By on March 16, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

We’ve all taken a few chances in our lives. Whether it was jumping off the roof of a shed as a youngster or accepting that new job in a different town as an adult, most of us find there is very little reward without some risk.

Some 25 years ago, two brothers in our rural fishing community built a new vessel which explored the edges of legal length at the time, banking on future changes to regulations allowing them to use such a big boat in their type of fishery. The brothers, naturally, christened the boat Takin’ Chances, because if their gamble didn’t pay off, they’d be out a significant investment. Guess what? They gambled correctly and, with regulations changed in their favor, Randy and Ross went on to enjoy a great deal of success.

For 2019, Ram is also taking a few chances. With the deep-sixing of the truck’s mini-Kenworth styling and signature gunsight grille, the company has crafted a pickup that is arguably its biggest gamble since 1994.

In the murderously competitive truck segment, each iteration of a pickup is expected to read from the Book of Kanye and be harder, better, faster, stronger. The 2019 Ram ticks all those boxes with increased use of high-strength steel, a larger cabin, more power, and greater towing capacity. We’ll get to those specifics in a minute.

2019 Ram 1500

The truck’s exterior will likely get Ram fans’ tongues wagging even before they set foot in the natty new cab. Ram designers are quick to illustrate the elements of big-rig style remain, with an aggressive power dome cascading down to a couple of sharpened headlights, and they, of course, are correct. However, this Ram owner thinks that while the new truck is imbued with a yaffle of style, it certainly doesn’t evoke a Freightliner visage any more. I will say it is a clean design, with the metal radio antenna binned and the current truck’s paragraph of nomenclature removed from the front doors

I think this gamble will pay off, as the new styling direction will likely cast a wider net and attract new customers who may have been turned off by the aggro appearance of yesteryear. If someone has been trying to convince their spouse to trade the family crossover on a Ram, they have a much better chance of doing so now that the exterior is much less polarizing. However, it is this author’s opinion that enough 1994 DNA remains to not alienate the Ram faithful.

2019 Ram 1500

One of Ram’s killer apps continues to be the innovative RamBox, a $995 option initially restricted to short box Crew Cabs. Renewed this time around with a new 115-volt outlet and overhead lighting relocated to the box lids to improve illumination, the trick cargo management system remains weatherproof, drainable, and lockable with the truck’s keyfob. An electric button, not a physical one, now pops the RamBox.

Without a doubt, the new Ram’s interior headline is the IMAX-sized 12-inch touchscreen found on high-zoot trims. Able to house one application, such as the navigation map, across the entire foot-wide screen, it can also be divided in half to operate two different applications at once. Its response time to inputs is lightning fast, typical of modern uConnect units.

2019 Ram 1500

The jumbotron is available as an option on Laramie and Longhorn trucks, standard on the Limited. Redundant controls for climate and audio frame its edges, so the thing remains functional if the driver is wearing gloves. It’s another gamble by the Ram team, one that will pay off handsomely because – and I know this from personal experience – truck owners love to show off their rigs. I’ll guarantee you we’ll be writing posts later this year about an increase in Ram transaction prices.

A toggle switch bank lies below the touchscreen, aping the one found in GM’s twins, and provides physical control of features such as traction control and two/haul mode. They feel like tabs of rubber infused with maple syrup. With logical gauges, an enormous centre console, and plenty of charging points (five USBs, USB-C ports, twin 110V outlets), Ram faithful will feel at home behind the wheel, which was doubtlessly one of the prime mantras when designing this truck.

2019 Ram 1500

Cab length has increased a total of four inches inside, accomplished by moving the B- and C-pillars an inch rearward and the rear of the cab an additional two inches aft. Crew Cabs now enjoy doors an inch larger than last year, while the rear door is one inch shorter on Quad Cab models. This reiterates the truck’s increasing role as a family hauler in Crew form at the slight expense of the Quad’s functionality. Think an inch doesn’t matter? Ask your girlfriend.

