Review & Compare the 2019 Ram 1500 at Larry H. Miller Dodge Ram Peoria

The next-gen Ram 1500 builds on a classic

It shouldn't be a huge surprise that the 15th-generation (yes, that says fifteen) Ram truck looks--well, a heck of a lot like the previous-gen Ram 1500. It's looked largely the same since Dodge and Ram first "split" ways back in 2009, and the "Big Rig" design has actually been around since the mid-90s. But, remember that Ram was born from Dodge, and the bread-and-butter of Dodge design language is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". It's why the Challenger hasn't changed much in a few decades, and why the Ram truck lineup doesn't need to do much at all, visually, to keep churning out those sales numbers.

Now, generation does depend on how you define it--if you go off of the specific Ram nameplate found on both genuine Ram and pre-Ram Dodge brands, this truck is more like 5th generation. But, if you go way back to the bones that led to the creation, evolution, and obsession of the classic Ram full-size truck, the genealogy stretches back a pretty long way. 100 years, in fact.

And Ram designers and engineers counted on all 100 years of truck history to decide what to do with the all-new Ram 1500 generation. The new trim level lineup includes staple favorites: the Ram 1500 Tradesman, 1500 Big Horn/Lone Star (the Texas-exclusive version), 1500 Rebel, 1500 Laramie, 1500 Laramie Longhorn, and the Ram 1500 Rebel.

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New engineering, new materials, new design

Saying that the Ram 1500 continues to pay homage to its roots isn't to say that it hasn't changed at all. But, the changes to and under the skin are a lot more subtle than other automakers have done to their truck redesigns. The use of more high-strength steel in the frame, box, and cab mean that its stronger than ever--but a thoughtful use of aluminum in the hood and in the tailgate keeps weight down where it should be. In fact, the next-gen Ram 1500 actually weighs less than the 2018 model did.

While the Ram 1500 does retain the well-muscled and stocky look that we've come to know--and one that's pretty common across the truck market--you can see where adjustments were made to make this truck look smoother, sleeker, and more agile compared to its previous generation. New additions like heavy-duty shocks, progressive-rate rear springs, splayed frame rails, and dynamic front crumple zones make the newest Ram 1500 the strongest Ram truck ever, and significantly safer than earlier generations, too.

Exterior colors include Bright White, Maximum Steel, Rugged Brown, Diamond Black, Black Forest Green, Blue Streak, Billet Silver, Delmonico Red, Patriot Blue, Granite Crystal, Flame Red, and Ivory.

Aerodynamics considered

The new Ram 1500 generation uses a pretty cool class-exclusive Active Front Air Dam, along with an active grille shutter and an active-level four corner air suspension, to reduce drag and optimize fuel economy. The air dam lowers at speeds higher than 35 mph to divert air around off to the sides of the truck, rather than running underneath the truck and meeting resistance from the huge number of suspension components underneath the vehicle.

Ram has managed to lower the drag coefficient by 9%, giving this full-size truck best-in-class aerodynamics. Now that's news that goes over smooth.

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Improved capability and muscle

Like in past years, the Ram 1500 comes standard with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine--but, this isn't the Pentastar that you know. It's an all-new generation of the engine, and while it still gives up roughly the same power output that it used to (currently at 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque), it comes with a really interesting new tweak. Ram's calling it "eTorque", and it technically makes the Ram 1500 a "mild-hybrid vehicle". ("Mild hybrid" is a new term that the industry is adopting for any vehicle that utilized the use of electricity to supplement or replace fuel consumption.)

You'll also find eTorque tech on the powerful 5.7-liter HEMI V8, which is good for a heftier 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. With eTorque technology, the V6 engine can add up to 90 pound-feet of low-speed torque, and the V8 can add a supplemental 130 pound-feet of low-end torque. What the eTorque feature--which is a 48-volt replacement for the alternation--does primarily is provide the electricity to start the motor, but it can also serve to widen the torque band toward lower RPMs. That means you get the benefit of added torque where you really need it most: off the line from a standstill.

If you opt for eTorque technology on the HEMI V8 engine, and the available Max Towing Package, the new Ram 1500 can now tow up to 12,700 pounds. The new Ram also sees its max payload capacity increase by 22%, up to a total 2,300 pounds when properly equipped.

A luxury pickup truck? Yup, Ram makes it

Let's get real. There's only a small percentage of truck buyers who are going to utilize the towing and payload capabilities of their truck more than 50% of its active driving hours--and even they'd like a little something-something to keep them comfortable in the cabin.

That's why, even though you can still get your mitts on an affordable, barebones, and ruggedly-handsome Tradesman, Ram has put a lot of effort into luxury-fying its upper trim levels. With what, you may be wondering? Check out just a small, brief list of some of the Ram 1500's new premium options:

  • A 12-inch touchscreen to run Uconnect infotainment and Navigation
  • Active noise cancellation
  • 19-speaker, 900-watt Harman Kardon Premium Audio System
  • Dual pane panoramic sunroof
  • Front heated and front and rear ventilated seats
  • Reclining rear seats

For example, on its website, Ram brags that the 1500 Limited/Laramie Longhorn truck trims offer 58% more leather than comparable Ford and Chevrolet premium trucks. That's not usually something you see in a pickup truck comparison--but it's a pretty clear sign that proves that the truck market is moving toward, or at least trying to schmooze to, a market of buyers that will be commuting to a well-paying office job more often than they'll be towing anything.

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Don't miss out on the all-new Ram 1500

If you're in the market for a full-size truck, the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500 will always be popular options no matter what state you're in--but, with incredible aerodynamics, more power and torque, smart new mild-hybrid engine technology, tons of tech and features, and legendary Ram truck car-like comforts, you'll be kicking yourself later if you don't at least take a look at the new Ram 1500.

Who knows? You might just love the new generation of Ram trucks.