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RAM 1500 ages like a fine wine

By Mario Cywinski   


FCA opted to redesign the grille and front end of the RAM 1500 for the 2019 model year. PHOTO: Mario Cywinski

While RAM, which at the time was still a Dodge, may have been one of the first to introduce a ‘semi’ truck looking front end to its pick-up truck, it is now the norm. Just look at the grilles on some of the 2019 trucks to see what I mean, some of the front ends are massive.

FCA, not being one to rest of its laurels, decided to reinvent the grille and front end for the 2019 model year on the RAM 1500. Gone are the rounded square headlights and crosshairs grille, replaced by all-new front-end fascia with RAM grille and more rectangular headlights with LED lighting. The new look may not be earth shattering, but it modernizes the truck, while maintaining its RAM character.

Available engines are: a 3.6 litre Pentastar V-6 with eTorque offering 305 horsepower and 269 foot/pounds of torque (plus 90 ft/lbs more torque from eTorque); or a 5.7L HEMI V-8 (with or without eTorque) with 395hp and 410ft/lbs of torque (with eTorque models offering another 130 ft/lbs), both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

An aspect of pick-up trucks that has been stagnant for many years and is now receiving more attention is the tailgate. Until recently, the biggest innovation for the tailgate was to have it open slowly and not simply drop down. Automakers have added a slide out step, multi-position/function settings, and back-up cameras to tailgates.


Now RAM has introduced its multifunction tailgate, which offers a 60/40 split with dual-hinges that allow it to be opened normally (up/down), or as a swing-away sideways door that opens up to 88 degrees (left/right). It offers a 907-kilogram load capacity, and allows closer access to the truck bed. In all, the tailgate has four open configurations: flat, left door only, right door only and both doors. It also comes with a spray-in bedliner.

“The Ram multifunction tailgate is intuitive to operate and owners will find it immediately useful,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand – FCA. “Combined with Ram’s class-exclusive RamBox feature and new tailgate step, we’re taking Ram’s cargo management and storage to the next level.”

A quick rundown of specifications shows that the 2019 RAM 1500 has a max payload of 1,043kg, trailer tow of 5,783kg, storage capacity of 151.1L, and 378 millimetre front brakes. In addition, it offers an air suspension, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, trailer sway control, lane departure warning, to name a few.

FCA’s Uconnect system is available in a variety of sizes, including a massive new 12” configurable screen that is definitely something to see. RAM’s interior and Uconnect system has been one of the best in the industry few a number of years and it continues to improve, and in this case continues to grow.

Ram 1500 is available in 2WD or 4WD configuration in Quad cab and Crew cab form, in six foot four inch bed or five foot seven inch bed (available on crew cab).

In all seven models are offered: Tradesman base model, Big Horn, Sport, Laramie, Longhorn, Limited, and Rebel (which is an off-road focused model).

The 2019 RAM 1500 is already an award winner, with it being named the MotorTrend Truck of the Year for 2019, having previously also won the award in 2014. While in the 2019 edition of the Canadian Truck King Challenge, the RAM 1500 came in a very close second, however, it has won the Challenge on multiple occasion, most recently in 2017, 2016, 2014 and 2012.

“The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand. “The Ram 1500 offers truck buyers leading-edge innovation with 225 pounds of weight reduction, 12,700 pounds of towing capability, a stunning Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen display and active systems that improve fuel efficiency and assist drivers. The Ram 1500 stands out as the benchmark in a very competitive segment.”


Mario Cywinski is the Editor of Machinery and Equipment MRO magazine, a member of AJAC and a judge for Canadian Truck King Challenge. He has more than 15 years’ of automobile industry experience.


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