You’ve been driving by the dealership for months now, on your way to and from work, staring longingly at the gleaming trucks parked near the road. You know it’s time for a new truck. Your truck is outdated, and the used truck market finds itself in a good place—lots of modern technology is now becoming available and, more importantly, affordable. So you’ve decided to dive head-first into your search, and are finally typing in those words filled with so much hope and promise: “used car dealerships near me.” Just typing these words brings a feeling of relief and finality: you are finally getting a new truck.
The reason for waiting, for dealing with your outdated truck the last few years, is Ram’s groundbreaking engineering and innovative tech. Your budget wasn’t such that you could afford this exciting new technology from Ram when it first debuted, but now that it is showing up in used car dealerships near you, it’s time to jump into the used car market and find a good deal. The Ram 1500 was redesigned for the 2019 model year, and while this new generation brought exciting changes, it also brought an exciting opportunity to find a deal on fourth-generation Ram trucks.
So, this is one of the sweet spots of the Ram 1500—the 2018 model year. This is where your patience pays off—now you can finally afford that Rebel trim, maybe, or a diesel engine. With so many options to consider and weigh against your budgetary constraints, let’s take a look at what features you can expect to find available to you for the 2018 model year. Remember, the 2019 model year was the first year of a major overhaul, so there might be some great deals out there.
Power and More Power
No matter which engine you end up deciding on, there isn’t a bad option with the Ram 1500 in this model year. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque while returning 17/25 MPG city/highway. This is an excellent engine for an entry-level powertrain, though if you are looking for impressive towing capacity, you might want to hold out for one of the other options.
The star of the lineup is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, with 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. At the time, no other half-ton truck featured a diesel engine, which is why you’ve been holding out for the last few years. This engine is not only powerful—it can tow up to 9,210 pounds—it delivers 29 MPG on the highway and has a total range of over 700 miles. The other engine option you might run into is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. This engine increases the towing capacity to 10,620 pounds, so you get a significant jump in capability with this engine. It also returns decent fuel efficiency ratings of 15/22 MPG city/highway.
While it’s easy to see why this year was worth waiting for, it becomes even more apparent when looking beyond just the max numbers. The Ram 1500 does many things well. But, of course, if you are into power, then the Ram has it: the Hemi V8 is one of the most powerful engines in the segment, and the 2018 Ram 1500 was the only half-ton truck to offer diesel power.
A Smooth Ride
The 2018 Ram 1500 features class-exclusive coil-spring rear suspension and available self-leveling air suspension—which is another way of saying that it drives like a luxury car, not a jittery truck. Ram was the first to shed the traditional leaf-spring rear suspension you’ll find in other trucks, which descends from horse-and-buggy technology. The more refined technology of the Ram 1500 provides a smooth ride while also being able to stand up to the heavy payload and towing demands expected of trucks. With the Ram 1500, you can tackle the tough jobs, towing and hauling with the best of them, while also having the ability to tackle carpool duty. No matter where the road leads you, you are sure to have a comfortable ride.
Now that the prices have come down, you might even be able to find a Ram 1500 with the available air suspension. With this technology, you will appreciate the improved handling and ride quality, as well as the improved ground clearance. With a push of the button, you can raise and lower the suspension for better fuel efficiency on the highway or increased off-road capability off the pavement.
The Ram 1500 is known for its interior as much as anything else, and that’s saying a lot because, between the diesel engine and air suspension, the Ram has a lot going for it. But the luxury-focused interior is roomy, practical and comfortable, with lots of technology onboard. The trim levels might be intimidating at first glance, as there are eleven of them, but after a little research, you will appreciate their breadth. Ranging from a work-truck to a luxury-truck trim, there is something for everyone. Luckily, this also means that there is a trim level for every budget. Fun features to look out for are an 8.4-inch touchscreen and Ram’s Uconnect infotainment system with onboard Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
RamBox Cargo System
The RamBox might be the most useful of innovations for the Ram. The first year to include this cargo management system was the 2009 model year, so it’s not just specific to the 2018 model year, but it is worth mentioning because of how much you will appreciate this simple yet innovative feature. These are storage containers incorporated into the Ram’s bedsides, which can be locked to secure your tools and gear. They are also weatherproof, illuminated, and drainable.
The system runs the length of the bed with bins as wide as the wheel well. Large enough to hold a set of golf clubs, toolboxes, kayak paddles, chainsaws, fishing rods, or a small air compressor, the RamBox system is a great use of space. And when you’re not working, it can double as a cooler, making it the ultimate tailgating feature.
Ram 1500 Rebel
Aside from its aggressive appearance, what else is there to like about that Rebel model you have been eyeing on your commute to work? This is the trim where you see standard off-road features like 17-inch aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, 10.3-inches of ground clearance, and the class-exclusive Active-Level Four-Corner Air Suspension. You’ll also find tow hooks, Bilstein shocks, an electronic-locking rear differential, one-inch lift, and exterior stylings like black fender flares. This trim also comes with the 5.7-liter V8 engine that creates 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, so you will have plenty of low-end torque to get you through the toughest of conditions. This model can get expensive, so you’re probably glad you waited for these premium off-road features to become more affordable.
Patience Is Your Ally
With so many exciting features to look for in your search for a used Ram 1500, you should have an easy time finding a model that fits your lifestyle and budget. Knowing which models to target in your search is the hard part, as you want to make sure you are not overpaying for the latest tech. Patience is your ally in your search for the perfect truck—and with the 2018 Ram 1500, it’s finally paying off.