By on March 4, 2019

2019 RAM 1500 front quarter

2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4

5.7-liter pushrod hybrid V8 (395 hp @ 5,600 rpm, 410 lb-ft @ 3,950 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive

17 city / 22 highway / 19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

14.3 city / 11.1 highway / 12.9 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

19.8 (observed mileage, MPG)

Base Price: $55,390 US / $69,040 CAD

As Tested: $66,755 / $77,900 CAD

Prices include $1,695 destination charge in the United States and $2,595 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

I’ve long scoffed at the class of trucks often referred to “Cowboy Cadillacs,” those seemingly built for the well-heeled Texan deep within every suburban dad who wants to prove he’s the king of the bagged mulch pick-up lane at Home Depot. Loaded down either from the factory or a catalog with big wheels, low-profile tires, buckets of chrome, boastful badging, and plush leather, these rigs seemingly took everything that was good about a proper full-size truck and amplified the douche factor.

Then I drove one — this 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. With badges illogically glorifying both Wyoming and Texas, I fully expected to be underwhelmed.

Nope. Not one bit. The newest Ram half-ton has had every possible superlative heaped on it, with good reason. This Ram is easily the best full-size truck you can buy right now.

2019 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn badge

And damn if it isn’t the best-looking truck one can buy, either. While Ram’s Detroit competitors have pivoted to blocky, massive, blocky grilles, I’d wager that this Ram looks almost understated. Part of me misses the traditional gunsight grille that defined Mopar’s truck from the early Nineties onward, but this simply looks right.

2019 RAM 1500 front 2019 RAM 1500 rear

Yeah, I could do without the extra badges. But on the outside at least, the Laramie Longhorn edition is restrained to a tailgate badge and a pair of small tags on the doors. On the inside, however, this Ram wears Texas with pride.

2019 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn badge

The rough-hewn wood (or plastic wood substitute?) lining the console and dash is a nice touch for those enthralled with the HGTV-fueled shiplap craze. The central armrest wears a bronze-look Longhorn badge sized like a rodeo cowboy’s belt buckle, with matching leather patches on each seatback. Thin, bright trim lines the console, gauges, and dash, with intricate Western-themed patterns etched throughout.

2019 RAM 1500 front seat

Note the saddlebag-inspired map pockets, with metal buckles. It’s over the top, and some buyers will eat it up.

2019 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn badge

That 12-inch vertical touchscreen wakes you up from the Old West-inspired trance, bringing you firmly into modern times. Based on the already-excellent Uconnect, the touchscreen is simple and intuitive to use, while giving a great view of every possible control. The screen can be split between two functions, giving full view of both navigation and audio without toggling between either — or it can dedicate the entire glass to one. Having such a big map comes in handy when exploring and/or getting lost.

2019 RAM 1500 dashboard

My tester was equipped with the Harmon Kardon 19-speaker audio system, which was simply spectacular. Hauling my daughter’s chatty friend to a Girl Scout event, I was able to easily drown her out without affecting the clarity of sound. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included with this big screen, too, which is welcome when satellite radio gets repetitive.

2019 RAM 1500 rear seat2019 RAM 1500 rear seat

The seats are astoundingly comfortable, both front and rear. The rear seats in this crew cab warrant special mention — they allow a bit of tilt to the seatback, unlike many full sizers where the seat is bolt upright against the back of the cab. Still, legroom was abundant, as I can easily sit “behind myself” without coming close to touching my knees to the front seats.

2019 RAM 1500 interior

My only quibble with the interior of the Ram 1500, other than the over-the-top luxury that is well beyond what I’d personally choose? The steering wheel trim. Call me silly, but I don’t love that the texture of the “wood” on the top of the wheel doesn’t match that of the “wood” at the six o’clock position. It’s an odd inconsistency that doesn’t match the overall quality found throughout the rest of this truck.

I only regret that I didn’t have any real hauling to do in the short time I had the Ram 1500. A couple of pails of kitty litter were it. It’s too cold to pick up mulch yet. I’d have no concerns about hauling just about anything, as this 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is equipped with Chrysler’s eTorque system, which Matthew Guy explained in detail last fall. Basically, a small battery pack combines with an electric motor and 48-volt electrical system to add torque in short bursts – up to 130 lb-ft. Beyond that, the system gives the big V8 a stop/start feature, and otherwise gives a bit of fuel savings to what would normally be a thirsty engine. A 19 mpg combined EPA rating is nothing to sneeze at on a crew-cab four-wheel drive truck, and I was able to slightly best that figure at 19.8 mpg.

2019 RAM 1500 gauges

And there’s no question I could drive this truck all day. Short of a few full-size luxury sedans, I don’t know that I’ve driven any other vehicle that rides as well as this truck. Body motions over undulating highway expansion joints are silent and well controlled. Other than the occasional concern trying to park in tight inner-city public garages due to the sheer size, there is absolutely no stress in driving.

