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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was down in Houston and Texas City this week and, since National car rental is so awesome, they let me pick from the "Executive" aisle which consisted mostly of 2019 Ram 1500 classics(basically just the previous generation ram) and F150's. I decided to try the Ram 1500 since I own a 150. This one was a white, Big Horn, crew cab, short bed with 4x4, 20" wheels and the Hemi. It as fairly basic other than the 8.4" Uconnect screen on the dash. No heated seats, bed liners or anything like that, and it was a cloth interior with front bench seat.



Suspension: Overall I was pretty impressed with the truck. The suspension definitely rides better than any stock F150 I have been in and was probably as good, if not slightly better, than my truck with Bilstein 5100's. It was very controlled with little body roll or "chattering" when you hit bumps. It never got upset on mid-corner bumps like the F150 seems too.

Transmission: It was very nice. It never made me feel like it was in the wrong gear and even with the MDS switching between V4 and V8 mode, there was little to no hesitation when I did need power. This is Houston after all, so driving often involves scurrying around like a cockroach, hopping from lane to lane as no one seems to understand that the left lanes are for passing. Lots of quick sprints. It felt really good in this regard and quickly got the engine into the power band it needed. The one downside I found was that I couldn't seem to put it into manual mode. There were two shift buttons on the steering wheel but they only seemed to act like lock outs, similar to when you have the F150 in D and click the shift button down.

It had the rotary knob shifter on the dash. Some people hate this but i like it. I would much rather have the knob than a steering column shifter.

4x4: Shout out to Ram because, despite being on the lower end of their trims, this truck has 4Auto just like the Lariat and up F150's. I didn't use it, but my understanding is they use a Borg Warner transfer case just like the F150 so it should function that same.

Engine: The engine was solid. It had decent power and got the truck where it needed to go with little effort. It has the MDS feature where it will drop down to V4 mode under light load, and since Houston is about as flat as you can get, it spent a lot of time there. The engine was a little rough when in V4 mode but it seemed to have enough power to stay there cruising up to 75mph or so. Above that speed and it seemed like they just shut it off all together as I never saw it come on. Gas mileage was ok. I would say that it peaks about the same as my 2014 Ecoboost in the 21-22 mpg range under ideal conditions(65mph, flat, cruise control on). With that said though, it was doing much better at higher speeds than my boost could dream of. At 75-80mph it was still managing 19-20 mpg it seemed like. My boost will drop to 17-18 at those speed.

One odd thing I noticed is that it seemed to cruise more effortlessly at speed. At one point I was casually cruising along on 45 North from Texas City to Houston when I looked down and was doing 85 mph. I had no idea. In my boost, once I get above 75mph, it just seems irritated with me. There have been times when I was driving across WY with an 80 mph speed limit and went 75mph anyways just because it felt like the Ecoboost was annoyed. Part of this may be the gearing, I am not sure. The ZF 8 speed has a .64:1 8th vs my 6 speeds .691:1. That and I bet the rear end ratio was taller as well. I don't remember the engine ever touching 2000 rpm while just cruising even at 85mph.

The engine also ran fairly hot. I took the screen shot below after I had been cruising for 15 minutes on a completely straight and flat road at 65mph and that is where it settled. If I remember correctly, I believe FCA puts 205°F thermostats in the Hemi's:



My one big concern is altitude. The engine felt as strong as my ecoboost does, but Houston is at like 4’ of elevation. If I had this truck at my house at 6500’ i am willing to bet it would feel like a total dog.

Interior: The interior was lower trim(cloth, no heat), but overall it was nice. The drivers seat was comfy. I briefly sat in the back seat and, while there is less leg room than a F150 supercrew, there was enough that my knees were not touching and the seats were more comfortable than my 2014 Lariat, my buddies 2016 Lariat and my coworkers 2018 Platinum. The F150 rear seats are just flat boards where as the Ram seats had a bit of shape to them.

The nav screen was nice. It had Apple Carplay which was so awesome and I really didnt play with much else. The steering wheel control were a little odd but fine. The gauge cluster had a nice big screen even though it was a lower trim model.

It did have dual zone automatic climate control.

I am no Audiophile, but I would guess that the sound system on this lowly bighorn ourperformed my fancy Sony system in my Lariat. It certainly had a stouter bass.

Overall, I wouldn't be mad if I had to daily drive this truck instead of my F150 Lariat. I've said for a while now that I regret buying a Lariat because I just don't care much for the extra features. The Ram was a nice, intuitive, and easy to use interior. It looked pretty decent for a Big Horn level truck.

I would say that the base options on this outclass an XLT f150. I also feel like the xlt F150’s interior is more utilitarian/spartan feeling.


Utility: The deal killer for me is the payload capacity. As I mentioned, the truck was a fairly lightly optioned Big Horn. Aside from some wheel well liners and the nav screen, there wasn't a whole lot of creature comforts. Even in this trim the door sticker only gave a payload capacity of 1401 lbs. The truck had a GVWR of 6900 lbs and both axles were rated at 3900 lbs. This gives it a curb weight of 5500 lbs:



I recall test driving a very similar Big Horn Ecodiesel and it only had ~1200 lbs of payload lol.


