Reader beware. This may be considered sacrilege for many, especially our Italian counterparts. Especially those who hate pineapple pizza
The pick-up truck is a curious, let’s go, with ‘thing’. Essentially a tradesman vehicle that’s supposed to be unbreakable and rough and utilitarian, but one that packs a ‘je ne ses quoi’ that attracts many.
It’s like a pineapple pizza. The quintessential Italian export (once we remember pasta actually came from China) made with dough, cheese, tomato, some veggies and cold cuts. Pineapple fits in that recipe as well as rubber Crocs in the Met Gala. And yet, it sells, people eat it, they like it and is a settled ingredient in the pizzeria menu. Like it or not.
That’s what the performance or luxury pick-up truck is in the vehicular spread: a pineapple pizza. Completely out of place, at odds with itself and yet, popular and desirable. Hence the allure of the latest iteration from RAM.
The outside is unmistakable RAM. The outside logos have been substituted by a new three-letter badge in an effort to position the brand as independent from Dodge. We guess it makes sense to the Marketing Department of both brands but, as a lifelong follower of all-things-cars, it didn’t to us.
Aerodynamic efficiency… Uh… What?
Despite the boxy appearance, the new RAM 1500 has reduced the aerodynamic drag to 0.36, a figure the company claims is equivalent to a sedan, but further research confirms the closest to that is the 1995 Ford Fiesta. Yes, it’s impressive on a vehicle this size, but not particularly efficient. However, the chassis claims to now be the sturdiest in the segment. Remembering the previous RAM 1500, and the constant racket we had inside, it may be accurate. The 2019 model is as silent as an Egyptian tomb.
What RAM has always been best in class at is the storage distribution. Yes, the flatbed is slightly smaller than the F-150 in sheer area, but the availability of boxes, cubbyholes and other receptacles well make up for it in the possibilities of distribution and sorting. Space is rarely the problem in these vehicles. And having access to tools or other necessities in a timely manner is far more important than flat real estate. Add to that the sturdiness of the rear lid and the 1500 is a very apt picnic, barbecue, fishing or moving companion.
At the front we have the tried and true 5.7-litre HEMI V8. Currently at 395hp and 556Nm of torque, this is enough to pull up to 5.7 tons of equipment or seafaring vehicles. A more modern 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 is scheduled to show up in the range within the next few months. However, and now that fuel is evermore expensive, the V8 engine supports cylinder deactivation to contain consumption at cruising speeds.
Active safety features galore…
In any case, where most of the visible differences show up is in the interior and the electronic equipment. A rather modern set-up with an optional 12in touch screen that supports dual functions and is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Along with these, we can count with adaptive cruise control, lane depart alerts, rear cross path and trailer detection, parking cameras and front collision brake assist. A whole set of gimmicks often found only in luxury vehicles.
However, logic demands that all electronic aids should be implemented in something like the RAM. Let’s face it, what’s more dangerous on the road, a three-ton loaded pick-up truck or an Audi A4? Incidentally, the A4 is about the same price. It stands to reason that all the available active electronic aids should be installed in the big thing, rather than the small and flimsy thing. For that, RAM deserves recognition.
In conclusion, the 1500 is a sound investment. With different versions suited for the more utilitarian user to the more luxuriant weekend adventurer. Plus, with the Rebel version, which is a more off-road oriented truck for the adrenaline junky. Build quality is superb, maintenance promises to be low, fuel efficiency is competent and prices, which range from the $50,000 to the $80,000 full equipped Rebel, there is little doubt as to why the 2019 RAM1500 is the TruckTrend Pick-Up Truck of the Year.