Half-ton pickup trucks are big business for American automakers. These workhorses consistently rank as the most popular vehicles in terms of sales in North America year after year.
The Ram 1500 was completely overhauled for the 2019 model year, but the company is already offering new features for 2020 like a barn-door tailgate and a deployable tailgate step. An impressive overall truck, the 1500 brings a lot of unique features to the truck segment and after driving one for a week of home renovations and snow storms, I became acutely aware of why trucks are such a common sight on our North American roads. The Ram 1500 is a truck that seasoned pickup drivers can be proud of, but is also approachable enough so that someone who is new to trucks will find it easy to live with.
Make sure to check out our full review, but here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of the Ram 1500.
Ram 1500 Pros and Cons
A Lot of Great Tech: Trucks used to be no-frills work machines, but now, they’re more high tech than a lot of other cars out there. Not only does the Ram’s tech help you stay connected, but it also makes the truck more capable and easier to drive. Some available standout features include all the driver assistants like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, trailer detection, parking sensors, a 360-degree top-down parking camera, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, an adaptive air suspension, automatic load leveling, an active air dam, automatic side step, active noise cancelation, fast charging USB ports, heated and ventilated seats, and more.
READ MORE: 2019 Ram 1500 Review
Luxurious Interior: This is an interior that wouldn’t feel out of place in a luxury car. The 1500’s interior is well-built and uses nice materials throughout. There are plenty of clever touches throughout the cabin that shows Ram is paying attention to the details. For example, there’s a place to stand up your phone so you can take a quick glance at it, and massive stories cubbies to store your things. Doors that open super wide, a flat load floor, and flip-up rear seats also come in very handy for storing bigger items in the back. It’s comfortable in all seats, even in the back, where there is a ton of legroom. There’s even an available harman/kardon audio system upgrade, which is what is used in BMWs, Mercedes, and Maseratis.
Great User Interface and Infotainment System: Although the 1500 is now available with a huge 12-inch tablet-like touchscreen, the smaller 8.4-inch screen is still incredible. Not only is UConnect one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems out there, but the screen is fast and responsive. UConnect is an industry leading system.
Powertrain Options: One of the most unique things the Ram 1500 offers that none its competitors do is the option to come as a mild hybrid, and it’s available with both the V6 and V8 engines. Ram’s eTorque system bolsters the truck’s performance and fuel economy by replacing the alternator with a 48-volt electrical system that becomes responsible for keeping the 12-volt battery charged, enabling stop/start and making it super smooth, and providing an electric boost of torque when called for. This boost in torque comes in handy when towing and hauling, but also when you need to merge onto the highway or pass someone.
READ MORE: 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque Review
Capability: Ram says the 1500 has best-in-class V8 towing at 12,750 pounds. Max payload is 2,300 lbs.
Resale Value: The Ram 1500, like most trucks, has historically enjoyed high resale values.
There honestly wasn’t too much to complain about with the Ram 1500, but here are a few things to look out for.
Transmission Juddering: During my week with the 1500, the 8-speed transmission would judder when I was creeping forward in traffic. In normal operation, however, the transmission was smooth, refined, and intuitive.
More Standard Bed Features: I wish there were more standard features for the bed like a step or handle to help you get in — I’m not that tall and need all the help I can get! Although it gets an optional step for 2020, things like that should come standard.
UConnect Can be Wonky: During my week with the 1500, the UConnect infotainment screen froze and restarted itself twice, and the backup camera didn’t come on twice as well when I put the truck in reverse. This wasn’t a huge deal, as it didn’t interfere too much, but this is a problem I’ve experienced before in FCA products. This is just something to keep in mind, as FCA has been known to struggle with reliability in the past.
Can Get Expensive: The Ram 1500, like most half-ton trucks, starts out pretty affordable but gets expensive once you start adding on all the features you want. The cost of options adds up quickly. The 1500 starts at $33,340 in the U.S. ($42,095 in Canada) and the price climbs quickly from there. It wouldn’t be hard to get the 1500 into the $70,000 range. Do I think it’s worth it? Yes, just be prepared for the sticker shock.