I’m a convert to the full-size truck realm after spending time in this Ram. Before, I’d never really considered a big truck for my daily driving needs. I’ve found myself seriously pondering the brand’s build-and-price site – and I caught my wife doing the same.

I’m not buying this trim. I’m not Texas (or Wyoming) enough to pull this off. I want the crew cab, 4×4, eTorque Hemi, and I think I’d like the Rambox lockable bed compartments. I can live with the shorter 5’7” bed, and perhaps the smaller 8.4” Uconnect touchscreen.

2019 Ram 1500 screenshot

I’m building a Big Horn with the limited-slip rear differential, the trailer tow group, the sport appearance package, and parking assist, among a few other things. That gives me a capable truck that will do everything I’d ever need at under $48k. While that’s still a bunch of money, it’s more palatable for my budget than the pimp truck I tested.

And, no, I’m not kidding. The Ram 1500 is absolutely in the running for the next new vehicle in our household.

2019 RAM 1500 Ram badge

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn, screenshot via ramtrucks.com]

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129 Comments on “2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Review – Truck, Perfected?...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’ve heard people rave about the ride on these with the air suspension – did this one have it?

    I’m not a truck guy, but I like it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @FreedMike – the “air” suspension has multiple issues in cold climates. A colleague of mine loved the ride until it froze up on him multiple times in the winter. I’ve also heard that if you run hard off-road that you can overheat the suspension and put the truck into “limp home” mode.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Nah there’s actually no issues with the air suspension. Chrysler has been using it in the Grand Cherokee for a long time no. Personally I’ve owned two vehicles with it and even at -30 to -35 below zero (temp not wind chill) it worked amazingly well.

        And for the author, the wood on the dash is reclaimed barn wood. So it’s definitely not plastic.

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          Correct on both counts – the air suspension system is 100x better than it was in the early 2000s. I have never had it freeze in any climate conditions. And I have put 50k miles on one vehicle with the air suspension.

          On the Ram, the air suspension is wonderful because you can air it down to the lowest setting and get in a lot of municipal garages that would otherwise be inaccessible.

          And yes, the Longhorn uses real reclaimed barn wood. Lower models use plastic.

        • 0 avatar
          manwithnoname

          Yes there is. Moisture builds up in the system and causes the system to freeze up. You can find a ton of search results of forum discussions on it. I personally know two guys that had to leave their Ram at the dealer after the system failed in subzero temps. Typically the front ends up totally deflated and riding on the bump stops while the rear is at max inflation. From what I heard, it’s a rough ride when it does this.

          The air ride system isn’t all that great off road. If its raised for max ground clearance the ride is very harsh.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        I own a Ram with the air suspension, it does make the ride better than any other truck I have driven (former GM and Ford employee). The air suspension is absolutely and issue in cold weather. Below -20 any moisture in the lines freeze and causes a blockage. The compressor runs until it overheats and blows the 40amp fuse under the hood. I replace 1-2 fuses per winter here in Ottawa, Canada. First time it occured was a cold snap last year and we visited the local FCA dealership. They had 8 other trucks dropped to the bump-stops in the parking lot waiting to thaw out. It drives well but is not perfect. Very much a real issue

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The price for all that luxury and plush ride suspension in a 1500 is likely a sub 1000 lb payload (i.e. not even a “half-ton” truck).

    These are legitimate no-joke luxury vehicles that make my King Ranch look poverty grade, but they border on useless as a truck, since you will never be able to approach the towing limits without exceeding the payload. 4 guys and gear will top it out without even a trailer attached!

    • 0 avatar
      doctorv8

      Payload is actually close to a ton with the 5.7. I just picked up a loaded out Laramie version, which is hard to find on dealer lots, but can be equipped with all the toys, and has none of the Taste of Texas crap from the top line models. Great truck, and I agree with Chris that this is the first time I’ve wanted one as a daily.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I can’t remember where, but I did see one somewhere with a 990 lb payload sticker.

        However the Ram website does list 1,680 lb for an E-torque 4×4 Longhorn. So you are closer to correct than I am.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @jack4x The more bling you add, the less the payload. Ram had a great page for payload in relation to options but it no longer exists. I’ve hear numbers around 990 lbs. Pickup trucks dot com tested one once that was well under 900 lbs.

          • 0 avatar

            Here is a forum with actual payload stickers. Mostly Well loaded limited’s average payload is 1450.
            https://5thgenrams.com/community/threads/please-post-your-tire-and-loading-sticker.374/page-5

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @mopar: “Here is a forum with actual payload stickers. Mostly Well loaded limited’s average payload is 1450.”

