Second Generation Dodge pickups (1994-2002)
Many people, including me, like the body style of the "Second Generation" Dodge pickups more than any other design. Part way thru 1998 a newer version of the Cummins diesel engine came out & I have one of the early "1998.5" models with the 4-valve-per-cylinder engine. Same block, crankshaft, etc. as the "12-valve" engine, but the "24-valve" model makes substantially more HP & torque. Only problems I've ever had (2) have been electronic & a plus for the older models is they have a mechanical fuel-injection system & transmission. And if you want to increase power on either the 12-valve or 24-valve engine it's relatively easy to do -- you can get 500-600 HP if you want to go that far -- mine makes about 300 HP / 600 ft./lbs. torque & my fuel mileage is is the same as stock (rated 215 HP, 425 ft/lbs.)
Dodge -- excuse me -- RAM commercials on TV say they are the longest-lasting pickups & I don't doubt that. I've always been a "MOPAR" fan so I'm biased. But I'm a "semi-retired" mechanical / automotive engineer, I knew exactly what I wanted when Dodge finally offered it in 1998 & I will never buy another new vehicle because I won't need to. Properly serviced, the diesel engine will go for 1/2 million miles before it needs an overhaul & it can be overhauled a virtually unlimited number of times.
The frame is very strong & so is the driveline (Dana 60 front axle, Dana 70 rear), the only weak point being the automatic transmission, which can be rebuilt to be much stronger. But my my truck has over 200,000 miles on it & I haven't needed to rebuild the transmission yet. I've pulled trailers weighing 6000 - 13,500 lbs, I have a utility trailer that weighs 1900 lbs. empty that I use fairly often & last time I hauled a load on it the scales said it weighed 10,000 lbs. The truck had no more problem pulling that than it would pulling a paperclip.