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  • Anthony Sophinos
    Automotive Editor - April 9, 2018

    2019 RAM 1500 OVERVIEW

    Big trucks are big business: Ford’s F-150 sold nearly 900,000 units alone in 2017. That means competition is fierce, and Ram – which seems to be relegated to a perpetual third place in the yearly sales race – has pulled out all the stops in its attempt to topple its arch-rivals Ford and Chevy. The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers technology and capability that would shame some luxury cars, and makes a convincing argument for those wanting the most newfangled carryall on the market.

    What's New for 2019

    The Ram 1500 is a full-scale redesign for 2019.

    Choosing Your RAM 1500

    Like any proper full-size pickup, choosing the exact truck you want or need can be difficult, thanks to a plethora of trims, options, engines, cab sizes, and bed lengths. One choice Ram buyers won’t have? The traditional two-door regular cab, which didn’t survive the redesign. However, considering the near ubiquity of four-door cabs, it's doubtful many buyers will be in mourning over this.

    This whittles it down to either the Quad Cab, which offers two petite front-hinged rear doors, or the Crew Cab, which boasts four full-sized doors. A Quad Cab comes only with a six-foot, four-inch bed, while the Crew also offers a smaller five-foot, seven-inch bed as well. Tradesman, Big Horn, and Laramie can be had in either cab, while the Laramie, Limited, and Rebel are Crew Cab only. Only the off-road-ready Rebel is limited to the shorter bed length.

    As for powertrains, the familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter V8 return, now making 305 horsepower and 395 horsepower, respectively. The V6 is standard on Tradesman, Big Horn, and Rebel, with the V8 available for $1,195. All other trims are exclusively V8. Both engines are backed by an eight-speed automatic. Four-wheel-drive is available across all trims and powertrains, but expect to pony up an additional $3,500 for the extra traction.

    Both engines are also augmented by a bit of next-gen propulsion technology: the eTorque mild hybrid system. The system uses a battery which is juiced up by a 48-volt generator, and handles stop-start and regenerative braking duties. It can also add torque in short bursts, which should make towing less of a chore. While eTorque is standard with the V6, it carries a $1,995 premium for the V8 and won't arrive until later this year.

    A best-in-class 19-speaker sound system is available as part of the Level 2 Equipment Group on the top three trim levels (it’s only a $2,500 upgrade on the Limited). That same package upgrades the infotainment unit of the Laramie and Laramie Longhorn to the vertically oriented 12-inch touchscreen that’s standard on the Limited. A $1,595 Advanced Safety Group is also available on the Laramie and Laramie Longhorn, and includes adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and surround-view camera.

    All trims offer the $300 Trailer Tow Group, which includes power trailer-tow mirrors and trailer brake control, and the Bed Utility Group, which includes LED cargo lights and cargo tie-down hooks. Other universally-available options include a $95 3.92 rear axle, a 33-gallon fuel tank available for $425, an electronically lockable rear differential for $495, and a limited-slip differential for $435.


    Tradesmen will appreciate that the Tradesman trim, which starts at $33,340 (including a $1,645 destination charge), is not nearly as sparse as work trucks of yore. Modern doodads include push-button start, a five-inch touchscreen with Uconnect software, keyless entry, and Bluetooth. Other standard features include vinyl seats, power windows and locks, a six-speaker sound system, four-way manually adjustable front seats, air conditioning, and heated mirrors.

    The Chrome Appearance Group costs $1,295 and includes chrome bumpers, grille, and wheels. The $1,555 Level 1 Equipment Group spruces things up with a carpeted floor, floor mats, a power sliding rear window, and SiriusXM radio with a one year subscription.

    Big Horn

    The $37,340 Big Horn is second from bottom in the Ram 1500 hierarchy. It comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 3.5-inch driver information display, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, chrome bumpers, body-colored door handles, and fog lamps. A cloth front bench seat is standard, but bucket seats are available for $395. This rig will be badged Lone Star in - you guessed it - Texas.

