QOTD: Is This Relationship Just Based on Looks?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The current-generation Ram 1500 is older than many people realize. As the recession and bailout drama fades further in our memories, it’s sometimes hard to believe the Ram half-tons you see in newspaper adds (“25% off MSRP!”) have barely changed since the 2009 model year.

Sure, Fiat Chrysler saw fit to bestow new engines, transmissions, and the RamBox on buyers, but with the crosshair grille and shapely flanks carrying over from previous generations, it seemed the Ram 1500 was incapable of significant change. And many liked it that way. It was a truck you could set your watch to.

No so, anymore. For 2019, the Ram 1500 undergoes its greatest transformation since 1994, piling on content and returning a familiar (though now electrified) engine lineup to the fold. Gone is the gunsight grille, replaced with new take on a design seen on uplevel Rams in recent years. The crew cab grows in length. Meanwhile, flatter flanks have relegating the mini Freightliner look to the history books. Well, almost.

The old Ram 1500 will continue in production for a couple of years, giving current-generation diehards a chance to add this dream pickup to their household. A majority of the TTAC crew prefers the looks of the old model to the new one. (One member, who’ll go unnamed, has it bad.)

With the 2019 model headed to dealer lots and the previous generation soldiering on for a time, Ram buyers are faced with a hard choice. The newest everything on one side, but classic style and attractive deals on the other. But maybe it isn’t a hard choice. There’s always some initial pushback when a new generation of vehicle eclipses a modern-day classic, but maybe the feelings aren’t so fickle in this case.

Tell us, B&B, is the new Ram too much of a departure for you? Will your next truck purchase be an older-model 1500, not the newer one (and not just because the dealer slashed prices)? Or, has growing familiarity with the 2019 model already turned you into a convert?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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5 of 67 comments
  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Mar 20, 2018

    I think I'd rather look at any previous Ram than that gaudy thing with tiny tires in the picture. But I'm sure some of the trim levels look okay.

    • See 2 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Mar 23, 2018

      @rpn453 "Tire profile is practically unrelated to rolling resistance. Tread mass is the most important factor there." That seems counter-intuitive, considering how almost every car made today (with limited exceptions only) are on much larger wheels which much lower shoulders. Low profile means stiffer sidewalls means less flex, means less resistance. While i agree that tread pattern and thickness and even tire material itself are all factors, the simple fact that there is less flex in the tire means less rolling resistance. I'm quite sure if we could figure out how to get away with steel tires (like the railroad) we'd see those on the roads in a heartbeat. Oh, and low profile means less tire roll on curves, meaning better grip and less risk of rollover in an accident. Overall, I would need to see a comprehensive study confirming your conclusions before I can accept them, because the driving characteristics of cars have improved, not degraded, on good road surfaces. Car suspensions, unfortunately, aren't as good as a good cushion of air for absorbing bumps and irregularities in the road, ergo handling under rough-road conditions will degrade while the ride is worse (as evidenced by more complaints of rough-riding cars, especially among smaller cars with less weight.) As far as "look(ing) flashy and expensive," that never appealed to me and I personally believe they ruin the look of the vehicle. Oh, and plastic wheel covers were a thing for roughly 20 years. Before that they were metal wheel covers over bone-stock steel rims. I do question your statement of (FCA) not "spending money to properly finish the aluminum underneath (in the Laramie.) All and all I hear prejudice with little to no empirical evidence to back it.

  • Wodehouse Wodehouse on Mar 21, 2018

    That truck is just a padded vinyl roof and stand-up hood mascot away from being a Ram Royal Monaco Brougham, but, I suppose black wheels, peek-a-boo brake calipers and copious arrays of LEDs are today's version of 1970's "Brougham Kit".

  • Tane94 Workhorse probably will be added to the heap of failed EV companies.
  • Freddie Instead of taking the day off, how about an article on the connection between Black Americans and the auto industry and car culture? Having done zero research, two topics pop into my head: Chrysler designer/executive Ralph Gilles, and the famous (infamous?) "Green Book".
  • Tane94 Either Elio Motors or Aptera Motors.
  • Billccm I think we will see history repeat itself. The French acquired AMC in the 1980s, discovered they couldn't make easy money, sold AMC off to Chrysler. Jeep is all that remained. This time the French acquired FCA, and they are discovering no easy profits. Assume an Asian manufacturer will acquire what remains of Chrysler, but this time Jeep and RAM are the only survivors.
  • William I feel very sorry for those who attempt to use an attack on a product as a way to deprecate an individual whose politics they disagree with. They delude themselves and mislead others.