New look, new frame, bigger yet lighter cab, longer wheelbase, enhanced steering and handling, quieter and more fuel efficient all describe the new Ram 1500. A 12" touch screen will likely be the most talked about feature, though.
The 5.7-liter Hemi is basically the same as 2018 models with 395 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque. The other engine option is the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar with a mild hybrid eTorque alternator replacement producing 305 hp and 269 lb.-ft. of torque.
The transmission is again an eight speed but features revised electronics for economy and smoother shifts. The shifting knob is still there, but all the controls are around the knob in the dash, making 4x4, axle lock and hill descent buttons easier to use. A new forward-facing air intake system includes a hydrocarbon adsorption
filter that lasts the life of the truck with no maintenance.
The crew cab is 4" longer. The rear seat reclines 8°, and the seat bottom slides with it. The bed is 1.5" deeper with a one-piece, reinforced U-shaped tube framed around the tailgate opening. An adaptive front lighting system includes twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps. Headlights on high-end models move 15° when turning.
The 2019 model payload is up to 2,300 lb. and trailer towing is up to 12,750 lb. with new progressive rear coils for less sag under load. Thanks to an aluminum hood, tailgate, transmission and engine cross-members, the truck is 225 lb. lighter.
Adaptive cruise control with a trailer allows the truck to lock in a speed and adjust to a vehicle speed in front of you and brakes your trailer when it slows you down. A blind spot detection monitors when you are trailering, measures the trailer length and alerts you when someone is passing clear back at the end of the trailer.
The improved aerodynamic design increases fuel efficiency and makes for a quieter cab. All-new frequency response damping shocks improve the ride and handling.
Front brakes are larger at 14.9" and rear brakes at 14.8". The new electric parking brake saves weight, improves reliability and is part of a safety system that brakes when it detects you’re backing into an object. Equalizing truck brakes improve braking with a trailer.
A 360° surround view camera helps you see all around the truck. ParkSense parallel/perpendicular park and hill-start assist with ultrasonic sensors are reminiscent of a luxury car.
More 2019 Trucks to Come
Ford’s new F-150 diesel will debut in second quarter 2018 and the Ranger is coming back, after being off the market since 2011, in early 2019. Jeep’s new midsize truck, with a diesel engine option, will join the growing segment in 2019. Later this year, you’ll start seeing the 2019 Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra.
By Kent Sundling