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Mar16

2019 Ram 1500 V8 First Drive Review

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2019 Ram 1500 V8 First Drive Review

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – There’s lots happening with the 2019 Ram 1500: inside, outdoors, out again, and underneath the hood. New engine choices — two of which feature forty eight-volt eTorque help for additional grunt — and plenty of angle-heavy trims. However our first expertise with the ’19 Ram is concentrated on the totality of the truck expertise — taking a step again, a deep breath of desert air, and soaking all of it in. Ram is staking out a captivating area of interest in an extremely aggressive phase. Greater than something, this can be a very snug truck, and that is precisely what it must be.

Keep in mind, Ram ditched leaf springs for coil springs 10 years in the past, figuring a smoother experience outweighed the fee. That did not make it much less truckish, since capabilities additionally elevated. And the identical goes right here: The suspension geometry is tweaked even additional, giving it higher management over velocity bumps within the Phoenix suburbs in addition to the desert washes, guarded by saguaro sentinels. Lest you think this implies the 1500 provides up something on its predecessor, correctly outfitted the ’19 can tow as much as 12,seven hundred kilos. Sure, with the 1500 … not a twin-axle, heavier-grade 3500 or one thing. Most payload is as much as 2,320 kilos, too — though that score is just for a three.6L 4×2 with a three.fifty five rear finish.

There’s acquired to be a tradeoff, proper? Perhaps Ram pinched the interior to save lots of weight. Nope — each the Quad and Crew cabs are greater. The Crew Cab grows extra, although, with four additional inches of additional wheelbase discovering its method into the huge area behind the entrance seats — there’s forty five.2 inches of legroom again there, which is about 5 inches greater than earlier than.

This means of critically assessing the Ram, on the lookout for clues that one thing was worse or amiss, merely got here up empty. The one area the 1500 appears to point out weak spot is in pricing — usually it is costlier throughout the board, by a number of hundred dollars, though a few of that’s offset by favorable choices packaging or further content material. And, in fact, with elevated complexity there’s the potential for greater operating prices down the street — one thing we will not consider till these trucks have been on the street for years.

2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn

Again to the current: The conclusion we got here to is that Ram merely invested in a number of areas on this truck. A little bit of the price is handed onto the customer, however not as a lot as you’d think. To translate from beancounter: Pay a bit bit extra, get much more.

This does prolong to nearly each Ram within the range, however on our journey to Arizona there have been solely three vital variations obtainable, and all had the very same powertrain: a 5.7-liter V8 with out the eTorque forty eight-volt electric help system, good for 395 horsepower and 410 pound-ft of torque, and backed up by a ZF-provided eight-velocity automated transmission — a carryover from the earlier era. No eTorques have been obtainable, interval. We drove a Massive Horn 4×4 outfitted with the Sport look package deal on the street, a Insurgent off-street, and spent a little bit of time poking round a single Restricted 4×4 on-website. We’ve sufficient to say about the best way the basic ’19 Ram 1500 works with the acquainted Hemi V8 as an entire, and we’ll drive the eTorque engines quickly sufficient.

Despite the fact that the eTorque-outfitted trucks would be the effectivity darlings, the non-electrified V8 Ram nonetheless has lots of aerodynamic and fuel financial system features, as soon as an afterthought within the full-size phase. The ’19 1500 has, for instance, an lively entrance air dam on any mannequin with out an off-street package deal that lowers 2.5 inches, eliminating the necessity for a black plastic chin spoiler. It even has a system that pre-heats the rear differential, utilizing engine coolant, to scale back losses from friction from viscous, chilly gear oil. This stuff aren’t low cost to design and implement, and do not result in beautiful good points individually. However with no straightforward fixes at this level, for those who do not throw the whole lot you bought at it, you will blow your fleet fuel financial system and emissions averages.

