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2004 Dodge Ram 2500

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2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Review

One of the best trucks to own if you need a truck to tow or haul on a regular basis.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The three-quarter ton 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck is part of the third generation. It has more power, better towing capacity, better payload capacity, and better handling than the second generation. It also shows off an updated styling of the interior and exterior over the second generation.

The Ram look finds inspiration from big semi-trucks. The original version of the Dodge Ram, the Ram 250, saw production from 1981 to 1993. The second generation stayed in production from 1994 to 2002, and the third generation of the Ram arrived in 2003. The second generation comes equipped with a 5.2-liter, V-8 engine and a 5.9-liter Cummins turbo-diesel engine remains optional. The quad cabs come with rear-hinged rear doors that open up to a spacious rear seat. In 1998, the Dodge Ram got a restyled interior and passenger airbags with a cutoff switch. In 2000, Dodge discontinued its club cab and made improvements to the suspension and steering performance.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck, quad cab pickup truck
Engines: 5.7-liter V-8, 6.7-liter inline six-cylinder, 5.9-liter inline six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Ram 2500 ST, Dodge Ram 2500 SLT, Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie

What's New

In 2003, Dodge decided to completely remake the Ram truck by retooling the suspension and steering to provide better handling on the road and a better ride than its predecessor. The 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 gets an automatic transmission for the Cummins engine and the Laramie receives a restyled grille, body molding, and interior accents. Dodge also makes Bluetooth available as an option and creates a new Off-Road package that includes a navigation system. The manufacturer drops the V-10 engine from its roster.


The 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 comes standard with 17-inch wheels with all-season tires, chrome bumpers, trailer wiring, and variable intermittent windshield wipers. The SLT trim adds remote power locks, power heated mirrors, and cruise control. The Laramie trim has 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, and an engine hour meter.

The standard bed length measures only six and one-quarter feet while the SLT and Laramie models can get the optional eight-foot bed. While the standard bed length may seem a little short, it can hold a payload of 2790 pounds. The maximum towing capacity reaches 13,200 pounds. The eight and one-half foot bed has a payload capacity of 3200 pounds.


The interior standard features of the 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 include air-conditioning, power steering, 12V power outlets, and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player. The SLT trim adds a tilt steering wheel, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a height-adjustable passenger seat, a CD-controller stereo with four speakers, a trip computer, and external temperature display. The Laramie trim adds a height-adjustable eight-way power driver’s seat, a height-adjustable passenger seat, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with built-in cruise controls, adjustable pedals, an in-dash CD-controller stereo, and an optional navigation system and Bluetooth.

The interior seems well-built and functional. The quad cab has 40/20/40-split front bench seats and the rear seat folds down. The standard vinyl interior comes from good quality and the leather interior in the Laramie feels comfortable.

Performance & Handling

The 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 comes standard with a 5.7-liter, V-8 engine that produces 383 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. It comes equipped with rear drive and a five-speed manual transmission. The independent suspension system consists of short and long arm front and solid live axle rear suspensions. The optional 6.7-liter, inline six-cylinder, Cummins turbo diesel engine gets 350 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.

This truck displays good performance, but the ride feels bumpy when driven over uneven pavement due to the tight suspension. The steering feels sure and makes the truck easy to maneuver, but the rear wheels tend to spin on wet pavement with no load in back. The engine produces a husky, sports car growl when revved, but it remains quiet for daily driving.


The standard safety features on the 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 include a four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), vented front disc and solid rear disc brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and child seat anchors. The Laramie trim adds an anti-theft remote alarm system, an engine immobilizer, and fog lights.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Ram 2500 ST: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Dodge Ram 2500 SLT: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie with Cummins engine: 18/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Large payload capacity
  • Impressive towing capacity
  • Powerful engines
  • Comfortable and practical interior
  • Lots of safety features
  • Comfortable ride

You Won't Like

  • Fewer body options than competitors
  • No high-torque gas engine available
  • Short standard bed

Sum Up

One of the best trucks to own if you need a truck to tow or haul on a regular basis.

If You Like This Vehicle

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  • Nissan Titan

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