Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 Origins
Dodge introduced the Ram Wagon 1500 in 1995 as a replacement for the similar Dodge Ram Wagon B150. Like its predecessor, the body-on-frame Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 can carry up to eight passengers and a cargo weight of up to 1,200 pounds. However, the 1500 debuts new features such as a smaller grille, a more sloped hood and windshield, and increased cabin space.
Unlike Dodge’s single-trim cargo vans, early Ram Wagon 1500 models are available in a base trim and upgraded SLT trim. Both trims feature a standard 3.9-liter V-6 engine paired with a three-speed automatic transmission. The Ram Wagon 1500 can also be fitted with an optional 5.2-liter V-8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. Both trims come with rear-drive systems and a standard five-person seating configuration. An optional third-row seat increases seating capacity to eight. The SLT trim level was discontinued after 1999, leaving the base model and a long list of individual options.
Dodge replaced the Ram Wagon 1500 with the Mercedes-Benz-based Dodge Sprinter in 2003.About the Dodge Ram Wagon 1500
The Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 is best known as a basic but capable full-size passenger van.
An available third-row bench seat increases seating capacity to eight, making the Ram Wagon 1500 convenient for everything from school field trips to church group outings. Base models are on the bare-bones side, but conveniences such as power windows, a rear heater, and cloth seating (as opposed to the standard vinyl in earlier models) can be added as individual options.
When equipped with the available V-8 engine, the Ram Wagon 1500 produces 220 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. An optional 5.9-liter V-8 available on all models increases output to 335 lb-ft of torque. Of course, the strength and power come at a cost. When fitted with the 5.2-liter V-8, the Ram Wagon 1500 earns an EPA-rating of 12/14 mpg city/highway. To compensate for the low gas mileage, the Ram Wagon 1500 contains a 32-gallon gas tank.Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 Features
The last Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 rolled off the assembly line in 2003.
The 2003 Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 comes standard with a 3.9-liter V-6, producing 225 horsepower. However, many Ram Wagon 1500 vans have been upgraded to the Dodge Ram Wagon 3500’s standard 5.2-liter, 225 horsepower V-8 engine. A 5.9-liter V-8 is also optional.
By 2003, features on the previous SLT trim had been integrated into a single base model. Standard equipment on the base 2003 Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 includes 15-inch steel wheels, all-season tires, two rear side-hinged doors, variable intermittent windshield wipers, bucket front seats, cloth upholstery, power steering, anti-lock brakes, 12-volt front power outlets, front cup holders, front reading lights, a clock, air-conditioning, rear ventilation ducts, and a six-speaker stereo with an AM/FM radio.
Individual options include alloy wheels, chrome-clad wheels, a chrome step bumper, power locks and windows, limited-slip rear differential, cruise control, sunscreen glass, a rear-window defroster, keyless entry, automatic dimming lights, a power driver’s seat, and an upgraded audio system with a cassette player and CD player. A camper/towing package outfits the van with a trailer hitch and towing accessories.
The 2003 Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 measures 192.6 inches in length, 79.1 inches in height, and 78.8 inches in width. It has a wheelbase of 109.3 inches and a gross vehicle weight of 6,600 pounds. Inside the van, the front passenger and driver receive 38.9 inches of headroom, 39 inches of legroom, 65.7 inches of hip room, and 65.7 inches of shoulder room. Rear passengers have 39.2 inches of headroom, 40.6 inches of legroom, 65.5 inches of hip room, and 66.3 inches of shoulder room.
Dodge offers eight exterior colors and two interior color schemes.Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 Evolution
When the Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 replaced the Ram Wagon B150 in 1995, it added fancier wheel options, under-seat cargo storage, and a driver’s-side airbag with knee bolsters. Two trims are available on early models: the base 1500 and an upgraded 1500 SLT. The SLT trim adds cup holders, cloth interior trim, and seat map pockets. Both models come standard with a 3.9-liter V-6, though a 5.2-liter V-8 is available.
For 1997, Dodge updated its passenger vans with new stereo systems and wider rear cargo doors. 1998 brought a longer list of options, another sound system, and standard dual airbags. Dodge also improved the Ram Wagon’s brakes and adjusted the placement of the optional V-8 engine in an attempt to reduce noise. In 1999, a 5.2-liter Compressed Natural Gas V-8 engine became optional for fleet customers only.
By 2000, Dodge had pared down its Ram Wagon 1500 lineup to a single base trim that includes features from the former SLT option. Base models come standard with cup holders and map pockets. Hood-mounted windshield-washer nozzles and a six-speaker stereo system come standard on these models as well. 2001 brought the addition of a towing package and new tilt steering wheel settings.