            — That makes ’em a true half-ton truck then. Now if only it weren’t so physically large…

    • 0 avatar
      manwithnoname

      There are a few threads on a popular Ram forum where guys are uploading pictures of their payload stickers. Most 2019 Ram’s have a payload rating of 1500 to 1200 lbs. The 900 lb payload rating was for a 2014-18 Ram 1500 CCSB with the 3.0 Ecodiesels and Ram Box options. Pretty much usesless as trucks with such low payload ratings. A Chevy Colorado has more payload capacity.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Dodge….OK, RAM….does make a nice truck, but I still *loathe* that rotary shifter. And it has unfortunately found its way into the ’19 Power Wagon, which is a strong contender to replace my aging (but still loved) ’12 Raptor SCrew. I guess I can get used to it….

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      The rotary shift is a product of the 8HP transmission which is fully electronic, no linkage.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Most automatic-transmission vehicles don’t actually have a mechanical linkage to the transmission these days; the gear selector is a series of switches and it’s the computer that tells the transmission which “gear” you’re in.

        The difference is that most gear selectors still mimic traditional mechanical ones, while these monostatic and rotary shifters drive home the point that it’s all electronic.

        But the rotary shifter isn’t a necessity of the 8-speed. There are other FCA vehicles using that same 8-speed ZF transmission (like the 2016+ Grand Cherokee and 2018+ Wrangler) that have conventional-style shifters. What the rotary shifter does do, however, is free up space in the console, which a lot of people appreciate.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          About a month ago, I managed to slip my transmission into Reverse while the car was moving, and nothing happened — the lockouts and computers did what they were programmed to do, and I bumped the shifter back into Neutral, where I wanted to go to begin with.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Most with traditional shifters do have a mechanical linkage, though it is limited in what it does. Operating the parking pawl is its primary purpose but they also often dump control pressure in park and neutral.

    • 0 avatar
      ahintofpepperjack

      Can I ask why you hate the rotary shifter so much? You turn it to “D” and then drive away. What’s the issue?

      • 0 avatar
        jatz

        As someone who’s had two shift linkages snap in -20F weather, I’ll take a flyer on voltages and solenoids.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Mechanical shifters have been strictly ‘cable’ for decades, no linkages.

          The knob thing is weird to me, but OK I guess. Except when it fails, (and you know it will), with the cable driven, I know I can manipulate it enough limp back home, to parts/hardware store, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            “Mechanical shifters have been strictly ‘cable’ for decades, no linkages.”

            ’67 Impala AT and ’82 Reliant MT.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        I lived with the rotary shifter in a loaner Pacifica for a week, and also experienced it in a few Chrysler 300’s I test drove before eventually buying a Charger. The rotary knob is great, and frees up space in the console area. Two thumbs up from this guy, I have no idea why some people have issues with it.

        • 0 avatar
          ar_ken

          How does it “free up spaces” compared to a traditional column shifter?

          The only shifter that makes sense for saving space in the center console is the electronic shifter by Mercedes Benz.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            “The only shifter that makes sense for saving space in the center console is the electronic shifter by Mercedes Benz.”

            Which, by the way, Mercedes-Benz borrowed from BMW. BMW had the monostatic/eletronic column shifter first, in the 2002 7 Series and 2003 Phantom. Mercedes-Benz didn’t implement one until the new-for-2006 M-Class.

          • 0 avatar
            ar_ken

            This is why I come to this site. You get to learn something new every day….

            On a side note, does anyone other than Mercedes Benz still uses that shifter design?

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          It just begs the question of what will happen when someone spills their VentiBladderBusterSuperGigrundo MacchiatoLatteBlackTarExpressoCocaPepsiBrainFreezingSlushie all over the console! Hopefully you’ll be able to get the vehicle stopped and the engine off (which should place the transmission into Park) before something shorts-out! Fail-safe into first gear at 80mph, anyone?!

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Much like all of the other controls in that area, automakers do a good job of sealing that stuff up. That’s a very Luddite response. And the RAM’s rotary shifter isn’t even in the console; it’s next to the steering column.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            This is an argument for the equally-hated Lincoln dash shifter buttons. As with some other folks, I just don’t understand why these are so disliked. I have a nice big, very useful shelf under the console where the shifters in previous cars were located. Just one time, I accidentally pushed the reverse button while on the highway. It blinked at me a few times and returned to drive without any fuss. For people who think these safeguards are “just waiting to fail”, those of us who remember the Teac 2300 reel-to-reel tape deck of the 70s (and others like it) that had full-logic controls (push buttons for fast wind in both directions, play, pause and stop), know that the bugs of such systems that prevent ill-advised input from affecting operation were worked out decades back.

      • 0 avatar
        manwithnoname

        It feels like you’re driving a truck-shaped minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I had a ’14 with the knob shifter for two years, the best spin that I can put on it is that eventually I disliked it less. Getting the column shifter back on the ’16 Ford that I replaced it with was a breath of fresh air.

      The 8HP70 that it was wired up to on the other hand was brilliant.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      It is an order of magnitude better than the old monostable shifter.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Once you go over $50K, you’re in 6.2L land and that would be very hard to pass up.

