The pickup truck battle between the Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 is hotter than ever thanks to a wave of new models and clever innovations. Trucks are big business and competition is fierce, particularly when you factor in models outside the Big Three, such as the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan. This explains why both Ram and Chevy launched entirely new trucks for the 2019 model year: You can’t let one of your closest truck rivals get the drop on you.
So, have Ram’s engineers done a bang-up job, or should they go back to the drawing board? If what you’re looking for in a truck includes a spacious cabin, supple ride and luxurious interior trim, the 2019 Ram 1500 might not be the best truck out there. It could be the best American luxury vehicle period. Still, it’s not without it’s shortcomings.
For Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman’s full critique of the 2019 Ram 1500, be sure to follow the related link above. For a rundown of our favorite features — plus some items that, frankly, could use fixing — keep reading.
Things We Like
1. World-Class Cabin
Ram might have created the best pickup truck cabin of all time, the interior of the new 1500 is that good. Even the posh Lincoln Navigator struggles to match the premium quality that our Ram 1500 Limited test vehicle exuded. The leather is soft, the wood trim is abundant and overall comfort levels are superb. You feel absolutely isolated from the world when driving the Ram 1500 — and that’s a good thing. Better still, you don’t need to shell out for the most expensive models, because even lower trim levels look and feel a cut (or two) above the competition.
2. Excellent Infotainment
The Ram 1500 interior comes with the intuitive and easy-to-use Uconnect infotainment system. The available 12-inch vertical touchscreen has simple menus and clear graphics. It’s a breeze to use and worthy of the luxury-themed cabin.
3. Strong Base V-6
A 3.6-liter V-6 fitted with the eTorque mild-hybrid system is standard on the 2019 Ram 1500. We’re already fans of this no-nonsense V-6, and it performs nicely as the Ram’s entry-level motor. With a total of 305 horsepower and 269 pounds-feet of torque, the V-6 provides plenty of power for everyday driving.
4. Hybrid Helps MPG
The eTorque system isn’t there just for show; this mild-hybrid setup delivers a true boost to overall fuel economy. In a Ram 1500 fitted with the standard V-6 and in rear-wheel drive format, you get an EPA-estimated 25 mpg on the highway. In the Limited model we tested equipped with the optional Hemi V-8 and four-wheel drive, economy registers at 17/22/19 mpg city/highway/combined. That’s a few mpg better than the Hemi V-8 minus the eTorque hardware; it also bests the Silverado and the Ford F-150 fitted with a twin-turbo V-6.
5. Tons of Cabin Room
Pretty much every full-size pickup truck delivers plenty of stretch-out space, and the 2019 Ram 1500 is no exception. The two front seats are wide and roomy, while legroom in the back of our crew cab was more than enough for long-limbed adults.
6. Great Storage Space
There’s not only plenty of space for people aboard the Ram 1500, you also get a ton of convenient storage areas and cubbies for everything from mobile phones to muddy work gear. The center console is cavernous, and if you need more USB and power outlets than what the Ram provides … you might want to consider a less plugged-in life. The bottom cushions of the rear seats can also be flipped upward to create even more cargo versatility.
7. RamBox Better
The optional RamBox storage system located on either side of the pickup bed has also gotten a sizable round of improvements. New for the 2019 model year, the RamBox comes with interior lighting, 115-volt outlets and pressure-touch latches.
8. Available Hemi Power
While the standard V-6 does an admirable job, many truck buyers will appreciate the extra power provided by the optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. With or without the available eTorque system, Ram says this engine delivers 395 hp and 410 pounds-feet of torque. If you pony up the $2,645 needed for the eTorque hybrid system, expect a boost of up to 130 pounds-feet of available torque, as needed. We also enjoyed the Hemi’s muscle-car-like exhaust burble.
9. A Luxury Ride
Whether you choose the optional air suspension or stick with the standard coil-sprung rear suspension, the ride is smooth and controlled. This is a comfortable and well-engineered truck, one that especially shines when you start adding extra features and fancier trim.
10. Crashworthiness Cred
The 2019 Ram 1500 earns strong crash-test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In every collision test, the Ram earned the highest rating of good. Thanks to safety features like automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, IIHS also commended the Ram for helping to avoid crashes in the first place.
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Things We Don’t
1. Out-Muscled by Rivals
On towing-and-hauling bragging rights, Ram 1500 owners will have to pipe down. Don’t get us wrong: When properly equipped, the Ram can tow up to 12,750 pounds and has a max payload of 2,300 pounds. Except in the Limited 4×4 model, which we spent most of our time testing, the payload rating plummeted to less than 1,200 pounds; the Ram also trails the pulling power of both its Ford and Chevy rivals.
2. Hard to Know the Hybrid Is Helping
You get the eTorque mild-hybrid system standard with the V-6 engine, though you need to spend a sizable $2,645 to pair it with the optional Hemi V-8. That’s fine, except with no dashboard light or gauge to indicate otherwise, you never really know when eTorque is operating and lending a hand (or helping lower your fuel bills).
3. Them Fancy Trucks Sure Ain’t Cheap
This isn’t meant as a knock specifically to the 2019 Ram 1500, it’s just a fact of life that today’s most well-equipped pickup trucks cost a big chunk of money. Our Ram 1500 Limited 4×4 had a sticker price of $68,390. Let that sink in. Keep in mind, that’s in line with what you’d pay for high-end models of the F-150 and Silverado. But, considering Bragman summed up his test drive by calling the Ram “the nicest pickup ever made by an American automaker,” at least you’ll know where your money went.
Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.
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