This extra length allows Crew Cab rear thrones eight degrees of slide-recline. On high-zoot trims, the center armrest is actually the entire center seatback folded down, creating a quasi-captain’s chair experience. Those rear chairs can now be heated and cooled. The rear floor is now completely flat, fixing a vexing problem on your author’s 2010 Ram. RamBins, those covered in-floor cubbies found in the Crew Cab, are larger than the old ones and can now accept a 4-inch drop hitch. Details like this matter to truck owners.

2019 Ram 1500

Ram sticks with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 in its new truck. Both engines gain a mild hybrid eTorque system for 2019. The extra electrons will be mandatory on the V6 and optional on the V8. Ram only has traditional V8s at this event, promising a drive of eTorque models later this year. The eTorque engine is expected to cost $1,995, an $800 premium over opting for a normal Hemi.

The non-hybrid Hemi V8 in the trucks shown here makes a familiar 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, mated to an equally familiar eight-speed automatic. While this mill doesn’t move the needle much from the old truck, the whole package feels more capable thanks to weight reduction. The team cut 225 pounds out of the Ram, compared to its predecessor. About half of that came from the cab and box, with the tailgate alone reportedly shedding 15 lbs thanks to a strict regimen of Reid Bigland kickboxing classes and Lean Cuisines.

2019 Ram 1500

Towing a horse trailer loaded up to about 5000 lbs, your author noted the truck’s better braking capabilities — thanks to new 14.9-inch rotors up front and 14.2 rear discs. Brake pad area is up nearly 20 percent and, combined with the lighter body, makes for a huge difference in stability when hauling a load. My frame of reference is experience regularly hauling a 9,000 lb camper with our 2010 Ram. That Ram in the picture is a coil-sprung truck, yet lacks much in the way of rear end droop despite bearing a tongue weight significantly more than 10 percent of the trailer’s weight (thanks to the unique properties of horse trailers).

2019 Ram 1500

Hauling measures have increased, partially thanks to weight reductions. For example, a Hemi-equipped short box Crew Cab 4×4 with 3.92 rear end gears is now rated at an 11,290 lb towing capacity. That’s around a thousand more than last year. An equivalently spec’d hybrid Hemi is rated 100 lbs less, but presumably will accelerate from rest more quickly with a load hooked up thanks to the electric motor. We’ll find out later this year.

Mum’s the word on a diesel engine for now, although it should be noted that crosstown rivals at GM and Ford recently announced 3.0-liter oil burners for their half-ton pickups. A Ram engineer told me one should expect to hear more diesel talk in the 2019 calendar year.

2019 Ram 1500

One must-have option package for 4×4 buyers is the Off Road Group. Available on every trim, it contains most of the kit included in the Ram Rebel – including skid plates, rear locker, front & rear HD shocks, and meaty tires. The company has seen fit to price it at a very agreeable $795, especially when the rear locker is a $495 stand-alone option. That one has the option to beef up trucks as varied as a workaday Tradesman or a luxo Limited pleases this author to no end.

The Rebel package is still offered, proving to be a popular trim with off-roaders and wannabe off-roaders since its introduction. Hammering a over an off-road sand wash at 45 mph sent enough grit and dirt skyward to satisfy the daily hygiene needs of at least four Persian cats. The much abused pre-production Billet Silver Rebel was unfazed by this treatment and shrugged off attempts to intimidate it with rocky uphill grades and fast washboard surfaces. Its hardworking cooling fan, with a diameter the size of entire rims on most passenger cars, sounded like a Huey over Hue as it helped the Rebel keep its cool.

2019 Ram 1500

Ram, and indeed the entirety of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is not exactly known for its subtlety (see: Demon and SRT Durango). With the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup, the company has created a truck that will use its new look and zenith-of-luxury interior to snag new buyers while also using its sense of familiarity and increased capacity to placate diehard fans. This, despite ditching a styling ethos that set the trucks apart and defined the brand for decades.

Takin’ chances? You’re damned right they are. Like Ross and Randy’s gamble, it’s going to pay off, too.

[Images: ©2018 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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100 Comments on “2019 Ram 1500 First Drive – Takin’ Chances...”


  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I’m very interested to see if the next Grand Cherokee interior will adopt some of the Ram, like the big screen.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Chris, would that be a good thing or a bad thing in your opinion?

