More and more, the truck community is growing out of the “work truck” state of mind and falling towards the luxury end of the market. Owning a truck was a form of necessity, now a days it has also transformed into the conventional accessory. When we see a nearly seventy thousand dollar price tag slapped onto a truck it becomes clear that there has to more to the truck than just its engineering fundamentals – and that what’s the new RAM 1500 showcases.
As with any pickup truck, the all-new 2019 RAM 1500 arrives in many different formations starting with the Tradesman at $31,795 with a choice of a 5’-7” or a 6’-4” box bed – same goes for the four door variation whether its crew or quad cab base functionality depending on how much space you’d like your rear occupants to have.
Powertrain also plays a huge part into the revamped RAM as the there is a source of new energy formed under the hood. The 3.6-liter V-6 gets what FCA is calling eTorque management that works like a hybrid in a sense, the engine and an electric motor work coincide pulling energy from every possible source to save on both fuel economy and how much exhaust comes out the rear. Carried over, from the previous generation, the 5.7-liter makes a comeback tour and an option to also add the eTorque option for a mere $2645 more.
Changing things up, the RAM 1500 carries a much more timeless appearance. Fraying way from its original form of aggression, the RAM 1500 looks classy and more sophisticated. The RAM Rebel is a different story – and for ours, we have the Longhorn edition starting at $53,695. With LED lighting on every surface, 20-inch aluminum wheels, the RAM 1500 looks every bit the part of a luxury vehicle.
Our version was upgraded with the familiar 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, this version costs slightly less than the eTorque version at $1195. Keeping true to its original core values, the V-8 here produces 395-horsepower and 410lb-ft of torque – same figures as before. It is almost as if things have hardly changed. But, ah, things aren’t always what they seem. The RAM 1500 loses about 225lbs overall over the previous generation with the compound usage of new high-strength steel. Matted to a new 8-speed automatic, the RAM is able to manage its power more effectively with performance output and better responsiveness from the gearbox. This also helps improve acceleration with highway speeds being achieved in less than 7-seconds.
The new rigidness and overall structural integrity of the new RAM improves ride quality and handling capabilities. Steering feels much more linear and composed than before and while feedback is marginally ambiguous its overall demeanor carries an assured approach. The RAM 1500 carries itself well with serene comfort and quiet road mannerisms – it’s like driving a Mercedes on stilts.
While fuel economy has been significantly improved for 2019, the HEMI V-8 continues to be just as thirsty as ever. After several hundred miles that endured many highway travels, our 14.2 mpg figure never seemed to change its course of pace. EPA rates the RAM HEMI V-8 at a 15/21/17 (city/highway/combined.) Towing on the other hand has been improved with increased towing capabilities of 12,750lbs or a maximum payload of 2300lbs.
Upon opening the door to the Longhorn, we start to see why this RAM starts to cost near its $70,000, after a few hefty options of course. The interior is one of the most exceptionally well executed interiors this side of the Mercedes E-Class. The supple saddle brown leather is celestial and the wood on the dash is real wood – in fact, the “stamped” Longhorn logo is actually burnt in individually into each truck, making each Longhorn even more unique. The extent of materials used through make for an exquisite atmosphere as all the materials used feel as if they’re of high quality product with supreme fit and finish throughout. Attached to the Longhorn badge brings a exclusive aptitude to the interior with etched metal accent treatment that truly up’s the ante of interior luxury, especially when it comes to the truck demographic.
Technology has been a huge upgrade for the RAM including the enormous 12-inch high definition touch screen display, as part of the $3595 Level 1 Equipment Package. With the dash designed around this screen, the use and functionality carries a very well ergonomic arrangement. The layout of controls is simplistic and easy to navigate. With the $1595 Advance Safety Package, the RAM 1500 features all the latest safety hardware including full stop/go Adaptive Cruise Control, Parallel & Perpendicular Park Assist, and a birds-eye 360-degree surround view camera.
When it comes to luxury and amenities, the RAM 1500 has every aspect of the bases covered. All seats, including the rear are heated and ventilated, there are over 6 USB’s within the cabin including 2 110v A/C Outlets and 1 wireless charging station. Not to mention the $995 RAM Box storage with LED lighting and additional 110v A/C Outlets – there is no shortage of somewhere to plug in, say a coffee maker on those brisk cold campground mornings. Along with having dual-zone climate control, the steering wheel is heated, the brake and gas pedal are power adjustable, there’s Wi-Fi Hotspot and the memory seats will even remember your favorite radio station.
There used to be a time with owning a truck was something you could beat on. It was the vehicle that always had to do the heavy lifting, it ate your wallet if driven every day, and it wasn’t comfortable for the whole family. Now, that never has to be the case. And with this 2019 RAM 1500 after a hard day’s work, it can be finished off parking outside of valet at a five-star restaurant next to equally priced high-end luxury vehicles and nobody would be the wiser.
**The 2019 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn won our Southwest Media Lifestyle Truck of the Year Award**