Class: Large Pickup Truck
Miles driven: 585
Fuel used: 33.9 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 17.3 mpg
Driving mix: 20% city, 80% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 15/21/17 (city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Midgrade gas recommended
Base price: $56,195 (not including $1695 destination charge)
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||A
|Power and Performance||A-|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Options on test vehicle: Ivory 3-Coat paint ($500), Customer Preferred Package 25M ($295), Body Color Bumper Group ($195), Bed Utility Group ($545), Limited Level 1 Equipment Group ($2695), tri-fold tonneau cover ($550), anti-spin rear differential ($495), 5.7-liter Hemi V8 ($1195), dual-pane panoramic sunroof ($1295), 33-gallon fuel tank ($445), 22-inch polished/painted wheels ($1695), RamBox cargo management system ($995), trailer brake control ($295)
Price as tested: $69,085
The great: Outstanding ride quality and suspension composure for a full-size pickup
The good: Quiet highway ride, cavernous interior, easy-to-use controls
The not so good: Despite fuel-economy measures, Hemi V8 is still thirsty
After getting an initial taste of the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 in March, we tested a mid-line Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 in June. (So see those reports for more details.) This time, it was a top-line Limited that came under scrutiny — most “scrutinizing” being done during a 450-mile drive from the Ram 1500 eTorque preview in Lexington, KY, to Chicago.
While basically the same as the Laramie crew cab 4×4 driven earlier, there were some notable differences in this Limited … perhaps the biggest being the $15,000 boost in sticker price. Granted, our tester was quite loaded — and represents where the pickup market seems to be heading — but it just barely managed to sneak in under 70 grand (!).
Still, that money buys a lot of truck. Not only was the tester blessed with the general goodness of the new Ram, but also with such high-end amenities as four-corner air suspension, wireless device charging, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, Harman Kardon sound system, 360-degree camera system, huge 12-inch touchscreen (more on this later), dual-pane panoramic sunroof, keyless access and starting, power running boards, adaptive cruise control, park assist, and the ever-popular Ram Boxes and Ram Bins (the latter being bins in the floor of the rear-seat area), but it also had a full complement of high-tech safety features including front and rear obstacle detection with automatic braking.
As mentioned previously, this Ram had the available 12-inch touchscreen, which took the place of the standard 8.4-inch one. The “footer” is vertically oriented (and thus not much wider than the “sideways” 8.4), so it really doesn’t help much when displaying, say, the rearview-camera image, but it’s great when displaying a map. Right-side elements are a bit of a reach for the driver, not everything is immediately clear in function, and some processes still require multiple steps to execute, but — like the 8.4-inch unit — it’s still one of the easiest ones around to use.
A couple of things were revealed during the long highway drive up from Kentucky. First, a stop at my favored timing stretch in east-central Illinois netted a 0-60 average of about 7.9 seconds in 2WD, 7.75 seconds in 4WD. The latter being quicker indicates that the traction-control system was cutting power a bit at takeoff in 2WD, though the difference wasn’t much.
Also, the previous Ram Laramie averaged just 14.3 mpg in about 70-percent city driving, while this Limited — configured nearly exactly the same way — returned 18.5 mpg in about 90-percent highway driving. (And 17.3 mpg overall, which included some city driving after I got back.) Sad as it may seem, that 14.3 figure is close to the 15 mpg EPA City estimate, while the 18.5 mpg — though far better — is 2.5-mpg shy of the highway rating.
Admittedly, however, many of those miles were covered at a gas-sucking 70 mph. (OK … 70 mph plus.) In any event, the optional 33-gallon fuel tank ($445) permitted the whole 450-mile trip to be easily covered without refueling, as it meant a theoretical 610-mile range.
But the Ram made a better showing in other areas. Suffice it to say that this is one comfy highway cruiser, with an impressively smooth and quiet ride despite being fitted with optional low-profile 22-inch tires and having huge side mirrors and all the aerodynamics of a brick. (Yeah, there are lots of new tweaks to make it go through the air more smoothly, but look at it … it’s still a brick.) All the various storage areas were put to good use, and the Harman Kardon sound system did its part in making the miles fly by. While most people probably wouldn’t think of a pickup as being a great highway vehicle, this one could easily change their mind.
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