Let me first start out with an apology, since I’m about to gush unapologetically about the 2019 Ram Limited I just drove, it’s that good. Normally conclusions come at the end but I just couldn’t help myself. The situation is even more unusual as I’m not typically a truck person, but in this case my 2019 Ram Limited tester would be more suited to the term Luxury Car than pick up.
Ram has pulled out all the stops for this model and in my humble opinion it elevates it way above Ford’s F150 and GM’s Silverado; best seller doesn’t always mean best. So what’s the recipe for the new Ram since the outgoing model was already very good. Well, start off by making it lighter by using more light-weight materials, such as high-strength steel and aluminum, making the new Ram an average of 225 pounds lighter than before. Next upgrade the interior to be the most luxurious in class, add active air dams to help it move through the air more cleanly and finally give it the best ride in its class by using coil springs and in the case of my tester, air suspension for an extra velvety ride.
Every variant of the 2019 Ram 1500 is available with the eTorque mild-hybrid system, which I loved on the Jeep Wrangler 4 cylinder. It comes as standard on the base 3.6-liter V6 and $1,450 extra on the 5.7-liter V8. eTorque is able to add up to 90 lb-ft of torque to the six-cylinder engine and 130 lb-ft to the V8.
On The Road
Unfortunately my test truck did not have eTorque, but the V8 has plenty of go, since it puts out 395 hp and a hefty 410 lb-ft of torque, enough to move the beast from 0-60 in 6.1 seconds. It’s a perfect match for the smooth and well programmed eight-speed automatic transmission, which never skipped a beat, dropped down a few cogs without hesitation and gave the Ram the performance it needed. I never felt like it was lacking power and given something to tow, up to it’s 11,340 lb max, I’m in no doubt it would have no problems at all.
One of the standouts of the Ram is the silky smooth ride and body composure, it simply doesn’t drive like other trucks. There’s none of the suspension jiggle you get from other full size trucks I have driven before. Body-roll is kept in check, which let me tackle some some twisty roads without worry, credit for this going to the air suspension set up, an option over the excellent standard coil springs. This gives you four adjustable height settings, a low entry/exit position, an aerodynamic setting for fuel efficiency, normal and a high off-road option.
Close your eyes for a second and you’d think you are sitting in a top trim Audi A8, the Ram Limited is that nice. The speaker grilles are aluminum, the Harman/Kardon stereo plays Queen’s “It’s a kind of magic” like Brian May is shredding the Red Special and the leather seats are grainy and exude quality as well as having 8 way power, heating and cooling. They are very comfortable too.
The thing you can’t miss is the very large 12.0-inch split-screen-capable Uconnect infotainment system, which is absolutely brilliant. You can have your maps for directions in the center, music playing down below, there are real buttons if you need to up the air flow or you can go into the seat settings if your butt is cold. Really easy to use and responsive to inputs.
My tester was loaded with $11,195 worth of options, base starts at $56,195, which included blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert system, and front and rear parking sensors. Checking the box for the $2,695 Level 1 Equipment group, gives you adaptive cruise control, automatic front braking, a lane-departure warning system, lane-keep assist, a surround-view monitor that offers a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings, very helpful when parking this 19ft long vehicle.
I wasn’t able to find a space big enough in downtown San Diego that the self-parking system was happy with, so I used the valet on 2 occasions but it tried it’s best and had it been able to find one big enough would have provided active guidance and automatic steering as I engage the gears, brakes, and accelerator.
To be honest I was sad to see the truck leave me after a week of driving it around, it was like wearing a dress shoe that’s as comfortable as sneakers, perfect for every occasion. OK so even though I did only average 13.6 mpg for the week, and I used up all 33 gallons of the extended fuel tank, I still would love to have one of these. Yes it won’t fit in my garage and the options took my loaner to almost $70k, but it’s still the one to beat.
2019 Ram Limited 4X4 Numbers
BASE PRICE: $56,195
PRICE AS TESTED: $69,095
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, 4WD, 5-passenger, 4-door truck
ENGINE: 5.7L OHV 16-valve V-8
POWER: 395 hp
TORQUE: 410 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
0-60 MPH: 6.1 sec
CURB WEIGHT: 5,500 (est)
MAX TOWING CAPACITY: 11,340 lb
MAX PAYLOAD: 1,770 lb
FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 33 Gallons ($445 option)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON: 15/21/17 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: 13.6 mpg
PROS: Fantastic ride quality, Best in class interior, Modern in every way
CONS: Gets pricey with options