    Although I understand that less engine-centric people may still prefer the Ram’s virtues.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      I’m pretty engine-centric, and the Ram is just a better package, full stop.

      The 5.7L is a fine engine and would be my second choice in the segment behind the 6.2L. It would be nice to see some version of the 6.4 Hemi in the 1500 though.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I think at $50k+ I’d have to go with the first-choice engine. I just know the buyer’s remorse on passing up the 6.2L would be too much.
        I also don’t have access to a Viper though.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          That is a good point and legitimately part of the reason I feel no buyer’s remorse for passing up a diesel engine in my truck.

          That said, sitting in a new Ram back to back with a new GM truck is really pretty eye opening, and I’m not a fan of either the Chevy face or the GMC fancy tailgate.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The 6.2L Chev makes marginally more power, but then you’d have to live with the rest of the truck.

      After driving a new Ram Longhorn and new Silverado High Country back to back, it’s not even close. For the same price the Ram has a leagues better interior, ride, handling and infotainment and can haul as much. I didn’t notice a difference in power.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “I didn’t notice a difference in power.”

        A stopwatch notices though. I’d get the 6.2L GM truck over the high-zoot Ram, but I’m not in this segment in the first place so it’s just internet whimsy anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          One of the issues is GM refuses to put a good gear set behind their engines, so everything is in the Transmission, Ram offer 3.90 gear set across the board and it makes the 5.7L feel more powerful than the numbers suggest.
          It’s all about gear set, big difference between the 3.23 trucks and 3.90 trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            manwithnoname

            The 3.90 gearset is nice. Unfortunately the fuel economy penalty with 3.90’s is pretty big. Observed fuel economy averages around 16 MPG. Not impressive since the new Ram was supposed to be more fuel-efficient for 2019 thanks to the low hanging air dam and weight reduction. The 8 speed received upgrades for fuel economy improvements but tge changes have had a negative effect on the smoothness of its operation.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The current 420 HP GM 6.2 will blow any Hemi Ram into the weeds. In fact we spent the afternoon Sunday with a friend that just purchased a 2019 patriot blue Ram 1500 Big Horn with the 5.7 eTorque and std 3.21 rear gears and got passed on the highway by a new 2019 generation Silverado 4 door 4X4 LT Crew Cab which is only available with the 5.3 DFM and 8 speed according to the online configuration. Oh and my buddy had his foot buried into the floorboard so I’m assuming the Chevy had the 5.3 with 3.42 towing rear gears to be that quick but it says a lot about how the 6.2 would perform and made for an interesting race.

        A couple of observations were that my friend’s Ram had the optional 20″ chrome wheels and the new Silverado had the base 18″ wheels and both were std size beds. We had 3 people aboard the Ram and the Silverado driver consisted of 2 younger guys. We were quite surprised at how fast the new Silverado LT was!

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Not everybody races their trucks. Besides, as you so clearly pointed out, the Ram was rigged for light-duty economy whereas the Chevy was geared for more torque. Of course they’d perform differently.

          My question is, if your ‘buddy’ wanted to race his truck, why did he buy the eTorque?

          Also, it sounds to me like the Silverado had a bigger engine, since you had to use the online configurator to get your info. What makes you think it was an LT and not, for instance, an LTZ? And even there it appears you missed that it also comes with the 6.2L EcoTech as an available engine? Being the younger types, I’m almost certain they would have chosen the bigger engine.

          Nothing to be surprised at if you ask me.

        • 0 avatar
          nrd515

          If you get anything but the 3.92 gears in a Ram, or just about any truck with 20″ wheels on it, well, expect to be dusted by most anything with smaller wheels on it. When I went shopping for my Ram, I test drove a 20″ wheeled 3.55 geared Quad Cab 4×4 and it was, ok, but a test drive in a 3.92 17″ wheeled Ram QC 4×4, and it was a totally different truck. I also drove a 3.92 geared Ram with those same 20″ wheels and it was noticeably slower off the line than the truck I ended up buying, the 17″ 3.92 QC. I loved that truck.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      I have been in all of the big 3’s highest end trucks, and the Ram puts the Chevy to absolute shame in every department. Yes, you can get the 6.2 liter, but the interior is subpar at best and the infotainment doesnt hold a candle to the Ram. With the E-Torque system, the 5.7 is right on par with the 6.2 for overall figures although I will admit the 6.2 is probably a better overall motor.

      The King Ranch F150 is sorely overdue for a redesign. I couldnt believe the amount of cheap plastics in the high-falutin’ King Ranch. And Ford Sync is also overdue for a redesign.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        ” With the E-Torque system, the 5.7 is right on par with the 6.2 for overall figures although I will admit the 6.2 is probably a better overall motor.”

