The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD was vastly different than the exiting 2019 model. It was basically an overhaul year, resulting in a new exterior, interior, and new technology never before seen in a heavy duty Chevrolet truck. It’s been a year since then however, and 2021 models will be hitting dealerships any day now. How does the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD compare to 2020 models?
2021 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Performance Changes
Duramax Diesel Engine Changes?
2021 marks a year of refinement and improvement over the 2020 Silverado HD. The L5P Duramax diesel engine remains largely unchanged, but it still provides plenty of power at 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. The 10-speed automatic Allison comes standard with the Diesel engine and it remains similar to the previous model year as well.
Changes to the 6.6L Standard Gas Engine
In 2020, the popular 6.0L V-8 engine was replaced with a new direct-injected 6.6L gas engine for huge performance gains and greater capability. The only major change for this 6.6L Gas engine in 2021 is that it now offers FlexFuel capabilities. Other than that, the powertrain is very similar. The same 6L90 6-speed Automatic transmission is used with a standard tow/haul mode.
The 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500HD retains its 18,500 lb conventional tow capacity and 18,500 Lb 5th Wheel or Gooseneck tow capacity. 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD trucks received a slight tow capacity raise.
Technology improvements on 2021 will definitely aid in towing now though. The Bed View Camera is now available on Work Truck, Custom, and LT models. The Safety Confidence Package is also available on Work Truck and Custom models.
New Special Editions & Packages
2021 model year Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD trucks will be offered in several unique trim packages compared to 2021 models. The most noteworthy new edition is a collaboration between Chevrolet and Carhartt. The new 2021 Chevrolet Silverado Carhartt edition features an exclusive exterior, a CarHartt-themed interior, and a bunch of additional styling characteristics.
Other special editions include the LTZ Premium Texas Edition, Midnight Edition, Z71 Sport Edition, and Z71 Chrome Sport Edition. A Duramax and Appearance Package is available on LT Trims too.
Other New 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Features
Other changes to the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD trucks include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone projection capabilities. The EZ Lift tailgate is also now standard on LT Models.
What About The 2021 Silverado 3500HD?
Click on the link below to see what changes Chevrolet made to their 3500HD for the 2021 model year.
Ram made headlines when they released their 2019 Ram HD, capable of producing 1,000 ft/lb of torque with the Cummins/Aisin powertrain combination. Ford didn’t stay idle for long. The new 2020 Superduty with the revised 6.7L Powerstroke engine will offer Ford customers 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque. The most exciting part? These numbers apply to every 2020 Superduty with the 6.7L Powerstroke, not just the F-350 or F-450 Dually.
Horsepower and torque are a pretty number, but how about tow capacity? The 2020 Superduty equipped with the 6.7L Powerstroke will also feature best in class tow capacity at 37,000 lbs. That is a little higher than the 2020 Ram HD at 35,100 lbs or GM’s 2020 Silverado HD at 35,500 lbs. Obviously, tow capacity is not standard across the board. 2020 Ford F-Series Superduty trucks will also boast best in class conventional tow capacity of 24,200 lbs.
Ford also took a significant step to appease Powerstroke owners who want better off-road performance. 2020 Superduty trucks featuring the Tremor Off-road package offer customers 35″ all-terrain tires and a 2 inch front lift from the factory. You can find out the other improvements the Tremor Off-road package offers by clicking here.
Other 2020 Ford Superduty Improvements
Other 2020 Superduty changes include a new 10-speed TorqShift transmission, Pro Trailer backup assist, and trailer reverse guidance. Many features that are considered premium, like lane keeping assist, pre-collision assist with emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring will be standard on XLT trims and above. This gives customers buying lower trims access to better features and more value. Overall, Ford made their trucks safer, more powerful, and more off-road capable than they have ever been before. Be on the lookout for the new 2020 Superduty. They will be hitting dealerships by the end of this year!
What Fuel Economy does the new 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck get?
Diesel half-ton trucks have been adopted by the big three US auto manufacturers. Recently GM revealed their new 1500 trucks equipped with the 3.0L Inline-6 Duramax can get up to 33 mpg on the highway in Rear-Wheel drive models. What about Ram’s EcoDiesel though? What can the new 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel achieve in fuel economy? Rear-wheel drive Ram trucks equipped with the new EcoDiesel engine can get up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 mpg in the city. 4×4 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel trucks can get up to 29 miles per gallon the highway and 21 in the city. How does that compare to Ram’s other available engines in the 2020 Ram 1500? Check out the chart below!
2020 Ram 1500 Fuel Economy
3.0L V6 EcoDiesel 4×2
3.0L V6 EcoDiesel 4×4
3.6L V6 eTorque 4×2
3.6L V6 eTorque 4×4
5.7L V8 Hemi 4×2
5.7L V8 Hemi 4×4
5.7L V8 Hemi eTorque 4×2
5.7L V8 Hemi eTorque 4×4
What Changes Resulted in the Most Efficient EcoDiesel to Date
The new 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had to change significantly to achieve high fuel economy numbers. A new water-cooled Variable Geometry Turbocharger was introduced. This gives the trucks better throttle response while also being more efficient. Intake ports were overhauled to improve performance. New fuel injectors were added, along with new pistons to also improve fuel economy. Even a new brake system featuring low-friction blades helps contribute to fuel economy.
EcoDiesel Emissions Updates
Ram also made big changes on emission systems. A new dual high/low pressure exhaust gas recirculation is used. Compression ratio was also changed to 16.0:1 from 16.5:1 to further reduce exhaust emissions. The SCR, or selective catalytic reduction system, was enlarged by 50% and includes a new Diesel Oxidation Catalyst with DEF injection.
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Ram trucks underwent some major changes in 2019. The new 2019 Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 trucks gained a totally new body style, a redesigned 6.7L Cummins Engine, and more technology than I can list in one sentence. It looks like Ram isn’t stopping there though. More changes are coming to the 2020 Ram pickup truck lineup.
The EcoDiesel is Back for the 2020 Ram 1500
Much to our delight, the Ram 1500 will be equipped with a revamped and more powerful V6 EcoDiesel engine. Ram 1500 trucks equipped with the EcoDiesel will have 260 horsepower and 480 lb/ft of torque. They will lead the diesel 1/2 ton class in tow capacity with a max tow rating of 12,560 lbs. You can find out more about the new 2020 EcoDiesel by clicking here. You can also visit our 3rd generation EcoDiesel Specifications page.
Other 2020 Ram 1500 Changes
A new Night Edition will be available on Big Horn and Laramie models. Night Edition trucks will feature new black wheels. The wheels have a 20-inch diameter for Big Horn trims, and 22-inch diameter for Laramie trucks. Exhaust tips, grilles, badging, and other exterior trim pieces are also black. Headlights and taillights will feature black bezels.
Ram Rebel Black Appearance Group Returns
The 2020 Ram Rebel will return with the black appearance group as an option. Black appearance group models will feature a Diamond Black Crystal Pearl Coat, black 18-inch wheels, skid plate, badging, tow hooks, and exhaust. These models will also contain an all-black interior or they can be purchased with a black and ruby red interior.
Rebel Trucks Gain Safety Upgrades, Comfort Package & New Graphics
Like Ram’s other pickup trucks, the Rebel will feature adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane departure assist, and automatic high-beam headlamps. All 2020 Rebel trucks will include power tailgate release, wireless charging, rear heated seats, and 12-way power driver’s seat with memory settings.
New Exterior Colors Available on 2020 Ram 1500
Ram 1500s will be available with a couple of new colors including Hydro Blue, RV Match Walnut Brown, and Olive Green.
2020 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup Truck Changes
2020 Ram HD trucks are getting even more technology! Lane keep assist and adaptive steering will be available on all trims. For the first time ever, Ram HD trucks will be available with Blind Spot Monitoring. Trailer tire pressure monitoring is also available on all trim models. What is the most exciting new feature of the 2020 Ram HD though? A new 50-gallon fuel tank will be standard on 2020 Ram HD trucks featuring a crew cab and 8 foot long bed. This is huge for people who haul frequently! Getting an extra capacity fuel tank like a titan tank or one of S&Bs new fuel tanks can cost more than $1,000 before installation. Finally, Ram will also gain two additional color options, the Hydro Blue, and the Olive Green.
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Chevrolet just announced details on their new 3.0L Inline-six Cylinder Duramax engine that will be available on the 2020 Silverado 1500. While GM is the only manufacturer with diesel options in the light truck market in the 2.8L LWN Duramax in the Colorado or Canyon trucks, they are the last of the big three to have a diesel option in the 1/2 ton truck market. Ford already has a 3.0L V6 Powerstroke engine available on F150s while FCA has their 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel engine that will also be available in 2020 on the Ram 1500. The new 3.0L Duramax engine will produce a class-leading 277 horsepower and only fall slightly behind Ram with 460 lb-ft of torque.
Chevrolet Chooses An Inline-Six Design for the 3.0L Duramax Engine
Chevrolet’s engineers wanted to create an engine that provides Silverado 1500 owners with a world-class experience and unmatched durability. The inline-six design is a favorite amongst heavy-duty Ram truck owners who have an inline-six Cummins engine. Will Chevrolet’s new 3.0L inline-six Duramax turbodiesel engine offer the same reliability though?
The 3.0L Duramax engine block is made from cast aluminum alloy that reduces engine mass by up to 25% according to Chevrolet. The engine block features a deep-skirt design in which the block casting extends below the crankshaft centerline. Iron cylinder lines are present within the block to increase durability. 7 iron main bearing caps also add strength to the block and allow for accurate location of the rotating assembly.
The engines rotating assembly features forged steel connecting rods, a forged steel crankshaft, and aluminum pistons. These aluminum pistons are made of an aluminum-silicon blend to increase heat resistance and reduce engine noise.
The 3.0L Inline-Six Duramax engine will also contain an aluminum cylinder head, with a composite cam cover. This engine uses a Dual Overhead Camshaft design (DOHC). Unlike many other trucks, the camshaft drivetrain will be located on the rear of the engine. According to Chevrolet, this was done for greater refinement and packaging considerations.
10L80 10-Speed Automatic Transmission
The 10L80 10-speed Automatic transmission originally came from a joint-venture by GM and Ford. Ford’s variant is known as the 10R80 and has been used in many of the F-150 trucks. The 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission used on the 3.0L Duramax-equipped trucks will feature a centrifugal pendulum absorber torque converter. This torque converter improves smoothness by reducing vibration.
Towing With the 2020 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax Diesel
Towing numbers are a bit disappointing compared to the tow capacity of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel or the 3.0L Powerstroke engine found on the new F-150s. Max tow capacity for the 2020 Silverado 1500 equipped with the 3.0L Duramax is roughly 9,300 lbs. Keep in mind, actual tow capacity differs depending on different features of the trucks. While the numbers don’t help Chevrolet claim the throne in the towing wars, the new Duramax should still meet the needs of most Silverado 1500 owners. Chevrolet did a good job at making sure the 3.0L Duramax gets torque early. The trucks reach 95% of peak torque at just 1,250 rpms. The truck then reaches peak torque 1,500 rpms maintains peak torque until 3,000 rpms. A water charge air cooler along with a new, low pressure EGR help achieve torque earlier.
The new Silverado 1500 with the 3.0L Duramax will feature exhaust braking to reduce brake wear and slow the vehicle quicker. Exhaust braking occurs in tow/haul mode, courtesy of the variable geometry turbocharger (VGT).
How Much Will A 2020 Silverado 1500 with the New 3.0L Duramax Cost?
Chevrolet considers the 2020 Silverado with the 3.0L Duramax as an upgrade over the standard 5.3L V8 engine. Therefore, 3.0L Duramax prices will be similar to the 6.2L V8. The 3.0L Duramax models will cost $2,495 over the 5.3L V8 and $3,890 more than the 2.7L turbocharged I-4 engine. Unfortunately, the 3.0L Duramax Silverado 1500 will only be available on LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country models. If you’re going to want this new light-duty diesel, you’re going to have to opt-in for a slightly nicer trim.
When will the new 2020 Silverado 1500 Be Available?
Ford just announced a new off-road package available for the 2020 SuperDuty trucks! Unlike Ram’s Power Wagon which is only available with the 6.4L Hemi engine, Ford’s Tremor Off-Road package is available on trucks with the 6.7L Powerstroke diesel engine. The Tremor package is also available on Superduty trucks with the new 7.3L gas V8 engine.
What inspired this new off-road package? Ford claims that modern truck owners use their trucks for more than just work. People use trucks for work during the week. On weekends they take the family boat to the lake or go camping. The Tremor Off-Road Package lets Ford truck owners use their trucks for both work and play without compromising payload or tow capacity. Unlike some available truck packages, the Tremor package features numerous upgrades that make Tremor-equipped Superduty trucks very different from standard models.
What Trucks will feature the Tremor Off-Road Package?
Ford F-250 and F-350 Superduty trucks featuring the XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims can contain the Tremor package. Only single rear wheel configurations, even in F-350 models, will be available. A 6.75 foot bed is standard for all trucks with the Tremor Off-Road package.
What Off-Road Upgrades Does The Tremor Package Contain?
Ford trucks with the Tremor Off-Road package will feature 35 inch all-terrain GoodYear Wrangler DuraTracs from the factory! This is the biggest tire size ever placed on a stock truck from any manufacturer. These tires are wrapped around 18″ matte-black wheels. Trucks will also feature a 2″ lift in the front. Overall, these upgrades give this version of the Superduty 10.8 inches of ground clearance and best-in-class water ford of 33 inches. Approach angles of 31.65 degrees and departure angles of 24.51 degrees are the best ever found on a SuperDuty.
The Tremor Off-Road package also features unique progressive-rate leaf springs that make driving over rough terrain more comfortable without sacrificing towing capabilities. These new springs work with huge, new shocks custom-tuned for the best on-road and off-road performance. These shocks carry substantial amounts of oil to keep internal temperatures low.
Other Tremor Off-Road Package Features
Other features of this off-road package include an electronically controlled, locking rear differential and a new Dana limited-slip front differential. This front differential uses the trucks’ brakes to send power to the wheels when a tire has lost traction in certain drive modes. 2020 SuperDuty trucks with the Tremor package will be available with six different drive modes. Drivers can select normal, eco, tow/haul, slippery, or deep/snow modes. A sixth, rock-crawl mode is also available. Trail Control, a feature on the Raptor and Ranger trucks will also be available on this version of the SuperDuty. Off-road running boards and skid plates are also standard, to help protect these trucks.
When Can You Buy The 2020 SuperDuty Tremor Package Trucks?
This off-road package will be available on the 2020 SuperDuty trucks coming out in late 2019. We’ll have more information about these new trucks soon! Make sure you subscribe below!
2019 has been a major year for Ram with the release of the new body-style heavy duty trucks. They broke records with the new high-output 6.7L Cummins that can produce up to 1000 lb/ft of torque. You’ve probably seen them all over the internet or on social media. What you probably didn’t know, however, is that 2019 is also Ram’s 10th year anniversary as the official truck of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs. To commemorate the anniversary, they will be producing 1,000 Special Edition Kentucky Derby 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Trucks. That’s right, only 1,000 trucks will be produced and available for purchase. Ram announced they will be available quarter 3 of 2019. Pricing for 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks featuring the Kentucky Derby package will start at $66,890 plus a $1,695 destination fee for 2500s. Ram 3500 trucks will start at $68,240 plus a $1,695 destination charge.
What does the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Kentucky Derby Edition Include?
The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks featuring the Kentucky Derby Edition will be based off of Ram’s new Limited trim models. Basically, this truck will feature all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a top-tier Ram truck with a couple of additional packages and add-ons included as well. These Heavy Duty trucks will include a 360 degree camera with trailer reverse guidance, fifth-wheel/gooseneck prep package, active hitch grid lines, air suspension with bed lowering, Forward Collision Warning, bed steps, and a DOT Safety Kit.
Interior of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Kentucky Derby Edition
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Kentucky Derby Edition trucks will feature Ram’s impressive 12″ UConnect Touchscreen display and navigation. Front and rear seating will include premium, full-leather seats with genuine wood and metal trim adorning the cabin. The leather seats are a black and saddle brown color scheme with medium Greystone stitching and piping.
