Green Car Journal’s 2019 Green Truck of the Year™, the new RAM 1500, is lighter, more efficient, and higher tech than ever. Of special interest is that the RAM integrates electrification for increased efficiency by offering two mild hybrid powertrains, exclusive to the segment. It features more hauling and towing capacity than the generation before it, with the ability to tow up to 12,750 pounds and carry a payload of up to 2,320 pounds. RAM 1500 rides on a wheelbase about four inches longer with a larger cab. Efficiency has been enhanced by shedding up to 225 pounds through the use of high-strength steel, aluminum, and composites.
RAM 1500 is offered in four-door quad cab and crew-cab body styles, with 67.4- and 76.3-inch beds, and in seven trim levels. Three headlamp variations are available including Halogen, full LED, and an all-new full LED adaptive front-lighting system. A robust 4x4 off-road package is available. The pickup’s most notable exterior feature is its new grille, which replaces the RAM’s iconic grille that’s been used since the Dodge days.
Contributing to the RAM 1500’s aerodynamic efficiency are grille shutters that help smooth airflow and a front air dam that automatically lowers by 2.5 inches at speeds above 35 mph. A new venturi roof design directs air back to the rear spoiler. Bed rails raised by 1.5 inches and a new spoiler on the aluminum tailgate reduce drag. A lockable tri-fold tonneau cover improves fuel economy while adding security and weather protection. The RAM’s optional air suspension system lowers the truck 0.6 inches at speed to further improve aerodynamics.
Power is delivered by a 305 hp 3.6-liter V-6 or 395 hp 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, each mated to a new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. A new-for-2019 eTorque mild hybrid system replaces the RAM 1500’s alternator with a motor/generator that uses regenerative braking to charge a lithium-ion battery pack Standard on V-6 and optional on V-8 engines, eTorque provides stop-start operation and a brief torque boost of 90 lb-ft in V-6 RAMs and 130 lb-ft in V-8 models. An interactive deceleration fuel shut off system also saves fuel.
Among the RAM 1500’s advanced technologies is a fourth-generation Uconnect system and 12-inch, fully reconfigurable touchscreen display. SiriusXM Guardian Connected Services delivers advanced in-vehicle connected services including a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard.
An available 360-degree surround view camera system provides a birds-eye view via four cameras positioned around the vehicle. Uconnect 4 with an 8.4-inch display and Uconnect 3 with 5-inch display are also offered. Driver assist systems include forward collision warning, advance brake assist, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with stop, go, and hold. SiriusXM Traffic/Travel Link is available.