The 2019 Ram 1500 takes pickup-truck luxury to the next level
The top Limited model is the line’s flagship with ample amenities and a steep sticker price
While they’re still available in rather basic work-truck versions, automakers and motorists alike are living large with top-shelf luxury pickup trucks that rival the best luxury cars in terms of features and accommodations.
We recently spent a week driving a top-of-the-line four-door Limited version of the redesigned-for-2019 Ram 1500 and can attest that the new model is well suited to challenge the class-leading Ford F-150 Limited and GMC Sierra Denali among big-buck trucks.
For starters, it’s lighter, longer and wider and features fresh styling that dumps the former “big rig” look for a more upright appearance. As before, the Ram 1500 comes in a wide range of trim levels, cab configurations and bed lengths.
Our tester came with four-wheel drive and the available 5.7-liter “Hemi” V8 that generates a strong 395 horsepower (rear-drive and a 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower are standard). Both engines incorporate a new “mild-hybrid” system that makes them both quicker and more fuel efficient. An eight-speed rotary-dialcontrolled automatic transmission is standard. The truck’s trailer-towing capacity is 12,750 pounds when properly equipped, yet it rides well and handles easily, especially with the optional air suspension with which our test model was equipped.
The truck can be fitted with locking storage compartments in the rear fenders, a power tailgate release, power deployable running boards, and a tri-fold soft tonneau cover for the cargo bed that turns it into an enormous secure trunk. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitor with rear crosstraffic detection, lane-departure warning and forward auto-braking.
The Limited model we drove came elegantly leatherupholstered inside with a herringbone pattern on the steering wheel and trim items, heated and ventilated front and rear seats and an enormous center console between them. The back seat is roomy enough to accommodate three large adults — wearing cowboy hats, no less — in limousine-like comfort. Rear in-floor bins with removable liners provide additional out-of-sight storage. A panoramic dual-pane power sunroof is available for an open-air effect.
Highlighting the Limited’s interior is a large 12-inch vertically-mounted tabletcomputer-like display that’s mounted at the center of the dashboard. It’s configurable and responds to both gesture and touch control. Running the latest version of the excellent “Uconnect” multimedia system, it looks complex but is surprisingly intuitive to operate. (Other versions feature less-spectacular 8.4 and 5.0-inch displays.)
Full smartphone connectivity includes Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto interfaces. A mobile app enables owners to remotely lock, unlock or start their vehicle, locate the truck in a crowded parking lot, and send destination entries directly to the available navigation system. SiriusXM satellite radio is included, and it comes with a new streaming music feature.
An available surround camera gives a 360-degree view around the truck for easier and safer parking; a basic rear-view monitor is standard across the line. A new Active Noise Cancellation system helps create in-cabin serenity, while an optional 19-speaker Harmon Kardon premium audio array with an earsplitting 900 watts easily shatters it.
Needless to say, all this luxury, combined with major towing and hauling capabilities — comes at a steep cost. The Ram 1500 Limited we tested had a sticker price of
$68,785 that included nearly $11,000 worth of options (along with the $1,695 destination charge). That’s indeed pricey, but it’s roughly on a par with the top Ford F-150 Limited model that starts at over $62,000 and can cross the $70,000 barrier with all boxes checked on the options list.