Used 2000 Dodge Ram Wagon Van Review
An archaic platform that still lends itself well to a variety of applications.
Dodge's full-size vans and wagons haven't changed all that much despite nearly three decades of existence. Squint your eyes and the latest big Rams could almost be mistaken for the 1971 models. But this does not matter to Dodge fans. Chrysler hasn't yet found a need to change the brawny trucks in order to keep up with rivals from Ford and General Motors. Especially now that the company has decided to quit making them in a year or two.
Despite the lack of a ground-up redesign, one-third of the components were all-new in 1998, including the instrument panel and brakes; in addition, the suspension was re-tuned and the body panels were transformed. So for 2000, only minor refinements were needed.
First, let's break down the Dodge lineup: There's a cargo van, a passenger wagon and a conversion van (built by factory-approved conversion specialists). The wagon comes in two lengths and three load ranges, a 1500, a 2500, and a 3500 Maxi Wagon. That last one has a payload of up to 4,245 pounds and standard seating for 15 passengers.
The base engine in the 1500 and 2500 series is a 3.9-liter V6, but most buyers would be better off with an optional V8, either a 5.2-liter or a 5.9-liter. With 295 foot-pounds of torque on tap, the 5.2-liter yields a rewarding combination of strength and economy, but no Ram vehicle ranks miserly at the gas pump. For demanding applications, your best bet might very well be the 5.9-liter, which packs 335 foot-pounds of twisting force. To compensate for thirsty engine choices, there's a 32-gallon gas tank on the 109-inch wheelbase vans and wagons, and a 35-gallon tank on all other models. The V6 is hooked to an automatic three-speed transmission, and both V8s are attached to an automatic four-speed. The van and the wagon have rear-wheel antilock braking, although four-wheel is optional on both.
Both also come with next-generation driver and front-passenger airbags, and if you opt for the power-convenience group, you can have the added security of an alarm system. If you want to fancy up your wagon, Dodge offers a premium-decor package that dresses up the trim panels, dashliner and side moldings. If towing is more your thing, there's a trailer-tow package that includes a 750-amp battery and a heavy-duty engine-cooling system.
The Dodge Ram Wagon has remained virtually the same for 30 years, as has its value, in-demand conveniences and practical price. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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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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