It’s been two months since we purchased our long-term 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport Crew Cab 4×4. Since then, we have accumulated about 2,750 miles on the truck and have had time to get familiar with most of its features. While we will admit we were skeptical about some of its build quality issues that we had read about in our sister site’s 5thGenRams.com forums, the truck has performed flawlessly. But let’s take a look at our ownership experience, thus far.
On a day-to-day basis, the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport is an amazing truck to live with. It’s comfortable, full of technology features, rides beautifully, and continues to impress us. Out of all of the 2019 Ram 1500 models we have reviewed on the site, we have to say that this particular truck offers the best ride. When we first purchased the truck, we expect that the massive 22-inch wheels would make the truck bounce around on Michigan’s uneven and beaten roads. But we were surprisingly wrong. The truck is super smooth across the uneven pavement and is well balanced for a vehicle its size. I have to personally say, that this was the thing I have been most impressed with about the truck. So for those of you who are afraid about getting the 22-inch wheels because of fear of having a rough ride, don’t jump to conclusions until you drive this thing.
The second thing that continues to impress us is the non-eTorque 5.7-liter HEMI V8 and the 8-speed automatic transmission. We equipped our truck with the lower 3.21 rear gearing and as we continue to put miles on the truck, we are seeing the fuel economy rise. Over a dozen refuelings, we have seen the truck originally get around 14.1 mpg to 17.3 mpg on the same mixed driving routes of city streets and rural highways. The ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission is the smoothest shifting transmission I have ever driven. I have told our Co-Editor, Jared Balfour, several times, that the people who collaborated the transmission should win an award for it. Bravo, Ram!
Another thing we have grown to love is the 12-inch Uconnect infotainment touchscreen system. The massive screen was challenging for the first day to get used to after driving Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) vehicles with the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen for years. But after a day or two, the new climate control button layout was easy to adapt to. The ability to put two sources of information on the screen, like your navigation screen and your stereo is amazing and super useful. I do especially love the rear camera in motion feature that allows you to look behind the truck for about 15 seconds while driving.
There are two complaints that I have with the 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen and they are minor. One is if you shut the screen off, you lose your clock display as it goes black at the top the screen. Sure you can move your clock to the corner of your thin-film transistor (TFT) screen in your electronic vehicle information center (EVIC), but I like having that area set with my temperature and oil pressure data. The second is the fact that the system does not play DVDs when the vehicle is in park. My 8.4-inch Uconnect system had no problem playing DVDs and I usually kept one in there just so you have watch something when you are waiting for someone to run into the store or what not. It’s not a deal breaker, but I found it funny that a 2014 Uconnect system would have this feature and yet the most advanced system ever, does not.
With the Laramie Sport, the styling of the truck in the monochromatic look is super sharp. I was a huge fan of the Canadian-only 2019 Ram 1500 Sport, especially after seeing the truck in person at the Toronto Auto Show. Originally I had planned to black out all the badges on the Laramie Sport to make it look as close to the Canadian truck as I could. However, the tiny bits of chrome really set the Granite Crystal Metallic exterior off. It’s not overpowering and the chrome on the Laramie Sport hood badges looks so much better than the Laramie Black and Rebel in my honest option. I do wish that this truck did get the blackened tail lights from the Rebel as it would simply complete the aggressive looks of the rear the truck with its more sporty demeanor.
Inside the Laramie Sport, the truck gets an all-black interior with suede inserts on the seats and doors panels. The interior is extremely sexy in all black, however, is a nightmare to keep clean. The seats are extremely comfortable for my full-bodied frame. The only thing I can say, that I honestly do not like is the interior cabin is full of black, aluminum, and a faux carbon fiber trim. Except for the bronze trim from the standard Laramie models from the center stack to the center console. The bronze is the only thing on the truck that is that color and looks totally out of place with that color combination. Black or silver paint would have tied the interior theme in a lot better.
As for the things that have upset me so far about the truck, its been to a minimal. One thing that cracks me up is where Ram got cheap. The third brake light is a great example. The entire truck has LED lighting throughout, however, Ram can’t give into putting LED bulbs for the third brake light and cargo light housing and give the truck that $62,000 feel that we are paying for. Another issue is the massive size of the truck. Unless you have a tall garage door, it’s more than likely your truck will be like ours and sit outside. Full-size trucks have gotten so huge, that even going through the bank drive-thru is a nightmare. The folding power mirrors are a must for attempts to get in most bank drive-thrus and the truck just barely fits. Matter of fact, we ended up curb rashing one of the new 22-inch wheels on the truck. But we’re lucky enough to find a brand-new $300 replacement on eBay! to allow us to get the damaged wheel fixed and keep it as a spare. Since the innocent, the truck has not been through another drive-thru.
There are some features that I have to say are a must for potential buyers of a new 2019 or 2020 Ram 1500. One, if you are getting anything above a Tradesman model, the LED exterior lighting package is a must. The LED headlights and fog lamps are some of the best units I have ever driven with. They are night and day better than the Bi-Xenon headlights in our long-term 2014 Dodge Charger R/T Plus AWD Sport. If you are a night driver or just have a hard time seeing at night as you get older, like myself especially when it’s raining, you will absolutely love them.
The other item is the panoramic sunroof. Now, I love sunroofs, the ability to just crack them up to let the hot air out of the vehicle on a massively hot day is a great thing to do. But I originally thought I could do without the panoramic sunroof. But after living with it for two months, I am glad I got it. The massive piece of glass opens up the truck to the outside world. It is tinted enough that it won’t bother you too much on those really sunny days but gives the truck a less of a claustrophobic feel for the passengers of the massive Crew Cab cabin.
So what is next for the truck? We already have begun adding accessories to it. We have a lot planned for the truck and have decided we are going to do a budget street performance truck built with some simple bolt-on accessories to enhance the performance and give the truck, even more, street presence. We will be covering the upcoming upgrades on the 5thGenRams YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe. We also have some plans for some fun videos later this summer as well, so stay tuned.