Exterior of 2019 Ram Kentucky Derby Edition HD Trucks
The 2019 Ram Kentucky Derby HD trucks will also gain a premium billet-appearance grille and body-colored bumpers! Seven exterior colors are available, including Bright White, Pearl White, Delmonico Red, Diamond Black Crystal, Granite Crystal, Max Steel, or Patriot Blue. Exteriors will also include the new power-retracting running boards and the new bed step!
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Kentucky Derby Truck Configurations
2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks featuring the Kentucky Derby package will be available with both the 6.4L Hemi V8 Engine and the 6.7L inline-6 cylinder Turbo Diesel Cummins. Only Mega Cab and Crew Cab configurations will be available, and both SRW and DRW will be available. The trucks will also have 4×2 or 4×4 offerings. For a full list of 5th generation Cummins Specs click here.
Texas Ram Truck Owners rejoice! Ram is bringing back the Lone Star Edition to the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty truck lineup! The truck just debuted in Dallas at the DFW Auto Show today! Here is everything you NEED to know!
What Is Ram’s Lone Star Edition?
The Lone Star Edition Ram trucks are an exclusive edition for the state of Texas. It was initially offered in 2002 and Ram boasts it is a truck designed by Texans for Texans. It is only distributed in Texas and it was the first model made specifically for the state of Texas.
What is Included in the 2019 Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 Lone Star Edition?
Distinguished by its Lone Star tailgate and interior badges, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Lone Star is a powerful truck designed to meet the needs of Texas truck owners. 2019 Lone Star Heavy Duty Ram trucks come standard with Class V receiver hitches, electronic trailer brake controllers, and power trailer tow-mirrors. The trucks also include chrome door handles, bumpers, and grilles on the exterior of the truck. Lone Star trucks feature halogen reflective headlamps or upgraded LED headlamps. There are two available wheel options, either 18″ Steel wheels, or 20″ Chrome or painted aluminum wheels.
The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Lone Star edition also offers Texans a variety of interior color schemes and two separate interior packages. The colors available for the interior are black/diesel Grey, Black/Light Brown, Light Frost/Black, and all Black premium cloth seats accented with unique finishes. An available equipment group package gives the Lone Star edition a closed upper dash compartment accented with a Lone Star emblem, power driver seats, and their 8.4″ Uconnect display.
Available Configurations: 2019 Ram HD Lone Star edition
2019 Lone Star edition trucks will be available in all cab configurations. This means trucks will be available in regular cabs, crew cabs, and even Mega Cabs for 2019! Bed lengths of 6’4″ for crew cab and mega cab models, and 8′ for regular cab and crew models. Trucks can also feature either two-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. Engines available include the 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel or the standard 6.4L Hemi gas engine.
The 2019 Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 Lone Star editions will also be available with a monochromatic sport appearance package or a black appearance package to give truck owners a more personalized exterior. A tow-tech group and a safety group are two additional upgrades for truck owners wanting some more modern technology. 2019 Ram Lone Star trucks are also available with a number of function-centric upgrade groups like the bed-utility group, 4×4 Offroad group, a protection group, max towing package, and the premium lighting group.
How much does the 2019 Ram Lone Star Edition Cost?
2019 Ram 2500 Lone Star pricing begins at $37,465 plus a $1,695 destination charge. 2019 Ram 3500 Lone Star trucks begin at $39,095, plus destination. Remember, this is a base model though! The addition of one of the available Cummins engine will bump the price from $9,100 to $11,795 depending on the variation you select. Mega cab models also result in an up-charge of $1500 if it’s the same as the standard 2019 Ram truck pricing.
Upgrade Options 2019 Lone Star Edition
Monochromatic Sport Appearance Package $1,195
Black Appearance Package $2,595
Tow-Tech Group $2,425
Safety Group $2,195
So You Don’t Live in Texas
No worries! Ram released their new trucks with a myriad of new features and options to meet the needs of truck owners all across the country! You can read our complete article about the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks here. Make sure you stay tuned! We will be covering everything about the New 2019 Ram Diesel trucks at Diesel Resource!
Ram has manufactured the 4th generation Cummins trucks for 10 years now. That’s ten years without a significant body style change! We know the new 5th generation Ram Heavy Duty is coming this Fall, but we didn’t know about some impressive new features until two weeks ago. We had the chance to drive the new 5th generation Cummins in the El Dorado Canyon in Nevada. Here are ten new features of the 5th generation Ram Heavy Duty you need to know about.
