2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Review - Truck, Perfected?

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.

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EPA Finally Rates the Full 2019 Ram 1500 Lineup

For the majority of this year, Ram fans have been limited to a single choice of powertrain in the new 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck. The stalwart and sonorous 5.7-liter Hemi V8 was the sole available selection for ages, with the eTorque-assisted V6 and V8 motors scarce on the ground until recently.

The feds have at last doffed their cloak from over the eTorque V6 and officially stamped an EPA mileage rating on it. Buyers satisfied with a two-wheel-drive truck powered by six cylinders will find themselves in command of a pickup rated at 25 mpg.

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2019 Ram 1500 ETorque First Drive - Fresh Horses

If the pithy sub-title to this review sounds familiar, give yourself a pat on the back. Or an extra carrot during feeding time. “Fresh horses” is a term deployed to describe steeds that riders substitute in place of the exhausted horses that grew tired during a long ride.

When Ram introduced its new 1500 pickup back in April, it was clear to all that the company shovelled many cubic acres of cash into revamping its exterior, chassis components, and interior. Lighter, sleeker, and more luxurious, about the only thing missing at launch were tweaks to the venerable Hemi V8 – an apparent lack of fresh horses, right?

The company promised tweaks in the form of a forthcoming mild hybrid system appended to both the truck’s V6 and V8 engines. Now, those fresh horses are here and we had a chance to let them run.

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In With the Old: 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Joins New Model to Energize Sales

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company replaced the original formula of its flagship soft drink and called the beverage “New Coke.” The new label was tucked into the corner, as this was to become the brand’s staple flavor. But the soda company knew better than to gamble its business on an unproven taste, so it retained the old formula and bottled it as “Coca-Cola Classic.” The end result was more sales and a safety net for those unwilling to steer their taste buds into adventure.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is doing the same thing with the Ram brand. The full-size 1500 pickup truck was replaced for the 2019 model year. However, FCA wanted to keep both the fourth and fifth generations of the half-ton hauler on the books.

Since Ram can’t call them both the 1500 and hope people recognize the difference, it’s appending the older model with the Classic nameplate. The brand will offer both the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, known internally as the DS model, and the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, marked as the DT, at all North American dealers through the 2018 calendar year.

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Incentives, Old Model Keep Interest in Ram 1500 Alive as Fuel-sipper V6 Remains in Hiding

What happens when you launch your first all-new full-size pickup in a decade with only one of the three planned engines ready to go? Fiat Chrysler’s finding out with its 2019 Ram 1500, which entered production at the dawn of the new year. Five months later, and there’s still no mild hybrid Pentastar V6 or similarly electrified 5.7-liter V8.

The 2019 model’s off the launch pad, but hasn’t cleared the tower. Thankfully for the brand, FCA saw fit to keep the older generation in production, satisfying buyers who like lower MSRPs and available six-cylinder powerplants. That doesn’t help would-be buyers who keep showing up at FCA dealers in search of a thrifty new Ram, however.

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Marchionne: 2019 Ram Production Is a Headache, Levante Launch 'Sucked'

Candid as always, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne let off some steam during a first-quarter earnings call this week. The chief executive, due to retire early next year, revealed the launch of the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 was not the smoothest process in the world, with the company taking on additional costs to get the pickup out the door.

Despite these troubles, the Ram 1500’s launch is nothing compared to the debut of the Maserati Levante SUV in 2017, which hit the market with a whimper. That launch straight up “sucked,” Marchionne said.

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2019 Ram 1500 First Drive - Takin' Chances

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.

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Pricing Announced for 2019 Ram 1500, Rebates Abound for 2018 Models

Ram announced pricing today for its snazzy new 1500 pickup and, while the relentless upward march of MRSPs continues unabated, starting prices may not have risen as much as you may think.

Critically, Ram also saw fit to release the costs for upgrading to their intriguing eTorque Hemi, a power team that promises the trucker’s holy grail – extra low-end grunt for hauling and increased fuel economy on the highway.

Hewing to another law of retailing, while base prices for the 2019 model haven’t moved the needle significantly from last year’s sticker, 2018 models now enjoy large rebates in some markets.

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Customize This: Ram Says 'Yes' to Entire Mopar Catalog

Most truck owners customize their rigs to some degree – witness the multimillion dollar aftermarket industry and the popularity of SEMA. Not to mention the existence of Truck Nutz.

Ram, after refurbishing the 1500 pickup in an effort to quash its competition like beetles under its tires, wants in on some of that high profit action. Today, at the Chicago Auto Show, the company unveiled a passel of Mopar gear for its snazzy new truck.

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MLK Ram Commercial Cleans Up, Controversy Be Damned

Far be it for us to suggest ulterior motives in an automaker’s marketing strategy (!). Unless you’re living in a primitive earthen hut with no electricity and using a rocky coastline as a latrine, you’ve no doubt heard of the hubbub surrounding Ram’s Super Bowl ad, which placed images of hard-working Americans alongside the words of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

Oh, and there was a 2019 Ram 1500 in there, too, working hard, as Rams are known to do.

