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Ram 1500: 2019 Motor Trend Truck of the Year Finalist

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/12/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2019-Ram-1500-Big-Horn-4x2-front-three-quarter-in-motion.jpg

WE LIKE New eTorque V-8, high-quality interiors across the line

WE DON'T LIKE Base eTorque V-6 could use a bit more low-end power

It's gotta be tough playing third fiddle in the truck sales race to the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado, but FCA's Ram team seemed to have turned any animosity it has toward its crosstown rivals into a new pickup that ought to have them looking over their shoulders.

The fifth-generation 2019 Ram 1500, the first version of Ram's light-duty pickup developed outside the Dodge brand envelope, does a fantastic job of staying true to the 1500's heritage while still keeping an eye toward the future.

Ram brass freed its engineers from chasing down the (relatively) lightweight Ford F-150's segment-best payload and towing figures so that they could focus on a holistic approach to improving performance and fuel economy. The driver behind that is largely Ram's new lineup of eTorque mild-hybrid engines, which use small electric starter-generators paired with a tiny 0.43-kW-hr battery to help the stop/start system and provide a minor torque assist while cruising so the standard eight-speed automatic doesn't need to downshift. The new eTorque technology is standard on the base 305-hp 3.6-liter V-6 and available on the 395-hp 5.7-liter V-8. A non-eTorque version of the V-8 is also available.

The base eTorque V-6 feels gutsy for such a small engine, though we noted it felt like it made most of its power higher in its powerband. Additional low-end torque would be welcome, especially when towing and hauling. Both V-8s felt smooth and powerful, even with a trailer attached, but especially the eTorque one. "I find the eTorque drivetrain a bit smoother through the revs and shifts and when accelerating up steep grades," features editor Scott Evans said.

The 1500's handsome, aerodynamic sheetmetal won praise from our judges, as did the range of new interiors. From the volume Big Horn models to the top-trim Limited, the new Rams sport high-quality interior materials and supremely functional designs.

Although Ram may not lead the pickup sales race, its refresh should make even the most brand-loyal Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, and Toyota buyers think twice.

READ ABOUT 2019 TRUCK OF THE YEAR FINALISTS:

• 2019 Truck of the Year Introduction
• Chevrolet Silverado
• Ford F-150 Diesel
• GMC Sierra
• Ram 1500

READ ABOUT 2019 SUV OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

• 2019 SUV of the Year Introduction
• BMW X2
• BMW X3
• BMW X4
• Cadillac XT4
• Ford EcoSport
• Ford Edge
• Hyundai Santa Fe
• Infiniti QX50
• Jaguar E-Pace
• Jeep Cherokee
• Lexus RX L
• Mercedes-Benz G-Class
• Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
• Nissan Kicks
• Subaru Ascent
• Toyota RAV4

READ ABOUT 2019 SUV OF THE YEAR FINALISTS:

• Acura RDX
• Ford Expedition
• Hyundai Kona
• Jaguar I-Pace
• Jeep Wrangler
• Lincoln Navigator
• Range Rover Velar
• Subaru Forester
• Volvo XC40

READ ABOUT 2019 CAR OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

• 2019 Car of the Year introduction
• Buick Regal
• Ford Mustang
• Ford Transit Connect
• Honda Clarity
• Hyundai Accent
• Hyundai Elantra
• Kia Forte
• Lexus ES
• Lexus LS
• Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
• Nissan Altima
• Toyota Avalon
• Toyota Corolla Hatchback
• Volkswagen Jetta

READ ABOUT 2019 CAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS:

• Audi A6
• Audi A7
• Genesis G70
• Honda Insight
• Hyundai Veloster
• Volvo S60 and V60

a car parked in front of a truck© Motor Trend Staff
2019 Ram 1500Big Horn 4x2 (Quad)Big Horn 4x4 (Crew)Rebel (Quad)Long Horn 4X4 (Crew)Limited 4X4 (Crew)
BASE PRICE $37,390$43,590$46,390$55,390$57,890
PRICE AS TESTED $46,240$55,485$55,400$68,385$68,340
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door truckFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truckFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truckFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truckFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck
ENGINE 5.7L/395-hp/410-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8 plus 16-hp/130-lb-ft electric motor, 395 hp/410 lb-ft comb3.6L/305-hp/269-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6 plus 12-hp/90-lb-ft electric motor, 305 hp/269 lb-ft comb5.7L/395-hp/410-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-85.7L/395-hp/410-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-85.7L/395-hp/410-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic8-speed automatic8-speed automatic8-speed automatic8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,111 lb (58/42%)5,456 lb (55/45%)5,575 lb (58/42%)5,820 lb (56/44%)5,876 lb (57/43%)
WHEELBASE 140.5 in144.6 in140.5 in144.6 in144.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 228.9 x 82.1 x 77.6 in232.9 x 82.1 x 75.8-79.6 in228.9 x 82.1 x 77.7 in232.9 x 82.1 x 75.8-79.6 in232.9 x 82.1 x 75.8-79.6 in
0-60 MPH 5.9 sec8.5 sec6.4 sec6.3 sec6.5 sec
QUARTER MILE 14.4 sec @ 97.6 mph16.5 sec @ 84.5 mph14.9 sec @ 93.1 mph14.8 sec @ 94.4 mph15.0 sec @ 82.1 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 122 ft130 ft135 ft126 ft132 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.76 g (avg)0.71 g (avg)0.76 g (avg)0.74 g (avg)0.74 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.1 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)29.7 sec @ 0.54 g (avg)27.7 sec @ 0.73 g (avg)29.0 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)28.3 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 19.2/23.1/20.8 mpg15.4/19.7/17.1 mpg14.0/19.4/16.0 mpg14.7/21.6/17.2 mpg18.7/22.6/20.3 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/23/19 mpg19/24/21 mpg15/21/17 mpg15/21/17 mpg17/22/19 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles177/140 kW-hrs/100 miles225/160 kW-hrs/100 miles225/160 kW-hrs/100 miles198/153 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.01 lb/mile0.93 lb/mile1.13 lb/mile1.13 lb/mile1.02 lb/mile

2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn 4x4 front three quarter in motion 1© Motor Trend Staff 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn 4x4 front three quarter in motion 1

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