Summary: It is a very nice truck. If you don't need the payload and don't care about the engine at altitude, I think it is a really good option. The hemi is no tuned ecoboost, but it does quite well when paired with the 8 speed. It is a solid combo.
 

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2019 Classic... sounds like we built too many 2018s sitting on the factory lots and we'll re badge them classics and we will sell tons to the masses...

The real 2019 looks decent if its the sport model with color match other wise the chrome accents on the standard models look freaking terrible.
 

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I drove a similar Ram last year as a rental while my 16 F150 was getting some repairs, (the wife proved she was a bit rusty backing up our camper). It was very comparable to my XLT in trim and interior. Loved the sound of the hemi, and the smoothness of the drivetrain, but I'm an old school muscle car guy. But my F150 had a pretty significant advantage in mpg, and by the seat of the pants I think the F150 was as quick as the Ram.
 

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I’d give Toyota a shot but I’ve had a couple of Nissan’s over the years and wasn’t thrilled with anything about them. Always felt like they were under achievers. They were never top of the heap in any one category. Not the best HP, not the best mileage and certainly not a neck breaker in the looks department. It’s been a while since I’ve been in one but I can’t get past experiences out of my head. No offense to any of the Nissan owners on the forum.
 

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Definitely pick the Ram over the Chevy/GMC, Toyota and Nissan. The new GM trucks are underwhelming at the least. And both the Toyota and Nissan are lagging, they sell a small fraction compared the the big 3 and are a generation behind.
 

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And I probably wouldn't be dealing with a leaky oil pan and blowing blue smoke from a cold soak startup. LOL
Grass is always greener I've found. A buddy of mine with a leased 2014 RAM, had rust issues with his on the tailgate at ~2 year mark - He is now leasing an 5.0L F150. In addition, a neighbor of mine told us "we did the right thing with getting our Ford" as he's been to the dealer numerous times on his 2012 with a lot of out of pocket expense with engine issues.
 

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Grass is always greener I've found. A buddy of mine with a leased 2014 RAM, had rust issues with his on the tailgate at ~2 year mark - He is now leasing an 5.0L F150. In addition, a neighbor of mine told us "we did the right thing with getting our Ford" as he's been to the dealer numerous times on his 2012 with a lot of out of pocket expense with engine issues.
Hopefully it's not a 2018 to early 2019 5.0L because Ford is having issues with the plasma arc spray liners. Having high oil consumption issues. One member on another forum is already on his third engine.
 

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Suspension: Overall I was pretty impressed with the truck. The suspension definitely rides better than any stock F150 I have been in and was probably as good, if not slightly better, than my truck with Bilstein 5100's. It was very controlled with little body roll or "chattering" when you hit bumps. It never got upset on mid-corner bumps like the F150 seems too.
We run a fleet of these things at work. When new the coil spring rear suspension is great. But as it wears it gets very "loose" and mid-corner bumps will send the back end all over the place. The truck I drive frequently has 120k miles on it and probably needs both the front and rear end rebuilt.

Also, when you load them down heavy they get really squirrely and the back end likes to dance around. Never weighed them, but this is with the back end squatting to just about parallel, maybe just a little past so I doubt we are over payload.

Great truck for if you never use it as a truck. I tow and haul regularly so that's why I drive a Ford.
 

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There are at least 3 reasons that Ram is building the classic...
1- The tooling has been paid for a long time ago (lots of profit),
2- The sales numbers would take a huge dive due to pricing of the new model.
3- Ram wants to surpass GM in sales numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We run a fleet of these things at work. When new the coil spring rear suspension is great. But as it wears it gets very "loose" and mid-corner bumps will send the back end all over the place. The truck I drive frequently has 120k miles on it and probably needs both the front and rear end rebuilt.

Also, when you load them down heavy they get really squirrely and the back end likes to dance around. Never weighed them, but this is with the back end squatting to just about parallel, maybe just a little past so I doubt we are over payload.

Great truck for if you never use it as a truck. I tow and haul regularly so that's why I drive a Ford.
I would agree that its a great truck if you never wanted to use it as a truck.
 

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There are at least 3 reasons that Ram is building the classic...
1- The tooling has been paid for a long time ago (lots of profit),
2- The sales numbers would take a huge dive due to pricing of the new model.
3- Ram wants to surpass GM in sales numbers.
yep, a buddy that works for FCA said that they would continue to run them side by side until demand shifts, killing off the classic now would be the end of FCA. That line is still making them money so why not.


My other buddy who works at the dealership i bought my truck from normally takes it in for me when i have issues since its an hour trip. Well he's a ram guy, and a dick so every time he takes it he leaves me with a ram. I don't mind them, hemi has good power if you get into it, trans shift a whole hell of a lot smoother than my ten speed and the interior is fine. I don't really notice the suspension being any better, could be because our roads are so bad that nothing feels "good."

Payload kills it for me though, i would never be able to pull my camper.
 
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