Category Archives: Ram

Rolling in Luxury, Style and Utility – 2019 RAM 1500 Pickup Truck

2019 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn
2019 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn

With a choice of Full-size Pickups on the market today, all providing plenty of utility, they are a far cry from the job-site work vehicles they originally intended for.  Once, a basic hood, cab and cargo box configuration, today’s pickups are well styled and luxuriously appointed, fuel efficient and filled with technology. Some even have become high-horsepower sport trucks.

 

What makes the 2019 RAM 1500 stand out is the level of luxury, technology, and styling.  RAM’s long history for hard working rugged pickups under the Dodge and Power Wagon name, the brand is known more for its brawn than beauty. A quarter of a century ago, when RAM was just a model designation within the Dodge lineup, they did something no other pick up had done. They made the exterior more muscular in appearance with a big-rig front hood and fender style.  For 2019, RAM has again stepped ahead, producing a pickup that is stylishly well appointed, inside and out, even in its lowest work truck trim.

 

Models

2019 RAM 1500 Rebel
2019 RAM 1500 Rebel

No matter what model: Tradesman; Big Horn; Long Horn, Laramie; Rebel; Laramie Long Horn; or Limited, each has added touches of luxury and technology. The iconic RAM articulated fenders are now smoothed and more rectangular as the brand defines what a pick up can be. Add to that a well-appointed interior, large 12-inch infotainment touch screen, and plenty of storage, a hallmark of its FCA heritage. The rotary dial gear shifter, pushbutton start is just some that you notice right away. The design of the interior with comfortable seats will reward you for short or long trips.

QuadCab or Crew Cab

2019 RAM Rear Quad Cab SeatWhile the original single cab pickup is still available in the Tradesman, a work truck model with just a front seat. Most buyers are using pickups like a family car and want more car-like amenities. And why not? Full-size car comfort and seating for five, a cargo bed for carrying cargo and towing capacity makes the pickup quite versitle. While both have full-size rear seats, the Crew Cab has a shorter cab with smaller rear doors. While the Quad Cab offers four full-size doors that open into an enormous amount of interior space.

 

Powertrain Choices

2019 RAM InteriorThe gasoline powerplants have been given plenty of refinements, including gains in fuel economy as well as power. Technology like eTorque, a mild hybrid system, in the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and optional in the HEMI® V-8. The eTorque combines a belt driven motor generator with a 48-volt battery pack enabling quick and seamless start/stop function and short duration torque addition to the crankshaft in certain driving conditions. An advanced cylinder cutoff system on the 5.7-liter HEMI keeps fuel consumption down while still providing the power of a V-8 when needed. At this writing a diesel option has not been announced.

New generations of the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission provide improved efficiency. Frame-mounted active vibration dampers and active noise cancellation provide a quieter cabin making engine vibrations practically nonexistent.

You still have the option of 2-wheel drive (rear drive wheels) and 4-wheel drive.

 

Technology

2019 Ram 1500 8" Center Display
2019 Ram 1500 8″ Center Display

RAM uses advanced technology throughout the vehicle with more powerful engine control computers and mechanicals. What drivers and passengers interact with is what will sell this vehicle.

RAM 1500’s HUGE 12” tablet like center display is an option, though the smaller 8.4-inch and 5-inch displays are nothing to dismiss. The Uconnect® System provides a direct link between handheld devices and the truck. So be it just the entertainment controls, or expanded navigation and data, you are connected to the world around you.

2019 Ram 1500 rear power outlets
2019 Ram 1500 rear power outlets

Ram understands that in today’s connected world everyone brings a device with them, and sometimes more.  The need to recharge has not been ignored. Four advanced USB ports (regular and micro USB, two up front and two in the rear,) as well as 12v outlet and a inverter to power 110v outlet inside and there is an option for it in the rear RamBox®.

 

Build

20180517_144017

With fuel economy always importnat, building lighter vehicles has led some manufacturers to focus on lightweight materials like carbon fiber, aluminum, and plastic. RAM, on the other hand, has taken to using 98 percent high-strength steel which improves durability and helps with weight reduction.

 

Cargo

2019 Ram 1500 – RamBox
2019 Ram 1500 – RamBox

The RAM will move most anything you ask it to. Payload means not only hauling but towing. RAM’s maximum payload has increased to 2,300 pounds, and maximum trailer tow to 12,750 pounds. The pickup bed in the Ram 1500 has a maximum cargo bed volume of 61.5 cubic feet, with dimensions perfectly sized to hold 4×8 sheets of plywood, even with the RamBox® option.

Available RamBox® cargo management system, is a no-brainer, using the wasted space on the flanks of the cargo bed with two lockable (available with remote access via the key fob) storage bins. Use them as a cooler, they have drains. Use them for storing tools, they can be lit with optional LED lighting and have a 115-volt power outlet (for plugging in chargers and more.)

 

Pricing

2019 RAM 1500 KeyStarting at $31,695 a new 2019 RAM 1500 can easily top out pushing seventy grand. The good thing is that you can pick and choose trim levels and options. With a number of factory incentives and deals from buying services, you may have access to.

While RAM dealers are giving tremendous savings on the outgoing 2018 RAM models, the 2019 Ram is well worth serious consideration due to the amount of engineering that has gone into improving it over the previous generation.

 

 

Words and images by William West Hopper

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Powerful Full-Size Pickups, Perfect for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day coming up there is nothing like talking about something that guys appreciate, a good pickup truck. Attending a recent Automotive Media multi-line drive event, it was the full-sized pickups that got my attention. Diesel powered full-size pickups from GM and RAM as well as a gas powered Ford F-150 in studly Raptor trim, each was very different to drive, and for a different lifestyle.

