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2019 RAM 1500

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$32,045 s” $57,290 MSRP
25
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Crew Cab Pickup
5-6 Seats
21-23 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 8 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Interior quality regardless of trim level
  • Stunning Limited interior
  • Quiet, smooth ride
  • Spacious cabin
  • Impressive multimedia system
  • Plenty of storage, inside and out

The Bad

  • High-spec trims are heavy
  • Not much payload left on luxury versions
  • Expensive
  • Big multimedia screen shows fingerprints
  • Mild-hybrid operation not displayed
  • Brake pedal feel
hhyucar.com trophy.
2019 hhyucar.com Awards: Best Pickup of the Year
From the hhyucar.com Vehicle Test Team
2019 RAM 1500 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2019 RAM 1500
  • Five-seat full-size pickup truck
  • Rear- or four-wheel drive
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • V-6 hybrid, V-8 or V-8 hybrid powertrains
  • Optional RamBox bed-storage system
  • Available 12-inch vertical touchscreen
  • Optional air suspension

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Our Take

from the hhyucar.com expert editorial team

We finally did some driving on-road and off-road with the 2019 Ram 1500 - and even got a chance to do a little towing. Here's what we think.

By Aaron Bragman
The verdict:


Equipped with perhaps the nicest interior of any American vehicle made today, the new 2019 Ram 1500 works great as a luxury vehicle or as a work truck — but not both.

Versus the competition:


No other pickup truck (or American luxury vehicle of any type) can hold a candle to the Ram's interior, but 2019 GM pickups equipped with the 6.2-liter V-8 outgun the Ram's 5.7-liter V-8 in power and payload abilities, while the lightweight Fords tend to handle better and have superior trailering aids.

It’s rare that we get one fully redone new pickup truck in a given model year, but this year we got two automakers introducing all-new pickups. GM delivered the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra half-ton trucks, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has given us this, the new 2019 Ram 1500. Complicating matters somewhat is the continuation of the previous-generation 1500 in limited trim levels as the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic. This review focuses on the redesigned 1500.

Smooth and Strong

Initially, there’s a choice of three powertrains for the new Ram 1500. The base engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that features a standard mild-hybrid system called eTorque. It’s a 48-volt integrated starter/generator/motor that is fed from a battery pack located in the rear of the cabin wall. It operates seamlessly in the V-6, providing a little extra grunt when called for and greater efficiency when cruising. The gas-electric pairing makes 305 horsepower and 269 pounds-feet of torque; that’s competitive for a base powertrain, providing decent acceleration in an empty pickup (which is how I tested it, in a low-spec Tradesman crew-cab model). The Pentastar always has been a solid engine, and when augmented by a bit of electric boost, it’s only gotten better. My only wish is that the hybrid system’s operation was reflected in the gauges or multimedia system to let you know that it’s doing anything, as it’s almost invisible in its operation.

Y...

It’s rare that we get one fully redone new pickup truck in a given model year, but this year we got two automakers introducing all-new pickups. GM delivered the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra half-ton trucks, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has given us this, the new 2019 Ram 1500. Complicating matters somewhat is the continuation of the previous-generation 1500 in limited trim levels as the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic. This review focuses on the redesigned 1500.

Smooth and Strong

Initially, there’s a choice of three powertrains for the new Ram 1500. The base engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that features a standard mild-hybrid system called eTorque. It’s a 48-volt integrated starter/generator/motor that is fed from a battery pack located in the rear of the cabin wall. It operates seamlessly in the V-6, providing a little extra grunt when called for and greater efficiency when cruising. The gas-electric pairing makes 305 horsepower and 269 pounds-feet of torque; that’s competitive for a base powertrain, providing decent acceleration in an empty pickup (which is how I tested it, in a low-spec Tradesman crew-cab model). The Pentastar always has been a solid engine, and when augmented by a bit of electric boost, it’s only gotten better. My only wish is that the hybrid system’s operation was reflected in the gauges or multimedia system to let you know that it’s doing anything, as it’s almost invisible in its operation.

Your other options for powertrains are two versions of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, with or without the optional eTorque system. This engine comes with much more grunt s” 395 hp and 410 pounds-feet of torque, accompanied by a delicious burble from the dual exhaust pipes. Ram doesn’t provide system power specifications for the eTorque treatment but says the electric motor contributes up to 130 pounds-feet of torque to the V-8 and 90 pounds-feet to the V-6.

