2019 Ram 1500 V6 or V8? Pentastar or HEMI? Which eTorque Hybrid Truck Is Better? (Video)

Which 2019 Ram 1500 truck is best for you? Is it a Pentastar V6 eTorque or a HEMI V8 eTorque? The HEMI hybrid costs $2,645 more than the V6 version? What are the differences? Is the V8 worth the extra money? We take both trucks for drive and see exactly what they are made of.

Ram is looking to improve the fuel economy of their trucks in a big way. This is the formal introduction of the 2019 Ram V6 and V8 eTorque hybrid trucks. The V6 gas/electric hybrid is not an optional engine – it is now the base truck. You cannot get a truck with just the gasoline V6. As Ram aims to have 25% of their total Ram sales to be trucks with the V6,

2019 Ram 1500 V6

It’s all about the cost versus performance decision. You want a truck to be quick, powerful, and efficient, but you also don’t want to pay a lot of money to buy it and maintain it. Under the hood of the base truck is a familiar 3.6L Pentastar V6 with a total system power rating of 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The rating does not change from the outgoing model. The electric motor is attached via a serpentine belt and provides up to 90 lb-ft of torque to help get the truck moving. It is a two-belt system. The water pump runs on an independent belt.

eTorque simply adding power via the belt and enabling significant gains in efficiency when driving is stop-and-go traffic. It helps to drive the accessories while the internal combustion engine is turned off during stops. It helps to provide a smooth auto start/stop transition and get the truck going once the driver hits the accelerator. The engine is connected to an updated 8-speed automatic transmission that knows that it’s working with a gas/electric hybrid power plant. Cruising energy is recouped while coasting and under initial deceleration/braking. The regenerative brakes are blended between initial regeneration and pure brake pad friction.

The V6 eTorque EPA rating is not available yet, but Ram says the 2019 truck will get 2-3 mpg better in the city and combined ratings. If the city number and combined ratings are three better, then the base 2WD truck will be rated at 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.

While the new generation truck is about 225 lbs lighter than the outgoing model, the V6 eTorque system adds about 105 lbs to the truck with the electric motor, additional fluid capacities, and the 0.4 kWh battery unit (which is mounted behind the driver-side rear seat-back).

The new V6 truck is quick off the line, while driving in the areas surrounding Lexington, KY. The crew cab 4×4 Tradesman model is a sizable truck, but the new eTorque system is plenty powerful. This truck would be great for those who do not tow heavy if at all, and those looking for a good deal on a new truck. The M.S.R.P on the Tradesman truck you see here was just over $44,000. The V6 eTorque is also the truck if you are looking for maximum payload capability. The 2WD Tradesman is rated at 2,300 lbs of payload capacity. The V6 is rated at 7,730 lbs of maximum towing.

2019 Ram 1500 V8

The V8 eTorque works in much the same way, but the 5.7L HEMI V8 offers way more power than the V6. The total rating is still 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. A slightly bigger electric motor is adding up to 130 lb-ft of torque to the system at the low end. There is a more robust 8-speed automatic transmission that is also tuned for many different driving situations. Indeed this transmission must handle a lot more torque than in the V6 truck, but the way in which the overall engine, motor, and transmission work together is seamless to the driver. You do not need to know the complexity of what’s happening underneath, when you push the accelerator – you want the truck to go, and when you get on the brakes – you want it to slow down. (The eTorque system adds about 95 lbs to the V8 truck.)

The V8 eTorque truck is EPA rated at 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined.

The standard V8 truck is $1,195 more than the V6 eTorque, and the V8 eTorque is another $1,450 on top of that. Is it worth the extra cash? The V8 eTorque feels a lot more powerful than the V6 for sure. The HEMI still has its signature V8 sound that is absent in the V6. The V8 eTorque is the truck to get if you are looking to tow. The maximum rating for a 2WD truck is 12,750 lbs. The red crew cab Laramie 4×4 with the Sport package and most options has a final M.S.R.P of over $63,000.

If I was shopping between these two trucks, I would choose the V8 eTorque in a BigHorn trim. I need to tow a 6,000 lbs in the Rocky Mountains, and the V8 sounds very good.

Our video comparison will publish early in the morning at TFLtruck.