        The etorque system is strictly for fuel economy. The sweet 0 rpm torque numbers in the brochure only work that way when the engine is at 0 rpm, ie. when coming out of stop start mode. In terms of actual power the 5.7 system has a max output of 16 horsepower, which is about enough to cancel out the the 105 pounds of etorque components that are now coming along for the ride.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    While I’m a more of a Tradesman package kind of guy these days, you still have to look at this interior and marvel at the opulence.

    Trucks have come so far from October of 1993 when I ordered my ’94 Ram 2500 Laramie with all the options just as I wanted it. That ’94 truck was going to be my office on the road. I asked my salesman, “Are leather seats an option?” He laughed and then realized that I wasn’t kidding. Leather did become an option just a year or two later. Little did I know that I was ahead of the wave.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    Does the 48-volt system make the stop-start system less of an annoyance?

    I have to say, that is a good looking truck, inside and out.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Return of the aspirational American luxury vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      You are so right. The physicians where I work have their own designated parking on the second floor of the parking garage. There are several of these loaded trucks from GM, Ford, and RAM on any given day in the physician parking area.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Return? Ram is only getting there now but Ford has been selling King Ranch trucks since the jelly bean bodystyle days. The Sierra Denali came out in 2009.

      • 0 avatar
        jatz

        Yabbut public acceptance of pickups as DDs for the multiple-degrees class is a new thing.

        Optioning and pricing them out of reach of the working class has both made them more alluring and somehow sanitized them for the snooty.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          As someone with multiple degrees, I’ll stop rolling my eyes at the full-sized DD pickups in the parking lot as soon as those trucks have plugin hybrid badges on them. I won’t have to wait long, since Ford has several large PHEVs in the pipeline for 2020 (F-150, Mustang, Explorer) using their “modular 10-speed” transmission.

          No, running your daily commute on electricity doesn’t solve everything by any stretch of the imagination — but there are many ways to generate electricity, and most of them are better than oil in both environmental and geopolitical terms, all things considered. Also, we can change the electric generation mix without making everyone buy a new car every time. Remember, I didn’t say running on electricity most of the time would save the world, I said running on electricity most of the time is better.

      • 0 avatar
        efezee396

        The Denali name was first used by GMC on Yukons in ’99, and the Sierra Denali came out in the early 00’s, between ’01-’03

  • avatar
    gtem

    Impressed with the real world MPG, and yeah the styling is a breath of fresh air. Also I like that they gave the seatbacks a recline feature, I was always taken aback at how much freaking legroom something like a Supercrew F150 has, but then it has a bolt-upright seatback that isn’t comfortable for more than a 15-20 minute ride (IMO anyways).

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The popularity of pickups and resulting competition has worked wonders. We are living in the golden age of pickups and it just gets better and better. A hell of a lot of money is being invested in improving these vehicles and allowing consumers to get whatever they want: luxury sedan substitute, tradesman workhorse, farm and ranch utility vehicle, recreational vehicle, suburban hauler, etc. With midsize here and growing and small size on its way, pickups are just getting more and more popular.

    (If CAFE helped to bring about pickup dominance, then I’m not mad at CAFE anymore. Long live CAFE.)

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    Before I purchased my new 2018 Silverdao Crew Cab LTZ – I tried to buy one of these. I had a couple of (what I thought) simple questions. What does it take to remove the tow mirrors that come with the tow package and replace them with the standard mirrors? And what would that cost?

    I have a narrow garage-and the tow mirrors were too big, and at the same time I still needed the tow package.

    There were no answers to those questions-so I ended up with the Silverado. I traded in a 2012 Sierra SLT.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      If the dealer had just said, “no problem, I will do that for you for free” he might have had a sale and some spare tow mirrors for his body shop or parts department.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I assume you would have to DYI the mirror swap. Dealers these days are just resellers – so the truck comes a certain way from the factory and they don’t change anything that isn’t a checkbox on an order form. For example I wanted to swap seats on a truck once (leather out / cloth in) and was told “no way”. The seats were part of a package so the dealer flat our refused to swap or exchange them despite it being a 10 min bolt in/out job (no power/no airbags back then). This is one of things a brand specific forum is great for. You just find someone who busted a tow mirror and sell them yours then offer to buy the base mirrors from someone else or hit up the parts department or eBay.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It’s not a supported mod that the dealer could make work. So most people who don’t want them pick another truck that doesn’t have the tow mirrors…

  • avatar
    JMII

    Does it need to say RAM in the dash too?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The crew cab pickup is the big modern V8 sedan folks like Vulpine have been pining for. There’s nothing more American than a 210″ truck with a big V8 under the hood, crowding out spots at the local Walmart.

    God bless America.

    Sidebar, I find it quite amazing but hardly surprising that FCA’s best interior by a country mile is in their full sized pickup. They absolutely knocked this thing out of the park.

