The Ram pickup has a long history of being one of the most dependable pickup trucks around. Formally manufactured by Dodge, but currently sold by the offshoot Ram Trucks (part of the Fiat/Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/etc… auto group), the Ram is now in its fifth generation of production, dating back to 1981. The 2019 models will be the very first of the “fifth-generation” Ram trucks, now manufactured in Michigan. The 2019 Ram 1500 was unveiled at auto shows in early 2018.
If you are considering a new truck purchase in the near future, here’s everything you need to know about one of the best selling models in North America.
The Ram 1500 is designed to compete directly with the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado in the “light duty” category. If you need something more powerful and rugged, you can look into the Ram 2500 or 3500. But for most people, the 1500 is more than enough for towing the family boat or trailer or traversing around the work site. The Ram is rated to tow up to 12,750 pounds and can carry up to 2320 pounds in the bed. That’s quite a bit more than previous models of the truck. However, these maximum numbers are only achievable with the “Max Tow” optional feature, so the standard version of the truck will be slightly less capable.
The frame and body of the new Ram are made of high-strength low-alloy steel, but still manages to lose about 225 pounds in weight from the previous years. Like most similar pickups, the Ram uses aluminum in some places (hood, tailgate) to reduce overall weight.
There are a couple different configurations here, depending on your needs and what trim level you decide on. There’s the standard 3.6L Pentastar VVT FlexFuel V6 engine, or a 5.7L HEMI V8 option. Both offer fully automatic eight-speed transmissions, and have the option to feature Ram’s eTorque system, which converts the truck into a mild hybrid for better fuel economy.
The V6 engine offers 305 horsepower, while the V8 can generate 385 hp. Adding the eTorque system can briefly increase the truck’s total torque capabilities by roughly 100 lb-ft, by using a small battery that is powered by regenerative braking. Neat!
There is no diesel option yet, although a 3.0L EcoDiesel version of the Ram 1500 is currently slated to arrive in 2020.
There are seven different trim levels for the 2019 Ram, ranging from the base Tradesman model, up to the following six models (in order): HFE, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Laramie Limited. The Rebel is geared more towards adventuring (more on that in a minute), while the Laramie models are pure luxury.
The interior is extra roomy, especially in the backseat — 45.2 inches of legroom in the new crew cab models. Each trim level features its own interior design theme, with different materials and color schemes. Obviously, the higher trim level you want to buy, the more luxurious the interior will be.
The cab features lots of storage space, dual climate control, steeling wheel mounted controls, and a complete infotainment system (which gets even cooler if you shell out for the advanced model). There are a ton of convenient upgrades (more on these below) that will turn the interior of your new Ram 1500 into a comfy extension of your living room, if you so desire.
Ram makes a minor cosmetic change with the grille, abandoning the traditional crosshair design in favor of a bold RAM nameplate across the front. In the rear, the RamBox storage containers on either side of the bed return from previous years, including one with an AC power outlet on the driver’s side. Whether you are storing important tools or using them as a makeshift cooler for camping or tailgating, the RamBox features are super convenient. They are only available on the shorter bed crew cab version of the truck, though.
Speaking of cab options, there is a choice of a smaller quad cab or a larger crew cab. You can also select between a 6’4″ or a 5’7″ box length.
The new Ram is available in the standard colors you would expect, but our favorite is probably Pearl Red.
Along with all the standard safety features you would expect in a brand new vehicle, the Ram 1500 offers additional ones like blind-spot monitoring (including a trailer, when attached), 360-degree camera system, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beams. Plus it’s giant truck made of high strength steel that rides much higher than your standard sedan. In short, you’ll feel plenty safe in the Ram 1500.
Off Road Capabilities
If you’re planning to take your new truck off the pavement often, consider the Rebel trim level. It includes the available 4×4 Off-Road package, with a bunch of extra features and technology to make your trips through the sand, mud, or snow extra easy. The Rebel has an extra inch suspension lift over the standard version of the Ram 1500, an electronic locking rear-differential, exposed tow hooks, skid plates, and a hill descent control.
Also coming with the Rebel are beefier tires — in this case, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac models.
The newly designed grille isn’t just for show. Behind it, live shutters open and close to help make the Ram more aerodynamic at high speeds. That’s not the only bit of technology that will help increase efficiency though. Some versions of Ram also come with a front splitter and will automatically lower the suspension by 2.5″ when the truck travels faster than 35 mph. Slight tweaks to the hood, bedsides, and tailgate also help the 2019 Ram reduce its drag.
If you spring for one of the more high end trim levels, you’ll get plenty of extra perks. Some of the luxury options include heated and cooled rear seats, panoramic sunroof, 12-inch touchscreen, uConnect 4 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and even split-screen formats.
Even the less expensive models still come with a (smaller) touchscreen display, with available navigation.
Some of the other options available on the new Ram, if your heart (and wallet) desires, are a 124-L fuel tank, 4-corner air suspension, tow mirrors, LED bed lighting, heated seats and steering wheel, leather seats, rear parking assist, remote start, bed liners, power running boards, a 19-speaker sound system, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-path detection. And that’s not even all of them.
The pricing for the base model starts around $32,000 and can go all the way up to $80,000+ depending on how many optional features you choose to add.