12″ Uconnect Display
Ram’s new 5th Generation Heavy Duty trucks boast the most impressive head unit we have ever seen in a pickup truck. The new touchscreen 12″ Uconnect system gives users the ability to configure the display in many different ways. The entire screen can show one app or divide into two different screens! This is a major upgrade over the old 8.4″ Uconnect display found in the 4th generation Ram trucks. Now, you can view your navigation on one half of the screen, while simultaneously viewing your apple carplay or Media screens on the other half.
New Camera Views
Heavy Duty Ram trucks finally received a 360 Degree available camera. This is a feature we have been waiting for as these trucks are massive! The 360 degree camera makes navigating tight spaces easy and less stressful! They didn’t just stop there either. The new 5th Generation Ram trucks also feature a split-screen camera view giving you a line of sight down the entire length of the truck and trailer. The screen adjusts left or right on either the passenger or driver’s side to give you an even better view.
Ram introduced an optional auxiliary camera to help keep an eye on precious cargo too. You can position the auxiliary camera in the interior or exterior of your trailer. This feature gives 2019 Ram truck owner’s a configurable camera view for whatever they tow. This is a very valuable asset to truck owners who frequently tow expensive horses. Now you finally have the capability of keeping an eye on your horses while you drive!
Power Running Boards
If you’re a diesel enthusiast like me, you’ve probably considered installing a set of Amp Research Power steps on your truck. They give you the functionality of a running board, without having to look at an ugly set of running boards every time you approach your truck. Higher trim 5th generation Ram HD trucks will now feature power running boards. When a door to the cabin is opened, the running boards extend, giving you easy access into the cab. After the door is shut, the steps retract, hiding from sight! Ram definitely accomplished form and function with the addition of this new feature.
Harman Kardon Sound System
I previously owned a 2017 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn truck for about a year and I loved the Alpine sound system that came with the truck. Sound quality was fantastic and I could easily adjust my audio settings to match whatever type of music I was listening to. Ram’s 5th Generation HD trucks in higher trims feature a redesigned, 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Harman Kardon sound systems are commonly used in luxury cars like Mercedes, BMW, or Maserati. On the new Ram Heavy Duty trucks, this system even complete with a 750-Watt Amplifier and an 8″ Subwoofer. Ram clearly spared no expense when it came to interior design this year, but this sound system is definitely a highlight!
Bed Lowering System
Loading gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailers can often be a pain in the butt. You have to line up your truck properly with the trailer. Then you may have to raise or lower your trailer to properly connect it to your truck. 5th Generation Ram trucks now have a really neat feature to make loading your trailers easier. By pressing a button, you can activate Ram’s new Bed Lowering Mode. This new feature lowers the bed about 2 inches, allowing you to possibly avoid adjusting trailer height. It’s a convenient feature that makes accessing your bed slightly easier. I’m a fan of anything that saves me time or effort, so I’m all for the new bed lowering system.
New Led Headlights from the factory /w Adaptive Front Lighting System
Factory headlights are disappointing across the board when it comes to diesel trucks. Even though projector headlights have been utilized on the 4th generation Ram trucks, the light output from the factory halogen bulb is still very poor. One of the first upgrades I complete on any truck I purchase is LED or HID lighting. The light output is much greater, allowing you to see better at night. Ram’s new 2019 Heavy duty trucks now have three available headlight variations. Lower trims, will receive new halogen reflective headlights. Middle trims will gain LED lighting in a reflective housing. High end models like the Laramie Longhorn or Limited models will receive LED projector headlights.
Models using LED projector headlamps also gain Ram’s Adaptive Front Lighting System or AFS. The AFS system gives headlamps up to 15 degrees of movement in each direction of travel. This will help drivers gain better vision when making turns at night!
Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring System
TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems are standard in practically every diesel truck available. What about your trailer’s tires though? Trailer tire pressure is very important when towing heavy loads. It can be really time consuming to check trailer tires when they have more than one axle too. One of the most practical features added in the new 5th generation Ram heavy duty trucks is a new trailer tire pressure monitoring system. Now you can monitor trailer tire pressure from the instrument cluster. The new TPM systems can be used with up to four different trailers, giving you tire pressure of up to 12 trailer tires at a time.