The model I’ve spent the most time behind the wheel of is the four-wheel-drive Limited crew-cab model featuring the eTorque Hemi V-8, optional 3.92 final drive ratio and electronic locking rear axle, so performance comments from here forward will deal with that model. This powertrain moves the big Ram much more smartly than the V-6 thanks to that boost in torque, but the advantage starts to slip as you move up in the trim levels and add weight and equipment. The operative word for the Ram V-8 is smooth s” it’s an amazingly smooth, refined, luxurious driving experience. The Ram’s Hemi doesn’t have the endless deep well of torque that the GM twins’ big 6.2-liter V-8 brings to the party, sporting 420 hp and 460 pounds-feet of torque, but it’s plenty to get the truck moving quickly and feels largely unaffected by either loading the truck to maximum payload or pulling an average-size trailer.

As with the V-6, the eTorque system is invisible in daily operation, which is a good thing compared with the clunky operation of most “full” gasoline-electric hybrids s”sbut in the case of the V-8, where you have to pay more to get eTorque, it might leave you wondering what you paid for. Ram insists otherwise, but our experience with truck buyers is such that more information is always better, especially on how the powertrain is performing. If I paid more than $2,600 for this optional system meant to save me money on fuel, I’d like to know when it’s working and what it’s doing beyond just having to do some calculations whenever I fill up the tank at the gas pump.

All of the engines are mated to Ram’s standard eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, a robust unit that gets a few internal upgrades when you move from the V-6 to the V-8 option. There are three final drive ratios available, with an optional limited-slip differential or electronic locking differential on certain 4×4 models. In a recent PickupTrucks.com comparison test at the drag strip, our Ram wasn’t the fastest from zero-to-60 mph, a fact we chalk up to the loaded truck’s prodigious weight s” 5,920 pounds, or nearly 500 pounds more than a loaded Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country with a bigger, more powerful engine that beat the Ram to 60 mph by nearly a full second. Around town, however, this becomes less of an issue, as in normal driving there is plenty of power from the Hemi, delivered with a smooth flow unmarred by any sort of rough gearshifts. It’s an excellent powertrain, just not king of the hill when it comes to truck dutyss” a fact that might be important for certain buyers.

The truck’s weight also works against it for payload capacity. If you option up a Ram 1500 for maximum abilities, you can achieve a max tow rating of 12,750 pounds and a max payload of 2,300 pounds. But load up your truck with luxury trimmings, and you’ll get what our test truck had s” a payload rating of just 1,180 pounds. Put five 200-pound guys in the cabin, and anything more than two big bags of dog food in the bed would exceed the safety ratings. That ain’t much, and it reinforces the idea that as a luxury vehicle, the Ram works beautifully s” but the trade-off for that cushiness is truck utility.

Where the eTorque V-8 powertrain shines is in fuel economy. The EPA rates the Ram 1500 4×4 with the eTorque V-8 at 17/22/19 mpg city/highway/combined, which improves upon the regular V-8’s 15/21/17 mpg by 2 mpg combined, a boost of almost 12 percent. With the eTorque option, the Hemi V-8 bests the 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic transmission combination in the GM trucks (16/20/17 mpg) and even GM’s standard 5.3-liter V-8 (15/20/17 mpg with a standard six-speed transmission), as well. The Hemi mild hybrid is also rated better than the 5.0-liter V-8 in the Ford F-150 (15/20/17 mpg) and surprisingly beats even the twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 (16/21/18 mpg). We did not perform any unloaded fuel economy testing in our latest comparison, but we did look at how it performed while pulling a 6,100-pound trailer, where the Hemi placed mid-pack in the results among other half-ton pickups.

The Silent Type

The experience of driving the new Ram is amplified by the plush surroundings. Active noise cancellation and a redesigned frame with special frame mounts create an amazingly hushed cabin environment on V-8-equipped models. A well-damped ride adds to the insulated passenger experience, be it with the standard coil-spring rear suspension (in lieu of leaf springs) or the optional air suspension. The Ram handles well enough, but it isn’t what one would call athletic or rewarding to drive aggressively. This is partly due to its highly boosted steering not providing much in the way of feedback, and partly due to its weight. While the steering is light, I did find it to be accurate and quick, with few turns lock-to-lock. Stopping the big truck isn’t the most confidence-inspiring activity, either s” the brakes have a mushy feel to them, without much initial bite. But if isolation from external elements is really your goal, you’ll find no better truck out there than the Ram 1500 for delivering such results.

