Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Nick asks: I just moved out of the city and am looking for a pickup truck. A friend is selling a 2014 Ram 1500 4×4 with 130k km (80k miles). It is the base trim 4×4 model with the 5.7 L V8 hemi, so has no bells and whistles and even has the good old turn-key ignition, which is a plus in my opinion.
Any thoughts on this truck, specifically in terms of reliability and any mechanical things I should look out for? I’m a torn between this and looking for a used Tundra.
My reply: With any used vehicle, a single criteria applies more than anything else: Condition.
Not make or model. Or even price. These are new car considerations. All new cars being new – and so such things as abuse, lack of proper maintenance, etc. aren’t factors. Also, they are warranted – so if anything does go awry, you won’t be paying for it. Thus, you can focus on price – the main consideration with new cars.
But a used vehicle, regardless of make or model, should be evaluated as an individual – with its own unique history. Has it been well – or poorly – cared for? That will largely determine its overall condition. Thus,my main advice is to vet this particular truck thoroughly, to establish its condition. If it checks out, then consider the price.
The Ram 1500 is a great truck. I’m a big fan of the Hemi, which is powerful, reliable engine. The historic weakness of Ram (Dodge) trucks is their tendency to rust sooner and also small trim/plastic bits coming off. But nothing major, especially as regards a truck. If it checks out, I think you’d be very happy with it.
The Tundra is also a fine truck. So it really comes down to which you prefer, which one is in the better overall condition – and which one is priced most attractively relative to its condition!
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