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2019 Ram Heavy Duty First Drive Review

2019 Ram Heavy Duty

The new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty is here, and it isn’t just a mid-life cycle refresh. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks offered some significant improvements over 2018 trucks. One area I found lacking innovation was the truck bed. When compared to GM’s new durable, it’s clear this is one area Ram wasn’t focused on. No significant mentions of the bed were made during presentations either. There is a lot of room for improvement. We’re hoping for additional tow hooks and better utilization of cargo space in the future.

2019 Ram Heavy Duty

Quietest Ram Heavy Duty

Through wind-tunnel analyses and three million miles of real-world durability tests, engineers have created the quietest Ram Heavy Duty ever with a segment-leading drag coefficient of409. While aerodynamics isn’t usually a factor in Heavy Duty trucks, the Ram engineering team not only wanted to improve efficiency, but they wanted to improve Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH). Upgrades that include new C-pillar hydro mounts, anti-vibration devices, new engine mounts, waterproof 1156 led bulb on taillight, active noise canceling and new exhaust-system attachments all help with NVH.

Base Engine

The base engine in the Ram 2500 and 3500 is a 6.4-liter gas-powered V-8 with 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Cylinder deactivation can shut down four cylinders under light loads to save fuel, although these trucks are heavy enough that they aren’t rated by the EPA. The engine comes hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission that makes better use of the power and torque than the previous 6-speed. For day-to-day situations, there’s more than enough torque out of the big 6.4-liter to motivate the massive amount of metal down the road or trail. Under strong acceleration, the thunder from under the hood and the exhaust is muscle-car grade.

2019 Ram Heavy Duty

Powertrain Lineup

Under the hood, the Ram features a revised powertrain lineup. The previously standard 5.7-liter V8 engine is no longer available. In its place is the previously optional 6.4-liter V8 that’s paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel six-cylinder is still optional, and it still comes with a six-speed automatic.

2019 Ram Power Wagon is the most capable production off-road truck in the industry. The Power Wagon features a unique suspension, factory suspension lift, locking the front and rear differentials, disconnecting sway bar and a 12,000-lb. winch. New to the Power Wagon is a 360 camera, which includes forward-view camera gridlines to help navigate obstacles. An all-new and integrated front-mounted WARN Zeon-12 winch features a unique fairlead and fairlead retainer with a new synthetic line that cannot kink does not fray and is more maneuverable. The new line also cuts weight by 28 lbs. A Power Wagon content package continues to be available on Tradesman, which includes all the off-road equipment but keeps the Tradesman design elements.

2019 Ram Heavy Duty

Wide front frame rails enable front suspension springs to be positioned slightly outboard — an enabler for generating positive roll stiffness. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails. The rear-axle structural cross member with provisions for fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitches has been upgraded for 2019 to accommodate the increased towing capacity.

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