Our idea of a feature-rich, budget-minded build

Ram has made a massive splash in the half-ton pickup segment with its all-new 2019 Ram 1500. It debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January and is expected to arrive in showrooms by the end of the first quarter. That’s an impressively quick turn-around time as this processes normally takes six months to a year with most vehicles. Nevertheless, we’re restless to get our hands on the pickup.

In the meantime, we’re left dreaming of the ideal build configuration for an average American. Modern pickups offer literally thousands of possible cab, bed, engine, and trim combinations. Here, we’re shooting for that middle-class family who might tow a small boat to the lake on the weekends, haul sports equipment in the bed, and carry those 2.5 kids to their various extracurricular actives – all while staying within a reasonable budget.

Continue reading for more information.

The Configuration

How We'd Spec It: 2019 Ram 1500
- image 769590
Crew Cab pickups are extremely popular these days and for good reason

Crew Cab pickups are extremely popular these days and for good reason. They offer room for five to six people, have rear seats that fold away for storage of larger items, and still have a large enough cargo bed for most users. As such, we’d definitely opt for the Crew Cab for this build.

As for trim level, we’d opt for the Laramie. It lands slightly above average in the scale of trims, offering more standard equipment than the Big Horn but less than the Western-themed Laramie Longhorn and the range-topping Platinum. For those with a slightly more conservative budget, the Big Horn would still work nicely.

And speaking of price, this comparison will unfortunately not include MSRPs or package pricing. That’s because Ram hasn’t released the numbers as of this writing. Nevertheless, we can guesstimate the final price based on the outgoing 2018 model.

Exterior

In addition to the Crew Cab configuration and five-foot, seven-inch cargo bed, we’d also opt for the incredibly handy RamBox system

In addition to the Crew Cab configuration and five-foot, seven-inch cargo bed, we’d also opt for the incredibly handy RamBox system. The integrated storage boxes are watertight, lockable in conjunction with the doors, illuminated inside, and have a drain plug for evacuating water after they’ve been used as a cooler.

The Laramie trim comes standard with 18-inch aluminum wheels, which are just fine. On top of that, we’d pick Blue Streak Pearl as the paint color, just as something a bit more exciting than gray, black, or white.

Interior

How We'd Spec It: 2019 Ram 1500
- image 769602
Ram has two big option packages for the Laramie: the Level 1 and Level 2 Equipment Groups.

The Laramie trim level comes standard with leather seats with a front bench seat. This means there is room for six people, which for some families, is a necessity. For those who would rather have the extra storage space, Ram has the front bucket option. The integrated center console that accompanied the bucket seats has space for hanging file folders, cup and coin holders, and even an optional wireless phone charger.

Ram has two big option packages for the Laramie: the Level 1 and Level 2 Equipment Groups. Level 1 adds things like automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a remote tailgate release, and a CD Player.

Level 2 adds even more goodies like a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, heated second-row seats, a rear under-seat storage compartment, the wireless phone charger, and the lovely 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system with navigation. Naturally, Level 2 also includes all the features in the Level 1 package.

Drivetrain

How We'd Spec It: 2019 Ram 1500
- image 769591
The 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie will initially be available with only the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.

The 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie will initially be available with only the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. That’s fine with us since the engine kicks out an impressive 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Better still, customers can also get the Hemi with Ram’s new eTorque system, the mild-hybrid addition that helps with low-end power while offering an improvement in fuel economy.

The standard transmission is the new, next-generation TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic. Customers do have a choice between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Since most people never venture off the pavement, we’d stick with rear-wheel drive and save on fuel economy and the initial purchase price.

Ram offers three rear axle ratios: the standard 3.21, a 3.55, and a 3.92. We’d stick with the 3.21 since towing and drag racing aren’t on the agenda. This ratio will also greatly help with fuel economy. We would, however, spend the extra money on the Anti-Spin differential. This will help with all-weather traction. Last but not least, we’d opt for the 33-gallon fuel tank, which gives the Ram an impressive cruising range.

To save on cost, we’d skip the four-corner air suspension option.

Pricing

How We'd Spec It: 2019 Ram 1500
- image 769603

Like we mentioned, Ram has not announced pricing for the 2019 model. So, in order to get an understanding of how much out specific configuration might cost, we’re looking at the outgoing model from 2018.

Configured with the same cab, bed, and drive type, the 2018 model starts at $42,095. Upgrading from the 3.6-liter V-6 to the 5.7-liter V-8 costs $1,450, though that cost might be baked into the 2019 model since the 3.6-liter doesn’t appear to be available. The Anti-Spin Differential is a $435 upgrade, the up-sized fuel tank costs $405, the Convenience Group adds $545, and the RamBox another $1,295.

On the inside, the removing the front bench seats for the buckets costs $695, while getting navigation programmed on the 8.4-inch Uconnect system costs another $795. Ram charges $345 for the CD player – something that comes included in the 2019’s Level 1 Equipment package.

The total price comes to $49,955, including the options and Ram’s $1,395 destination fee. Now, according to Ram’s Build And Price website, there is $7,500 in discounts on the 2018 model, which brings the price back down to $42,455. Of course, we don’t expect to see such hefty discounts in the first few years of the new Ram’s lifecycle, so the final price will likely be higher. Add to that the inevitable increase in price Ram will charge for the new truck.

Conclusion

How We'd Spec It: 2019 Ram 1500
- image 769600

While not cheap by any means, this configuration offers the best of both worlds – swanky tech, leather seats, a powerful V-8, and tons of interior space while not cresting beyond the $50,000 mark.

What do you think of this build? What would you do differently? Let us know in the comments.

References

Ram 1500

All-New 2019 Ram 1500 Steals The Show at Detroit
- image 758490

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500.

no article
- image 742288

Read more Ram news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: