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.
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.