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2019 Ram 1500 side view

What’s Hot And What’s Not in the 2019 Ram Lineup

What to Buy and What to Stay Away From When it Comes to Ram in 2019

Ever since FCA decided to create a new division out of then-Dodge Ram pickup trucks in 2010, Dodge’s fortunes have been changing for the worse. On the other hand, the new commercially-oriented division has been on the constant rise ever since. After selling around 200,000 units in 2009 and 2010, the Ram trucks division has managed to market exactly 556,790 vehicles during 2017 in the U.S. alone. Of course, the Ram pickup truck sales have since been bolstered by the new Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City cargo vans, but the bulk of the aforementioned figure still belongs to the Ram 1500 and Ram 2500 full-size trucks. Heading into MY 2019, Ram’s total sales are projected to grow even further. So, how does the 2019 Ram lineup’s breakdown look like in regards to what’s a no brainer and what might be smart to avoid buying?

The hottest Dodge Ram topic for this year will certainly be the all-new fifth-generation 2019 Ram 1500 truck. Presented at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the next-gen full-size pickup is poised to take the next step in the everlasting struggle against its arch-nemeses the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500. As it’s usually the case, the half-ton version of the truck will be the first to benefit from the makeover. The three-quarter ton Ram 2500 and one-ton Ram 3500 siblings will have to wait another year or so which makes them an interesting choice at the moment. If FCA decides to lower their prices considerably, then I say go for it. Otherwise, it’s probably better to wait for the next-gen heavy duty Rams. Knowing how greedy the automakers, in general, can be these days I’d bet the latter scenario is more likely to happen.

What’s Hot In the New 2019 Ram Lineup

2019 Ram 1500

Of 556,790 vehicles marketed by Ram in the U.S. during 2017, 500,723 were Ram pickups, which is incidentally the record figure for them thus far. Needless to say, most of that figure falls off on the Ram 1500 half-ton truck. Moreover, that number also means that Ram trucks are the third-best-selling vehicle group behind their arch-rivals from Chevrolet and Ford, effectively making it FCA’s bread and butter vehicle. Since the fourth-generation Ram trucks soldiered on for almost 10 years, it’s not surprising that the 2019 Ram 1500 starts fresh as an all-new fifth-generation model. The new 2019 Ram 1500 commands a ton of improvements over the outgoing model including a lighter frame, better efficiency, higher towing rates, more space for both the passengers and cargo, and many other things.

For starters, the new Ram pickup discards the crosshair grille of its predecessors, but that’s not everything related to the frontal fascia story. Behind the new grille, the Ram 1500 sports one of its most intriguing pieces in the form of live active shutters which greatly increase the truck’s aerodynamics at highway speeds and work together with the automatic front splitter which lowers by 2.5 inches at speeds greater than 35 mph. The 2019 Ram 1500 is also half an inch wider than before, while the crew cab models got an extra 3.9 inches in overall length as well. Despite that, the half-ton still managed to shed up to 225 pounds in the crew-cab Big Horn trim with a V8 and four-wheel drive. The 2019 Dodge Ram interior is also getting a lot of attention as the new truck sports as much as 45.2 inches of rear-seat legroom and a new optional 12-inch touchscreen Uconnect 4 infotainment system with all up-to-date connectivity features.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited interior

Probably the biggest improvement comes in the Ram 1500’s towing figures, which soared from 10,620 pounds in the old truck to as much as 12,750 pounds in the new one. Additionally, the 2019 Ram 1500 now boasts a payload of up to 2,320 pounds which is also an increase from 1,880 pounds in the outgoing version. Of course, there’s a catch, as such impressive figures are exclusively available with the optional Max Tow package which, itself, is limited to rear-wheel-drive V8 engine-equipped models with eTorque assist and 3.92:1 final-drive ratio. All-wheel drive models, on the other hand, will max out at a still-competent towing rate of 11,460 pounds and 1,950 pounds of payload. Let’s not forget the covered and lockable RamBox bedside storage, which now melts seamlessly with the bed, but is only available in a crew cab/short bed combination.

The powertrain lineup is the final piece of this familiar yet rather fresh puzzle. The 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 5.7L Hemi V8 are still there, but they now enlist the help of FCA’s eTorque mild-hybrid system, which is basically a motor/generator unit that powers a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and replaces the alternator. The former engine generates 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque while, at the same time, getting an additional 90 lb-ft of brief torque boost. While the system is mandatory with the Pentastar, it comes as an option with the pushrod V8. Regardless, it adds 130 lb-ft of momentary torque boost to the Hemi’s already solid 410 lb-ft and 395 hp. Finally, the 3.0L turbodiesel V6 also carries over, albeit without the eTorque system. It should see improved output figures compared to the last year’s 240 hp and 420 lb-ft, though. Both gasoline units are mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission, whereas the diesel engine’s details are still to be disclosed.

2019 Ram 1500 side view

What’s Not In the New 2019 Ram Lineup

2019 Ram 2500 and 3500

As already mentioned above, the heavy-duty lineup of Ram pickup trucks won’t be going through anything like the full-on revision underwent by their full-size Ram 1500 sibling. At least not for the 2019 model year. Instead, the next-gen Ram 2500 and 3500 models are scheduled to appear in time for MY 2020, while the 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 are being carried over for one last time. In other words, this might be your last chance to get yourself a crosshair grille Ram pickup before they disappear altogether in 2020. Top tier Laramie Longhorn, Power Wagon, and Limited Ram 2500s, however, already don the next-gen front-end styling. In that realm, the Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn and Limited trucks do as well. Otherwise, the 2019 Ram heavy-duty trucks are still versatile enough in pretty much every sense of the word. They can be outfitted either as a traditional blue-collar workhorse or a contemporary luxury truck. The latter option, however, is better suited for the half-ton 1500 models since heavy duty springs warrant a stiff ride with an empty bed.

Powertrain options are the familiar trio of 5.7L and 6.4L Hemi V8s, and the optional 6.7L Cummins inline-six diesel. The former two gasoline mills generate 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, and 410 hp and 429 lb-ft respectively. The gasoline V8s can only be ordered with a 6-speed automatic transmission. On the other hand, the Cummins mill generates 350 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque with the 6-speed manual or 370 hp and 800 lb-ft with the corresponding automatic. That’s the output in its conventional form, whereas the HO option further raises the figures to as much as 385 hp and 930 lb-ft of torque. However, the high-output Cummins option is exclusively available with the automatic gearbox and the one-ton Ram 3500 chassis. Properly fitted, the 2019 Ram 2500 can tow up to 17,980 pounds with the max payload amounting to 3,990 pounds. The 2019 Ram 3500 with the aforementioned HO Cummins option and the fifth-wheel towing package, on the other hand, boasts as much as 31,210 pounds of trailer and 7,390 pounds of cab payload.

Ram 3500 front 3/4 view

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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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