The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, the previous generation Ram 1500, is part of US hardest-working pickups and boasts numerous segment-exclusive features in the areas most important to truck buyers. Class-leading ride and handling is accomplished via a unique multi link coil spring rear suspension system. Other features, such as the RamBox bedside storage, hidden bins and a fold-out load floor, offer unique solutions for cargo. While the new RAM is superior, the 2019 1500 Classic still has some significant appeal. Lower prices, a long list of proven technologies and advantages will surely make it a solid pick for some truck shoppers.
New for 2019:
- Ram 1500 Classic badging
- Five models: Tradesman, Express, SLT and Big Horn/Lone Star
- 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V-6 engine, delivering up to 8.6 L/100 km (33 mpg) (2018 MY data), 240 horsepower (hp) and 420 lb-ft of torque (late availability)
- 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine, delivering fuel economy as efficient as 9.6 L/100 km (29 mpg), 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque
5.7-litre HEMI V-8 with Variable Valve Timing (VVT), providing fuel economy as efficient as 11.0 L/100 km (26 mpg), 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque
- Class-exclusive RamBox Cargo Management System
- Innovative storage solutions including class-exclusive second-row in-floor storage
- Towing up to an impressive 4,826 kilograms (kg) (10,640 lb) with the legendary 5.7L HEMI V-8
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic comes standard with a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 that generates 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, regardless of engine choice. Rather than a traditional shift lever or a stalk sticking out of the steering column, Ram 1500s have a rotary knob on the instrument panel.
In testing, the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic SLT Quad Cab 2WD with the V6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, while a slightly heavier SLT crew cab V6 2WD did it in 8.0 seconds. With this engine, the Ram 1500 Classic 2WD fuel economy rated at 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway). The 4WD falls to 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway).
A rear-wheel-drive (2WD) layout is standard, but there are two available 4WD systems. Both have a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing. However, one is a traditional part-time system with manual mode selection; the other offers an Auto 4WD mode that automatically switches between rear- and four-wheel drive as conditions dictate.
The optional 5.7-liter V8 rated at 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 17 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway) for 2WD and 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway) for 4WD. In track testing, a Ram 1500 crew cab 4WD accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, which is about average for a full-size pickup with a V8.
Also optional is a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 rated at 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is very good for a pickup at 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway) for 2WD and 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) for 4WD.
A properly equipped 2019 Ram 1500 Classic with the gas V6 can tow up to 7,610 pounds, and the diesel V6 maxes out at 9,210 pounds. The V8 can tow up to 10,640 pounds. The maximum payload for the gas V6 is 1,890 pounds, drop to 1,800 pounds with the V8 and 1,600 pounds with the diesel V6.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is aptly named, as it has a classic look highlighted by brash big-rig styling that’s more curvy than boxy and has that unmistakable cross-hatch grille. It looks imposing, not blocky, and its sporty proportions are enhanced by a subtle spoiler integrated into the tailgate. Three cabs of the Ram 1500 Classic are available: Regular, Quad and Crew, with three different bed lengths. A Black Accent Package, with black wheels, badging and headlight bezels, makes the Express model look especially sharp. “Classic” badges are on the front fenders.
2019 Ram 1500 Classic exterior colours option: Blue Streak Pearl, Bright Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl, Bright White, Red Pearl, Flame Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic, Walnut Brown Metallic, True Blue Pearl, Billet Metallic, Diamond Black Crystal Pearl and Patriot Blue Pearl.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic interior is best in the segment. Lower trim levels feel well built with quality materials, and upper trim levels are predictably very well executed, with available wood trim and premium leather upholstery that class things up quite a bit. Seat comfort is excellent, especially for long road trips, with soft padding and adequate support in the right places. If you go with the crew cab, there’s plenty of legroom in the rear and matching seat comfort.
For infotainment controls, the Ram 1500 Classic features two available Uconnect systems. The 5-inch center screen is decent, but the 8.4-inch screen in the Big Horn offers a large virtual buttons, quick response times and logical menu layouts. As an added bonus, there are several physical buttons and knobs that duplicate those tasks for the more traditional owner. Seasoned truck owners might be thrown off at first by the rotary shift knob on the dashboard, but it quickly becomes second nature, and it frees up useful storage space compared to trucks with console-mounted shifters.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic also includes plenty of available modern convenience features such as keyless entry and ignition, remote start, power-adjustable pedals, Bluetooth, voice controls, and even Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. If you have trouble finding a good driving position, be sure to check out the optional power-adjustable pedals because the Ram 1500 Classic is exclusively equipped with a tilt-only steering wheel.
For storing items inside the cabin, the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic provides plenty of standard and optional storage spaces. The extended cab has a clever fold-out flat floor space when you flip up the 60/40-split rear seats, while the crew cab features watertight storage compartment under the rear floor as well as shallow bins under the flip-up backseat. A unique feature is the optional RamBox system, which places a pair of lockable compartments over the rear fenders inside the truck bed. With the right equipment levels, these compartments can even be locked and unlocked via remote.
TRIM LEVELS & PRICING
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is basically a new name for the last year Ram 1500. It’s the same full-size pickup that was available in the previous model year, but with less high-end features available. There are five trim levels: Tradesman, Express, SLT and Big Horn/Lone Star.
The two doors regular cab can seat three and is available with either a standard bed (6 feet 4 inches) or an extended bed (8 feet). The four doors Quad Cab can seat six and comes only with the standard bed. The four doors crew cab increases rear legroom and is available with either a short bed (5 feet 7 inches) or the standard bed.
The Tradesman is a work truck, with minimal luxury equipment and features. Just about all of its exterior parts that aren’t metal are black, but it does come with 17-inch steel wheels, a Class IV hitch receiver, a spray-in bedliner, a rearview camera, air conditioning, a six-speaker audio system, two USB ports and cruise control.
The Tradesman are similar to the Express, which is also a worker’s truck. But it removes the hitch and bedliner (offered as options) and adds body-colored exterior trim, carpeting and 20-inch wheels. The SLT gets the bedliner back plus more standard equipment such as alloy wheels and a 5-inch touchscreen display.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Big Horn (called Lone Star in Texas) adds features such as a 115-volt power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, front and rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. Upgraded a leather-wrapped steering wheel and cloth seating with a power-adjustable driver’s seat round things out.
Despite the Ram 1500 Classic bare-bones nature, it does still have some optional equipment. Available items include foglights, exterior side steps, bucket seats, adjustable cargo tie-downs, LED interior and bed lighting, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a 10-speaker audio system.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Regular Cab 2WD Tradesman with a 6-foot 4-inch bed starts at $27,295, the same truck with 4WD costs $31,895. A 2WD Express starts at $28,995, while a 4WD version of that truck costs $33,595.
The Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab 2WD Express with a 6-foot 4-inch bed starts at $33,495. That same truck with 4WD costs $37,095. A Classic Crew Cab 2WD Tradesman with a 5-foot 7-inch bed starts at $33,495. That same truck with 4WD costs $37,195. A 2WD Tradesman with a 6-foot 4-inch bed starts at $34,195 and $37,705 for 4WD version.
The Big Horn Crew Cab 2WD with the 6-foot 4-inch bed costs $40,195. A 4WD version costs $43,895. With the 5-foot 7-inch bed, the 2WD Big Horn starts at $42,845, while the 4WD version lists for $46,445. The destination charge for all models is $1,695.