2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4×4 Review: A Noble Steed With the Fanciest of Trimmings
"Luxurious" is almost an understatement for the Ram 1500 pickup truck in Limited trim.
Welcome to Critic's Notebook, a quick car review consisting of impressions and marginalia regarding whatever The Drive writers happen to be driving. Today's edition: the 2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4, By the Numbers:
- Base Price (Price as Tested): $56,195 ($68,340)
- Powertrain: 5.7-liter V8 with mild hybrid assist, 395 horsepower, 410 pound-feet of torque; eight-speed automatic transmission; four-wheel-drive
- EPA Fuel Economy: 17 city / 22 highway
- Accolades: The Ram 1500 was just named 2019 Green Truck of the Year by Green Car Journal thanks to the new eTorque mild hybrid system, which is standard with the Pentastar V6 and optional with the V8 (and found on this loaner). Hybrid doesn't equal weak—the V8 configuration still boasts a 12,750-pound towing capacity.
- Quick Take: As I wrote in my review of the Laramie trim 1500, we modern drivers are completely spoiled, because we can demand—and receive—more than just function from a pickup truck. This 2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4 takes that statement to an entirely new level with its luxurious trimmings—specifically because you're getting them in one of the most capable brutes of the automotive world.
2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4: The Pros
- Ram has brought full-size pickups to another level with the 2019 iteration of its full-size truck, and the Limited boasts all of the upgrades found in that model in a premium (and expensive) package. High-end leather-trimmed bucket seats, 19-speaker sound system, heated and ventilated front and second row seats, panoramic sunroof...the list goes on. And on. And on.
- Despite the list of fancy trimmings, function doesn't take a backseat to form. The cabin is astonishingly roomy and full of storage compartments, like the rear under-seat compartments and the in-floor Ram Bins. There are also USB ports aplenty (including modern USB-C ones), as well as a wireless phone charging pad.
- The highlight of the cabin, though, is the 12-inch vertically-oriented infotainment screen. It screams "next level" with its sleek design and flush mounting, and offers a split-screen capability that allows you to do things like dial up Waze navigation via Apple CarPlay on the top half of the screen, while adjusting climate and seat temperatures on the bottom half—adding a level of personalization and sophistication.
- Since this is still a truck, the RamBox cargo system in the bed (a $995 option) must be given some love. I didn't get to test this highly-touted option in the Laramie last time around, and though I only used the boxes sparingly during my loan period, I can see the appeal. I wish I'd had the truck for a tailgating session in order to take advantage of them in a not-so-noble, beer-and-ice storage kind of way.
- Other notable exterior features worth mentioning: the adjustable cargo tie-down hooks are a great (but optional) addition, but the spray-in bed liner comes standard.
2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4: The Cons
- There's no way to avoid bringing up how expensive this truck is. Options are unsurprisingly pricey, and your brain has the potential to break over the sheer number of combinations and trim levels available. Some of the best safety features found on this truck came as part of a $2,695 "Level 1 Equipment Group," the eTorque V8 hybrid powertrain will run you $2,645, and that fancy panoramic sunroof is a cool $1,295.
- Fuel economy gains are really only seen in the mild hybrid V6. While the regular 5.7-liter Hemi gets 15 mpg city and 21 highway, the 5.7-liter V8 with eTorque grabs a few extra mpg in town at 17 mpg city, but only one on the open road at 22 highway. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with eTorque, meanwhile, boasts 19 mpg city and 24 highway.
- This truck can almost feel too refined. There's a quietness and softness to this ride that was sometimes jarring for anyone used to pickup trucks. Be it the mild hybrid or air suspension at fault, I yearned for a little more truck-y personality when it came to engine note and driving feel.
2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4: Another View
Senior editor Will Sabel Courtney also spent some time with the Ram 1500 Limited. His thoughts:
"The Ram 1500 Limited may well be the most impressive American luxury car on sale today. Sure, it may not be as sybaritic as an S-Class or as cosseting as a Bentley, but it packs all the luxurious features most folks would come to expect in a high-end vehicle—including gorgeous leather trim—offers a smooth, absorbent ride thanks to its air suspension, and provides enough room for five full-grown adults to travel in comfort. And, on top of all that, it can still tow six tons, crawl through mud, gravel, and snow, or haul hundreds of pounds of anything in its bed...and it looks amazing doing it."
2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4:Value
The 1500 is a cut above the pickup truck pack in many ways—no one else comes close when it comes to interior styling and technology. The full-size offerings from other major manufactures aren't cheap enough to cancel out all of what you're getting by comparison in the 2019 Ram 1500. Even if a near-$70,000 price tag on the Limited is going to scare a lot of people off, it's not hard to see it as a bargain, considering what you get.
2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4: The Bottom Line
As I wrote in my review of the 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4, if you hop in another full-size truck after driving this, you'd truly miss the Ram's interior for both design and utility reasons. (Fun fact: the Ram boasts 151 liters of interior storage volume, which the company claims is nearly 100 percent more capacity than a Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado.) Ride refinement is, likely to be the dividing factor—because this Ram, hard as it is for me to admit, takes a little too much truck feel out of the truck. Some are going to love that, and some are going to scoff. But the fact remains that if you have the funds, this truck won't make you compromise in terms of luxury or capability.