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Dodge Ram (2002) UNVEILED!



  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    uh, thanks, badramman.....

    Ok, I take it that the schmucks that are plowing past me on freeways pulling medium sized/larger trailers (and I don't see brake lights or wires on trailers) are the foolish ones, huh?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    just a matter of time before Ford and everyone else falls in line with GM and Dodge in terms of trailer brake policy.

    If that becomes the case, I hope trailer manufacturers respond with lighter-duty trailers equipped with brakes. Of course that doesn't do anything for those of us already with light-duty trailers without brakes.

    Contractors and landscapers who tow on a regular basis I'm sure are aware of this, or if not, usually have larger trailers that require brakes. It's the person who tows only occasionally (the typical Harry homeowner) who's most likely unaware of this issue.

  • I really wanted to like this new truck before I saw it in person.When you redesign a product you have to look at ALL ASPECTS of what your competion is offering.Right off the bat lose the antique 360 motor -I know the small motor is a new one,but if you need a big motor you still get the old 360-No Thanks. This truck is missing rear disc brakes- standard on GM,this ones a no brainer- a major factor for any experienced truck owner who tows.How about a traction sensitive automatic four wheel drive-like GM.The dashboard is really ugly and evokes no emotion,the old dodge dash was pretty nice.If you want larger tires and wheels they offer a 18 or 20 inch combo that looks like a ghetto style wheel and tire-not a work truck appearance combining function and style.Those big wheels look like a rap singers truck would.Truth of the matter is the more I look at the new dodge the more I like the old style better.I am really surprised at daimler for not kicking the competions [non-permissible content removed] on this truck.This truck is not a premium truck like GMC but could have easily stole a lot more sales by fine tuning the old big Dodge which was much more like a real truck than this new trendy skirt driven one.Oh well.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    You make some valid points. A new larger 5.7 Hemi will come next year, and will replace the current 5.9.

    I do wish ABS were standard, and I wish the full-time 4WD were at least available as an option. It's available on the Durango and Dakota, and GM offers Auto-Trac, which is an on-demand full-time system. Also, ABS is standard on GM full-size trucks.

  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201

    And A chevy silverado is a premium truck?

    I do agree that the dash of the ram looks like a minivan, but I overlook that with the seat storages. I also agree with the 5.9 should have been dumped, too. But like rsholland said, the hemi will come with the heavy duties for 03.

    13" 4wheel disc brakes are standard on the Ram. Rear ABS is standard on all but SLT+ which gets all four standard. It's an option that is only $495, for those who wants it. (Unlike me, but I got them anyway). AS I said before, dodge did research and found that not many dodge owners would get ABS. For any experienced Off roader, ABS is your worst enemy.

    the ram has been a leader in off roading, and I'm sure the "Off-Roadster package" will come back for 03 or 04.

    The 17" wheel/tire combo are standard, I believe 15" are standard on GM and no 17" are offered (except MAYBE ones with the Z71 package.) Absolutely NO full size truck can have the swamp-worthy wheel tire combo unless you lift it 5" or so.

    All of those "advantages" that your precious GM's have did not arrive when the trucks debuted in 1999. For example, a 4th door just became standard, Z71 package was offered in 2001, and the heavy duties in 01. Ford just made 4 wheel ABS standard in 02 and a crew cab in 01.

    This is the truck's first year, so all of the things that the others have, it will probably get next year and I'm quite sure that it will blow away the competition. Dodge's mistake was that they didn't put them all in with the debut. Bob, are you waiting for it, too?

    And wait a minute. I'm not trying to start up another GM bashing post here. Chevy trucks "evoke no emotion" to me, inside and out. I actually like the GMC Sierra. If I had more dough to blow, I would have bought the 02 SIerra Denali. Now THAT is a premium truck.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Actually, I'm not in the market for a pickup right now. Let's just say I'm an interested "lurker."

