We just got back from the first drive event of the 2019 Ram 1500. Ram says the truck (codename: DT) is an all-new pickup from the frame up. What’s changed? How has the truck improved over the outgoing model? We narrowed down the list to these ten items.
10) Bigger Truck, but Lighter Weight
Ram saved around 225 lbs when comparing a similarly equipped 2019 truck versus the older generation 2018. This is a significant amount when you consider the the new crew cab truck is also four inches longer than the 2018 model. Weight savings came from redesigning the frame and using 98% high-strength steel that is lighter while improving rigidity. The new truck uses an aluminum hood and tailgate along with other design changes to decrease the overall weight.
Why is a lighter truck better? It’s all about more payload capability, better acceleration and braking performance, and better efficiency. Ram says the new truck will be around 10% more efficient than the outgoing model.
9) More People Space
While the crew cab is four inches longer on the outside, Ram’s interior designers were able to carve out five additional inches of rear seat legroom for a total of 45.2 inches. For comparison, a Ford F-150 crew cab has 43.9 inches of rear legroom. The 2019 Ram truck is also a fraction of an inch wider with 63.4 inches of hip room.
This makes for a spacious cabin that accommodates taller and bigger people alike.
8) More Luxury
Design esthetic is a subjective topic, but Ram took interior appointments and luxury to the next level with this redesign. The high-end Laramie Long Horn and Limited model use a combination of premium leather, wood, and metals for an interior that feels and looks high quality. The rear seats slide to recline an additional 8 degrees, while still maintaining plenty of legroom. Customers can opt for heated and ventilated front and rear seats. Although, there is no massage feature. There is now an optional panoramic sunroof in the crew cab. There are several 22-inch rim options, power deployable side steps, and more technology that surrounds the driver and passengers (more on this a little later).
7) More Off-Road Choices
2019 Ram 1500 customers will have many more off-road 4×4 options than before. The “Off-Road” package makes its way into the new half-ton truck and offers a one-inch lift, 32-inch all-terrain tires, specially tuned shocks, underbody skid plates, and an electronic rear locker. It offers many of the off-road goodies that are available on the Rebel edition. The Off-Road package is available with any trim.
The new Rebel takes the off-road options further with Bilstein shocks, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, steel coils or air suspension options, two cab configurations (quad or crew cab), three power train options (V8, V8 eTorque, and V6 eTorque), unique steel powder coated front bumper, unique interior, and two-tone black lower exterior color options. The new Rebel much more like Ram Power Wagon’s smaller brother.
6) More Cargo Space and Utility
The 2019 Ram has a larger bed volume thanks to raised bed sides that are now 1.5 inches taller. Ram says that raising the bed also helped with the overall look and aerodynamics of the truck, Of course, it also means that it’s not a bit more difficult to reach inside the bed from the side. The Ram Box bed storage boxes are coming back and they are now larger and offer an available 110V power outlet. The rear in-floor storage bins are larger as well, along with the completely redesigned center console that can house a 15-inch laptop flat at the bottom, The rear floor space is now completely flat and offers tie-down points. The rear seats fold up to reveal an expandable storage compartment underneath. There are now three fuel tanks available on the Ram 1500: 23, 26, or 33 gallons (1 more gallon than before for the big tank). Competitors offer much larger fuel tanks, but Ram is banking on improved fuel economy for a competitive driving range.
5) More Safety Features
The new Ram is loaded with the latest driver assistance technologies that new truck buyers have already come to expect. This includes stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage, and cross-traffic alert.
The new frame and body are designed to withstand accident impacts and score highly on government and IIHS crash tests. Independent crash test rating for the 2019 are not available at the time of this writing. We will update it once the information becomes available.
4) More Technology
Many of you have asked us why pickup truck do not offer retractable front chin spoilers or air dams. The 2019 Ram 1500 offers an active air dam on trucks with the steel coil suspension. The front air dam lowers automatically at speeds of over 35 MPH. It has a safety mechanism that allows it to fold back if it hits some item or debris at speed. Trucks with air suspension still have an Aero mode that lowers the entire truck at highway speed for improved aerodynamics. Overall, Ram says the new truck boasts a 9% aerodynamic improvement over the outgoing model.
The new truck offers a 360-degree camera system. The Laramie Long Horn and Limited trim level offer an optional 12-inch center infotainment screen, The entire screen can show a single function such as the Media options or Navigation. The tall screen can also divided into two smaller screens one above the other to simultaneously show two functions: APple Car Play on top and HVAC controls on the bottom. There are still a lot of buttons, knobs, and switches around the screen for redundancy of control. Sirius XM 360L on-demand music and podcast with recommendations service is available, There is a wireless phone charger and five USB ports. Four of the five available are USB-C ports, which are four times faster charge. The truck supports up to three simultaneous media devices, the UConnect system lets the user select between Inputs 1, 2, or 3. The optional 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system with 900 Watts of power should satisfy most audio enthusiasts.
3) More Options and Packages
As before, the 2019 Ram 1500 offers six distinct trims: Tradesman, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Laramie Long Horn, and Limited. Since Ram switched to a 6-lug hub, all wheel designs had to be redone. Ram came up with 15 rim designs, including 22-inch rims with color inserts. There is Lone Star special edition and Mopar customization options right off the bat when the truck goes on sale in March/April 2018.
2) More Power Choices
The truck will launch with the 5.7L HEMI V8 with a rating of 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to an updated 8-speed automatic transmission. Next is the V8 with the eTorque mild hybrid system that joins the lineup. A belt-driven starter/generator motor is able to provide up to 130 lb-ft of torque for the V8 truck to help with engine start/stop and initial launch of the truck. A 3.6L Pentastar V6 with the eTorque system is next. The V6 eTorque is the only way to get a V6 Ram. The smaller electric motor is able to provide up to 90 lb-ft. Ram says the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 will join in calendar year 2019. The V6 will also be mated to an 8-speed automatic.
1) Higher Payload and Towing
The 2019 Ram 1500 V6 is rated at a maximum payload of 2,320 lbs. A V8 version of the truck with the 3.92 rear axle ratio is set at a maximum of 12,750 lbs of towing. These numbers represent significant increases when compared to the outgoing truck (20% – 22% improvement). The 2018 truck maxed out at 1,880 lbs of payload and 10,620 lbs of towing. The new boxed frame, bigger brakes with 14.9 inch rotors, 6-lug hubs, and upgraded suspension system contribute to the increased capacities.
The 2019 Rebel is maxing out at 11,470 lbs of towing, while the Limited edition of the truck is limited at 11,540 lbs of trailer.
There are currently the following that we do not know or cannot talk about. The EPA fuel efficiency ratings are not released yet. Safety Cannot talk about Driving Impressions, Price, and MPG. March 16th 12:01am EST.