So the 1500’s zero.357 coefficient of drag (a measure of how simply it cuts by way of the air) is not any shock — and in addition, a slight enchancment over the producer’s figures for the final-era truck (zero.36). To provide you a way of the place that matches inside the extremes, a slippery, a lot-smaller 2018 Nissan Leaf will get zero.28, and present-era full-size truck rivals are proper round zero.forty.

That aero enchancment is achieved with out making the Ram smaller, both. It nonetheless has a bluff, vertical entrance finish. The normal Ram crosshair grille is gone, a acutely aware break from the previous, and the brand new grilles cover lively shutters to assist scale back drag. There’s nonetheless a touch of the previous “massive rig” look to the hood bulge and step down over the headlights, a signature aspect that Ram’s smart to not ditch, nevertheless it’s not as outstanding because it as soon as was. The grille gapes, a very spectacular maw, with a number of horizontal crossbar remedies relying on trim, all drawing consideration to the “RAM” emblem — spelled out up entrance, quite than the ram’s-head defend, which is plopped onto the in any other case frivolously-adorned tailgate.

Styling is subjective, however the smaller and extra carlike headlights strike me as a softening of the general design. The brand new 1500 is not with out full-size truck swagger — the Lengthy Horn trim is embellished with each Western trope you possibly can think about besides a bullwhip — however the look, particularly in Restricted type, is extra Chrysler 300 than final-gen Energy Wagon. Similar goes for the taillights, with tilde-esque (~) slits via which amber flip alerts peek. It is subdued somewhat than dramatic. Perhaps it broadens the truck’s attraction. And if you’d like pure truck aggression, there’s all the time the Insurgent’s handlebar mustache (Ram’s description, not ours, by some means), however the outgoing truck is extra good-looking to my eyes.

Inside, the angle varies by trim, with no Tradesman or Lengthy Horns round. Decrease-spec Massive Horns put affordable supplies and patterns in locations you possibly can see and contact, and affordable-wanting more durable items within the nooks and crannies. The general impact is extra Jeep Grand Cherokee than work truck, and that is incredible for truck consumers who do not need to compromise a bit. Go forward and rise up near these nooks and crannies — this truck’s received nothing to cover besides plenty of space for storing — a cavernous 39 liters within the reconfigurable middle console, maybe the best within the phase, and 151 liters in complete contemplating all of the hidden bins and pockets. Three Uconnect infotainment choices can be found, together with a basic 5-inch unit, the mid-grade eight.four-inch, and 12-inch portrait-fashion touchscreen (elective on Laramie and a part of an gear package deal on greater trims). We discovered the eight.four to be sometimes competent, and the 12-inch unit spectacular however almost overwhelming. It is definitely onerous to disregard — it is glitzy, however the eight.four is ok.

You possibly can crawl everywhere in the 1500 for a very long time, analyzing minute particulars and testing out each door and lid (the newly damped tailgate is made from aluminum and could be distant-operated), however it is time to drive.

2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn

Most pickups spend the overwhelming majority of their lives on pavement, so we drove the de-chromed Sport-look-package deal-outfitted Massive Horn by way of the varied cityscapes close to Phoenix: freeways, suburban backroads, arterials. This can be a quiet truck, due partially to acoustic glass and some noise cancelation tips, like lively noise cancelation by way of the audio system, notably in cylinder deactivation mode. Likewise there are chassis-mounted lively tuned-mass modules — shakers, primarily — that detect and cancel out undesirable vibrations. That seems like loads of engineering to make the truck quieter, however it works nicely, and with out the heft of heavy sound insulation.

The experience is great, carlike, in reality. An extended wheelbase, up 4 inches on Crew Cab fashions in each mattress lengths however unchanged in Quad Cab fashions, does not harm any in that regard. Ram credit the revised, lightweighted entrance management arms, a relocated entrance anti-roll bar, and new progressive rear coils for the enhancements. However greater than any of those, the interior-bypass shocks (which Ram calls Frequency Response Damping) present two damping modes: a agency one for regular driving, and a softer bypass valve to take in more durable, quicker inputs. The general impact is a broad, forgiving damping curve, and a truck that rides plushly with out falling over in a nook. Sure mixtures of street imperfections will shake out proof of the stick axle out again. Air suspension is once more provided, however we did not drive any trucks so outfitted.