    A Black Appearance Package ($1,495) and a Sport Appearance Package ($995) both bring distinct aesthetic touches to the Big Horn. There's also a $1,200 Level 1 Equipment Group, which includes the 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto-dimming driver mirror, 3.5-inch cluster display, power seats and pedals, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Level 2 Group is $2,100 and includes all that plus a dampened tailgate, remote start, rear window defrost, and heated seat and steering wheel.


    Wyoming’s eponymous city denotes the mid-level Ram 1500 trim, and costs $42,335. It comes with the larger 8.4-inch touchscreen, and that also means upgraded Uconnect software with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. It also has leather-trimmed seats, the fronts being heated and 12-way power adjustable, and niceties like dual-zone temperature control, a seven-inch driver information display, heated steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, and a nine-speaker sound system.

    The Chrome, Sport and Black Appearance Packages are all again on tap. The Level 1 Equipment Group here is $1,600 and consists of auto headlamps, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors front and rear, rain-sensitive wipers and remote tailgate release. The $4,400 Level 2 Equipment Group includes is that along with a tailgate-ajar warning lamp, heated second-row seats, wireless charging pad and the 8.4-inch touchscreen. The 12-inch touchscreen is $995, and a power sunroof is $1,095.


    For $46,340, the Rebel offers buyers a Ram of a different stripe. The Rebel doesn’t try to persuade shoppers with chrome or value; it sells itself on macho styling and off-roading prowess. The standard features reflect that philosophy, and include mechanical goodies like an electronically locking rear differential, stouter 3.92 rear gears, numerous skid plates, steering-wheel-mounted shift control, 33-inch tires, hill-descent control, Bilstein shocks, and tow hooks.

    On the outside, the Rebel ensures that no one will mistake it for any other Ram trim via a number of visual differentiators. These include a bespoke grille, hood, lower front bumper, headlamp bezels, as well as a tailgate emblazoned with the word “RAM” and a two-tone paint scheme. Inside, there’s cloth and vinyl seats, a Rebel-themed instrument cluster, and contrasting red stitching along with red door trim. It shares the five-inch touchscreen with the Tradesman and Big Horn, but has the seven-inch driver information display of the higher-trim trucks.

    Options include the 8.4-inch touchscreen for $795, remote starting for $245 and blind-spot monitoring for $595. The $2,000 Level 1 Equipment Group comes with goodies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the 8.4-inch touchscreen, heated seats and steering wheel, power heated mirrors, and power-adjustable pedals. The Level 2 Equipment Group includes everything in L1EG along with dual zone climate control, two additional USB ports and a rear-seat 115V outlet, rain-sensitive wipers, and keyless entry.

    Laramie Longhorn

    At $53,035, the Longhorn pushes the Ram 1500 into luxo-truck territory. It features genuine wood, metal and leather interior trimmings, as well as enough chrome outside to match a 1950s Cadillac. There’s also LED headlights, Longhorn-themed instrument cluster, full-length floor console, one year of SiriusXM radio, twelve-way ventilated power seats up and heated seats in back, leather upholstery, 20-inch wheels, power-folding mirrors with heat and memory functions, navigation, and rain-sensitive wipers.

    A highfalutin four-corner air suspension is available for $1,795, and a panoramic sunroof is a $1,295 add-on. The $995 RamBox cargo-management system, which are built-in bedside storage areas that are lockable, weatherproof, and drainable, will have late availability.

    The Longhorn's L1EG is $3,400 and includes a 12-inch touchscreen, a 19-speaker sound system, power running boards and ventilated rear seats. The Advanced Safety Group is $1,595 and comes with adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, lane-departure warning, surround-view camera, and active parking assist (self-parking).


    The alpha-dog Ram is the $57,130 Limited. The impressive list of standard features includes a 12-inch Uconnect screen, power running boards, four-corner air suspension, wireless phone charging, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The active-safety contents of the Advanced Safety Group are also standard.

    Body-color bumpers are a no-charge cosmetic option, and the 19-speaker sound system is $2,500. The RamBoxes and panoramic sunroof are again available.

    CarsDirect Tip

    Because it sits in the middle of the Ram pack, the Laramie includes a number of worthwhile standard features while also offering several enticing packages to add on. This makes the Laramie customizable to your exact needs without spending a fortune, and is our pick of the litter.

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