Introduced on Valentine’s Day at the 2019 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Ontario, the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock pays homage to the original Warlock pickups of the 1970s and offers buyers a well-equipped, factory-customized truck with unique style, capability, and value.
While the original Dodge D-100 Warlock was sold from 1976 to 1979, the customized factory pickup offered unique wheels, fat tires, chrome running boards, real oak-wood bedside boards, and gold accent stripes on both the exterior and the interior of the truck. The truck has since become a collector’s piece. But does the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock live up to the original? Or is it just a sticker package? Let’s dig in and find out…
Visually, the Warlock looks like last year’s Ram 1500 Rebel package. It features the old Rebel’s grille, black powder-coated bumpers, black fender flares, LED fog lamps, black projector headlights, LED taillights, all-black badging, tow hooks, optional unique hood decals, and the option of the Rebel’s Sport Performance Hood.
We were at the unveiling of the Warlock in Toronto, and unlock the vehicle on the show floor and the Ram Truck media photos featured “Warlock” text decals on the sides of the box indicating that this is an all-new model. However, those stickers won’t show up on the Warlock models, until the 2020 model year. Instead, the Warlock gets “4×4” decals from the 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn North Edition.
Mechanically, the Warlock comes standard with the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The Pentastar delivers 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft of torque and does not feature the eTorque mild-hybrid system of the new fifth-generation half-ton pickups. The legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is optional and provides a strong 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission and come in both 4×2 or 4×4 configurations. The Warlock does get a 1-inch suspension lift and heavy-duty rear shocks as standard equipment.
The interior of the Warlock is very plain when compared to the all-new 2019 Ram 1500. The Warlock features Diesel Gray cloth seats, but with the optional Luxury Group, you can get a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an overhead console, premium instrument cluster with a customizable 7-inch thin-film-transistor (TFT) display, LED box lighting, and power-folding mirrors. We highly recommend that package, as the Warlock will feel more like a work truck without it.
You can also opt for the heated front bench seat or bucket seats, the awesome 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen display with navigation, black side steps, and a spray-in bed liner.
This particular truck started out as an SLT Quad Cab with a Canadian Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $48,720. Adding the Warlock package increased the price by $2,995. The optional heated front bucket seats, 3.92 gears, anti-spin differential, 32-gallon fuel tank, class IV hitch receiver, and a trailer brake controller brings the MSRP to $59,825. Currently, at the time of the writing of this article, Ram Canada has a promotion for 25% off of the MSRP of the Ram 1500 Classic. That would put this truck at just about $44,870.
Now that we have covered all of the stats, let’s talk about how the 2019 Ram 1500 Warlock behaves on-road. Now the reason, we call these drives a “quick take”, is because we barrow these vehicles from a dealer (like our friends at White Rock Dodge, who provided this truck to us). So we only have a limited amount of time with the vehicle and want to keep the mileage to a minimum, so these are just our initial impressions.
Out on the road, the ride is smooth. To be honest, the only other pickups that ride better than the Warlock is the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 pickups. Power delivery is smooth with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 and the 8-speed automatic shifts quickly and without hesitation. RAM went to electric power steering in 2013, and the system is tuned and weighted so well that you wouldn’t know its not the conventional hydraulic setup. Cornering is good for a pickup, although these 20-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires aren’t the grippiest tires on the planet, which is something I will get more into later
Brake feel is fairly numb, but braking performance is good. The Warlock stops decently well but again isn’t on the same level to the stopping performance of the all-new Ram 1500. Visibility is good, all-around, with a commanding view of the road and lots of glass area. For its size, these trucks have quite a tight turning radius and really drive like they are much smaller than what they really are.
Interior material quality is on the lower end of acceptable and again are not on par with the all-new Ram 1500, nor should it be being an older design. The dash, including the top of the dash, is made of hard plastic. While the door panel armrests and tops feature soft material, which makes it much more comfortable to rest your elbow on. The seat cloth was made from a nice textured material that should wear well. As for fit and finish, the truck was excellent, which is a trend I have noticed with all Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) products that I have drive in the past couple of years.
As an owner of a 2016 Ram 1500 Sport, I was surprised at how much of a downgrade the SLT interior was. I feel that the Diesel Gray interior color doesn’t do the interior any favors and makes it appear even cheaper than what it truly is.
What I don’t understand about this truck is why would RAM goes through so much trouble of making it look like the fourth-generation Rebel and even include a 1-inch suspension lift, yet neuter it with these crappy Goodyear tires on black-painted 20-inch aluminum wheels from the Express model? I know that it is easy to change after the fact, but from the factory, it doesn’t look right. In my opinion, they should have gone with the older Rebel wheels and a set of all-terrain tires or at least put some decent all-terrain tires on these wheels. Then it would have been a Rebel Classic, minus the interior features.
In the end, do I think this truck is worth purchasing in 2019? Overall, its a good truck and still is competitive at the moment. However, I would have to say NO! Keep in mind, that the current discounts won’t last forever and the MSRP of this truck is close to $60,000. For that amount of money, the truck doesn’t even feature things like remote start, a manual sliding rear window, and isn’t even a Crew Cab.
As I mentioned above the price of this truck after the current discounts at the moment is around $44,870. Using the Build & Price configuration for the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 Quad Cab with the 4×4 Off-Road Group and optioned to be similar to our Warlock, comes in around $48,830 with its discounts that are currently available. That is roughly $4,000 very well spend and the way I personally would go. Take the discounts out of the equation, and if you compare the MSRPs of the two trucks together, the all-new Ram 1500 Big Horn would still be $500 less coming in at $59,330.
Do I think that the new 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, lives up to the original Warlock’s name? Again, NO! If they wanted to do the Warlock nameplate justice, they could have built a regular cab sport truck in the same vein as the original. Instead, we get this more of a Rebel Classic package with a set of useless street tires on it for some reason. This seems like an answer to a question, nobody asked for and a simple way to dump a bunch of excess parts into production.
A better idea for this truck would have been something akin to the Ram 2500 Tradesman Power Wagon, a stripped-down version of the truck like the Ram 1500 Classic Express with the Rebel’s functional features and all-terrain tires. My bet is that it would have sold better than this truck probably will.
With that being said, if you were a fan of the last-generation Ram 1500 Rebel or prefer the looks the fourth-generation trucks to the all-new half-tons, it could be worth a look if you can really get a good deal on it.
In my opinion, when you are looking at the Ram 1500 Classic, you are better off sticking with the value models such as the Express. Those models can be had for the mid to high $30,000 range, which is much cheaper than you could touch on an all-new Ram 1500. That is where you really win on the value proposition and where it makes sense to go with the older Classic models.
2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock Quad Cab 4×4 Image Gallery: