The Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Cummins (Avoid This Year!)

The Dodge Cummins is legendary in the truck community but if you want to buy one, you’ll probably want to know the best and worst years for the Dodge Cummins.

Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Cummins 1 1 The Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Cummins (Avoid This Year!)

What are the best and worst years for the Dodge Cummins?

So what are the best and worst years for the Dodge Cummins? In general the 4th and 5th generations of the Cummins are much better than the previous three, with the best years for the Cummins being 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2019, and the worst being 1992, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2006.

I’ve always been a huge fan of big powerful trucks and the Dodge Cummins has become legendary for powering Ram trucks for over 30 years. Still, not all Cummins are created equal, and with data from trusted sources like Consumer Reports and, it’s easy to see exactly which model years are the best and the worst.

Dodge Cummins Generations Overview

The Cummins is a series of turbo diesel engines that Dodge has been using to power many of its Ram trucks since 1989, with all five generations of Ram trucks having included a Cummins-powered model. 

First Generation (1989-1993)

The first generation of Dodge Cummins trucks began back in 1989, and they were a huge success back in their day, you should really avoid buying any of these models today. They’re all incredibly old and have underpowered engines by today’s standards. 

They also aren’t the most reliable trucks you can buy either. Many Cummins trucks experience transmission failure, electronic issues, and overheating along with many other varying issues.

Second Generation (1994-1998)

The second generation of Dodge Cummins was released in 1994. It was a huge upgrade over the first generation, coming with a better more powerful engine and some new changes to the body and transmission.

However, while this is an improvement over the first generation, you should still stay away from these models too. They are still very old, and underpowered, and offer little more than the first generation when it comes to reliability.

Third Generation (1999 – 2003)

The third generation of Dodge Cummins came out in 1998 and only offered a few small upgrades to the previous generation. It looked almost exactly the same as the second generation but again the engine was more powerful.

This is generally considered to be the worst generation of Dodge Cummins trucks, with the 2003 model receiving the most complaints of any model year on While they are a bit newer

Fourth Generation (2004 – 2008)

The fourth generation was a huge upgrade over the generation before it, with changes affecting almost part of the vehicle, including the body design, interior, suspension, and engine. However, while the new exterior and interior styling are nice, the new more powerful engine is the best part.

Offering up to 350 horsepower and up to 650 pound-feet of torque. This was a huge improvement over the third generation, making it much more equipped for hauling and towing heavy loads. 

However, despite the upgrades and the overall good reparation on this generation, the 2006 model is one of the worst model years of the Dodge Cummins, collecting 169 complaints from owners according to, most of which were about issues with the climate control system, suspension, engine, and transmission.

Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Cummins 1 The Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Cummins (Avoid This Year!)

Fifth Generation (2009 – present)

The fifth generation, beginning with the 2009 model year, is the Dodge Cummins we know and love today. It made numerous improvements to the fourth generation and has continued to be improved upon from year to year ever since its initial release.

This new generation offered new body design options including a 4-door cab version as well as Dodge’s new Rambox system that added additional covered and secure storage in the bed of the truck. 

The power of the engine has also been upgraded incrementally throughout the whole generation. For instance, the 2010 model produced 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, however, just ten years later, the 2020 engine produced a whole 400 horsepower and an absolutely staggering 1000 pound-feet of torque.

Not to mention, because it is the newest generation, these models often possess a lot of the modern comforts you’d expect from a newer car, including Ram’s new infotainment system which was introduced in 2018 and included Apple CarPlay/Andriod Auto, a WiFi hotspot and HD radio.

What Are The Best Dodge Cummins Years?

In general, you can’t go wrong with any Dodge Cummins model year from the fourth or fifth generations, with the exception of the 2006 model year. However, the absolute best model years for the Dodge Cummins are 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2019.

In general, these model years received the best reviews and the least amount of complaints from owners. However, again with the exception of the 2006 model year, all of the other model years in these generations are great too. 

What Are The Worst Dodge Cummins Years?

If you are looking to buy a used Dodge Cummins, you should avoid all of the model years from the first, second, and third generations, however, the absolute worst model years are 1992, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2006.

As you can, again with the exception of the 2006 model which is from the fourth generation, all of the worst Cummins models are from these first three generations. While the 2003 model received by far the largest amount of owner complaints on, all of the models in these generations should be avoided as they are all very old, unreliable, prone to expensive breakdowns, and underpowered by today’s standards. 

Key Takeaways

  • The Dodge Cummins engine has been powering Ram trucks for over 30 years.
  • The best years for the Dodge Cummins are 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2019.
  • The worst years for the Dodge Cummins are 1992, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2006.
  • In general, you should avoid all Dodge Cummins model years from the first three generations.
  • In general, all model years from the fourth and fifth generations are good, reliable trucks, with the exception of the 2006 model year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I bought a 2005 4door 3500 new and liked it a lot until at 110,000 miles something happened and lost all the oil quickly. Rebuilt engine install came to 10K. It was no longer in my good graces and will never buy another one. Back to Ford who gave me great service through the years. Am 87 and still love trucks. Ford 67 was a great year.

    1. Oh man! I hate to hear that about your 3500. I agree, the Ford 67 is a great truck. I helped pull one out of the woods for a buddy to restore. I was very jealous once he was done with it.
      It was great when vehicles could be fixed with a set of hand tools and a free weekend. Thanks for your comments. It definitely helps other in the community learn.