Sundling: First drive in the all-new Ram 1500 |

Sundling: First drive in the all-new Ram 1500

Took my first drive in the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 in Arizona where the cactus are tall and the boulders are big. The all-new Ram is quieter, more fuel efficient, with less vibration and improved steering and handling. The 12-inch touch screen will be the most talked about feature, which looks like a large tablet in the dash. The new Rebel is off-road worthy with the best looking interior in my opinion, with tire track on the seats and a red accent interior. Rebel steel progressive coil standard 1 in lift, air option 2 in lift. Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs. Now with quad cab or the new longer crew cab.

New crew cab is 4 inches longer. Crew cab rear seat reclines 8 degrees and the seat bottom slides with it, like a first-class aircraft. The bed is 1.5 inches deeper with reinforced u-shaped tube framed around the tailgate opening. Finally, it also has telescoping along with tilt steering wheel. Center console cup holders slide back and forth with a very adaptable center console. New full adaptive front lighting system, includes twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps. High-end models have headlights that move 15 degrees when turning.

Higher payload for 2019, up to 2,300 lbs. and trailer towing up to 12,750 lbs. with new progressive rear coils for less sag under a load. It is 225 lbs. lighter with aluminum hood, tailgate and tranny and engine cross-members. Almost half the weight savings (100 lbs.) came from the frame. It has a stronger frame and better frontal crash resistance using exclusive front splayed rail design, (means it spreads out).

Adaptive cruise control with a trailer allows you to lock in a speed and adjust to the vehicle speed in front of you and also brakes your trailer when it slows you down. A blind spot detection that knows when you are trailering, measures the trailer length and alerts you when someone is passing clear back at the end of the trailer. This is good for lane changes.

There is more storage, bigger floor RamBins in second row. The center console has 12 different storage configurations, adjustable cup holders, quiet material in console so your console cargo won’t get loud. More USB ports include the new C/A, dedicated toggle switches and the front console has wireless phone charging.

It also has a more aerodynamic body. All new Frequency Response Damping shocks improve the ride and handling. Next generation class exclusive air suspension improves mpg, ride, load-leveling and load height.

New electric parking brake saves weight, improves reliability and is part of a safety system that brakes when it detects that you’re backing into an object. No more mud flying at you when you pull the lever on the park brake and it works from your truck brakes, not a secondary brake in the rear rotors.

New 4×4 off-road package has coil spring suspension with a 1-inch lift, electronic locking rear axle, tuned shocks, and hill decent. Air suspension is 1 inch higher, adjusts to 2 inches higher and down 2 inches for entry into cab.

New eTorque mild hybrid option is a belt-driven generator that charges a 48-volt battery pack behind the rear seat of the cab. It replaces the alternator. eTorque is what drives the start-stop feature. It aids in launch and smooths the tranny shifts. It is expected to add 10 percent to fuel economy along with the overall weight saving on the new trucks. Also gives short-duration torque assist and regenerates energy from braking to the 48-volt battery. eTorque is standard on the Pentastar V-6, optional on Hemi V-8.

The frame mounted isolating active tuned mass modules and active noise cancellation in cab take out vibration and noise from the ride. New to the industry is a three valve heat exchanger system that uses the heat and cooling of the engine to heat and cool the rear differential, another improvement aimed at improved fuel mileage. Only available on 4×2 Ram 1500.

Available 19 premium speakers, 900-watt surround sound amp and 360-degree surround view camera. With the new optional 12-inch dash touch-screen, navigation has a new meaning with 3-D map graphics and the screen can be split. The dash layout is like sitting in an aircraft. It also has ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park and Hill-start assist with ultrasonic sensors just like a luxury car.

They improved the body roll by 20 percent by moving the front anti-sway bar behind the axle instead of up front attaching to the high strength steel frame. Rear shocks are now outside of the frame. Hydraulic accumulator will precharge the front clutch pack for faster start during stop/start. It has three axle ratio’s still. The electro magnetic locking rear differential is new and traction control comes off in 4×4 low range. It has a new electric engine fan for better cooling. Equalizing brakes improves braking with a trailer.

New dual pane moon roof is massive, I love it in the mountains. Acoustic glass is laminated for less noise. The high-end models have real wood in the interior and more leather in cab. Big control knobs for gloves in the dash.

The most popular Big Horn model goes down in price, rest goes up some. Luxury models are selling well with more and more features. Hot branded Longhorn Laramie has real wood in the cab. Models that stayed the same: Tradesman, Bighorn, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn Laramie and Limited model.❖


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