2019 Ram 1500 First Drive: Ridiculously Refined, Obviously Capable

– Scottsdale, Arizona

If you have any reason to doubt the importance of the 2019 Ram 1500 to that brand’s bottom line, or even the overall financial health of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, go back and peruse the massive list of features and new technologies outline in our reporting on the truck’s debut. New powertrains, new infotainment systems and eye-popping displays, light-weighting, sophisticated chassis and suspension engineering, interior refinement with packaging origami: There are enough segment firsts and boisterous bullet points in that press release to cover several new vehicle launches, to say nothing of just one truck.

To say trucks have “come a long way” is to diminish their massive importance in the American car market, and especially to U.S. automakers. Trucks like this new Ram are tremendous profit centers; when a new one is due up, the whole team knows they’ve got to, not just benchmark the competition, but aim to obliterate it.

Update:

I raise the importance and comprehensiveness of ’19 Ram firsts, in part, to let you know that I didn’t experience a lot of them. In this early first drive, with pre-production trucks, quite a bit from that debut post wasn’t on hand for me to test. None of the two upcoming eTorque, electric-motor-enhanced engines, was on offer, nor was the diesel-engined truck that will go on sale sometime next year. Further, t...