Out with the old, in with the new? Not so fast.
It’s not that uncommon for an automaker to be selling a model’s new generation alongside the old one and Ram is the latest to adopt this strategy. Much like Jeep is keeping the Wrangler JK alive for a while to peacefully co-exist with the new JL, the Ram 1500 Classic (codenamed DS) will be offered together with the new DT model through the 2018 calendar year.
If budget is tight, the Classic version might prove to be the wiser purchase if you’re only after a utilitarian vehicle without willing to pay extra for the bells and whistles offered by the new-gen 1500. The lineup has been simplified for the new-old model, with buyers having to pick from four trim levels: Tradesman, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star, and SSV for special service vehicles. There are three cabs and three bed lengths available, along with a choice between 4x2 and 4x4.
Initially, Ram will sell the 2019 1500 Classic with the familiar Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 or the beefier HEMI 5.7-liter V8, but later on the EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6 will be added for those prioritizing fuel economy.
Although Ram has significantly reduced the amount of versions available for the previous-gen 1500, there are still quite a few ways buyers can customize their pickup trucks. Go for the Tradesman trim and an optional Chrome Plus package is available by adding shiny chrome bumpers, 17-inch wheels, body-colored front fascia, along with carpet floor covering, and remote keyless entry.
If you’re willing to step up to the Tradesman SXT package, it adds fog lamps, 20-inch chrome wheels, 5-inch radio, and a dual exhaust if you go for a V8 engine.
As for the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic in Express guise, it can be had with a black accent package with a dark theme for the headlight bezels, wheels, and badges.
The only piece of information not available for the time being is also probably the most important: price. Ram will have the Classic model on sale in North America from the fourth quarter of the year and will manufacture the 1500 Classic at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan while some of the versions will be put together in Mexico at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant.
Gallery: 2019 Ram 1500 Classic
Ram Truck Brands Its Legacy Half-ton with ‘Classic’ Badge for 2019 MY to Sell Alongside the All-new 2019 Ram 1500
Ram Truck brand executives, with two concurrently selling body styles of its 2019 model-year pickup, have given the legacy edition its own name: Classic.
Ram will offer both the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, known internally as the “DS” model, and the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 (“DT”) at its North American dealers through the 2018 calendar year.
“As we launch the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, we didn’t want to walk away from a key part of the light-duty truck market” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand — FCA. “Ram will continue to produce the 1500 Classic targeted at entry and commercial buyers.”
The Ram 1500 Classic boasts numerous segment-exclusive features in areas most important to truck buyers. Class-leading ride and handling is accomplished via a unique link-coil rear suspension system. Other features, such as RamBox bedside storage, hidden bins and a flat-load floor, offer unique solutions for cargo. New “Classic” badging is located on the fenders.
Offered in four trim levels, Tradesman, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star and SSV (Special Services Vehicle), the Ram 1500 Classic benefits from content specifically designed to match its capability and style. The Ram 1500 Classic also benefits from three new packages:
- Chrome Plus is offered on the Tradesman trim that offers bundled value content, which includes chrome bumpers, body-color upper front fascia, 17-inch wheels, remote keyless entry and carpet floor covering
- Tradesman SXT is offered on the Tradesman trim that includes chrome bumpers, body-color front fascia, 5-inch radio, fog lamps (new to Tradesman), dual exhaust on V-8 models (new to Tradesman) and 20-inch chrome wheels (new to Tradesman)
- Express Black Accent Package is offered on all Express trim exterior colors, which includes Black wheels, Black headlight bezels and Black badging
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is available in three cabs and three bed lengths: Regular Cab with 8-ft. bed or 6-ft., 4-in. bed, Quad Cab with 6-ft., 4-in. bed, Crew Cab short bed (5-ft., 7-in.) or Crew Cab with optional 6-ft., 4-in. bed.
Available in 4x2 or 4x4, other powertrain offerings include award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or optional 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8. The optional 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel will be available at a later date.
The Ram 1500 features a segment-exclusive multi-link rear coil suspension that provides best-in-class ride and handling qualities. A coil-spring setup centralizes and absorbs bumps and impacts, while reducing the amount of friction in the spring system. This setup also weighs 40 pounds less than a leaf-spring configuration.
Ram trucks come with an unsurpassed five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Truck customers from half-ton to commercial have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Michigan), which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938. Regular Cab and some Crew Cab models of the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.
Ram 1500 Classic will be available in the fourth quarter of 2018.