Think of the phrase pickup-truck and most likely words such as bulky, cumbersome, heavy-duty and functional come to mind. Manufacturers have been trying to make them more urbane over the years by offering more and more creature comforts, and more car-like ride quality. Ram, a brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, wants to take its flagship, 1500 model, to a whole new level by offering it as an everyday luxury vehicle.
According to the brand, the 2019 model has undergone its most significant redesign ever to offer more capability, strength and performance, along with the latest in technology and refinement. Some critics seem to agree.
The editors of Cars.com named the 2019 Ram 1500 “Best of Show” at the 2018 North American International Auto Show – “for its blend of capability, comfort, technology and efficiency.” It was also the only truck to be named on Ward’s 2018 ‘10 Best Interiors List.’
Ram offers four variants of the 1500: Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel and Limited. Each offers something different and targets a different market segment. The Limited variant is the top of the line as far as luxury features are concerned.
To begin with, the interior of the new 1500 range offers more space. An additional 10 cm has also been added to the cabin, while giving rear-seat passengers the best-in-class legroom at 115 cm. Its innovative active noise cancellation system and acoustic glass combine to reduce the ambient sounds in the cabin down to 67.1 dB, making it the quietest 1500 ever. To put this into perspective, a new dishwasher generates around 70 dB. The driver and passenger of the 1500 Limited get premium leather ventilated bucket seats that are eight-way power-adjustable with memory. The steering wheel is wood wrapped leather. The pedals are power-adjustable with memory. The passengers at the back also get ventilated rear seats that recline up to eight-degrees along with a fold-down centre console. Leather and wood embellishments are found throughout the cabin.
There is an abundance of tech in the cabin. At the centre is a 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen display with navigation and split-screen capability for dual-application operation. The award-winning fourth generation Uconnect system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard along with a premium ten-speaker audio system. Multifunction Type-C USB ports that allow devices to be charged up to four times faster than standard USB outlets are also standard along with an integrated wireless charging pad.
To make manoeuvrability and parking easier, the 1500 has a 360-degree surround-view camera that gives a birds-eye perspective of the vehicle via four cameras positioned around the vehicle to create a fully stitched image. This is in addition to the ParkSense front and rear parking sensors, Parkview rear backup camera, blind-spot and rear cross-path detection, and adaptive cruise control, all as standard. Some of the safety features include Electronic Roll Mitigation, multistage airbags, and Electronic Stability Control.
The cabin has a total of 151 litres of interior storage. It includes a new centre console with 12 different storage configurations and customisation options. Outside, there are two lockable RamBox bedside storage, hidden bins and flat-load floor for cargo.
The exterior of the 1500 Limited has a distinct corrugated full chrome mesh grille, stylish chrome accents, full LED headlamps with signature lighting, power running boards, and 20-inch aluminium wheels.
All the 1500 variants are powered by the legendary 5.7-litre HEMI V8 with variable-valve timing. It delivers 395 hp at 5,600 rpm and 555 newton-meter of torque. However, to maximise fuel efficiency, four of the engine’s eight cylinders can be shut off during light load operation. The engine is linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 1500 sports the largest front brake rotors in the segment at 378 mm. A new electric parking brake replaces the previously foot-operated parking brake.
A link-coil rear suspension system can now be coupled with an optional air suspension system that features five height settings. It not only adds up to 102mm of lift but also makes the 1500 best-in-class in several parameters: step-in height at 533.4 mm, ground clearance at 271.78 mm, departure angle of 27.8 degrees, and break-over angle of 24.2 degrees. Another benefit of the new air suspension is its load-levelling capability, by which it automatically detects load on the suspension from a trailer or payload and adjusts the vehicle to optimal and level ride height.
The 1500 also boasts best-in-class aerodynamics with a 0.357 coefficient of drag, this is 9% lower than the previous model and is comparable to a regular sedan. The engineers have also reduced the overall weight by 102 kilograms compared to the previous model. The frame itself is 45 kilograms lighter, even with 98 per cent high-strength steel, thus improving durability, rigidity and handling.
GCC customers of all Ram 1500 variants can benefit from Ram’s comprehensive five-year or 100,000 kilometres manufacturer warranty and service package.