2019 Ram 1500 Preview
Christian Wardlaw | Jan 14, 2018
- Redesigned, full-size, half-ton pickup truck
- Quad Cab and Crew Cab body styles
- 3.6-liter V-6 or 5.7-liter V-8 engine
- Standard eTorque mild hybrid electrification
- Maximum towing of 12,750 lbs.
- Maximum payload of 2,300 lbs.
- Larger, quieter, more accommodating interior
- Slew of new driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems
- Available Uconnect 4C infotainment with 12-in. touch-screen display
- Tradesman, HFE, Big Horn, Laramie, Longhorn, Limited trim levels
- Built in Sterling Heights, Michigan
IntroductionExactly a decade ago, Dodge introduced a new Ram pickup in Detroit, complete with a stampede of cattle through the economically decimated city’s streets.
Ten years later, much has changed. Detroit is on a revitalization trajectory, parent company Chrysler is now a part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the Dodge Ram is now just the Ram, and advanced technology has made its way into full-sized pickups.
Nevertheless, news of a completely redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 light-duty, full-size pickup truck is worth celebrating, and FCA pulled the wraps off its big new baby in Detroit, at the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Built in Michigan, the new Ram 1500 will be available in Quad Cab long bed and Crew Cab short- and long-bed styles, and in Tradesman, HFE, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited trim levels.
Exterior FeaturesRam says the new 1500 is designed to an “Unbreakable Interlocking” theme, especially up front, where no less than six different grille styles will be available, depending on trim level.
Longer and wider than the truck it replaces, the 2019 Ram pickup’s crew-cab wheelbase grows by 4 ins., adding lots of interior room. Despite the increase, Ram says the new truck’s turning radius is 46.2 ft., curb to curb.
Ram also claims that the new 1500 is the most aerodynamic full-size pickup, with a coefficient of drag measuring as low as .357 thanks to active grille shutters and a standard active front air dam that lowers 2.5 ins. at 35 mph. An optional air suspension lowers the truck more than half an inch at 35 mph.
Ram also raised the bed rails 1.5 ins. to improve airflow, and a stamped steel rear bumper offers stepping pads for easier bed access. A new aluminum tailgate has an integrated spoiler to make the truck as slippery as possible as it cruises down the highway.
Speaking of the tailgate, it has lift-assist and an electronic latch-and-lock system, which allows it to be locked or unlocked and dropped from the cab, the remote key fob, or the passive entry system. Weatherproof, locking, and drainable RamBox storage continues for 2019, now with a 115-volt power outlet and improved illumination. A tri-fold, locking bed tonneau cover is an option.
The new Ram 1500 is offered in 12 colors and a variety of 2-tone paint schemes. There are 16 new wheel designs ranging in size from 18 to 22 ins. in diameter, and buyers can upgrade to LED headlights, fog lights, and taillights.
Interior FeaturesDue to its greater exterior dimensions, new 2019 Ram is said to have “the most spacious interior” in its class. Not only that, but Ram promises the “highest quality materials” and a quieter cabin due to Active Noise Cancellation and acoustic glass. A modular design approach offers Ram greater ability to customize interiors, depending on the trim level.
Ram says the new truck doubles the interior storage capacity of the next most accommodating competitor. The center console alone allows for 12 different storage configurations, depending on the owner’s requirements, and can hide a 15-in. laptop computer. Among the various storage solutions, a handy open shelf is located on the dashboard, and in higher trims features a retractable cover.
Crew-cab versions are said to offer class-leading rear legroom. The rear seat slides and reclines, and a flat rear load floor features integrated Ram Bins with tie-down rings. Beneath the rear-seat cushion, expandable storage enhances utility.
Occupants should be more comfortable thanks to a new climate system supplying up to a 50% increase in airflow. The system is quieter than before, and has larger defroster vents to clear the windshield in a hurry. Two 115-volt, 3-prong, household-style electrical outlets are available within the Ram’s cabin.
Under the HoodThe 2019 Ram 1500 is equipped with a standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine rated to make 305 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 269 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.
A 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine is available, cranking out 395 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 410 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,950 rpm. For 2019, the V8’s Fuel Saver Technology cylinder-deactivation system operates more frequently in order to conserve fuel, according to Ram.