      In mine it would be a disaster. The GJC already has way too many interior functions buried into an infotainment system that can be bricked with OTA updates without any notice.

      This goes for all cars and trucks to me. Tactile controls please!

      • 0 avatar
        MLS

        The new Ram has redundant controls for most critical functions, so why expect otherwise in next Grand Cherokee? I fully expect it to adopt this larger screen, BTW.

  • avatar
    Ltd1983

    “read from the Book of Kanye and be harder, better, faster, stronger.”

    I think you misspelled “Daft Punk”.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This is the new standard. Makes GMs efforts look lacking and completely blows the F-150 out of the water.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    So please tell me how “two/haul mode” works. Do that mean one can tow twin trailers? Yeow!

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I dunno the specifics of the Ram version, but on the off change this wasn’t just a joke, the Ford version alters transmission programming to shift more appropriately for heavy loads, and do more engine braking, stuff like that.

      I would imagine the Ram version (and assume a GM version) does the same things.

  • avatar
    86er

    Somewhat tangential question: how many trucks sold nowaday are 2-wheel-drive? In Canada I haven’t seen a 4×2 truck on a lot in well over 20 years.

    Just something that jumped out at me seeing the rear quarter of the Ram, with its prominent “4×4”.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I live in Florida. Although I think the majority of trucks here are 4WD, you wouldn’t have an issue finding a decent number of 2WD offerings on a dealer lot.

      Now, a gasoline powered HD truck that isn’t a fleet-spec regular cab in white paint is very rare around here. 95% are diesel.

      I think the “4×4” decal is only for the ones equipped with the off-road package, like what Ford does with FX4 and Chevy does with Z71.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I think that’s entirely geographical. In Washington state where I live, the only 2WD trucks you’ll find on a lot are white fleet specials. On the other hand, in Houston where my in-laws live, I’d say half the trucks are 2WD (and my FIL drives a 2WD F-150).

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @86er – In my Northern BC town, 4×2’s are lot poison. I rarely ever see them beyond municipal fleets and elderly curmudgeons.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        No one buys them here in SK either (not that there’s any to buy), or I would guess anywhere else in Canada. Some of that is practical and some is simply the trend.

        As an elderly curmudgeon (in spirit) I would like to see more 2-wheel-drive available (with LSD) but know that ship sailed ages ago. Funny how everyone got by without 4×4 up until the mid-90s or so.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I’m in Ontario. My ’94 RAM2500 (std cab, long box, Cummins 5.9) was RWD without LSD. When I bought it used from a Chrysler dealer in 2001, they said they would’ve shipped it down to the US to sell if it had been 4×4. I regret not spending the money to have an LSD installed, as I drove it for many years and got it stuck occasionally, in stupid places where you wouldn’t have expected.

      My current ’07 RAM2500 (Megacab, Cummins 5.9) is also RWD but has LSD. Only got that stuck once in 2.5 years I’ve owned it. It was a rutted, muddy parking lot with a slope and I was trying to reverse uphill out of a parking spot. I run snow tires in the winter and it’s very sure-footed.

      My Megacab was originally purchased in Florida, made its way up to Quebec early in its life and was used to tow a 5th wheel trailer. It went to auction after trade-in and wound up on a private used car lot where I purchased it.

      Before I bought the Megacab, I was considering another truck that I found online which was out in BC. 2006 RAM2500 Quad cab, 6.5′ box, Cummins, RWD, LSD, manual transmission. Previous owner had installed an exhaust brake on it. Used it to tow a race car trailer.

      When I was at the Toronto Autoshow a few years ago, I asked at the Chrysler booth why the Ram1500 online configurator wouldn’t let me pick a Ram1500 with a crew cab, 6.5′ box and EcoDiesel in RWD. The guy looked at me like I was crazy and asked why ANYONE would want to buy such a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The overwhelming majority of pickup trucks sold in Texas are 2 wheel drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Around SW WI you can’t find a 2WD on a lot to buy. Same with SUVs.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’m eager anticipating what the V6+eTorque system is like in real world driving.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    I was able to check one out at the auto show this past Jan and that interior is gorgeous, even with the “small” 8.4 screen. I’m also glad to see that the RAM finally gets back the separate stop and turn lamps in the rear and they’re going with amber for the turn this time around. We shall see if FCA eventually does some cost cutting and drops this.

