With its Hemi V8, this version of the Ram is among the quickest trucks we've tested. But it's also one of the thirstiest, averaging a paltry 11 mpg. A jittery ride and cumbersome handling hurt the Ram's overall score, as did the barely adequate brakes. The cabin is a bit noisy, and access is very difficult. On the plus side, our Ram had a large cargo bed and tows more than 8,000 pounds.
Alerts
There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC available, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags available from 2002, standard from 2009.
Road Test

With its Hemi V8, this version of the Ram is among the quickest trucks we've tested. But it's also one of the thirstiest, averaging a paltry 11 mpg. A jittery ride and cumbersome handling hurt the Ram's overall score, as did the barely adequate brakes. The cabin is a bit noisy, and access is very difficult. On the plus side, our Ram had a large cargo bed and tows more than 8,000 pounds.

Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
regular cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 3.7-liter V6 (215 hp)
  • 4.7-liter V8 (235 hp)
  • 5.7-liter V8 (345 hp)
  • 8.3-liter V10 (500 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

"Truck is not garaged and bumpers are rusting"

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7-L V8)

"Truck always outside, however kept clean and salt removed quickly. Rust seems to start at poor weld points"

Steven R., NJ (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"The wheel wells are doubled lined. Dirt and moisture gets between and can not be cleaned out. Eventually it rusted through. Inside to outside"

Stephen D., BC (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"Above both rear wheels by the fuel cap, both front doors and numerous other places the truck is rusting from the inside out. Bubbling from under paint. I talked to Dodge about it but they wouldn't do anything about it. This is my last Dodge!"

James C., MO (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"Rust at the bottom of tailgate. I believe this is due to poor welds. Have been repairing this area for years. Other rust spots have to be expected on a 13 year old truck in the northeast"

Steven R., NJ (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"Rust throughout truck. Seems to be an issue with this particular model year +-. Rear tire wells, tailgate, around gas cap"

Matthew B., IL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"paint peeled off of rocker panels"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"The truck has been always cleaned and had detailed cleaning and rust prevention for over 8 yrs. and now the rear bumper needed replaced. Plus rust in the body and doors."

George Z., PA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7-L V8)

"Body rust - Bed, chassis rust, exhaust pipe lasted 2 years"

Steven R., NJ (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Installed new ball joints myself at a cost for parts of $70 from Detroit Axle. It took me aproximately 6 hours to do all four."

Anonymous, MO (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)

"Factory upper control arm is cast aluminum and non-greasable ball joint. Upgrade replacements are steel and include grease fitting for upper ball joint."

Patrick J., MA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"They wore out and needed to be replaced, it was an expensive repair."

John R., FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"Ball joint and tie rod neded to be replaced. Problem creates issues with tires, etc. Wasn't able to do the repair myself, so had mechanic do a very expensive repair"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Power steering leaks

"The power steering constantly leaks and is hard to drive in the winter"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)

"The power steering gear was leaking and needed to be replaced, along with the tie-rod ends."

David W., MO (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Power Steering pump failure around 100k. There were warning signs, so it was no surprise and was able to be fixed without stranding the vehicle."

Patrick J., MA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Tie rods

"Normal wear -- also water pump"

Anonymous, IN (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)
Wheel bearings

"Right front hub needed replaced"

Frank M., PA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"converters were clogged resulting in engine misfires"

Ralph N., TX (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)
Exhaust leaks

"Had to replace the muffler twice and the hole exhaust system including the gas tank"

George Z., PA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7-L V8)
Exhaust manifold

"The right exhaust manifold cracked and needed to be replaced."

David W., MO (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Muffler

"Stainless steel does not last forever"

Steven R., NJ (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Other/unsure

"airbag replacement due to recall"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Pipes

"The muffler and pipes rusted mainly due to very little driving"

Bill S., OK (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7-L V8)

"tailpipe broke off muffler"

Nancy E., OH (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"Exhaust pies rotted out"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"Inside indicator does't show when in 4WD MODE, Plus hard to shift into 4WD."

George Z., PA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7-L V8)
Differential

"Replaced bearing in rear end"

Samuel B., NC (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Driveline vibration

"I noticed a driveline vibration which actually had multiple sources. Both front halfshafts had excess play and the rear u-joint dried up and caused the pinion seal to leak"

Mark O., IN (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Driveshaft or axle

"Universal joints wore out"

Bill S., OK (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7-L V8)

"The u-joint on the rear driveshaft broke and the driveshaft dropped while driving. Luckily not on the highway and from the rear differential not from the front. I could not find a new driveshaft locally and had to settle with a new u-joint. I saved a ton of money by installing it myself. That is what I like about Dodge vehicles, they are fairly easy to work on"

Richard H., VA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"Left front axle bearings failed"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

"All steering wheel controls stopped working including cruise control. The system and steering column feel cheap"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"tail light unit"

Stephen F., FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 ST 5.7-L V8)

"One of the tail light assembly had to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 ST 5.7-L V8)

"Tail light assembly had to be replaced. Electric window switches went bad. handle hold on door broke off. transmission linkage fell off."

Clara F., FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 ST 5.7-L V8)
Headlights

"Needs headlight bulb"

Anonymous, MS (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"I was told by the dealer that the ABS for the braking system needed to be replaced. However Dodge has quit manufacturing this part calling it obsolete. None are available from aftermarket venders either. I am ticked"

James C., MO (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Parking brake

"cable broke. not faulting Dodge. old vehicle. needed new rear drums and linings"

M D., ME (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Premature brake wear

"I barelt get 10K miles on the brakes"

George Z., PA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7-L V8)
Pulsation or vibration

"front rotors to small for weigh of truck"

Steven R., NJ (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Difficult to fill up gas tank

"Had to replace the gas tank vent canister and valve."

Anonymous, IL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Fuel leaks

"fuel tank leak l tank leak"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Oil leaks

"Oil pan rusted causing oil leaks"

Steven R., NJ (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Needed replacement"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7-L V8)
Fuel cap

"engine light on replaced cap engine light off"

William C., FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Fuel pump

"blown fuse/relay"

Carlos L., AL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Original Clutch replaced at 120000 miles. I got good life out it. It was replaced because it was worn out not malfunction."

L B., LA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SRT-10 8.3-L V10)

"Original clutch with 122,000 miles had little pedal left. clutch would engage only after end of pedal travel. Did not slip in use"

L B., LA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SRT-10 8.3-L V10)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"This is the second radio I have replaced, and both radios' cd player quit working. Also the computer that controls the headlights has failed three times."

Anonymous, LA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 ST 4.7-L V8)
Radio

"It quit on me the same day the radio in the van did. Same issue"

W H., TX (2004 Dodge Ram 1500)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"All of the ball joints had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)
Wind noise

"There has always been wind noise from the passenger door."

Anonymous, OH (2004 Dodge Ram 1500)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Had to replace"

Richard H., FL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

"Cool air is hard to get"

Anonymous, (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4.7-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

"Passenger window usually has to be controlled from drivers side. Will occasionally work from passenger side."

Anonymous, OH (2004 Dodge Ram 1500)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"A stuck valve."

Anonymous, IL (2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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