The full-size pickup truck market is a tough and competitive. Owners ask for more out of their trucks than ever before, as they have to be workhorses and family vehicles. Automakers know this, and the latest models are capable, well equipped, and as comfortable as any luxury car.
Chief among this new crop of commuter-pickups is the 2019 Ram 1500, which was revealed at the Detroit auto show. Read on for five key details new to the Ram 1500:
1. A replacement for the crosshair grille.
The crosshair grille has been a hallmark of the Ram’s design for decades. Dodge is keeping the “big rig” styling but ditching the crosshair in favor of more grille variety.
Ram also updated its logo. It’s a meaner, more mechanical version of the old logo. It’s emblematic of the overall redesign for the Ram 1500, where the look of the previous model has been made sleeker.
2. There’s mild hybrid integration.
As in previous years, the Ram 1500 is available with either a 3.6-liter V6 or 5.7-liter Hemi V8. But here’s the big difference: Both these engines will feature mild hybrid integration, and they will also receive a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The V8 will makes 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Ram claims the “eTorque” hybrid motor will add up to 130 pound-feet of torque on the V8 when needed.
The eTorque system is optional on the V8 but standard on the V6, which makes 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The eTorque will help to provide some oomph when pulling away from a standstill, but it will also improve fuel economy. The new Ram 1500 will also feature active grille shutters to improve aerodynamics.
The only available miles-per-gallon numbers so far are for the non-eTorque V8, which returns 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway. The eTorque engines should be an improvement over their conventionally powered counterparts.
3. A really big screen.
The Ram 1500 is loaded with tech, including a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot and five USB ports. These features pale in comparison to the massive 12-inch touchscreen. Optional on the Laramie and standard on the Longhorn and Limited, this screen has a portrait orientation, and it’s fully reconfigurable.
It plays multiple roles, including infotainment, navigation, phone toggles, climate controls, and many other vehicle functions. The massive size allows for two menus to be presented at the same time, stacked one on top of the other.
It’s also backed up by redundant controls, including a real volume and tuning dial. As much as technology changes, people just want a volume knob.
4. Plenty of trims and packages.
In addition to the base Tradesman, options include the fuel-efficient HFE, Bighorn, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited trims.
It’s worth noting the new Laramie Longhorn is a high-grade luxury special edition with a two-tone paint job and grille. Inside, this trim gets leather seating and real barn-wood interior accents. It comes standard with 20-inch wheels, and 22-inch wheels are also an option.
5. The rugged Rebel is back.
In 2015, Ram rolled out the 1500 Rebel, a bold, aggressive trim. This truck also managed to preview the eventual move away from the crosshair grille.
The Rebel is back for 2019, and features plenty of off-road-read gear, including an upgraded suspension, 18-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, and an electronically locking rear differential. Its bold grille and fender flares match its off-road-ready capability.