  • avatar
    abhi

    Do the rear seats fold up in the rear like the F150 does?

    • 0 avatar
      Matthew Guy

      They do, yes; 60/40 split. There’s about 20 litres of contained storage space there, expandable to double that amount. Grocery bag hooks are on the seat bottoms, too – very handy.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        What if I want a flat floor and not a floor-hogging container system?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Saturn had a good idea there… fold-up containers for when you needed them while lying completely flat for when you needed a flat floor. And yes, they had grocery bag hooks to keep them upright in those containers if you only had two or three bags in them.

        • 0 avatar
          abhi

          I was under the impression that the storage boxes were built into the floor..

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Not with the capacity listing. 20 Litres is a lot of volume. I’ll bet you anything that those ‘containers’ are also the plinth upon which the back seats are supported. The Colorado/Canyon and several other trucks have gone the same way. The Ridgeline uses fold-down feet on the underside of the seats to leave a pretty flat floor while the seats get reasonably well out of the way. Can’t remember if the new Taco does it or not. All I know is that I don’t like it because I USE the floor as a floor, not as an assortment of parts containers.

            I want to plop my tool box on the floor, not on the seat. I want to roll my bowling ball bag onto the floor, not fight a holey platform that won’t even let it slide without catching the wheels in a pocket at chest level. In their efforts to make the trucks more comfortable, they are making them far, FAR less useful.

      • 0 avatar
        abhi

        Thanks that’s what sold me on the F150 it seems the ram will be a contender in a couple years!

  • avatar
    abhi

    Do the rear seats fold up in the rear like the F150 does?

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    The limiting factor in the towing ability of most 1/2 ton pickups is not the rated “towing capacity” but load capacity. That’s because at least 10% (and often more) of the trailer’s weight is carried by the truck, through the hitch. It looks like the horse trailer in the photo will put more than 10% of its weight on the truck and I know that the tongue weight of my 28′ Airstream (7600 lbs. GVWR) is about 1100 lbs.

    Compared to Ford and GM, past Rams were deficient in this area. It was/is possible to get a Ford or GM 1/2 ton 4wd crew cab with a rated cargo capacity (which includes the weight of passengers) of around 2000 lbs. With Ram, you would have to step up to the much heavier 3/4 ton to get that.

    Has that changed with the new models?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    How are the payload numbers? The old Ram 1500’s Achilles’ heel was very low payload in higher-weight configurations (quad cab, 4×4, high trim). Is this one any better?

    I have to say I haven’t generally been a fan of Ram trucks but this is the best-looking one since the Stone Age first gen.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It looks like around 250 to 400 lbs higher depending on the configuration (the hybrid ones aren’t listed yet though).

      Lower trims seem to have a larger increase.

    • 0 avatar

      Found the link to payload and towing
      http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/download.do?id=18752

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Thanks. Looks like a substantial improvement. The 4×4 Hemi crew cab configurations that everyone cares about are reported at around 1750 lbs. Add lots of options to the configuration and that’s likely to result in a door-sticker payload of 1400-1500 lbs. That’s still worse than Ford or GM, but enough that you can at least tow a meaningful trailer with your family in the cab.

        Some real-world configurations of the old truck had payloads around 1000 lbs. Not much left over if you have a lot of people inside.

    • 0 avatar
      Matthew Guy

      Great question. Like for like: a 2019 Quad Cab Hemi 4×4 is rated 1950lbs, a 2017 in the same configuration is listed at 1570. Short-box 4×4 Hemi Crew jumps from 1510lbs to 1800lbs.

      Thanks to everyone else chiming in. The link provided by mopar4wd will give stats for V6 (all hybrid now), Hemi, and eTorque Hemi.

      Here’s 2017 for comparison: https://m.ramtrucks.com/assets/towing_guide/pdf/2017_ram_1500_towing_charts.pdf

  • avatar
    86er

    Too generic.

