If you think competition in the crossover/SUV segment is fierce, try lasting a quarter mile in the half-ton truck ring. Arguably, demands are higher for these rough-and-tough trucks since they have to not only deliver when it comes to payload, durability, and longevity but also style and class.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge’s smallest truck model. But don’t be fooled by the youngest Dodge half-ton. It’s got enough might to take control of any sandbox.
The 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 will be offered with two engine variants: a 3.6-liter V6 and a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Dodge reports power ratings on the V6 to be 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, with the Hemi boasting 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Models can be purchased with either a two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive, eight-speed transmission setup.
Customers can choose from the following colors on their all-new 2019 Dodge Ram 1500:
- Ivory Tricoat
- Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat
- Billet Silver Metallic Clear-Coat
- Bright White Clear-Coat
- Rugged Brown Pearl-Coat
- Black Forest Green Pearl-Coat
- Patriot Blue Pearl-Coat
- Delmonico Red Pearl-Coat
- Flame Red Clear-Coat
- Maximum Steel Metallic Clear-Coat
- Blue Streak Pearl-Coat
- Granite Crystal Metallic Clear-Coat
Dodge also offers two-tone coloring schemes on select trims. The above colors can be paired with either RV Match Walnut Brown Metallic Clear-Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear-Coat, or Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat, dependent upon which trim package is selected.
The Ram 1500’s 3.6-liter V6 engine achieves 20 city and 25 highway EPA-estimated mpg when purchased with a two-wheel-drive transmission, while four-wheel-drive transmissions are capable of 19 city and 24 highway mpg.
Dodge’s 5.7-liter V8 Hemi is both larger and thirstier. In two-wheel drive, this powerplant achieves 15 city and 22 highway mpg, but when equipped with the eTorque system, those numbers jump to 17 and 23 mpg respectively. Engines paired to four-wheel-drive transmissions begin at 15 city and 21 mpg, while eTorque variants nearly equal the two-wheel-drive eTorque numbers at 17 city and 22 highway mpg. Though the eTorque system is not a true hybrid setup, it does allow the stop-start system to work better and acts a bit like a turbo, adding short bursts of power at times.
Entertainment and Safety Features
Though the 2019 Ram 1500 has not yet been rated by the NHTSA, it did receive “Good” in all categories from the IIHS. Advanced safety features on the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and a self-parking system. The amount of driving aids customers can take advantage of depends on which trim they choose.
There are six trim levels on the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500, including the Ram Rebel, Dodge’s challenger in the head-to-head battle against the Ford Raptor. Let’s take a closer look at those trims:
Aptly named for those looking to get the most out of their work truck without having to worry about taking care of leather or fancy trim pieces, the Tradesman is powered by the 3.6-liter V6 engine. Inside, customers will find cloth seating and a folding rear seat. Finishing the minimalist base model are 18-inch wheels, vinyl flooring, automatic headlights, a locking tailgate, Bluetooth, a five-inch touchscreen, and a rearview camera.
Big Horn/Lone Star
Known as the Lone Star trim in Texas, the Big Horn edition adds tinted windows, 20-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and larger fuel tanks to the mix. Unless you’re looking for a work truck, you might consider this model to be the true “base” offering from Dodge.
If the name wasn’t enough, the features of the Ram 1500 Rebel speak volumes as to what Dodge believes most buyers will use this model for. With additional LED fog lights, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, an electronic-locking rear axle, and fortified shocks and suspension, there’s not much on the road — or offroad — the Rebel can’t conquer.
For the Cadillac of the lineup, choose the Laramie model, which features leather seats, heated and cooled front seats, power-adjustable pedals, a heated steering wheel, and keyless entry. Front and rear parking sensors mean you only have to find the parking spot since the truck does the backing in for you.
For that extra shiny touch, choose the Longhorn edition. The 20-inch wheels will set off the chrome side steps, automatic high beams, and a spray-in bed liner. Interior accouterments include upgraded leather draped over front bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel made of wood, navigation, and even a CD player for that nostalgic touch, of course.
The most expensive trim level includes standard adjustable air suspension, power-retractable side steps, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Combining the best interior accents with the finest exterior touches, this trim level will cost you a pretty penny, but gets you around in a style that’s capable of holding its own.
How the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Stacks Up
No matter the trim level, many experts reported enjoying the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500. Kelley Blue Book calls the acceleration smooth and notes that ride quality is one of Dodge’s strong suits when it comes to the Ram platform. The reclining rear seats and completely-flat rear floorboard scored big points with the KBB experts.
Edmunds reported they preferred the Big Horn edition. Consumer Reports mentioned the “intoxicating muscle car soundtrack when the throttle is pushed hard,” which many of Dodge’s vehicles are known for. Even below the sound of the engine’s roar, you’d be hard-pressed to hear much of the road beneath you in that sumptuous, quiet cabin.
As you might already know, the Dodge Ram 1500 competes against the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra, the Nissan Titan, and the Honda Ridgeline. Dodge and Ford have historically led the pack in a domestic titan vs. domestic titan struggle, but with the Toyota Tundra growing ever larger and Nissan kitting out their half-ton with the Cummins diesel engine, there’s bound to be quite a shakeup in the works. The strong can no longer rest on their laurels when it comes to the truck segment.
- Variety of options for all budgets
- Well-appointed half-ton truck
- Possible diesel powerplant available in 2020
- Some competitors offer higher towing capacities
- No diesel option available currently
- Debatable reliability
The 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 is a strong pick when it comes to the interior, exterior, and under-the-hood capabilities. Named MotorTrend’s Truck of the Year for 2019, the Ram 1500 brings the best of Dodge to the table and puts up a strong fight. Though the diesel powerplant is absent for 2019, we expect it to come back in such a way that Ford, Chevy, GMC, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan won’t be able to dodge.