Used 2002 Dodge Ram Wagon Van Review
Edmunds expert review
The Ram's variety of body sizes, powertrains and interior fitments mean that there should be a van here to suit most people-hauling needs.
What's new for 2002
Dodge's full-size vans and wagons still ride on a basic platform that dates all the way back to 1971. Although first Ford and then General Motors had both redesigned their big, body-on-frame vans some time ago, Dodge soldiers on with the unibody Ram, available as a passenger wagon and a conversion van (built by factory-approved conversion specialists). You can choose from three load ranges (1500, 2500 and 3500) and three overall lengths (192.6 inch, 208.5 inch and 234.5 inch Maxi), with a host of door configurations. Passenger-toting capacity is impressive at up to 15-passengers in the 3500 MaxiWagon.
Base engine in the 1500 and 2500 series is a 3.9-liter V6 with 175 horsepower, but most buyers may wish to opt for a V8, either a 235-horse 5.2-liter, or a 245-horse 5.9. With 295 pound-feet of torque, the 5.2-liter can easily handle most chores, saving the 5.9-liter's 335 pound-feet for the big jobs, such as towing trailers weighing as much as 8,600 pounds. The V6 is hooked to an automatic three-speed transmission, and both V8s get a four-speed automatic. The V8s have been around a long time and are not exactly frugal with fuel. To help compensate, 109-inch wheelbase models come with a 32-gallon gas tank, and all others get a 35-gallon tank.
A body freshening, new instrument panel with next-generation front airbags, standard rear-wheel antilock brakes (four-wheel ABS is an option), and revamped suspension tuning came along with the last major upgrade in 1998.
Sticking with a good basic design has kept prices down while refinements over the years have kept these vans competitive in an ever-shrinking market. When DaimlerChrysler decides on a higher-volume product for its Pillette Road assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, it'll drop Ram Van and Wagon production and relinquish the niche to Ford and GM. In the meantime, there'll be little change to this long-standing value story. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Edmunds expert review process
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.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.