The 2019 RAM 1500 is just around the corner and the new model receives the first major overhaul in a decade. These are exciting times for the people at FCA and for RAM enthusiasts. This also means that if you’re in the market for a new pickup truck and that the RAM 1500 tickles your fancy, now’s the right time to check what deals are available on 2018 models. I know, the year isn’t over yet and 2018 is already outdated; automobiles are almost as trendy as fashion.
If the new generation has a lot to offer, the current model remains a sophisticated road warrior and I am here to tell you why you should keep it on your radar.
Very few changes have been made to the powertrains. If the 2019 throws in a new mild hybrid V8 engine, the legendary 5.7L V8 HEMI remains untouched. It evens loses a few pound-feet of torque in the evolution process which technically makes the 2018 slightly more powerful with 395 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque (over 410 in 2019).
The eight-speed TorqueRite automatic transmission also survives the upgrade which virtually makes the V8 powertrain the same between the two model years. Why change a good thing anyway? Plus, the 2018 V8 remains slightly more fuel efficient than the 2019’s, with a combined rating of 13.6L/100km versus 13.8.
Where it could make a difference is in the maximum towing and payload capacities. The 2018 can haul a respectable 4,836 kg with a payload of up to 858 kg. In your everyday life, those numbers will be more than sufficient. But on some occasions, you might need the extra 900kg the 2019 brings to the table – it all comes down to what use you plan to do of it. Both models are available with four-wheel drive as well.
In terms of performance, I found the RAM a bit more sluggish while accelerating when compared to the RAM’s immediate competitor, the Ford F-150. The engine feels extremely capable, producing that typical roar that screams “I can lift!”, but take-offs are more dynamic in the F-150.
Inside, the 2018 feels as luxurious as the 2019 and is packed with all the convenience your heart desires including heated seats and steering wheel, automatic high beam headlights, keyless entry, pickup box lighting, backup camera and more. Uconnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, rain-sensing wipers, power sunroof, ventilated front seats, wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, are also part of the package.
In the Limited Tungsten Edition, the cabin feels spacious and cozy. Particular attention has been given to details such as the elegantly stitched seats and massive armrest under which more storage can be found. Seating at the back will accommodate passengers big and small. Contrary to the Ford F-150 full-size cab that feels almost anxiously too big and disconnected from the rest of the cabin, the second row of seats in the RAM offers all the space of a crew cab with the coziness of a smaller vehicle. The space doesn’t feel as austere.
The gear selector knob integrated directly into the console frees some space in the console for extra storage, a design element carried over into the 2019 model.
On the outside, the box receives a list of convenience features such as a box a cover, a separator as well as two storage compartments located on each side of the bed called RAM BOXES. A convenient foot step runs the length of the vehicle and ensures that getting onboard remains an elegant step.
Overall, the RAM 1500 is a capable worker ready to go out in the field and do all the heavy lifting, before cleaning up nicely for a fancy night out. Personally, I have grown to like them and quite enjoy driving around town seated higher than everyone else. Whether you pick the 2018 or the upcoming new 2019 model, it’s safe to say that you will find a great working partner in either vehicle.
2018 RAM 1500
Trim level: Limited Tungsten Edition
Price before taxes: $74,550.00
Configuration: front engine, 4WD
Engine/transmission: 5.7L V8 HEMI/ 8-speed automatic
Power/torque: 395 hp/420 lb. ft.
Fuel economy ratings (combined): 14.0L/100km
Warranties: 5 years/100,000 km
Competitors: Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra