2019 Ram 1500 Limited review update: The luxury pickup truck you want

January 23, 2019

Pickup trucks used to be a tool that tradesmen and farmers put to work. It's a different era now, as many pickup trucks live their lives running between to Starbucks on Monday morning and hauling the family boat or snowmobiles on the weekends.

For 2019, the big three full-size pickup trucks from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Ram are new or recently updated to fight for shoppers' attention. Ram put a huge focus on the interior of the new 2019 1500 with an evolutionary style, high-grade materials, and various interior themes to set the mood.

The 2019 Ram 1500 has a TCC Rating of 5.8 out of 10, which bests every competitor except the Ford F-150. There's a caveat though: The Ram hasn't been fully crash-tested yet, and its newer structure should perform well once tested. Its score could rise past the Ford's once ratings are in.

Last year I drove the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie and called it the new leader of the pack. I spent a full week with a downright lavish 2019 Ram 1500 Limited model to get a taste of that luxury-truck owner life to see what swankiest the Ram 1500 in the lineup had to offer.

Here's where it hit, and where it missed:

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

Hit: Just look at that screen. It's 12.0 inches of beauty. Once upon a time new car radios had Tic Tac-sized buttons with displays to match. The Ram Limited's 12.0-inch touchscreen is like a modern version of the double DIN head units that were the norm just a decade ago. The Ram's big display allows users to have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the top half of the screen while displaying climate control functions, radio functions, or other various controls on the bottom half. Rather than having to exit out of CarPlay to control other infotainment features, drivers can see both at once. There are still hard-buttons for key climate control and volume functions, too. However, the 12-inch touchscreen's software froze once and reset twice during my time with it. FCA told me that it's possible the software needed an update, which can be done over-the-air.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

Miss: It's down on power. My tester's 5.7-liter V-8 engine had 395 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Those aren't small numbers, and the engine sounded great. The big issue is that the competition offers more power. In the truck world, power is king, and the Ram's 5.7-liter V-8 is light compared the the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra's 6.2-liter V-8. The Ford F-150's twin-turbocharged V-6 laughs at the Ram's 395 hp and 401 lb-ft. Yes, I called engine as a hit after my time with the Laramie in 2018. It's not that it's a bad engine, it's that since then the competition has upped the power stakes.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

Hit: This is a luxury-car interior. Flat out: The 2019 Ram 1500 Limited's interior is the nicest in a Detroit-made vehicle short of the costly Lincoln Navigator. Nearly every surface is covered in soft leather, real metal, real open pore wood, shiny piano-black plastic, or nicely grained plastic with a low sheen. It makes a mockery of the new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali's interior.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

Miss: It chugs gasoline. At least it isn't drinking premium. My 2019 Ram 1500 Limited tester had EPA ratings of 15 mpg city, 21 highway, 17 combined. Those numbers  wouldn't have been stellar even if I had seen them. In a week of mixed suburban and highway driving, I saw an average of just over 14 mpg according to the onboard trip computer. The most cargo I carried was my kids, some birthday presents, and a birthday cake. Not exactly heavy hauling.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

2019 Ram 1500 Limited

Hit: It's all in the details. It's not just that the interior is nice, which it is, it's that Ram clearly stressed over minutia. The radio volume knob turns with a smooth and fluid feel like sharpened ice skates on a frozen lake, and the grab handles have leather that's held together with contrasting stitching. Every piece of the interior fits together just like you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Even the aluminum Harman Kardon speaker grilles wouldn't be out of place in a megabuck Mercedes. There are also no lines from injection molds used during the manufacturing process like there are on F-150 door panels.

Miss: Floor mats need to cover the floor, not look pretty. The Ram 1500 Limited's floor mats fit the interior theme, and are creatively designed with snap-in carpet for summer months, but they fail at the one true aspect they were created for: They don't fully protect the carpet. The front floor matts don't go high enough into the wheel wells where shoes will drop wet, salty snow and or messy mud on the carpet. 

At $68,785 as tested, my 2019 Ram 1500 Limited came equipped akin to a like-priced luxury sedan such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. From a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a Harman Kardon sound system, to a leather-lined interior with real wood and metal trim, to active safety tech such as adaptive cruise control and 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, it's loaded to the hilt.

The 2019 Ram 1500 Limited is the definition of a luxury truck. It's one of the nicest cars made in America, and the competition should be biting their nails as consumers look at these massive rolling pieces of sheet metal in the showroom.

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2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4

Base Price: $33,340

Price as tested: $68,785

EPA fuel economy: 15/21/17

The hits: True luxury-car interior, trick 12-inch touchscreen, perfect, fit, finish, and details

The misses: Down on power, sucks gas, creatively designed floor mats don't function well.

2019
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2019
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