    • 0 avatar
      Lightspeed

      So true, they have replaced the big sedan. I’d love to have a truck but they are far beyond my means. These trucks also speak to how fortunate we are in North America to have so much space. I wonder how they park them in the parkade by my office, but then realized the mirrors are far better than when I drove pickups plus back up cameras and sensors. I feel like a Luddite eyeballing my old Lexus into a space, while the guy in the huge truck does with one try.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Back when I had an F-150 (non-DD), I was surprised by how possible it was to park it in the parking garage where I worked, on those few days when I needed to do truck stuff on a tight schedule.

        Of course, I had to be selective about which spot I chose and that sort of thing, and a small car is much less *work* to park in a parking garage. But the big beast would fit most places if you put in the effort.

        Our small cars, though, you just drive them into the spot — no effort required. And it’s *possible* to park a small car in undersized street parking.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “than a 210″ truck”

      A half-ton crew cab is actually around 230 to 240 inches long depending on the bed. 210″ is more like regular cab short box length.

      The modern crew cab’s size puts it closer to the ’71-’76 mega yachts than something like a later B-body or Panther.

      1977 and 1986 may have won the battle, but it looks like 1975 is going to win the war.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Props to the boys and girls at FCA truck div.
    They’ve endured decades of organizational and corporate turmoil and delivered a superb vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      In a segment and manner that actually resonates with customers no less.

      FCA still has big problems… but they give customers what they want.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      They do seem to make so many interesting and just right vehicles.

      Shame about the last reliability ratings I read, though — they were very close to the bottom.

      Still, if I had to lease a family vehicle tomorrow, though, it would probably be a Pacifica Hybrid PHEV. It’s just right for my daily activities in so many ways. (I want a Model X, too, but the Model X costs more than my house.)

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Probably the best LOOKING full-sized pickup on the market.

    That said, it’s far bigger than it needs to be for its capabilities. A mid-sized truck that looked otherwise the same would be more acceptable.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      “it’s far bigger than it needs to be for its capabilities”

      You often say that. You’re going have to start putting your foot down with these companies or they’ll just continue ignoring you.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Acceptable to who? Why should these companies put your opinions over those of the people actually buying their products?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The flip side is that, if they want his money, they’ll need to build what he wants to buy.

        Doing otherwise is leaving money on the table, at least in theory.

        The full picture involves figuring out how many people can be cajoled into buying overpriced large trucks instead of the truck they want/need, and comparing that to the amount of money they’ve left on the table by ignoring guys like Vulpine, and like me (8-year Ranger owner, no truck now). But still, from where I sit, it sure looks like there’s money left on the table by the car companies.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Ford and Hyundai are the ONLY OEMs that have even mentioned building something truly compact; and Ford says theirs will be released somewhere around ’23.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          A huge misconception from the Small Truck guys is that an all new small truck would automatically be much cheaper than a full size. Base models of the half tons are well into the low-mid 20s after rebates. This is only possible because they share economies of scale with trucks like the one reviewed here. A ground up small truck design would not have this advantage.

          We already see this with people complaining about how close the Ranger, Colorado, et al are price-wise to the full sizers. A new truck starting in the teens is a pipe dream. There’s no new ’97 Ranger coming for you guys. Safety and CAFE standards have seen to that. So now you will have 3 sizes of trucks, and the full size only a couple thousand more than the small one, with a midsize jammed in between? I think not. There just aren’t enough people willing to pay the same money for less capability, just to get 1 mpg better and save a foot or two of parking length.

          Believe it or not, automakers are in the business of making money. They don’t just ignore giant untapped markets. If they thought a truly small truck could be sold profitably, they would do it. Since no one has sold one in nearly a decade, and nothing is confirmed to be coming from any OEM (rumors only), I have to conclude that they have looked into offering one and determined it isn’t worth it.

          Believe me, I wish there were more V8 sedans, high revving naturally aspirated sports cars, and manual transmissions for sale. There are plenty of people on this site and others who want the same. That doesn’t mean I believe my wishes are in any way representative of what would sell in the market, nor do I think automakers are ignoring me out of some kind of spite.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “A huge misconception from the Small Truck guys is that an all new small truck would automatically be much cheaper than a full size.”
            — Invalid assumption. By that reasoning, current mid-sized trucks shouldn’t be selling at all, much less at their current rates. You can buy a full-sized truck for less (after incentives) than a mid-size (after incentives.) I also happen to be one of those mid-size buyers. The simple fact is that within reason, a true compact truck is worth more than a full-sized truck when that full-sized truck is just gross overkill for the typical use the smaller truck would serve.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            I agree with Vulpine on this one. I test drove a Ram 1500 and loved it. It was so much nicer than my Tacoma and was even cheaper despite having a Hemi. However when the thought of living with its bulk day in and out sank in, I shelved the idea. It’s a shame that Ford brought an old design (the global Ranger) to the fight among mid-sized trucks. It would be awesome to see the same level of competition and continuous improvement in mid-sizers. GM has a huge opportunity to revamp the Colorado/Canyon and show up the ancient Tacoma as well as the near-ancient Ranger.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Ram Imperial. It’s time. FCA should show off their engineering prowess in a halo quad-cab truck. Share some of of the mechanical bits with the Maserati and (May Many, Many Deities Forbid) a future Ferrari SUV. Apologies to codger crowd but the market has moved. FCA should put their best into their best selling product.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      6 door, three row, Sextuplet Cab!