Both engines are equipped with FCA’s eTorque mild hybrid electrification system, which debuted in the redesigned Jeep Wrangler JL. It includes a belt-driven motor generator and a 48-volt Lithium-ion battery to add torque assist right off the line (90 lb.-ft. for the V-6 and 130 lb.-ft. for the V-8), to provide brake-energy regeneration, and to power the automatic engine start/stop system.
Each engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission engineered to maximize fuel economy, and operated using a rotary eShift dial. Ram also equips the truck with a more aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut Off system, which operates when the truck is coasting in order to save gas. Part-time and full-time 4-wheel-drive systems are available, engaged using buttons on the center console rather than a lever.
When properly equipped with the new Max Tow package, the 2019 Ram 1500 can tow a trailer weighing up to 12,750 lbs. Maximum payload for the new Ram is 2,300 lbs.
On average, the 2019 Ram 1500 loses 225 lbs., nearly half of that weight loss attributable to a new frame composed of 98% high-strength steel. Ram also employs aluminum for various mechanical components, helping to lighten the truck.
The new Ram continues to use a 5-link rear coil suspension design for better articulation than a traditional leaf spring design can supply. New Frequency Response Dampers supply what Ram says is the best ride, handling, and comfort in a pickup truck, and the company claims a significant improvement in roll stiffness.
A new 4-corner air suspension benefits Ram buyers with added ride and handling benefits, plus load-leveling, improved fuel economy, greater off-roading capability, and the ability to lower the truck for easier entry and exit.
Nearly all Ram 1500 trims can be optioned with a new 4x4 Off-Road package. It adds a 1-in. lift with or without the air suspension, a new electronic-locking rear differential, 32-in. on/off-road tires, new Bilstein shocks with unique rear tuning for trail work, skid plates, tow hooks, and a hill-descent control system.
The Ram Rebel includes these items, and Rebel availability expands to Quad Cab models for 2019. Rebels feature unique 18-in. aluminum wheels wrapped in 33-in. Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Air suspension is now optional for the new 2019 Ram Rebel, rather than standard.
Ram installs what it calls the largest front brakes in the segment, measuring 14.9 ins. An electronic parking brake helps to save weight in the new Ram 1500.
SafetyIn addition to a stronger frame and structural design that is engineered to deflect crash energy away from the Ram 1500’s cabin, this new truck is offered with a long list of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies.
Highlights include an adaptive cruise control system with stop, go, and hold capability. A new 360-degree surround-view camera system features a top-down vantage point, and adaptive headlights help the driver to see around curves and corners.
Additionally, the new Ram features forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, ready-alert front braking, rear automatic braking, and trailer-sway damping control. The blind-spot monitoring system includes trailer coverage and rear cross-traffic alert, and the Ram can be fitted with a lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist system.
TechnologyMultiple infotainment systems are offered for the new Ram 1500. Standard equipment in lower trims includes Uconnect 3 with a 5-in. display and Bluetooth connectivity.
A Uconnect 4 system with an 8.4-in. touch-screen display adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and SiriusXM Guardian services with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, 911 Call, Assist Call, and other features. Subscribe to Uconnect Access in order to use voice-to-text message dictation, among other convenient services. Navigation is available with this system.
A new, fourth-generation, Uconnect 4C infotainment system debuts in the new Ram. It features a 12-in. configurable touch-screen display with split-screen capability, navigation, and a free AllAccess subscription to new SiriusXM 360L service for the first year of ownership. A satellite radio and on-demand streaming service, 360L aims to deliver a personalized listening experience, supplying greater variety, on-demand audio selections, recommendations, and more.
New for 2019, an available Harman-Kardon premium surround- sound system pumps 900 watts of power through 19 speakers. The new Ram also features 5 USB ports (two charge-only in back) and most of them are of the C/A variety, supplying charging capability that is four times faster than a standard USB. The Ram’s available wireless charging pad can hold a small tablet computer.
Another upgrade is called ParkSense, which steers the truck into parallel and perpendicular spaces while the driver operates the brake and gas pedals, and the transmission. A tire-fill alert system is also new for 2019, chirping the horn when you’re filling the tires with air and have reached the recommended pressure.
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