Engine: 3-liter V6 turbodiesel
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Torque: 480 lb.-ft.
EPA ratings: 21/city, 29/highway, 24/combined
Base price: $46,740
As tested: $72,115
Overview: Ram’s 1500 pickup was redesigned for 2019. All Ram 1500s boast generously appointed interiors and excellent driving dynamics, delivering ride quality akin to cars. Engine choices include the familiar 3.6-liter V6 and a 5.7-liter Hemi-V8. However, new this year is a diesel-powered, turbocharged 3-liter V6, which powered our test driver and on which this review will focus on. Known as the EcoDiesel, it’s powerful and fuel-efficient, with bragging rights to the highest half-ton diesel tow-rating — 12,560 pounds.
Walkaround: The Ram’s familiar profile — showcasing its huge signature grille — has evolved more than had been redefined over the past decade, adding useful features like a multifunction tailgate and locking compartments built into the sides of its bed that can do double duty as a toolbox — or a tailgate party ice chest, complete with drain plug. Our Laramie also included power running boards, a tri-fold tonneau cover and 22-by-9-inch forged aluminum wheels, plus the Night Edition Package with featured black accents and a sport hood, among other things.
Interior: The Laramie cabin is a massive leap in comfort, style and technology. It includes comfortable, heated and cooled, multiposition front seats plus heated rear seats. Materials are all high-quality, and the Ram has unmatched interior storage, including a large, configurable center console and spacious in-floor bins. Technology is controlled by an easy-to-use, 12-inch touchscreen, with some redundant controls on the steering wheel. It has a 4G LTE on-board hotspot, wireless charging and Ram’s Uconnect 4C Navigation coupled with Sirius XM’s satellite radio, Travel Link and Guardian Connected Services — plus, a 19-speaker Harmon Kardon premium sound system with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It’s all topped off with a dual-panel panoramic sunroof and surround view cameras. Safety features abound as well, with airbags everywhere, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane assist, advanced brake assist, forward collision warning, cross-traffic rear alert, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.
Behind the Wheel: The new 260-horse V6 diesel is married to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic and performs like a V8. It delivers 480 pound-feet of torque and will tow a best-in-class 12,560 pounds. The ride is very car-like and quiet — especially for a diesel. Handling is what you’d expect from a pickup with good braking. There’s also a mild hybrid eTorque system and a coil-spring rear suspension that delivers unequaled ride comfort and control. Frankly, I wish we would have had a trip to take, as the Laramie feels like it would be a great road-tripper.
Bottom Line: Buying a truck often comes down to intense brand loyalty. The Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan are all certainly worthy competitors. However, if you normally wouldn’t even consider a Ram, you owe it to yourself to check out this capable and feature-laden truck.