  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    interesting! the availability of a v/10 in the 1/2 ton must have been a very short lived deal. i've never seen or heard of anyone who has one.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    I saw my first 2002 regular cab yesterday,I'm still retching from the sight. I'm more glad I bought the 2001 every time I pass my local Dodge dealer. Unfortunately if the Ram is the shape of things to come from mother Mopar,I have bought my last Ram.
  • I recently purchased this truck and noticed that the amount of air blowing out the right-hand 3 out of 5 center vents is very weak compared to the 2 left hand center vents. There is also quite a bit of air flowing from the right-hand floor vent. This problem occurs on any vent setting whether the air is circulated or not. The problem also occurs when the A/C setting is set to blow only out of the dashboard vents.
    At first my local service dealer said it was probably a "blend door" problem, but later called to tell me that "there is no normal repair for this issue". I wasn't happy with that answer.

    I called Dodge Corporate offices and found that they are aware of this problem on 2002 Dodge Rams and their engineering department is working on a fix and should be out later this year.
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    Funny. the one far left of me (driver's side) is a little weak, now that you've mentioned it. Thanks for looking into it.

    as the old saying goes, "you can't please everybody". And I can see how you hate it. You actually like the pre-1994 rams and power wagons....
  • The 1991-1993 Rams were the best looking!
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    Well, there's always the dakota...

    Best looking was 1991-1993? They all looked alike to me up until 1994 MY. If I'm not mistaken, the Dodge full size pickups from 1971-1993 was on the same platform. Maybe a grill or headlight or interior change here or there...engine changes...someone correct me if I'm wrong. Die hard dodge truck fans were the only ones who took notice of those.
    Speaking of which, I spoke to a lot of Ram owners of the previous generation Ram hate the new Ram. They are calling it a trendy, pansy wimpy truck. Now, when a die hard chevy fan calls it that, I can understand that and blow that off. Our tastes are completely different. But for someone who likes the 1994-2001 models and hates this...that gets confusing.
  • I'm one of those trendy die hard Chevy fans. I don't think the new Ram looks that bad from the front. Where I don't like it as well as the '94+ is from the sides and rear. Also not sure I like the new interior dash layout as well...looks a bit gaudy, but if you have more room than before, I guess I could get used to it. That Dodge bench seat has always been one of my favorites. I think people will accept the new truck, particularly with the innovative, crew cab like rear doors in what remains a reasonably sized truck, due to shortening the bed length a bit.

    I don't think anything beats the Dakota for styling however. DC could have done worse than to just scale-up that styling for the new RAM. But they have to have something *all new*. The fear might have been that die hard Ram lovers would call it, trendy, pansy wimpy...LOL!
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    It's the sides that I hear that all die hard truckers do not like. To me, it has improved, especially the rear. (SLT models had that hard ugly gray plastic on the gate.)
    I guess it has been designed for people who would buy Ford Supercrews, Chevy Avalanches, and Dakota Quad Cabs. (those were all on my list, actually).
    I always liked the Ram's seating, too. The bench seats are even more innovative. You can fold the rear up to make a flat metal floor, and the front middle "seat" folds up for even more storage. That outweighs the minivan dash, of which I will look into carbon fiber appliques to somehow dress that up.

    The dakota IS a good looking truck, from every angle. And the opposite end of the spectrum the Pontiac Aztek is an ugly SUV from every angle.
  • It's just my opinion about the sides, as I don't make a habit of reading too much stuff others have said about it, or the old Ram. Regardless of how the new styling strikes you, new styles almost always end up making the old stuff look dated. My buddy thought the new Ford Super Duty was ugly, and bought one of the last old style F250's. He regrets that now. There's no doubt, this new Ram is an improvement over the old one, especially since it has 4 wheel disc brakes. I just think '94+ Ram, for having so much boldness to it, nevertheless retained a balanced look. The best looking one I saw was a 2001 in Gold, with Cummins. Looked, and sounded the part.