  • avatar
    gtem

    So is this rear locker you speak of a user selectable fully locking one? As I recall the previous Rebel just had an LSD in the rear, and Chevy has their spin-locker. Ford and Nissan were the only ones to offer a selectable locking rear diff in the half ton space.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The off road package includes a selectable e-locker. A regular limited slip differential is still available otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      This is one of my favorite aspects of the GM truck design mantra. Many more of the trucks have the G80 than don’t, and I just think that’s right.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Do many Silverados get optioned with it that aren’t Z71 package trucks?

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Yup. Generally any with trailering equipment as well as far as I can tell. My research is far from comprehensive but it appears a relatively common feature. My dad has a fleet 06 Sierra right now. Doesnt even have power locks but it has a G80.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Nice! Speaking of basic fleet trucks, my brother just had a customer that decided that a $500 brake job was reason enough to get rid of a truck, coincidentally his neighbors that he shares a long gravel driveway with out in the country were looking for a new farm rig. Long story short they scooped up a very tidy ’99 Silverado with only 100k miles for $2500. Reg cab, long bed, 4wd with manual t-case, no A/C or cruise. 4.8L. I wonder whether it got the G80 too?

  • avatar
    readallover

    waiting for the Hellcat-engine Lil Red Wagon/Power Wagon edition.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “the whole package feels more capable thanks to weight reduction. The team cut 225 pounds out of the Ram”

    That’s impressive. I didn’t know you could feel a 4% weight reduction and attribute all of that newfound capability solely to it. Did you also notice the truck feeling more capable as all that heavy fuel in the tank was burned off?

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    this is where I stopped reading:
    Think an inch doesn’t matter? Ask your girlfriend.

    I am sure C&D’s review will give me as much if not more useful information without feeling like a teenager just jizzed on me.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Hey, points for originality though. From his extremely acerbic and controversial Ace of Base series, I can tell he’s an edgy guy who obviously pulled his punch a bit here. I’m sure the original was “ask your Mom”.

      The kickboxing, Lean Cuisine tailgate is what made my sides hurt, though.

  • avatar
    MLS

    “High-zoot” twice in one article? Time for a new cliché.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    The CrewCab Rebel is the one that has my interest, as in the current generation. Overall one of the best looking rigs on the road (those offroad details and the overall styling are EVERYTHING) and the whole package just calls my name.

    A few thoughts..

    –Whats up with the 6 lug wheel bolts now? The previous 5×5.5 dates back to the beginning of time, and options for aftermarket wheels are limitless. Now, youll be limited severely and probably to only the current crop of trendy crap. The only hope is that ARE or US Mags will have Ansen slots in a 17″ diameter that will fit…

    –I’m really hating the integral touch screens in everthing now. I get it, people like to be infotained. But why not buy out a quality tablet from Apple or Samsung or whoever at a fraction of the cost of these unique and proprietary units that cost a few thousand $$ when they crap out? Tablets are cheap. Tablets can be updated or replaced when broken or outdated. These screens will be be the Achilles heel that sends them to the scrapheap.

    –Hybrid? NO EFFIN WAY! Luckily, the Hemi can be had old school, and that’s how Id want mine anyway. V6ers are screwed.

  • avatar
    kkop

    As an owner of two 2014 models (Express Regular Cab and Bighorn Crew Cab), and being tall, the most important new feature for me is the telescoping steering wheel, along with the front seat sinking another .8″ compared to the current model. Those are exactly the changes I needed to be completely comfortable behind the wheel.

    Of course, I’m drooling over 12″ screen as well, and the extra room in back will be appreciated by my four-legged friend of German descent, and the occasional passenger.

    Also, if I get the mild-hybrid version, does that make me eligible for HOV lane use as a green vehicle? :-p

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Does the Off Road Group give you a true 4WD system? Do the other models still have the pathetic on-demand AWD system? My buddy overheated the transfer case pulling his 2014 Ram 1500 in the garage the other day after a snowfall; a task that any FWD compact on winter tires could handle with ease.

    If it’s anything like the previous one, it could be a really nice truck if they added true 4WD, defeatable nannies, and some steering feel at low speed.

    That pic with the trailer doesn’t look right. The truck needs a “leveling kit” so that the rear suspension will appear to be broken any time it’s towing or hauling a load. Also, to properly blind oncoming drivers at night so they know who’s boss!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Two transfer cases available.

