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The 2019 Ram 1500 made a splashy debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, revealing a truck that is both more and less at the same time.
What’s added to the new model? More space, bigger infotainment screens, and a brawnier look. What’s less is that the 2019 Ram is reportedly 225 pounds lighter than the previous model, which was accomplished using high-strength steels, composites and aluminum. Exterior and interior styling also get a redo. Our favorite feature carries over to the new truck: a coil spring rear suspension, which made the outgoing Ram ride so well.
The 2019 Ram 1500 will be available with multiple powertrain options, including the company’s ubiquitous 305-hp, 3.6-liter V6 engine and the 395-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Both powertrains get a mild hybrid system utilizing a belt-drive motor generator unit with 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-term torque assist, and regenerative brakes. More efficiency sounds great, but truck buyers are all about torque: The V6 delivers 269 lb.-ft., and the Hemi V8 offers 410 lb.-ft.
The engines are matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission that the company says is more efficient. Both rear- and four-wheel drive will be offered.
Chrysler claims that both engines deliver better fuel economy, although mpg estimates were not disclosed. There will be a diesel engine, though no details have been released. The last diesel-powered Ram topped our tests of all full-sized trucks with 20 mpg overall.
The new Ram has a maximum payload of 2,300 pounds and tops out its towing capacity at 12,750 pounds.
One feature that truck buyers might enjoy is the optional powered tailgate, operated using either an interior switch or remotely with the key fob. We criticized the last model’s tailgate because it had no assist system to ease its heavy weight.
The new Ram’s overall cab length increases four inches, making an already spacious cabin even roomier. Three different frame lengths are offered: a 144.5-inch wheelbase on crew cab short beds and a 153.5-inch wheelbase on crew cab long beds (Chrysler claims that both are four inches longer than the last model). The Ram’s “Quad Cab” long bed checks in with a wheelbase of 140.5 inches.
Chrysler says the 2019 Ram will get a new version of the already top notch Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system, which includes the choice of 8.4- or 12-inch touch screens and advanced in-vehicle connected services, including a 4G WiFi hotspot. The system will offer up to five USB inputs, including four USB C ports, and an optional integrated wireless charging pad. The truck also will comewith two three-pronged 115-volt plugs.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be available. A 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system will be optional, delivering 900-watts with a 10-inch subwoofer.
A 360-degree surround-view camera will also be available, which helps when parking such a big barge or when hooking up a trailer.
On the safety front, the new Ram offers forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.
All of these changes we hope won’t detract from the traits that made the Ram one of our favorite trucks, such as its impressive overall refinement, excellent powertrains, and the most comfortable ride of any full-sized truck.
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