As for the 5.7-liter V8, it is carryover, so the revisions are pretty minor. The cylinder deactivation system’s working range has been broadened — this explains a number of the noise and vibration measures within the trucks we examined. It is imperceptible aside from a zero.5-mpg freeway mileage bump beneath EPA test circumstances. The cooling fan can also be electric now. Until you’re employed on the EPA compiling complete fleet common fuel financial system numbers, you will not care about any of this.

When you go off street, you will care concerning the new rear e-locker. You’ll be able to choice it on a truck with 4WD and a three.21 or three.fifty five ultimate drive ratio, any truck with the three.ninety two, and both the bottom or raised suspension. In contrast to the restricted-slip obtainable with any remaining ratio and drive sort, the locker lets the consumer lock the differential on demand.

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We ripped round in some deep sand in a so-outfitted Insurgent throughout a too-temporary however extremely pleasurable off-street romp — it really works as marketed. And if you’d like off-street goodies with out the Insurgent’s aesthetic upgrades, there’s the Off-Street package deal: a 1-inch carry with or with out the air suspension, the e-locker, 32-inch tires on 18- or 20-inch wheels, hill-descent management, revised rear suspension geometry, recalibrated shocks, skid plates, and tow hooks. The aftermarket can and can prepare dinner up a more durable-core package deal for a price, however for simply $795 and obtainable on all trims, it is a terrific package deal deal.

The identical may be stated for the ’19 Ram 1500 as an entire. As we talked about above, prices have crept up, however that matches phase tendencies and purchaser preferences. And higher standard gear negates a number of the value improve. The one consumers who’ll endure are these on a strict finances.

Since we’ve not seen the regular-cab Ram but, the most cost effective Ram is the Quad Cab Tradesman with a three.6L eTorque motor at $33,340, splitting the distinction between the closest comparable Silverado 1500 and Ford F-one hundred fifty. At this finish of the market, the unfold is about $600. Keep in mind, we’ve not pushed an eTorque Ram but, so we will solely converse to the chassis, however the distinction is sufficiently small that the Ram’s plush journey and (possible) effectivity lead will show to be vital elements in any shopping for choice.

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel

A fast apart about upgrading to V8 energy. For the ’19 Ram, the plain 5.7-liter V8 is a $1,195 improve, which is $255 cheaper than earlier than. For F-one hundred fifty, going from the three.three V6 to the 5.zero V8 is $1,995 (or $995 to get the marginally much less highly effective 2.7L EcoBoost). For the Silverado, going from the four.three V6 to the 5.3L V8 is $1,195. Including eTorque to the 5.7 will add $800 to the invoice.

On this exceptionally aggressive phase of giant sellers, there isn’t any runaway winner. Being extremely customizable helps every attraction to a broad viewers — and the Ram’s id-oriented trims are an enormous boon. For the ’19 particularly, the additional on a regular basis livability of the 1500 is its largest power, contemplating that load-carrying functionality within the cab, mattress, and towed behind hasn’t been sacrificed.

The Hemi-outfitted trucks we drove have been the type of trucks that say quite a bit with out saying something in any respect. The straightforward and exact steering, the hushed interior, the carlike experience all will add attraction to a broader phase of consumers than simply the contractor crowd. The actual full-size truck battle has taken place within the cabs in recent times, with refinement and luxury turning into as necessary because the do-work numbers. Ram’s taken that a step additional, and it appears the subsequent battle will unfold in journey, dealing with and tranquility. For the second, the brand new Ram has every little thing going for it — and much more on the horizon if the eTorque motors ship on their promise of additional energy and effectivity.

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