The Big Three, along with Toyota and Nissan, are entering a new era in modern pickup trucks. The people have spoken, and those peeps want more luxury, more safety and more POWER, while getting better fuel economy. Ram’s latest generation of their 1500, which was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show, has been completely redesigned to address those buyer demands.
INTERIOR: Let’s get right down to it. The newest feature in Ram’s 1500 (that everyone has been talking about) is also one of the biggest. Ram gave their new pickup a 12-inch touchscreen in the center dashboard! It’ll use both Apple Car Play and Android Auto, offering split-screen features to use multiple apps at once.
Ram will be using FCA’s award-winning UConnect infotainment system. Different trim levels will have tailored graphics for the screen. For example, the Laramie Longhorn will differ from the Rebel – and the graphics in the Rebel will differ significantly from the commercial version used by your landscaping crew.
A new 360-view backup camera – with both bird’s eye view and blind spot detector while towing – is a new feature for the Ram 1500. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning/pulse, hill-assist and park-assist are just some of the added driving safety technologies for 2019 Ram trucks.
At the Houston Auto Show, I was able to see the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn up close, climbing in, climbing out and climbing all around. In that details are what separate a good interior from a great one, Ram really paid attention when designing the interior. The floor mats are just one small example; they’re large and made of easily washable rubber, with removable carpet centers.
Ram even branded that Laramie Longhorn on the dash. The wood trim on the truck has the feel of a rustic barn door while still looking upscale, looking like recycled wood in a hip coffee bar. The one thing I loved (but wish I didn’t…) was the gear select cluster. When the driver changes gears he or she has an array of buttons for 4WD controls, hill descent, and axle lock. It looks great, while reminding me of a washing machine.
EXTERIOR: An all-new face for the Ram 1500 and it looks…not bad. I think the Ram Rebel looks better than the stock 1500, thanks to its prize bull-looking front grille. Nevertheless, the Ram 1500 offers more than just new looks and available two-tone paint.
The cargo boxes have LED lights to help you see inside. Ram stated that this is the strongest Ram truck to date, with 98% of its frame made of high-strength steel, while being 225 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. The only aluminum in the Ram 1500 can be found in the hood and tailgate.
SPECS AND PERFORMANCE: Two engine options will be available for the 2019 Ram 1500. The Pentastar 3.6 liter V6, producing 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft of torque, is standard. The second (optional) engine is the iconic 5.7-liter HEMI, delivering 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft of torque.
Both engines will be coupled to the Torqueflite 8-speed automatic, and have mild-hybrid technology known as e-Torque. What this does is replace the truck’s alternator with a small belt-driven motorized generator. This e-Torque system will be used to operate the Ram 1500’s stop/start function, improving fuel economy. It also adds torque to the engine’s crankshaft to help the truck get-up-and-go in certain driving conditions, using less fuel in the process.
The maximum payload of the new Ram has been increased to 2,300 pounds (say to h*ll with all those weight loss resolutions – you don’t need ‘em!), and towing is now 12, 750 pounds.
[Photos by Adam Moore]
[Stock photos from FCA]