The Nicest Pickup Ever Made

If using a truck as a truck is not the primary role in your household, then this next part may be more important to you. Simply put, Ram has created the nicest pickup truck ever made. The interior of the new Ram 1500 is stunning in its top Limited trim, but it’s also impressive in every trim level all the way down to the lowly Tradesman. The Limited is the one to behold, however, where all the high-quality materials abound. Rich leather covers nearly every surface, including the dashboard. Gorgeous open-pore wood is placed high and within reach, allowing you to touch and appreciate its uniqueness (good luck even finding the wood panels in a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country s” they’re located below your knees). Color choices are exceptional, with some unique two-tone options that are tasteful and classy (or opulently Wild West-themed for people into that). The steering wheel is thick, comfortable and stylish, as well. I’d go out on a limb to say that this is perhaps the nicest American luxury vehicle interior built today, challenging the Lincoln Navigator for that title and better than anything coming out of Cadillac.

Front-seat room is expansive with wide, comfortable seats and plenty of legroom and headroom. Unlike in the GM trucks’ bunkerlike environment, the seating position is high and the dash is fairly low, allowing a good view out over the hood. The Ford F-150 still has the Ram beat for visibility, however, with super-tall side glass and an even lower dashboard. Backseat legroom is cavernous s” GM may have the interior room title at the moment with its claim of best-in-class cabin space, but you won’t feel cramped in any of the current full-size crew-cab pickups except the Nissan Titan, which doesn’t feel quite as massive as its competitors.

Top-Notch Tech

The new Ram 1500 features the latest and greatest version of Uconnect, long viewed as one of the quickest, simplest, easiest-to-use multimedia systems on the market. The latest Ram takes it to the next level with a positively massive optional 12-inch, vertically oriented touchscreen that takes up most of the center control panel. It’s big, bright and easy to use, but its highly reflective screen can make direct sunlight a challenge, and it collects fingerprints prolifically. It’s reconfigurable to several different custom settings, allowing users to set preferences for appearance and usability. You can pair it with a bone-shaking 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system in the premium trim levels if you want bass that shakes the truck’s windows and scrambles your soul.

Room for Everything

Storage inside the cabin is plentiful, with all sorts of cubbies and clever holders for things like cellphones. There are USB ports and 12-volt power points, too. The brilliantly simple cellphone holders in the lower center console allow you to keep a phone plugged into a cord and still arrange it so that it sits securely in the holder. Rear seats that fold up allow large items to be loaded into the passenger compartment where they’re more secure than in an open bed. The RamBox bedside storage compartments are also improved for 2019, as they now have interior lights, 115-volt grounded outlets and pressure-touch latches. They do eat into the available cargo area in the bed itself, but given that this truck doesn’t have a huge payload capacity, hauling big, heavy objects in the bed probably isn’t as important as being able to securely transport smaller, valuable items in the RamBoxes.

Safety Upgrades

The new 2019 Ram 1500 has not yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it top ratings nearly across the board thanks to excellent crash-test results and the presence of advanced safety systems like forward collision warning with autonomous braking. Only its headlights and child-seat Latch anchors received a marginal rating. The new truck features a full load of optional safety and convenience technology, including a 360-degree camera system, active parallel and perpendicular parking assist, blind spot monitor, adaptive front LED lighting, lane departure warning and more.

Pickups Ain’t Cheap Anymore

Not that this is a news flash, but pickup prices have been steadily climbing and are in many cases higher than they’ve ever been. Even middle trim levels are going for north of $50,000, and my 1500 Limited crew-cab 4×4 model had an all-in sticker price of $68,390 including destination fee. That’s a lot of cheddar for a pickup, but when you compare the interior trimmings of this Limited to luxury vehicles from any brand costing easily as much, it compares favorably.

And it’s not like any of the competitor pickups are less expensive. Ford made news last year for introducing a Super Duty that hits the $100,000 mark, and competitors to the Ram 1500 Limited all come within a few thousand dollars of the Ram’s total. So be prepared to spend a little more coin at your preferred pickup truck vendor on your next visit. If you’re at the Ram store, you’re in for a treat with the nicest pickup ever made by an American automaker. Just make sure you don’t make it too nice if you still want to do some trucky things regularly.

hhyucar.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with hhyucar.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of hhyucar.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
331 reviews s” Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.9)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Longhorn Laramie = Gorgeous Truck!

by Ted F from LOCKHART, Texas on October 20, 2019

Ram has definitely upped the ante on style, and aesthetics of this truck. All I can say is go look in person and make the decision for yourself. If you aren't impressed then there is something wrong ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great truck

by Jarhead97 from Cicero on October 16, 2019

Dodge Ram with black appearance package. Great look and unbelievable ride. Really good value for the options. Power and style means an awesome ride for.the buck Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2019 RAM 1500 currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by RAM

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

Latest 2019 1500 Stories

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hhyucar.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a cars™s Latch system and check the vehicles™s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 1500 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify hhyucar, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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