While each had pretty much the same footprint, dual cab, standard bed, it really is the options and the lux touches that make today’s trucks so mainstream. No longer are these just for the man who makes his living working with his hands who needs a truck as a tool for hauling. Today these trucks are ready for the loading dock or to the porte-cochere, hauling towing, or going out to show off.

 

The bed is really the heart of a Pickup Truck as it is for hauling things. GMC's Sierra Denali shown.While pickups were once only a tool for hauling and towing and wearing muddy boots and scruffy clothes is fine, now you might have to shower & shave when driving some of these trucks.  Like the driver, these pickups also hang up the work gloves and clean up for date night.

 

 

20170518_113520Dodge RAM Big Horn Crew Cab 4X4 a hands down favorite of mine, because it is exactly what a pickup is supposed to be, a hard working truck. This one was well trimmed out for passenger comfort, and not overly dressed up. If you jumped in in mudy boots, dirty jeans and a perspiration soaked shirt, you will feel at home, and the power 40/20/40 leather sport bench seat will welcome those clean chinos and a sporty polo shirt for a non-work drive.

The RAM 2500 with the Crew Cab is truly a massive behemoth, With the extended cab and full size bed it is big and long making it not the most maneuverable in tight quarters.  Powered by a 6.7-liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine with a 6-Speed Automatic and full 4-wheel drive. No question this truck will get the job done, just like a rugged working man would, with a price tag as tested of just under $66K.

The RAM's key is what you have known and used since Pickup Trucks came on the scene.
The RAM’s key is what you have known and used since pickup trucks came on the scene.

The Big Horn Package is $1800 option combined with the $2795 Night Special Edition includes both functional and attractive accessories. 20 x 8 inch Black painted wheels replace the Big Horn’s Polished Aluminum Wheels, Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle, Fog Lamps, Remote Start power 10-waydriver seat and a lot more niceties that will quickly become necessities the more you use them.

Luxury Group added $1045 to the bottom line with added lights, some LED and a color 7-inch Multi-View Driver Info Display. The Off-Road Package brings forth a Transfer Case Skid Plate, Bilstein® shocks tow hooks, spray-in bed liner and hill decent control which proves this vehicle is already set up as a towing rig.

While work may be the focus, as brute power are this truck’s strength. But there are plenty of niceties that make it fine for going out on Saturday Night.

 

GMC Sierra has a BIG Grill showing who is in charge of the Job Site!
GMC Sierra has a BIG Grill showing who is in charge of the Job Site!

GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD Diesel, Full size and dressed up for both work and play.  While not as flashy in sheet metal as the Ram or the Ford, it has well-tailored lines that hide the massive brute strength, like a guy in a well fitting suit. The Sierra’s muscles are all there under the nicely pressed shirt, with work gloves tucked neatly in the pants pocket. No need here to be a showoff!

The quite capable Sierra is the right mix of comfort and luxury as well. Ready when needed, to get down and dirty. At a price tag just shy of $70K no question it has a few more fancy touches, though you can take some of those off, why would you do that?

Powered by an HD Duramax 6.6-liter diesel providing the highest horsepower in the segment. The Sierra comes across as capable and well-mannered as they come. Loaded this one has everything from the leather seats and 8” color touch screen with IntelliLink.  Onstar with built in Wifi to make the rolling field office fully functional. A wireless charging spot for the phone (not all devices are compatible) and built-in gooseneck hitch capability shows us that GM is thinking like the offshore competition. Twenty-inch wheels (pretty fancy ones) and a corner step rear bumper along with capless fuel filler are just some of the features that make the GMC stand out.

 

Ford F150 Raptor, lots of bulges in all the right places
Ford F150 Raptor, lots of bulges in all the right places

Ford F-150 Raptor – While the others developed their bulk from working hard, this dude is the really good looking guy in the tight muscle shirt that catches everyone’s eye on a Saturday Night out at the bar. The Raptor had all the right bulges, in all the right places, though when it came to laying pipe this is more of a show truck than a work truck.

Ford F150 Raptor has plenty of switch gear for the gadget obsessed
Ford F150 Raptor has plenty of switch gear for the gadget obsessed

Mostly because it was running the 3.5 Liter Ecoboost gasoline engine, and the others were running oil burners. This test vehicle was very pretty to look at and lots of fun to fondle, with all of its buttons and switches! Just not sure I how comfortable I would be putting this truck out in a muddy job site, the other trucks might call him a prissy-truck. While he has the muscle, he got it in the gym, not sweating it out on the job site.

 

Ford F150 has very bold strong clean lines inside and out!The Raptor is very much the other side to pickup truck ownership that is not designed for work, it is designed as a show truck, one that you would not want to take out in the field and load it with scrap iron, but rather take it out of the garage for a Friday Night on the town or to the

Cruise-in. The Raptor is the perfect example of how the Pickup Truck has evolved in America, and how Americans are flocking to pickups not just for doing the tough jobs, but to be a part of an American lifestyle that drives pickups for shopping trips to the big box store. Hey, no matter what, the Raptor can park in my driveway anytime!

Three very different Pickups, for three very different lifestyles.  All can haul and tow, all can carry passengers, all look good, it just depends on what you want out of your Pickup. Me, I like all three, and once you have owned a pickup, it is hard not to own one! Or at least crave owning one!