Six years ago, the Ram 1500 won the North American Truck of the Year award. And in 2019, the full-size pickup was once again picked for the honor by U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists at the recently concluded North American International Auto Show in Detroit. As they say, history repeats itself.
It’s a totally redesigned, almost all-new Ram, which was launched as a stand-alone truck brand in 2009. And what a pickup this one is, whew! With wheelbase up by 4, width by .5 and bed (5’7”) height by 1.5 inches and a 225-pound weight reduction, this overhauled pickup delivers an exceptional ride with a precise steering feel. Turning ability for the 5,302-pound Ram is outstanding at a curb-to-curb radius of 46.2 feet. Before we forget, it is ensconced on 98 percent high-strength steel and a 100-pound fewer frame weight.
The 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine cranks out 395 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 4010 pounds-feet of torque at 3950 rpm. A standard 8-speed auto gearbox shifts gently and effortlessly. A welcome change in this year’s Ram is the use of a five-link coil spring suspension in the rear and an upper, lower A arms/coil springs up front. With the hydraulic pump nixed, the new electric power steering is lighter by 6 pounds. Further fuel savings are seen when the eight cylinders deactivate while cruising or at slower speeds.
‘Get out of the way’ screams the colossal chrome-slathered grille hosting the chiseled Ram’s head logo, bi-functional projector headlights, fog and tail lamps and elevated aluminum hood. The 20-inch aluminum chrome-clad wheels draw attention too. Take a seat up front and your eyes will fall first on the mammoth 12-inch UConnect 4C touchscreen (make it split screen!) for navigation, audio (hello Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and phone controls. The cabin offers a stowing place under the rear seat as well as in-floor bins, dual glove boxes and several USB ports.
Best of all is the innovative center console area, which has room in its smartly hidden compartments for a smartphone along with wireless charging, a 15-inch laptop, full-size file holder, cup holders and a tablet holder. Other amenities are auto dual-zone a/c, 8-way power heated/cooled front seats, tilt/telescopic wood/leather steering column, 9-speaker sound system, overhead sunglass holder and a 40/20/40 rear fold seat.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, rearview camera, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, blind spot monitor with cross-path detection, front/rear park assist, remote start, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard. However, numerous safety options are available, which will fetch you an off-road package or such features as lane departure and forward collision warnings.
The revamped pickup packs tons of power while boasting abundant creature/tech comforts and praiseworthy towing figures. If you would like to ‘head down, ready to charge’ on the road, we suggest going for the 2019 Ram 1500. It’s one decision you won’t regret as the awards continue to pile on.