2002 Dodge Ram Van 3500

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2002 Dodge Ram Van 3500 Review

Incredibly versatile, but aging model.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2002 Dodge Ram Van 3500 is a truck-based vehicle. It is part of a series of other Ram Vans, each specified with a number according to weight. The 3500 is the largest vehicle in the series, weighing in at a full ton. The engines have received an upgrade, but even so, the engines are old, especially the V-8s available for the 3500 series. Expect heavy gas consumption and lackluster performance in comparison to other cargo vans on the market. Although the van will serve most purposes, there are a few fresher vehicles on the market.

The Range

Body Styles: cargo van
Engines: 5.2-liter V-8, 5.9-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Ram Van 3500 MaxiVan

What's New

The Dodge Ram Van 3500 received an update in 1998. Since then, it has essentially remained the same.

Exterior

The Dodge Ram Van 3500 is a lot longer than other models in the Dodge Ram Van series. The Maxi body extends a full 26 inches behind the rear wheel. It is only available with the extended 127.2-inch wheelbase. The 3500 MaxiVan stands 82.9 inches tall. It is the heaviest in the series, weighing in at a full ton. A single swinging rear door comes standard with twin doors on the right side. Dual rear doors and a sliding side door are available options.

Interior

The Dodge Ram Van 3500 is huge. It fits eight passengers is the standard seating arrangement for the passenger van models. Cargo vans do away with the extra seating, leaving two seats in the front. The two front seats have a frustratingly small amount of legroom due to the wheel well orientation. The front bucket seats are covered in vinyl. The models have the option of adding an additional fifth-row seat that increases passenger capacity to 15. The MaxiVan has a capacity of 294.6 cubic feet, which is a lot of room for big hauling jobs. Special installations can be performed by the dealership, including the addition of partitions and shelving for workers, and a ladder rack for construction. Standard features include bucket seats, vinyl upholstery, a front console with storage, power steering, cargo area light, floor mats, clock, low fuel level warning, six speakers, and an AM/FM stereo system.

Performance & Handling

The 2002 Dodge Ram Van 3500 comes equipped with one of two V-8 engines. A 5.2-liter, V-8 engine is available and produces 235 horsepower. The 5.9-liter, V-8 engine produces 245 horsepower. Another 5.2-liter, V-8 engine is also available. This one runs on compressed natural gas. The V-8 engine uses a four-speed automatic transmission. The ancient V-8 engine under the hood has particularly bad performance. In fact, it is too big to be graded by the EPA for fuel efficiency. The 1500 model only gets 13/15 mpg city highway, a low score even by van standards. It has the highest towing capacity in the line, towing up to 4160 pounds depending on the way the van is outfitted. Driving it is what drivers would expect: numb and sometimes difficult. The suspension was updated in 1998, but the handling and steering feels much older than that.

Safety

The 2002 Dodge Ram Van 3500 comes equipped with a rear-wheel anti-lock braking system, child seat anchors, ventilated front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, front seatbelt pretensioners, and electronic brake force distribution. The NHTSA gave the Ram Van 3500 four out of four stars for driver and passenger safety, but only three out of five stars for rollover safety. The IIHS did not test it.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Ram Van 3500 Maxi: N/A

You'll Like

  • Dealer options for workers
  • Huge cargo area
  • Eight-passenger seating
  • Towing capacity

You Won't Like

  • Same design as always
  • Tight front legroom
  • Poor fuel economy

Sum Up

Incredibly versatile, but aging model.

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