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What’s the Best Ram 1500 You Can Get for $30,000?

While the price of the average new truck seems to be creeping higher by the day, the used market is ripe with value, leaving buyers with a variety of options. Here we’ll discuss what someone with a budget of $30,000 should look for in a Ram 1500 pickup.

Model Year

The Ram pickup is all-new for 2019, but even the simplest Tradesman models come with a base price of around $33,000. That means that anyone looking for a Ram 1500 for $30,000 should turn to the used market. The outgoing previous-generation Ram was offered from 2009 through 2018, with a variety of updates implemented throughout the years. We recommend buyers look for a 2013 or newer model, as the Ram 1500 received a major update for the 2013 model year. In the years following, the Ram 1500 would go on to receive a variety of smaller updates with each passing model year, involving new trim levels and updates to the infotainment system. The 2016 model introduced an upgraded infotainment system with Bluetooth audio connectivity and an aux port, among a few other things, while Android Auto and Apple CarPlay weren’t added until 2018.

It’s important to remember while you’re looking for a Ram 1500 pickup that the vehicle was sold as a Dodge Ram 1500 for the 2009 and 2010 model years. Chrysler spun Ram off as its own brand in 2010, and its midsize pickup offering became known as the Ram 1500 starting with the 2011 model year.


The 2009-2018 Ram 1500 was offered with a few different engines throughout its ten years on sale, but three stand out. For those not needing to tow and haul heavy items, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 makes 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. A workhorse 5.7-liter V8 offers 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Finally, for anyone looking for a diesel option, a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 was offered starting in 2014 and offers advantages with regard to towing capacity and fuel economy.

Overall, we see the 5.7-liter V8 as the best option, as it provides ample power and allows you to get the most out of your truck when it comes to towing and hauling.

Right now there are over 1,000 2013-2019 Ram 1500s listed on Autotrader with the 5.7-liter V8 for around $30,000.

Configuration, Trim Level, Mileage

With a budget of $30,000, buyers looking for a Ram 1500 have a variety of configurations and trim levels to choose from. While truck buyers all have different needs and we can’t possibly recommend one solution for everyone, a 4-wheel-drive-equipped crew cab Ram 1500 fitted with the standard 6.5-ft bed length would seem to provide a good balance when it comes to work, play and hauling the family around.

Ram is famous for offering a variety of different trim levels and special editions, making it a bit challenging to decipher used listings. Needless to say, there’s a lot to sift through, but buyers should probably search for a Laramie or Laramie Longhorn model. If you’re willing to accept a few miles on the odometer, any of these trim levels offers a variety of amenities like heated leather seats and premium audio, and each should provide good value.

There are currently around 400 2013-2018 Ram 1500 pickups listed on Autotrader with fewer than 75,000 miles that fall into this category for under $30,000.


With so many Ram 1500 pickups listed for sale on Autotrader, buyers have a wide variety of engines, model years, trim levels and configurations to choose from at the $30,000 price point. While newer work trucks, older luxury models and everything in between are in play, we think buyers should seek out a 2013-2018 Ram 1500 Laramie or Laramie Longhorn equipped with the well-rounded 5.7-liter V8.

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