2003 Dodge Ram 1500
1-10 of 37 reviews
Test drive review

Do not buy this if you live anywhere near snow

by from on September 7, 2017

I bought this truck brand new, and have driven it for the past 15 years. All I can say is that I have been constantly disappointed with this truck. First I must say that the design of the parking ...
I bought this truck brand new, and have driven it for the past 15 years. All I can say is that I have been constantly disappointed with this truck. First I must say that the design of the parking brake is very costly if anything goes wrong. Replacement procedure for simply replacing the rear parking brake shoes requires taking apart the rear differential and pulling out the axles. Expect around $750 from the Dealer, and about $300 from your local Midas or similar shop. Second issue I had was possibly related to the above issue, as I had to have the Parking brake shoes replaced not once but twice, with the shop doing disassembly of the differential both times. After about 140k miles, I had the rear differential drive pinion fall into the housing and creating a bunch of scrap metal. After it was carefully looked at, the pinion nut broke off of the drive pinion(it did not just come loose). I ended up getting a rebuilt rear axle assembly which lasted 75k more miles and outlasted the rest of the truck. The rust on this truck is absolutely terrible. It's assumed that if you have a truck in the Northeast that you will have rust problems. However, this truck after 10 years was full of holes and I had to do a very large amount of work just to get it to pass a Pennsylvania inspection(no rust holes allowed in that state). I did a "decent" job of patching, but it didn't look pretty. I did however seal it with a hard rubber to keep it from getting worse, but when something rusts this bad this fast, you just can't keep up. After about the same 10 years, it was identified during an oil change that the oil pan was completely rusted out and leaking badly through "rust holes". Checking the rest of the truck and finding it was still strong enough to be safe at that time, I repaired the Oil Pan. Once I got to the 15 year mark, the final nail in the coffin for this truck was found. The passenger side frame rail had a crack in it, and upon further inspection, most of the metal was rusted away. The metal on the frame rail was about the thickness of a body panel, and was pretty much soft Swiss Cheese. In addition, there was about 1 to 1 1/2 in of loose rust in the frame rail(boxed frame) that had collected there. This was all from the rusting on the inside of the frame rail. Had I not found this it could have easily broken while driving down the road, and I drive this mostly on the highway so I would have been traveling 70mph if it happened. Not something that I would expect in a truck that was only 15 years old. I have had trucks in the 20-25 year old range with nowhere near this amount of rust on them, all while living in the Western NY/Northwestern PA area. Very disappointed in the frame design. I have not included some of the other things that I have repaired here, but I do consider a majority of the remaining items to be normal maintenance when dealing with a truck that is not new. I just thought that I would touch on the things that I would say are abnormal and below the level of quality that I would expect from a manufacturer when it comes to a full size truck that will actually have to do work for a living and not just be a pretty show piece in my driveway. I'm not sure if the other makers of Full Size trucks have similar problems, and I'm sure in efforts to lighten the trucks and improve fuel economy they might, but I thought I would share my experience in case anyone reading it is looking at one of these in an area where snow, and more specifically salt, is part of your normal winter driving.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

Great Pickup for the price

by from Sioux Falls, SD on August 9, 2017

This particular Ram 1500 doesn't have all the options in the world but is a very reliable vehicle. I used it primarily to drive in the snow and tow my camper and it never once let me down. I will buy ...
This particular Ram 1500 doesn't have all the options in the world but is a very reliable vehicle. I used it primarily to drive in the snow and tow my camper and it never once let me down. I will buy another dodge in the future for sure!
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Towing

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Short on power

by from Poway, Ca on August 2, 2017

Nice truck but the 3.7 engine lacks power. And the 36 gallon fuel tank hurts to fill up and at a avg. mpg of 13 you fill it up often. Interior is very bare bones could have used a little more thought...
Nice truck but the 3.7 engine lacks power. And the 36 gallon fuel tank hurts to fill up and at a avg. mpg of 13 you fill it up often. Interior is very bare bones could have used a little more thought.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Sharp, old and tough

by from Lafayette on July 30, 2017

Very decent vehicle for price, if I hadn't found a very good deal from a family member on something else I would have bought this puppy
Very decent vehicle for price, if I hadn't found a very good deal from a family member on something else I would have bought this puppy
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Not Rated Reliability

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Not the best bang for your buck

by from TYlulsa, Oklahoma on July 9, 2017

The 2003 ram 1500 had plenty of power where I'd need it, great leg room. Nice exterior style. Interior was definitely lacking some updates but it was comfy and plenty of room. Compared to a Ford F150...
The 2003 ram 1500 had plenty of power where I'd need it, great leg room. Nice exterior style. Interior was definitely lacking some updates but it was comfy and plenty of room. Compared to a Ford F150 4x4 same package for most part dodge degin of that year was much better all the way alongtd
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Not Rated Reliability

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

One of the best that I have owned.

by from California Bay Area on July 5, 2017

Accelerates with a great amount of power. Great looking truck. Interior is really comfortable. Did not do any towing with that truck. Easy to maintain.
Accelerates with a great amount of power. Great looking truck. Interior is really comfortable. Did not do any towing with that truck. Easy to maintain.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transportingfamily

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Most reliable I've owned. 176000 and still truckin

by from Eufaula ok on June 24, 2017

Roomy. Hemi is sweet. Rear passengers have lots room. Lots of storage under rear seat. Only negative is 12.5 mpg average.
Roomy. Hemi is sweet. Rear passengers have lots room. Lots of storage under rear seat. Only negative is 12.5 mpg average.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Dodge RAM Workhorse

by from Tampa Florida on June 11, 2017

This truck is a comfortable vehicle that can do hard work and heavy hauling. The only problem is that it is very thirsty. There are also some common issues with ticking noise in engine bay - this is a...
This truck is a comfortable vehicle that can do hard work and heavy hauling. The only problem is that it is very thirsty. There are also some common issues with ticking noise in engine bay - this is a common occurence.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Comfortable Allrounder

by from Tampa, Fl on June 2, 2017

It is a rugged vehicle with a very smooth ride. Enough space and easy to drive. A bit heavy on fuel.
It is a rugged vehicle with a very smooth ride. Enough space and easy to drive. A bit heavy on fuel.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Best truck I've ever owned

by from Katy, tx on May 24, 2017

I got this truck back in 2006, 11 years and still running strong. The only major issue I had was oil pump failing at around 150k miles, but that was due to sludge build up from having my sister borrow...
I got this truck back in 2006, 11 years and still running strong. The only major issue I had was oil pump failing at around 150k miles, but that was due to sludge build up from having my sister borrow it for a few months. Other than that been running strong since. Only other major maintenance work have been the brakes, wheel hub, and ball joint replacement. But for a truck 14 years old, a little pampering can't be too much. Fair gas mileage since I just drive about five miles to work and back, about two weeks on one tank of gas. I have the magnum 4.7 l v8. Quad cab slt rwd. Overall great interior space, can't find anything with so much space inside so far, even the ford excursion is a bit smaller than this ram.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Our Expert Review: 2003 Dodge Ram 1500