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The 2019 Ram 1500 is bigger and better in every way

by Patrick Rall on

The next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 debuts today at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The all-new Ram is bigger inside and out with a vastly different design language, more premium features in the enlarged cabin and a pair of new hybrid engines, with more of what truck owners want in every possible aspect of the vehicle.

2019 Ram 1500

The New Ram Exterior Design

The most talked-about aspect of the 2019 Ram 1500 is and will continue to be the new exterior design. Spy shots of this new truck hit the internet a while back, giving us a pretty good look of the new front end. Based on that quick glimpse, a great many people have voiced their displeasure with the new look, but I believe that those pictures don’t do this new Ram any justice. In person, this is a much handsomer truck than the pictures suggest.

There will still be critics of the new look, as every new vehicle introduced in the last twenty years has been hated by some people within the brand’s community. For example, the current Ram sells well, but when it was first introduced, there were plenty of people who complained about how much they didn’t like the look. The same is true of the modern Dodge Charger, which happens to be the bestselling large rear-wheel-drive sedan in America by a healthy margin.

The bottom line is that a vehicle cannot look the same forever and in redesigning the Ram 1500, the FCA team did a nice job.

2019 Ram 1500

The entire exterior of the 2019 Ram 1500 is new, but the changes that will draw the most attention come up front. The crosshair grille is officially gone and in its place is a design similar to that found on the current Ram Rebel. This includes the RAM font logo spread across the middle with a broken center-bar design, flanked by slightly smaller headlights. These headlights are far more modern than the current design, with LED trim and adaptive beams that point in the direction that you are turning the truck.

The hood is also new, with a muscular dual-hump design that flows into the upper portion of the grille and the Ram 1500 “callout” badges have been moved from the fenders to the side of the hood bulge. On the sporty 2019 Ram Rebel, the new hood design also includes heat extractors on each side of the hood, similar to what Dodge has done with the Hellcat cars.

Along the sides, the 2019 Ram 1500 features all-new wheel options, as this generation half-ton truck is the first to shift entirely to a six-lug axle setup. The body is longer and wider than the outgoing models, with a cab that is longer and roomier, but at the same time, this new truck is more than 200lbs lighter than comparable 2018 models.

2019 Ram 1500

Out back, the 2019 Ram 1500 in most form sports the new, redesigned Ram’s head logo except on the Rebel, which still wears the RAM font logo on the tailgate. The back end also gets new, larger LED taillights, completing the big, bold exterior design of this new pickup.

While diehard Ram fans will complain for a while about the new exterior design or the new Ram’s head logo, this new truck looks great. Different, but great, and I’m confident that it will be a strong seller when it arrives later this year.

The Interior

The 2019 Ram 1500 quad cab configuration is 4 inches longer than the current models, and that leads to significantly more interior cabin space. There is so much cab space that the 2019 Ram 1500 has available reclining rear seats. No longer does sitting in the back seat of a large pickup mean that you are sitting at a 90-degree angle, with up to 8 degrees of adjustment to the rear seat-backs of the outboard positions. That back seat area also has a true flat load floor with an under-seat cargo area, so this new truck is better for passengers and cargo.

2019 Ram 1500

The new Ram has all sorts of new and/or enhanced premium features inside, but the crown jewel of this new cockpit is the 12-inch infotainment screen. This is the first application of the massive new 12-inch UConnect system and it effectively offers double the screen space of the current 8.4-inch system. This new system allows the driver to have more than one infotainment function active at once, so you can have your radio information screen or phone screen open at the same time as the navigation. You can also make it one huge screen, displaying the navigation map with more detail than any other FCA product – or almost any vehicle sold in America.

There is also a redesigned center console, with 12 different configurations, multiple charging ports and an unprecedented amount of storage space – offering enough space for a large tablet or laptop and pretty much every phone on the market today. In total, the new Ram 1500 features 151.1 liters of storage space, roughly double that of the nearest competitor.

2019 Ram 1500 - 12 inch screen

Finally, the next generation Ram 1500 comes with the most powerful audio system ever offered in an American pickup, with 900 watts powering 19 premium Harmon Kardon speakers. This is, without question, the best sound system in the American full size truck segment.

New Drivetrains

There have long been rumors that when the next generation Ram 1500 debuts, the 5.7L Hemi would be replaced with a new twin turbo V6, but the engines for the 2019 half-ton truck are refined versions of the current engine options. To be more specific, the 3.6L Pentastar V6 and the 5.7L Hemi V8 both return for the all-new Ram trucks, but each of them have been mated with the eTorque system.

That’s right folks – the new Ram 1500 is a hybrid.

The standard engine in many of the 2019 Ram 1500 trimlines is the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with the eTorque mild hybrid system. In premium Ram 1500 packages, the 5.7L Hemi is standard, but the eTorque system is optional with the V8 engine. The V6 offers 305 horsepower and 269lb-ft of torque while the Hemi continues on with 395hp and 410lb-ft of torque.

As is the case with the new Wrangler, the Ram’s eTorque system integrates a 48V electric motor that improves fuel economy by providing extra torque to the engine at certain points in the powerband. In trucks equipped with the V6, the eTorque system provides up to 90lb-ft of torque while the Hemi eTorque system contributes up to 130lb-ft.

Just to be clear, those torque figures aren’t added on top of the engine power figures, but at points when the load on the engine is highest – such as pulling out from a stop or climbing a large hill when towing – the eTorque system can increase torque levels when the engine isn’t within the peak powerband. As a result, both engines will use less fuel at times when they traditionally use the most fuel. We don’t have actual fuel economy numbers yet, but when coupled with the fact that the new Ram 1500 is lighter and more aerodynamic, this new truck should be significantly more fuel efficient than the 2018 models.

More importantly to most truck owners, the 2019 Ram 1500 is also more capable than the current trucks when it comes to working abilities. When properly equipped the all-new Ram 1500 can haul 2,300lbs and tow 12,700lbs – more than 2,000lbs more than 2018 half-ton Rams.

Suspension and Brakes

The 2019 Ram 1500 features the next generation of the company’s air suspension system, with a specially-tuned setup in the new Rebel and new Frequency Response Damping shocks in non-Rebel models. There is also a new 4×4 Off-Road package that includes a 1-inch lift, specially tuned shocks, an electronic locking rear axle and hill descent control.

2019 Ram 1500

Finally, in addition to the new wheels and new 6-lug axles, the 2019 Ram 1500 features the largest brakes in the segment, with rotors measuring 14.9-inches up front.

Click here for our full report on every new feature of the 2019 Ram 1500.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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