    Whatever styling Damnear Chrysler has up it's sleeve, it can never equal the natural beauty of a Pontiac Aztek! DC ought to hire those sylists away from G.M., give 'em big raises...(wink, wink!)
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I like the looks of the 02, and as quadrunner mentioned, it's not a revolution that will make the older trucks extremely dated. The fact that a vehicle built in 94 still catches my eye in 01 trim that's nearly the same is quite amazing. We bought an 01 Cummins last year over the Ford because I'm a cummins fan, and the extended cab Dodge was more comfortable. Plus I still really like the looks of the dodge after all these years. At first I didn't care for the color we bought (goldish brown with a grey bottome) but after putting 50K miles on it in a year and basically washing it only a couple times I really appreciate the colors. Even when filthy it doesn't look too bad. Looks like a true hard workin machine.

    I'm going to look closely at the Cummins models when they are released hopefully next year. I assume most of the design will be the same as the 02 light-duties. The crew seems to be a good combination of interior room without extending the chassis too far. Our extended cab short bed turns pretty tight, but can still haul a 5th wheel. Hopefully the new ones have the same useable dimensions.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    is an "evolutionary" styling update, designed not to offend current Ram owners, who is their first priority. These are the folks Dodge wants to retain as future customers.

    The #1 rule in sales, is that your current customers are your easiest customers to retain. Keep them happy first, then "mine" the rest of the market for conquest sales.

  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    Most of the true Dodge Ram fans I know of hate the new Ram. The salesman I know quite well told me that our local dealer is very worried because the trucks sales are flat,and most of the response to the truck is very negative from their regular customers.

    Sounds like a redneck joke but...
    You know your a true Dodge fan when you can tell the difference between a '78 and a '79 Dodge Powerwagon at 70 miles per hour with your wife trying to blind your eyes while she is screaming "no you do not need to buy that".

    I had a '92 Ram I always did think it was one of the cleanest looks for the Ram,very handsome. And the fact that it was the first year for the 318 Magnum and due to not yet having the NV3500 you got the super stout NV4500 was just icing on the cake,one of my favorite trucks I've owned.
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    I personally dont like the looks of the new ram in the Quad cab short bed version but I saw a black quad with the real 8' bed and it looked awsome. To me the short bed and longer cab makes the truck look out of proportion, the 8' bed fixes that problem.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Auto sales across the board are flat—hence all the 0% financing... Most Dodge truck owners I've talked to like the new Ram.

  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    that's right, bob. Believe it or not, Dodge, Chevy,and Ford dealers are STILL soliciting...( Like I said before, I was interested in looking at the competiton at one point).

    I've gotten both positive and negative remarks (more positive) from ALL truck owners. The ones who own an older ram states they are gonna wait until next year or so to see what else DC is going to do with the ram (i.e., Cummins) before they make decisions. Most Ram owners buy the 2500 or 3500, or get the most powerful engine offered. That will happen next year.
  • that beyond the new 4 wheel disc brakes and innovative doors, it is basically just new sheet metal and styling. Not enough beef for some of the current '94+ Ram owners to rush out and trade, or become dissatisfied with current rides.

    There's only so far J.D. Powers most appealing awards, and cab forward cliches can take those reliable, but thirsty magnum engines, 360 and V10.

    If DC could have combined new engines (hemi), new transmissions (allison), the reception would be significant enough to attract some Ford and Chevy owners. But as things are, while nothing wrong exactly, the appeal is probably going to be limited mostly to current Ram owners, and lukewarm only. Hope I'm wrong, but then I'm still PO'd that the company U.S. taxpayers bailed out of bankruptcy thanks to Lee Iacocca, is now owned by foreigners.
  • ram2002ram2002 Posts: 16
    To me, this truck is all new. New engine (4.7), new body, new frame, new front suspension, new interior dimensions.

    I think DC is definitely aiming for the non-truck owning male that, previously, was in the SUV market. Like it or not, the SUV has become somewhat feminized over the past five years. Here in Texas, you are more likely to see a female driving an SUV than a male.

    Given the brand loyalty that most truck owners have, I think it's a better strategy trying to get Ford or Chevy owners to switch.
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    quad, they called it a merger, remember?

    The truck IS all new. Inside and out. I compared them both.
    Brand loyalty: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Die hard chevy truckers will wrestle crocodiles to protect their "rados"..I seriously doubt that quadrunner500 will switch. Then again, I see he is spending a lot of time here in DOdge forums...

