(Editor’s Note: Welcome to NAPA Knows New Cars with the 2019 Ram 1500. This is not your normal new car review. This series focuses more on the nuts & bolts of the vehicle that are not usually covered by other outlets. The intention is to inform, not endorse. Ultimately the decision to buy a vehicle should be based on an individual’s needs and situation.)
Ram has been a stand-alone division of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) for almost a decade, having formerly been part of the Dodge brand. In that time automotive technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Back in 2006 Ram embraced variable displacement technology to help raise fuel efficiency. Starting with the 2019 model year full size truck buyers will now have a mild hybrid option with the Ram 1500.
The supplied test vehicle was equipped with a 5.7L V8 with the optional eTorque system. Acceleration is brisk and the eTorque system is seamlessly integrated. There is no distinguishable difference when the Multi-Displacement System (MDS) is active thanks to the frame mounted active tuned mass modules which counter any annoying vibrations. Shifts are smooth and there is no hunting for the right gear. The ride is controlled and surprisingly comfortable for a pickup, even when unloaded. Outside noise intrusion and wind noise is minimal.
Front seats are spacious as to be expected in a full-size truck. Steering wheel and dash controls are intuitive and easy to find. A big difference in this truck over others in the market is the massive 12-inch touchscreen that controls everything from the seat heaters to the satellite radio. The touchscreen is flanked with normal buttons and knobs for certain basic functions, but others can only be found via the touchscreen menus. The screen is bright and the menus are easy to navigate. The touchscreen can also be configured to display different controls based on driver preferences.
The center console is cavernous with a sliding tray that contains the cup holders. A handy phone holder with wireless phone charger is located at the front of the center console valley along with USB charging ports. It should be noted that the center console does not have a locking feature, but the flexibility of the design utilizes the space very efficiently.
Rear seat space in the quad cab is adequate for three adults. The test vehicle was equipped with rear seat heaters (outboard seats only) and rear HVAC vents. The rear of the center console also houses USB ports for the rear seat passengers. The console mounted 115V AC outlet rated at 400W is handy for laptop or tool charging on the go.
The 5.7L V8 is easily accessed in the large engine compartment. The engine air filter is located on the passenger side and requires simple hand tools to access. The battery is located on the driver side and is protected by a battery blanket. There is plenty of clearance for accessing the coil-on-plug modules and the spark plugs themselves. Accessory belts are easily reached from above or below. Power steering is electrically boosted, so there is no fluid to maintain.
The oil filter is tucked into the bottom passenger side of the engine, above the power steering rack. There is plenty of hand room around the filter, as well as room for an oil filter tool if necessary. The oil pan plug is located at the rear of the oil pan and easily accessed. The 5.7L V8 engine holds seven quarts of 5W-20 oil.
The automatic transmission uses Mopar ZF 8&9 Speed ATF automatic transmission fluid or equivalent. It has an oil drain plug built-in to the finned plastic pan, a welcome maintenance feature. There is no transmission fluid dipstick. The rear differential requires different weight lubrication depending in the equipped rear axle ratio. For 3.21/3.55 rear axles use 75W-90 synthetic gear lube, 3.92 rear axles (except “Max Towing Package”) use 75W-140 synthetic gear lube, and 3.92 “Max Towing Package” rear axles use Dana SAE 80W90 gear lube.
The mild hybrid system named “eTorque” is standard on all 3.6L V6 models, and optional on 5.7L V8 models. We reached out to Brian Spohn, Vehicle Electrification Manager at FCA for more details on the eTorque system. It uses a 48 volt motor/generator unit (MGU) connected to a 48 volt battery powerpack unit (PPU) located at the rear of the truck cab. The PPU consists of a lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt graphite battery and a DC/DC converter to provide power to the 12 volt systems. It is protected by both fused circuits and a high current battery contactor to protect against short circuits.
The MGU is driven by a heavy-duty eight-rib bonded rubber belt with aramid cord engineered to last 150,000, but we recommend inspecting all belts on a routine basis just in case. In the unlikely event of a MGU drive belt failure, the truck will still operate until the 48 volt PPU and the standard 12 volt battery are both discharged.
Buyers who opt for the 3.7L V6 will have a slightly different maintenance routine, as the MGU is liquid cooled due to its front mounted location, whereas the V8 MGU is air-cooled. The 3.7L MGU cooling system uses the same coolant as the engine, but in a separate system as a precaution in case of a failure in either one.
2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab Specifications:
- Engine Type: naturally aspirated V6 with standard eTorque
- Engine Displacement: 3.6L
- Engine Horsepower: 305hp
- Engine Torque (3.6L V6): 269 lb-ft (with an additional 80 lb-ft via eTorque)
- Engine Type: naturally aspirated V8 (with optional eTorque)
- Engine Displacement: 5.7 liters
- Engine Horsepower: 305hp / 395 hp
- Engine Torque (5.7L V8): 410 lb-ft (with an additional 130 lb-ft for optional eTorque equipped models)
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
- Rear Axle Ratios Available: 3.21:1, 3.55:1, 3.92:1
- 3.6L 4×2: 20 city / 25 hwy / 22 combined mpg
- 3.6L 4×4: 19 city / 24 hwy / 21 combined mpg
- 5.7L 4×2: 15 city / 22 hwy / 17 combined mpg
- 5.7L 4×4: 15 city / 21 hwy / 17 combined mpg
- 5.7L eTorque 4×2: 17 city / 23 hwy / 19 combined mpg
- 5.7L eTorque 4×4: 17 city / 22 hwy / 19 combined mpg
- Length: 228.9″
- Width: 82.1″
- Height: 77.6″
- 3.6L 4×2: 1,210 lbs. – 2,300 lbs. depending on options
- 3.6L 4×4: 1,710 lbs.
- 5.7L 4×2: 1,900 lbs.
- 5.7L 4×4: 1,970 lbs.
- 5.7L eTorque 4×2: 1,830 lbs.
- 5.7L eTorque 4×4: 1,820 lbs.
- 3.6L 4×2: 6,730 lbs. – 7,730 lbs. depending on axle ratio
- 3.6L 4×4: 6,410 lbs. – 7,410 lbs. depending on axle ratio
- 5.7L 4×2: 8,500 lbs. – 11,610 lbs. depending on axle ratio
- 5.7L 4×4: 8,370 lbs. – 11,470 lbs. depending on axle ratio
- 5.7L eTorque 4×2: 8,460 lbs. – 12,750 lbs. depending on axle ratio
- 5.7L eTorque 4×4: 8,230 lbs. – 11,330 lbs. depending on axle ratio
Wheels: Available 18″, 20″, or 22″
- Front: Disc
- Rear: Disc
- Passenger Volume: 117.2 cu. ft.
- Seating Capacity: 5 – 6 depending on front seat option
- Bed length: 6′ 4″
- Bed width: 66.4″
- Bed depth: 21.5″
- Bed volume: 61.5 cu. ft.
- 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab, 4×2 – $39,895
- 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab, 4×4 – $43,395
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on owning a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
With an automotive writing career spanning over two decades, Brian has a passion for sharing the automotive lifestyle. An avid DIYer he can usually be found working on one of this many project cars. His current collection includes a 1969 Olds Delta 88 convertible and a slant-6 powered 1975 Plymouth Duster.