      – Borg Warner 48-11 full time (the one with auto mode clutch pack – 2WD, 4AUTO, 4LOCK, 4LO)
      – Borg Warner 48-12 part time (2WD, 4HI and 4LO, no clutch pack)

      The 48-12 is the choice for the old cranks who insist that it’s not “true” 4×4 if there is a clutch pack that engages to send power to the front. It also conveniently comes on the cheapskate models. Power windows and ABS/ESC are still standard though, even though they are the devil.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Hey Danio,

        Are the full time ones reasonably robust? I really like the option have AWD mode available. I’m coming from the perspective of GM autotrack, which seems to work well.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “The 48-12 is the choice for the old cranks who insist that it’s not “true” 4×4 if there is a clutch pack that engages to send power to the front. It also conveniently comes on the cheapskate models. Power windows and ABS/ESC are still standard though, even though they are the devil.”

        It’s not “true” 4×4 and it can result in getting you stuck in the middle of nowhere in two different ways. The first is that it allows the rear wheels to spin and dig in to a soft surface, embedding the truck before the fronts can even contribute. The second is that it can simply overheat. And in day-to-day winter driving, instead of brisk acceleration off the line you get rear wheel spin followed by an unpleasant clunk.

        You do understand that the 4LOCK is an on-demand setting that functions no differently than the 4AUTO, right? At least they could be honest and get rid of that misleading, redundant setting. The transfer case would be fine if it could actually be locked into 4×4.

        Had he known that 4LOCK doesn’t actually lock anything, he would have ordered more of a base model or a 2500. Of course, at that time, some of the more basic models that specified the part time transfer case were delivered with the on-demand transfer case anyway. “Specifications subject to change” and all that.

        You have confirmed that you have no experience driving in situations where 4×4 and knobby tires are a necessity.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I like the styling. Still have a real hard time with a 76″ bed, vs the others’ 78.5″ one. The Ramboxes further emphasize the lack of those few additional inches. True to American form, every maker of ATVs, or anything else for that matter, seem to push every dimension as far as they think they can get away with. Which seemingly as often as not, is to 6 1/2 feet. Which means the gate on an only 2″ shorter 6 1/3′ bed, just about exactly exactly won’t close.

          That aside, for a light duty, daily driven truck, I personally prefer the Pentastar/8 speed to any other driveline out there. And coil/air over the others’ leafs. But darnit, even my camping mattress is 78″ long….. For those looking for the more common crew/short configuration, the beds are all the same. Except Ram has the insanely useful Ramboxes as an option.

        • 0 avatar
          NoID

          RPN,

          While I will agree with you on the technicality that 4LOCK doesn’t “lock” anything mechanically, it does pre-load the clutch packs and locks the front axle disconnect so that it is sending torque to the front axle prior to any wheel spin occurring. For most driving conditions it is more than adequate. And if you do the kind of driving that requires a mechanical lock, you can option that one instead. No need to get all cranky on us :)

          • 0 avatar
            cak446

            “it does pre-load the clutch packs and locks the front axle disconnect so that it is sending torque to the front axle prior to any wheel spin occurring”

            Although you are correct, by saying it engages the front axle disconnect, it most certainly doesn’t send any useful amount of torque to the front wheels prior to any wheel spin.

            We have every right to be cranky with anyone who supports this transfer-case, and the blatant misrepresentation of the 4LOCK setting.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            If it is proactively sending torque to the front, it can’t be much. You still get a delay to any noticeable activation and a good clunk when it happens.

            The electronic neutering of what are otherwise perfectly good vehicles does get me cranky. I hope I get over it someday because it’s probably never going back in the other direction. The limitations of a vehicle used to be determined by tangible things like cost and technology. It was easy to accept that. It’s hard for me to accept that they now invest resources into limiting a vehicle’s capabilities just to accommodate the most incompetent users.