      Forget Grand Wagoneer!/s

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The closest thing was the old Ram SRT-10, which had the Viper V10 engine (which Lamborghini helped engineer).

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        Of which Lamborghini was a division of Chrysler at the time.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          As awesome as the SRT-10 was, it was really a parts bin special.

          We have seen fast and sporty pickups, we have never seen a truly no-holds-barred luxury truck. A Ram Limited 4×4 Hemi starts at about $60,000 and has IMO the nicest interior of any truck ever made. If they were willing to start an Imperial (I love this idea) at $80K and top out at $100K, what kind of luxury furnishings could they get in there?

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Chrysler V10 based on the old 318/340 with two cylinders grafted on? As I remember, it was a way for Dodge to have something to put in the pickups filling the void left by the demise of the 383/440 wedge motor years before. Maserati may have helped convert it into what we know as the Viper V10, but its origins were pretty humble.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            There are a lot of misconceptions about the truck V10 and the Viper V10.

            The basic design is a 360 with 2 extra cylinders and a longer stroke. The truck engine was conceived first, and the Viper came later, although the truck engine was not actually introduced until after the Viper went on sale. The iron block was deemed unsuitable for a sports car and Lamborghini was asked to help cast an aluminum block version of the V10. Some of their design improvements were kept, but ultimately the whole engine was revamped by the Viper team before that car’s launch such that only a few parts were shared with the truck engine, mostly bolts.

            So it’s fair to say that the Viper engine wouldn’t exist without the truck engine, but they really share very little apart from a layout.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Its a shame that the people who can design and build a truck this good couldn’t figure out how to make a decent small or mid-sized sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      In general, it’s not the engineers that make bad or mediocre products; it’s the accounting people that dictate them. This is most evident when the car is almost done being developed, and then the beancounters come in and say, “We’re pivoting, and we need you to cut 15-20% out of the production cost”…which is exactly what happened during the DaimlerChrysler era.

      But you can really see automakers shine when their engineers are given proper budgets and resources. More often than not, that’s based on what’s selling. It’s why Chrysler tried super, super hard on this Ram, and maybe not as hard on its most-recent sedan entries.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      I’ve no doubt they can figure out how to build a decent small or mid sized sedan, but why bother? It’s a low margin segment that’s in decline, and they don’t have a strong brand in this space. If they were to build a mid sized sedan that was materially better than a Honda Accord, would the loyal Accord customers buy it in significant numbers? And if they did, how much margin would they make on a best in class mid size sedan as compared to a loaded Laramie Longhorn? What kind of residual value would the hypothetical sedan have?

      I’m not a truck guy myself, but small and mid sized sedans are fast becoming an irrelevant niche product, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s hard to fault the automakers for building product their customers want to buy for a price that allows them to make a good profit.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Honestly, the OEMs mistake was that they dropped the coupe in favor of the sedan just as the more wagon-like CUVs were hitting the market. True two-door models would probably still be selling, even if they’re two and two-half doors.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I’m usually an SUV guy but I’ve seen several of these with leveling kits and +1 size tires with more sidewall – killer looks. These are absolutely gorgeous truck and the interiors are amazing. Ram outdid themselves with this one. I looked in all 3 at the local car show. I’m sure Ford has to make some changes in their plans for the next gen F-150 after seeing the Ram.
    GMs half a$$ attempt at their new generation is an unprecedented direction failure. Should have kept trucking with the K2XX design longer until they could build a successor that didn’t have the same market reaction the K2XX trucks originally did. Instead they have had two generations of trucks with similar introductions.

    Who wants to take bets on the Suburban and Tahoe being a step in the wrong direction?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The Silverado has one important feature that the F-150 lacks in many trim levels: an AWD setting on the four wheel drive selector.

      They call it “auto”, where the computer controls the 4×4 system to shift in and out of 4WD and to prevent both wheel-wlipping and binding/hopping on dry roads. This is important where I live because slippery roads are patchy, and RWD/ttafitional-4×4 trucks are terrible in these conditions compared to, say, a Prius (personal experience).

      The F-150 only has this feature only in the expensive trim levels.

