- 1994 Dodge Ram 1500.

The truck that rewrote the rules on pickups

In this article, I explain why MotorTrend's Truck of the Year, 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 is the truck that rewrote the rules for the pickup truck industry.

26w ago
8.4K

MotorTrend's truck of the year, the 1994 Dodge Ram 1500. The truck that rewrote the rules for pickup trucks. Those who follow my content know that I argue the 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 was the best truck Dodge produced and the truck that set a new standard for how pickup trucks are manufactured. It redefined every aspect of what a pickup truck is, comfortable, quiet, powerful and, most importantly, safe. It was also the most durable truck at that time. So much so that Chrysler had to get a patient for the frame. It had features that were not common in pickup trucks, such as standard rear-wheel antilocking brakes and standard driver-side airbags. It also out beat Ford and Chevrolet in towing and payload for this year. So besides the features, I've listed, what makes the 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 so defining?

Quiet and Comfortable. Two standards you never thought to see in a pickup truck.

Two standards in 1994 that were uncommon. Trucks were branded for working, so comfort was the least of your worries as long as the task was completed. However, the rules have changed, as Dodge put it. The truck owners' standards have been redefined as the 1994 Dodge pickup was designed as a powerful, safe and comfortable mobile office. The center console was designed to be used as a work station for your laptop computer and a space to carry your mobile phone. The truck also came with an auxiliary power outlet, so you could keep your devices charging while on the road.

And who says trucks can not be quiet? With a steeper raked flush-mounted adhesive bond windshield and triple-sealed doors, Dodge made this truck the quietest in the industry and capable for its owners to use a mobile device while driving without background noise or conduct business on even the loudest of construction sites. 1994 rewrote the rules in industry cabin quietness

Strength and Dodge. The most capable truck in its class for 1994.

1994 Payload Specifications.

1994 Payload Specifications.

Dodge managed to shatter another record in 1994 for surpassing both Ford and Chevrolet in payload capacity at 5,290 lbs on one-ton models. Dodge also knew that you needed to ensure that your cargo would be safe in the back. That's why Dodge was the first in the industry's only tie-down hooks that could hold a 2,000 lb load. It also came with the industry's most rigid step bumper with a 500 lb tongue weight capable of towing a 5,000 lb trailer. This truck came featured with a class 4 platform hitch and maximum engine and transmission cooling.

When properly equipped, this 1994 Dodge Ram can tow up to 13,600 lbs. The best in class towing capabilities of any pickup truck compared for that model year. With the 1994 Dodge Ram pickup, nothing else comes close to comparison.

The most powerful truck in its class.

The most powerful truck in its class.

Safety is Dodge's number one priority.

Who says a pickup truck can not have airbags or anti-locking brakes? At Dodge, the rules have changed. Every 1994 Dodge Ram pickup came standard with real wheel anti-locking brakes and 4-wheel optional anti-locking brakes. It also came with standard driverside airbags.

Industry-standard driver-side airbag.

Industry-standard driver-side airbag.

An industry feature that trucks of the time did not have as standard equipment. And with safety not only comes with ABS and airbags but also the strength of the frame. That's why for 1994, Dodge added high strength steel door beams for side impact protection. Making the Dodge Ram pickup leading as the safest in the industry by comparison.

1994 Dodge high strength steel, side-impact protection door beams.

1994 Dodge high strength steel, side-impact protection door beams.

Conclusion

By far, the 1994 Dodge Ram is a redefining truck and sets a new bar of standards for how pickup trucks are designed. My favourite generation of the Ram pickup is by far the best pickup truck made in 1994. Today, we have seen that the rules have changed for pickup trucks, offering features that make trucks seem more like luxury vehicles than work vehicles. Trucks are not as they once were, but we have to hand it to Dodge for pushing the pickup truck industry to a new definition of what it means to drive and own one. That is what makes the 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 the best and my favourite pickup truck.

Join In

Comments (50)

  • I think ford builds the best trucks, but I'll take a Syclone, Ram SRT, and Rebel TRX.

      5 months ago
    • Ford built decent trucks in the past. They're crap now. Ford is so consumed with selling the largest quantity that they lose sight of what really matters and that's quality.

        5 months ago
    • Yes a Chrysler vehicle is fairly easy to work on. Which I'm fortunate for.

        5 months ago
  • The weak point of that gen of Ram is the auto trans. I worked at a quick lube place for a couple of years, one day, a Ram came in, and it decided it didn't want to go into gear after we finished working on it. Eventually, I got it into gear, and it slammed into gear so violently the truck rocked back in forth a couple of times.

      5 months ago
    • The auto is a weak point, some of the frames rust, and and 1500s rust terribly everywhere. Also if my 2500 is anything to go on all the interior plastics are cracked.

        5 months ago
  • Yep

      5 months ago
  • I always liked these because of the move Twister. Little me wanted to chase tornadoes with my ex wife in a red Ram.

      5 months ago
  • God, I love first gen Rams, but the 1994 Dodge Ram was probably the greatest truck of the decade.

      5 months ago
    • True, but I'm talking about actual practical trucks. Like worktrucks.

        5 months ago
50