2019 RAM 1500: Quick Impression
RAM has finally introduced an all-new 1500. After 10+ years of the old one, let's see if this new truck truly is a worthy successor.
I’m going to be fully transparent for a moment: I have been highly anticipating this vehicle for a while now. Even after release, I was excited to get to see what this new 1500 was like. After riding in it, I’m an even bigger fan. Here’s why.
It Rides Like a Giant Car.
It’s hard to put into words just how good the 1500 rides without saying something cliché. Fact is the 2019 RAM 1500 is easily one of the best riding trucks in the segment (it’s certainly better than the Nissan Titan). To be concise, the 1500’s ride is like the theoretical scenario of Dwayne Johnson appearing on “Dancing With the Stars” and flawlessly executing a complicated break dance. For a big guy, he (in the analogy) is surprisingly agile. The ’19 RAM 1500 is much the same way. Despite being quite a big truck, it feels more agile than its physical size would leave you to believe. If the vehicle wasn’t so big, I’d almost go as far as to say it would feel like a luxury crossover (like a modern Chrysler Aspen or something). I don’t know about you, but that sounds like very high praise to me.
The Interior Is Very Likely One of FCA’s Very Best.
Yes, that statement includes the Gen 5 Viper’s interior. That is just how good the new RAM’s interior is. The material quality, fit and finish and overall design is one of if not the best to come out of FCA in a long time (an honor I once reserved for the Viper). Seriously, I hope all interiors in FCA’s future are this good. The 12-Inch Uconnect system is better looking than the 8.4-Inch screen! And I don’t mean the graphics, I mean the way it’s integrated into the interior. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the RAM interior designers first thought of the 12-Inch screen would look before the 8.4-Inch screen. Truth be told though, the way the center stack fits so coherently into the interior might be the best part about it. In the old 1500 (the DS generation), the center stack has an annoyingly visible outline around the perimeter that makes it look like RAM cut a hole out in the dash structure to fit the infotainment and HVAC functions in. The DT RAM’s center stack does a far better job at blending with the interior, making it all look like one piece. Rather than the sort of segregated look of its past.
Enough geeking over the center stack. Let’s talk about the rest of the interior. As you’ve probably heard, the rear legroom in this latest RAM is almost Limo-like when optioned in the Crew Cab configuration. Me being 5′ 6” doesn’t make that an overly impressive feat, but there truly is an enormous amount of legroom in the back. There’s so much legroom, in fact, I’d bet you could play with tiny RC cars in the back without too much trouble (there wouldn’t be much to do but the fact you could is still cool). Better yet, you could probably put a long, narrow fish tank in the back and make the 1500 a rolling fist tank. Now wouldn’t that be a sight!
The Ubiquitous 5.7 HEMI Is Present.
Much to the dismay of many, the 5.7 HEMI remains largely unchanged despite this being a new truck. The only thing that changed was the addition of the E-Torque system. Sadly, the 1500 we had during the RMDE didn’t have the E-Torque system. So I got to experience what this new truck was like without the mild hybrid system.
To be concise: The engine is powerful, smooth, and still capable. However, it is beginning to fall behind competitors. Take the ’19 F150 for example. It’s now possible to get the old Raptor mill in the Limited. Thus giving you 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. The new Silverado? You can get a 6.2 Liter V8 that gives you 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately for the RAM, it “only” has 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Making it the slowest of the three in a drag race. If you want higher torque figures, you have to get the E-Torque system. Adding the E-Torque to the HEMI results in an increase of 130 lb-ft. This gives you a grand total of about 540 lb-ft.
Unlike the HEMI, FCA’s 3.6 Liter Pentastar V6 comes with the E-Torque system as standard. So you get the benefits of the mild-hybrid system without having to shell out a few extra dollars. Normally, the 3.6 Liter Pentastar V6 would make 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Due to the system is standard though, you get the benefit of having an extra 90 lb-ft of torque from the E-Torque system. As a result, you get a total of 359 lb-ft of torque.
Despite the (I feel justified) disappointment about the HEMI not seeing any direct updates, the E-Torque does make up for it by helping to prop up the HEMI and Pentastar engines extra torque and some off-the-line electric grunt.
I Really Like The Exterior.
If you’ve been doing any sort of reading/watching on the 2019 RAM 1500, you probably know that the exterior design is a controversial topic and one many are divided on. There are many who feel the design team produced a bit of a dud. Others who feel the design team hit it out of the park.
I am in the latter camp. I find this to be a more mature truck than its predecessor, more suit and tie than a sports jacket. Much in the same way the Gen 5 Viper is a modern interpretation of the Gen 2 Viper, I find this RAM to be a modern interpretation of the ’94 RAM 1500. Suffice to say, I love this about the DT RAM 1500. I guess I’m a bit of a sucker for designs that modernize old classics.
The Verdict: FCA has hit it far beyond the park. They’ve hit it into the donuts shop across the street. The interior is top notch, the exterior is a brilliant nod to the past, the rear seat legroom is big enough for a narrow fish tank and the ride is that of a big car. 8.5/10 Easily.