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What’s the Best Ram 1500 You Can Get for $40,000?

With so many new and used options to choose from, finding the right pickup can be a bit of a headache. We’re here to help though. Below we’ll take a look at what buyers should look for in a Ram 1500 for around $40,000.

Model Year

While the 2019 Ram pickup is all-new, only the entry-level Tradesman model is available for under $40,000 when you factor in essentials like 4-wheel drive. While the 2019 model is a giant improvement over the outgoing 2009-2018 Ram 1500, given the vehicle’s pricing structure, we can’t help but recommend a slightly used 2016-2018 model over an all-new example, as this will allow buyers to afford options like a sunroof, a larger infotainment screen and heated seats, while remaining under the $40,000 mark.

Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t taking into account any available dealer incentives. Typically when a vehicle is all-new, pricing incentives are kept to a minimum, but it’s worth checking with your dealer in this case as the 2019 Ram offers some major improvements over the outgoing model.

Engine

While the 2019 Ram itself is all-new, its engine options are not, so buyers can rest assured that they aren’t missing out on any new and revolutionary powertrains by opting for a used example. While a V6, V8 and even a diesel option are available, buyers will find the most value in the 5.7-liter V8, which offers ample power for towing and hauling.

Configuration, Trim Level, Mileage

The reason trucks are available in so many different configurations is the fact that truck buyers have a litany of different needs. While this makes it impossible to recommend one particular cab or bed length as the best configuration for everyone, it’s hard to argue against a 4WD crew cab model in the standard bed length, as this provides a little bit of everything, including room for the whole family, capability to go off-road when the pavement ends and space for hauling large items. Given our $40,000 budget, buyers with basic needs should look for a low-mileage 2016-2018 Laramie or Laramie Longhorn model. Buyers wanting a little extra can look for an off-road-oriented Rebel model, which adds items like a unique air-suspension system with Bilstein monotube off-road shocks, dark finish wheels with off-road tires, skid plates and a locking rear differential.

On Autotrader, there are currently around 300 V8-equipped 2016-2018 Ram 1500 Laramie and Laramie Longhorn models and around 150 Rebel models listed for around $40,000, all with fewer than 60,000 miles on the odometer.

Conclusions

Looking for a Ram 1500 for $40,000 puts buyers in an awkward place. As far as the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 goes, work-truck grade Tradesman models start at around $34,000, or $37,000 if you want 4WD, while the second least-expensive model, the Laramie, starts at $39,000 but jumps to close to $43,000 in 4WD guise. In order to get as much Ram 1500 as possible for right around $40,000, therefore, buyers should turn to the used market and seek out a nicely optioned, low-mileage 2016-2018 model in either Laramie, Laramie Longhorn or Rebel guise. We recommend opting for the 5.7-liter V8 engine, along with 4WD and the 4-door crew cab for optimal practicality.

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