dr Ext Van, 3500 Maxi 3dr Ext Van, and 3500 SLT Maxi 3dr Ext Van. Pre-owned Dodge Ram Wagon models are available with a 5.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 225 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagons are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon.

Can't find a used 1997 Dodge Ram Wagons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Ram Wagon for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $20,024.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 8 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $19,154.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Ram Wagon for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $17,429.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $25,279.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Dodge Ram Wagon?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Dodge lease specials
Check out Dodge Ram Wagon lease specials