By the time a dejected Tom Brady flew out of Minneapolis in his fashionable dress coat, collar popped, Fiat Chrysler’s “Built to Serve” ad had the Twitterati spinning on the floor, foaming at the mouth. A controversy was born. But is this a rare example of the target of online scorn…winning?

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2018 Pickup Crash Ratings Show What the New Crop of Trucks Needs to Get Right

Truly, this is a momentous year for trucks. Not one, not two, but three completely revamped or wholly new domestic pickups greeted us in Detroit last week, ready to capitalize on America’s unyielding hunger for vehicles that can haul, tow, ford, climb, traverse, and commute daily with a single occupant.

While we haven’t yet had an opportunity to put the 2019 Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, or Ford Ranger through their paces, we’d hope to find an increase in refinement and capability in returning models. Over at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, there’s a different testing regimen planned. Let’s just say it’s a hard-hitting one.

And if Ram or Chevy wants to get into the IIHS’ good books, those trucks had best perform better than their so-so predecessors.

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2019 Ram 1500: All the Details You're Dying For

This year at the North American International Auto will surely be known as the “Year of the Pickup,” with Ford introducing it PowerStroke F-150, Chevy hauling the wraps off a new Silverado, and Ram rolling out a new truck for the first time since 2009.

After months of speculation and hundreds of spy photos, the 2019 Ram 1500 has finally arrived. Here’s what you need to know before the jump: weight is down 225 pounds, the ram’s head logo is back, and both V6 and V8 Rams will be available as a mild hybrid. Wait, what?

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Spied: 2019 Ram 1500 Limited, Showing Us a Bit More Face

(Here at TTAC, we occasionally bring you a piece from a sister publication after determining it hits the right note for our readers. Given that these Off-Road.com spy shots contain a 2019 Ram 1500, and the author is none other than Mr. Matthew Guy, how could we pass it up?)

This year, we’ve seen a few spy shots of the upcoming 2019 Ram 1500. Shutterbugs have now captured what seems to be a test mule of the brand’s fancy-pants Limited trim roaming the salty streets of Michigan.

It’s clearer than ever that the new Ram is going to lose its signature mini-Freightliner look in favor of a more streamlined appearance. A trapezoidal grille is framed by a sleek set of headlamps, with the traditional gunsight ditched in favour of a R A M billboard with chrome whiskers.

Viewed directly from the side, this crew cab looks big. Really big. This could be a result of some visual chicanery thanks to the thick vinyl camouflage, but it sure seems like the upcoming Ram 1500 crew cab will offer its biggest rear passenger compartment to date. It’s not quite in Mega Cab territory but it’s certainly approaching that level.

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QOTD: You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone?

Two days ago we brought you a crop of spy photos of the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500. It won’t be long until we see the real thing in the flesh, either — the Detroit show’s just a month away.

As expected, the truck’s appearance in TTAC’s Slack chatroom caused no shortage of opinion. Negative opinion. Fiat Chrysler’s build quality and innovation never ranks high compared to its rivals at brand ranking time, but there’s no denying the company knows a thing or two about style. About designs that stand the test of time.

The fourth-generation Ram 1500, looking much like the third-generation Dodge Ram (itself not all that removed from the second-generation model) is one of those models. Joke all you want about quality and resale values, but in many eyes, including those of several TTAC writers, the truck just looks like a truck should.

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Spied: 2019 Ram 1500, Now With Less Camo (and Tradition)

Fiat Chrysler executives have made it very clear: the next-generation Ram 1500 needs to move away from the styling cues of the past, no matter how hard the transition will be for brand traditionalists — or Ram execs.

We’ve already seen movement in this direction. Several 1500 trims — Rebel, Laramie Longhorn, Limited — have already ditched the signature crosshair grille for a new design, positioning the Ram name dead center, flanked by two U-shaped ribs. If you’re still unsure of what kind of truck you’re looking at, the 10-foot-high chromed letters adorning the tailgate provide a second subtle hint. Hashtag branding.

As seen in these spy photos, the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500, due for an unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month, has a face that’s bound to stoke controversy.

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  • Bobbysirhan After massive bus fire, CT pulls electric fleet from service (middletownpress.com)At least they're following the science.
  • SPPPP I got a kick out of the three paragraphs beginning with "As a reminder..." and ending with "straight(ish) line". In no small part because they showed up twice in the article. As I scrolled past the next picture, I was gleefully excited to see if they would show up a third time. But no, the rest of the article continued as normal. Competent though it was, the magic was gone.
  • SPPPP Just an observation - at $1.66 billion for a target 1,800 buses, that's $922,222.22 per bus. I know they will need chargers, but still ... doesn't that seem pretty un-ambitious? Couldn't they put more than 20,000 Ford E-transit electric vans on the streets for the same price?
  • Kosmo The power figures for the 3.0 diesel are impressive, especially compared to the 3.0 diesel in our 2007 Sprinter.(Ralph Nader enters room) How do those STEEL bumpers affect crash safety?
  • Kosmo Magnum Wagon reboot would be the schizzle!