The redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 remains a kinder, gentler pickup truck in a competitive field. This generation drops pounds, improves fuel economy, adds more room for passengers, and raises the bar for interior packaging. This truck can satisfy the needs of even the most demanding commercial driver while providing comfort and tranquility.
Our typically equipped crew-cab truck got 17 mpg overall with the V8 engine and optional mild-hybrid battery system. That electric assist slightly augments power and ensures a smooth stop/start functionality, without compromising accessories such as the air conditioning. As before, the 5.7-liter V8 paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission makes for a smooth, willing, and satisfying powertrain.
The coil spring rear suspension from the previous version carries over and ensures that the Ram still rides more comfortably than its peers. Throw in a remarkably quiet cabin and the Ram imparts an upscale, refined feel. Handling is quite responsive, particularly for a full-size truck.
Full-time four-wheel drive is now available on more trims, and the transfer case can be kept in automatic 4WD mode indefinitely. This convenience means extra traction is available as driver need it, without having to select it.
Another improvement is that the tailgate drops opens with a smooth and well-damped action; it doesn’t come crashing down as it used to. If properly equipped, the new Ram can tow up to 12,750 pounds.
The rear seat in the crew cab provides lots of legroom and can recline up to 8 degrees. It can also be folded up, exposing a flat load floor that makes it easy to protect cargo from the elements. There are also integrated bins built into the floor, with tie-down rings and expandable underseat storage.
The Ram controls continue to be a model of simplicity. Shoppers have a choice of 5-, 8.4-, or 12-inch touch screens and advanced in-vehicle connected services, including a WiFi hotspot. The 8.4- and 12-inch systems come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
One feature we really like is that when drivers start the truck remotely in cold weather, the heated seats and steering wheel automatically turn on as well.
The new Ram offers forward-collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control as options. We think FCW and AEB should be standard, especially at this price.