    Dodge is doing the same as what Ford is doing, making more "family friendly" trucks, because an SUV indeed has morphed into more a mall hauler. I don't see anything wrong with that, but like moparmad is saying (poor guy, I feel his pain) is that they are alienating the Dodge TRUCKlovers by softening up the ram. They will get theirs when the Beefier Rams come out. They'll probably get different appearances.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Hopefully that's what happens. Kinda like ford. The F-150 is a POS as a work truck since the new design (1997). However the Super-Dutys are stout workhorses. That's OK with me because the people that just need a truck to haul lumber or whatever are satisfied with the 1/2 tons. Someone like me wanting to tow 13K needs some more beef.

    The catch is not getting too many prior owners mad. I know a couple farmers that always bought F-150's to have around as general farm vehicles and were in for quite a surprise when they bought the redesigned model in 97. I'm sure if someone would have told them that the F-150 wasn't going to handle abuse like the prior models they would have happily bought the super-duty. Someone who's ragged the hell out of a 1/2 ton Ram for several years needs to know if there is more than towing capacity/engine differences between the models.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    side by side to see the difference. I have a '76 Powerwagon with a big block,four speed,and full time fourwheel drive,and a 2001 Ram with a 318 five speed four wheel drive. Both trucks are 1/2 tons but the sheer beef of the '76 makes the '01 look almost comical as a truck.
    Make no mistake the 2002 is all new,the only good part left is the 5.9L. I know that will upset alot of people but I use my trucks as trucks and the 4.7L is not a heavy duty truck engine. The first clue is the fact that the 4.7 requires two second gears in the tranny to even reach a five thousand pound towing limit.
    I realize most truck buyers don't care about towing or hauling much more than groceries,but I just believe a truck should first be a good truck.

    Lastly all truck manufacturers sell many more 1/2 tons than 3/4 or 1 tons. I have heard rumors that the upcoming heavy duty trucks are going to look just like the 2002 1/2 ton. Personally I would like the look except for the thickness in the hood area,the hood looks like it is really way too high and the sloping windshield just makes the front of the truck grossly fat to me.
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    sebring, that is EXACTLY like the fords. The F150 is a prime example.

    The 94-01 Rams always had a large,long hood and the windshield is raked a little.. But for 02, It has been slightly raised to accomodate the taller grille.

    I saw a half-covered heavyduty duallie prototype a few months back. There are some differences. Although the sloping windshield and higher hood is on the HD's, the rest of the body is seems to fill it and doesn't make those two thing you hate look so pronounced. Maybe seeing a true crew cab, long bed duallie should please you.
    Both GMs and Ford's Heavy duties are taller, wider, and have hoods that are taller. I personally like the Silverado heavy duty look, but hate the regular one.

    And as for the engines, yes, the 4.7 is not a "tree uprooter", but it does have enough grunt for the average person. I believe if one is going to tow a lot should upgrade to the larger engine or if they need to load up and haul concrete slabs or elephants need a HD.
  • My apologies for thinking 2002 Ram not all new. Been enlightened about new frame, 4.7 engine offering etc.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    I don't mean to put down your choice of the new Ram,just pointing out why I don't like it. Looks are always a subjective matter. I have never liked the looks of any clubcab or quadcab. They just look out of proportion to me. I really prefer my '76 wasn't a clubcab but the price was right. I know I am definitely in the minority on this but I wish Dodge had kept the 318 and just updated the heads and intake to take advantage of new technology,and then develop a 5 speed automatic to go with it. But I realize that wouldn't be seen as new and trendy enough for most buyers and so the entirely new powerplant is required.

    I would wish you the best on the purchase of your new Dodge,but you don't need it,it's still a Dodge. Welcome to the world of the most obnoxiously devout motor company fans in the world,now your a Dodgeboy,your mission should you choose to except it...go thump some Chevy and Ford men.
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    No offense taken. I understood your reason the first time when you first mentioned it.

    I thank you for the welcoming into the misunderstood world of Dodge, and will assume the Dodgeboy position with moparpride. I accept your mission...where's Quadrunner500? ;)
This discussion has been closed.