            Increased transparency on the operation of their AWD system during the marketing and sales phases would have prevented this frustration.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    If it weren’t for that overly bulgy hood, I could almost like that truck… despite being FAR too large for my taste.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Ram buyers seem to like bulgy hoods. When my buddy ordered his 2014, the bulgy hood with fake hood scoops was an $800 option. It’s hard for me to understand where there’s $800 worth of value in that silly piece of flair, but they’re common enough to make me think that they had a greater than 50% take rate on that option. Might as well give them what they want.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    “I think this gamble will pay off, as the new styling direction will likely cast a wider net and attract new customers who may have been turned off by the aggro appearance of yesteryear.”

    I would be one of those people. I plan to get a truck in the next couple of years. This is on my shortlist.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. While everyone else has gone big, bright and cartoonish, it appears Dodge has toned it down to subtle. It looks like nothing else on the market yet is distinctively classy.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        I am pondering if the round, smooth, tapering front end styling is due to aerodynamic considerations.
        It is sort of an ’86 Taurus among its boxier, sharp cornered and sharp edged rivals.
        To my lifelong proclivity for streamlined vehicle design, this is the best looking of the lot.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “While everyone else has gone big, bright and cartoonish, it appears Dodge has toned it down to subtle. It looks like nothing else on the market yet is distinctively classy.”

        100% Agree. I think the new RAM will sell really well based on styling alone. Like it!

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I dunno. The 4th gen RAM (2010 to present) is the high water mark for truck aesthetics to my jaundiced eye.

    This is a step back styling wise. Remove the badging and this could be a stand-in generic competitor in a TV commercial.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Extremely bland and boring. And gee, ya think they’ll sell? Looking at what sells these days that is quite a prediction there.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Chalk me up in the “bland and boring” column. But it goes deeper than that. In 1993, Dodge delivered about 95,000 pickups. In 2017, they delivered over 500,000 of them, and came within spitting distance of arch rival Silverado. Old redneck saying- “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.”

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Ram has a winner on it’s hands, this is a solid truck. I’m glad they didn’t try to “out-Freightliner” themselves on the design end.

  • avatar
    loopy55

    I have no particular preference for Ford vs GM vs RAM but I bought a RAM last time purely because I could get an “off-road lite” 4×4 truck with underbody protection ( skid plates etc) without breaking the bank. Ford wanted a fortune to get that on their trucks as you had to buy an upmarket trim level.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      https://www.autoblog.com/2018/01/15/2019-ram-1500-chevy-silverado-1500-2018-ford-f-150-compare/

      I found this article a good read, but I’m not a candidate for a 1/2-ton pickup from either of these three because I prefer a Japanese brand made in San Antonio, TX, USA.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        Translation: “I buy Toyotas, and I just happen to need a full-size pickup.” That’s the Tundra’s market, pure and simple. Not a bad truck, but hasn’t make a dent in the full-size pickup market either. In 2017 Toyota managed to crack 100K units with the truck. (Remember Toyota’s initial volume projections?) This is probably the only competitive segment where FCA outsells Toyota by a margin of 5:1… and Ram’s third best behind GM and Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Tundra was never entered into the market to put any dents in the full-size pickup market.

          Tundra was entered as an alternative to Ford, GM and RAM, just like the Titan was.

          There are people who just won’t buy Ford, GM or RAM.

          I owned GM and Ford pickups in the past and even a used 1996 3500 Cummins.

          My conversion to Toyota came in 2011 when I bought my first Tundra, and continued in 2016 when I bought my second Tundra.

          But our travel-schedule takes us out of the US and leaves my truck baking in the desert sun for months on end, so I sold both trucks.

          We still have our road-trip 2016 Sequoia though, and my 1989 Camry V6 grocery-getter.

          If I ever buy another pickup truck, it will once again be a Tundra 5.7, unless I need something more sturdy.

          Then it will be a Ford F250 V8 or better. There’s only ONE all-American truck, and it is Ford’s F-series.

          GM, a brand that died, and RAM, a foreign brand, aren’t even contenders. Ram has much of it Hecho en Mexico.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            Sure it was- Toyota was projecting volumes north of 250K when it was introduced. Invested a few billion in two plants in anticipation of that. BUT- Toyota being Toyota, they hedged their bets so those plants could also produce alternative products in an alternate scenario. Wise move, because the entire mid-size pickup market is spelled T A C O M A, and that segment’s growing rapidly.

