2019 Ram 1500 Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4
First drive of a 4×4 For Your Crew
By Ron Amadon
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Climb on board the big black truck, settle into the embroidered leather trimmed seats, hear the subdued growl of the fired up 5.7-liter V8, gaze around the luxury appointments and you are almost ready to join millions of Americans and “go truckin.”
But first, let’s get some music. The Ram truck people had already programmed the 19-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system to the only satellite channel one could want in this instance. Yet, I laughed out loud when I saw it was “Willie Nelson’s Outlaw” channel.
The pickup had robust pick up from the big Hemi inspired V8. The stats:
A 5.7 liter rated at 395 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 410 lb-ft of torque @ 3,950 rpm with an eight-speed automatic controlled by a rotary dial.
Ram recommends mid-grade 89 octane for maximum performance but it will run on 87 octane. It is EPA rated at 15 mpg city, 21 highway and 17 combined.
And this truck was ready to go off road in search of real four legged Longhorns.
There was over 8 inches of ground clearance, numerous skid plates to guard the vulnerable parts, hill descent control, heavy duty shocks, all terrain tires, locking rear axle, and even off road decals not to overlook the tow hooks.
So if Aunt Lisa’s summer cottage is out in the boonies, this truck will get you there for your family’s summer vacation. There is a reason the Ram performed admirably in a recent mid-west “Mudfest.”
Yet equipped with the optional Air Suspension, the ride over the concrete test road with a side of potholes was superb, with only the slightest thump over the expansion strips.
Wind noise was not a factor.
Now about that interior.
There is real “Red Barn” wood inside, both the front and rear seats are heated with dual zone automatic heating and air conditioning keeping the interior comfortable. Unexpected was the leather and wood trimmed steering wheel.
The 12-inch touchscreen has split-screen capability or full-screen single application operation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are accepted.
Operation of that big screen was, thankfully, fairly intuitive. It was surrounded by buttons for ventilation control, and below were knobs for the audio system. Thank you FCA for that!
Some terrific sounds emanated from the 900 watt surround sound amplifier and 10 inch subwoofer with active noise cancellation.
The center arm rest opens to reveal a dozen different storage combinations and it will hide from prying eyes a 15-inch laptop. There were five USB ports on the center console, three up front and two in back.
Safety wise, the test truck came with Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, and Blind-spot Monitoring among other items.
Got a trailer? It will tow up to 12,750 pounds with a maximum load in the truck bed of 2,300 pounds and take it from me that is a lot of mulch. The truck bed has four adjustable tie down hooks.
For 2019, the Ram is 225 pounds lighter than the model it replaced with increased use of aluminum to form the hood and tailgate.
With $11,591 worth of options, the test truck carried an MSRP of $66,935 including $1,649 for delivery.
At the unveiling of Fiat Chrysler’s five year plan, officials said their goal is for the Ram to replace the Chevrolet Silverado’s long standing claim as the nation’s second best-selling truck behind the Ford F-150.
While the first drive was short, it would be fair to say the Ram will be a strong contender.