      It was enough to get my sister and her wife to buy a Silverado to tow their boat.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Yeah, I’ve used that Auto setting before. It’s pretry decent. I believe it leaves the front axle engaged at about 5 percent—allowing it to switch to 4WD really quickly—so there’s some parasitic loss there, but not much. As it is, I would only use it in inclement weather or, like your sister and sister-in-law—while towing.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          My ’19 Colorado is equipped like that as well and honestly, the only time I put it into Auto mode is in inclement weather OR when I’m driving or parking on dirt or grass. Then again, I did similarly with my ’08 Wrangler, only then I would shift 2H to 4H on the fly as I encountered those ‘patches’ of ice or snow (shifting to 4H before hitting the patch, naturally.) Having a limited-slip front diff on the Wrangler meant I had to drop back to 2H for any turns outside of a broad left-hander on four-lane intersections, which the truck can handle more automatically.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    F-150 is best truck all around. Better reliability. No rusting fenders. Better interior than GM. More capability than RAM.

    • 0 avatar
      Shawnski

      Raptor; nice ride, entertaining drivetrain and interesting to look at. 18 mpg is the best you’ll get on the highway though; 35” tires…

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      My uncle just a couple years ago had his F150 returned because it rusted out under the fenders, under the paint. As in the paint was the only thing left. He has a Ram now.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Aluminum corrodes the same way steel does, only the color of the rust is white, not red.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          @Vulpine,

          Al does corrode, but it is misleading to say it’s the same as steel. Aluminum oxide forms a protective layer that protects the base metal from further exposure to the air. Iron oxide flakes off and allows for oxidation to continue to spread deeper into the base metal. I encourage you to compare a 20 year old aluminum bodied car to a steel bodied one in the Midwest sometime, and still tell me it’s the same corrosion.

          I did a lot of research on this before deciding to buy a Ford truck. The aluminum body was a very big selling point to me for this reason, considering 2 of my previous 3 trucks rusted away around a solidly running engine.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Right Jack.

            My parents had an aluminum sided house and after 20 plus years it just needed to have the white oxide cleaned off and it was easily repainted.

            It was a bit plus in their minds in an unforgiving NW Ohio climate.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I disagree, Jack. I’ve seen aluminum tailgates on trucks and SUVs that are fully perforated on 15-year-old models and we should just start seeing it on the aluminum-bodied Ford trucks. The aluminum oxide may slow the process down but it will still flake off when hit by spray, sand or other impacts as it does blister just like iron oxide…even if more slowly. The only way to prevent this is by anodizing the aluminum and even that’s not 100% effective. Any salt or other corrosive WILL penetrate that layer in time.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            Tell you what, in 2035 I’ll send you pictures of my Ford, which I intend to keep for at least that long in the heart of the salt belt, and you can send me pictures of your steel bodied Colorado, and we will see who held up better.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Considering I just sold a 21-year-old Ford Ranger last September with no rust on the body, I may have an advantage over you.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Aluminum corrodes the same way steel does, only the color of the rust is white, not red.”

          My 1995 Tritan aluminum snowmobile trailer says different. The wooden deck is starting to rot, the steel torsion axle is rusted pretty bad, but the aluminum structure has ZERO corrosion on it anywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            How about where the steel meets the aluminum? Or was the aluminum properly coated when it was built?

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            They put a rubber pad where the steel torsion axle rests against the aluminum frame of the trailer to combat corrosion.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well, that works. Now, what about the straps that hold all that together? What about the springs? It sounds like they’ve done a decent job, all things considered but you have to note that they had to do SOMETHING to keep those two metals apart.

            And I’m guessing the aluminum is pretty thick on that trailer, so the oxidation doesn’t swell up as readily. Thin sheet metal always rusts faster than heavy metal.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      The Ram blows the F150 out of the water. Has for some time. This new Ram just destroys anything from Ford or GM.

      It’s not all about fake sales titles and turbo charging high strung engines.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    Does anyone know if the monochrome exterior is available on the Laramie or Limited? I don’t love chrome but do like the better interior appointments.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The only thing I don’t like on these is the emblem on the hood. When you get up close it looks like something tacked on out of a JC Whitney catalog. It looks clunky. They should have done something more flush instead of inset in the hood maybe.

    I also miss the crosshair grill, but they also don’t have the flat, rolled edge fenders of the Power Wagon either. Ah, progress.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      On the hood or in the grille? Personally, I like it as it is–far more so than the other brands.

      That said, don’t forget that RAM has active shutters in that grille to help control airflow and improve overall aerodynamics.

      Or did you mean the tailgate?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I have a personal dislike for the crosshair grille.

      I’m not a gun guy, and don’t have want to associate myself with online CC enthusiast crowd in any way — even abstract symbolism that most people miss. A lot of those guys advocate unsafe firearms safety practices, and I learned far better gun safety practices at my dad’s side.

      Since my mind goes down this rabbit hole every time I see the crosshair grille, you’ll never see one in my driveway. Ever.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      “Hey look! We’re followed by a MAR!”

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “The only thing I don’t like on these is the emblem on the hood. When you get up close it looks like something tacked on out of a JC Whitney catalog. It looks clunky”

      I guess I’m not the only one that thinks that emblem on the hood looks terrible. Still a good looking truck & well proportioned truck. Wonder if you could remove it with a hot air gun minutes after bringing it home from the dealership.


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