            Nothing against Toyota (there’s a Camry in my garage too), but it’s a segment they haven’t cracked. Unlike Nissan, they saw the writing on the wall and cancelled plans for HD versions. Which, in itself, is a lesson for the domestic brands. Toyota is fully aware they are capable of making mistakes, but they also have the built-in flexibility to turn on a dime if the situation dictates it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Interpretations vary, no doubt. I am of the school of thought that saw those unrealistic projections as just so much wishing and hoping.

            There was no way Toyota could even come close to making that many Tundra pickup trucks since their supply line with Hino part suppliers was already stretched when they presented the 2007 Tundra.

            Anything prior to the MY 2007 Tundra was not a real American-size pickup truck. They were nice trucks, but they weren’t competitive with the full-size American half-ton pickup truck. I’ve got a friend that still drives his T-100 today as a DD.

            Keep in mind that every Tundra or Titan sold is one less of Ford, GM or RAM. And they do sell, Tundra often at a premium.

            My youngest son in Brownsville, TX has a 2016 Tacoma. No problems so far. I believe it stickered for $45K, and that’s Tundra territory.

            He says it is far better and gutsier that his last V6 Tacoma 4X4.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…every Tundra or Titan sold is one less Ford, GM or Ram…”

            Yeah anything’s possible, but then you said: “Tundra was entered as an alternative to Ford, GM…”

            Now that I can agree with. Ford and the other aren’t really losing many sales, when Tundra/Titan buyers weren’t truly looking at any of those.

            The Tundra is more of an “alternative” for buyers that won’t ever set foot on a Ford, GM or Ram dealership lot, come hell or high water, but still want a fullsize pickup.

            My aging parents totally fit that profile, and of course have never come close to using their ’07 Tundra’s max work potential. It’s laughably in “near mint” condition.

            Buyers serious about “working” a fullsize pickup, day in day out, will buy whatever does it best for their needs. It’s not about what’s their “favorite”, fanboyism, or other prejudices at that point. And that’s where the Tundra and Titan quickly fall off the map.

            So yes Toyota found a perfect niche for the Tundra, even if there was never a plan to set the fullsize pickup “world” on fire.

            Personally I doubt Toyota thinks small, and if 40,000 Tundra orders came in a month, do you honestly think Toyota wouldn’t figure out how to satisfy the need?

            How fast would all further Tacoma production shift to Tijuana?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, I wrote that referencing a time when there were only the Big 3, or Detroit 3, as they were commonly known.

            We didn’t have much choice back then, and I bought a new Silverado and later a new F150. They worked as advertised but were not problem free.

            I did the labor myself back then. Now I’m too old for that. I want something as reliable as an appliance: Tundra!

            But then the Tundra came along, and I liked what I saw for the 2007 MY.

            The rest is history.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @HighDesertCat – Yeah Toyota is still coasting on that reputation, good for them they earned it, even if the quality gap is marginal now, or nonexistent in increasing cases, but false when it comes to pickups, unless some one can prove otherwise. I mean the kind of stuff that has you calling for a tow truck. Fleets/industry wouldn’t stand for it as far as I know.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, I understand.

            Ford, GM and RAM have come a long way when it comes to quality, reliability and retained value in today’s market, but for many like me, old habits are hard to break.

            That is, old habits that were based on great experiences.

            IOW, my experiences with my two Tundra pickups were great and uneventful.

            My previous experiences with GM, Ford and RAM trucks were neither.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            LOL yeah because Toyota doesn’t make any of it’s pickups in Mexico right? Care to bet on that

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Perpetual Bronze Medal Winner

  • avatar
    Aron9000

    Looks like the engineers were inspired by the engine bay in my 1999 Camaro Z28. Half of the engine sits under the cowl. I swear manufacturers really don’t give a flying fuck about how you are going to service this vehicle, 5, 10 years down the road.

    And its been this way for a while now, need to pull the heads on your crappy 2004 Ford Powerstroke? Service manual says you have to pull the cab off the body to do that job lol.

    Wonder if its the same procedure on this truck, any work needing done on the back half of the engine requires you taking the cab off.


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