New Safety Features
Several safety features were added to the 5th generation Ram trucks. Adaptive cruise control was added to give drivers a “smarter” cruise control. This feature helps slow the vehicle down when approaching someone ahead of you. Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking also help drivers brake more quickly and provide a boost to the safety aspect of driving a Ram Heavy Duty truck.
While the tailgates found on 5th generation Ram heavy duty trucks are still no match for the new GMC tailgates, they did receive a couple of modern touches. Tailgates drop by pressing a button on nicer trims. Ram also added dampening control to remove the dreaded slamming of your tailgate. Ram also incorporated a new bed step that provides an aesthetic and functional solution to getting into your bed.
SiriusXM with 360L
With the 5th generation Ram Heavy Duty, Ram partnered with SiriusXM to give truck owners the ultimate radio experience. SiriusXM 360L includes more than 200 channels, thousands of recorded, on-demand programs, and increased play-by-play sports offerings. SiriusXM 360L recommends different channels and shows to you based on your preferences and listening habits. Perhaps the coolest feature however, is the ability to customize the settings and presets of multiple drivers.
With the available High Output 6.7L Cummins, Ram took the trophy in 2019 for first truck to reach 1,000 lb-ft of torque from the factory. While this number is very impressive, I wanted to test the new 5th Generation Cummins-equipped Ram HD trucks for myself. Last week, I flew to Las Vegas to put the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks to the test in the El Dorado Canyon. Steep grades, sharp turns, and narrow roads made for ideal testing conditions. Almost every model and trim was present, along with a variety of trailers and loads to tow up and down the canyon.
2019 Ram Heavy Duty Performance
If you’ve ridden as a passenger when I drive my trucks, you would know that every time I drive, I’m pushing my diesel truck to the limit. Diesels are built for work. Why go easy on them? With the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks, I took the same approach.
What We Liked
1,000 Ft-Lb Torque Straight From the Factory
The 5th generation Cummins made history this model year. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty truck paired with an Aisin transmission will be the first truck in its class to reach the 1,000 ft-lb torque milestone. The engine underwent many changes to meet this mark. A new CGI block is used that is lighter and 75% stronger. Advanced Cylinder heads provide better cooling and durability. The fuel system is now a 29,000 PSI system. Turbochargers received some changes on the compressor side. Any diesel enthusiast knows that when it comes to engines, Cummins is at the top of the list. Even though the 6.7L platform underwent a couple of changes, it still holds true to its inline, six cylinder design. The 6.7L Cummins is a major sell-point for the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks.
Unparalleled Towing Capability
It didn’t matter what trailer I pulled, how fast I drove, or how steep the grade, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks paired with the high output 6.7L Cummins engine and the Aisin Transmission pulled better than any truck I’ve previously driven. Even with a 35,100 lb load, the trucks made moving the trailers look effortless. After sitting behind the wheel, I felt comfortable and confident that the truck could accomplish any towing task easily. The standard 6.7L Cummins engine paired with the 68RFE transmission also pulled astonishingly well. We drove for two hours with a 15,000 pound trailer just to get to our primary test-drive event. In that span of time, we had to navigate the highways, winding roads, and traffic! While I won’t tell you the highest speed we reached, let me tell you this- for a small period of time, I completely forgot I was pulling a trailer at all. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty truck with the standard Cummins engine felt as if it was unloaded.
While I don’t particularly like these transmissions compared to Ram’s competitors, both the Aisin and the 68RFE performed very well under load. Journalists drove the trucks up and down the El Dorado Canyon for over four hours! After talking to different journalists, and along with my own experiences, transmission fluid temperature never spiked above 180 degrees. In fact, I personally never had the temperature rise above 176 degrees. My stock 2018 Ram 2500 Megacab has reached higher temperatures in Florida with lighter loads!
There is no doubt in my mind that the 5th Gen Ram diesel trucks drive significantly better stock over the 4th gen. Ram really stepped it up this year in terms of unloaded driving. Shift points felt firm and purposeful. On previous generation trucks, downshifts could be almost painful at times. That is not the case with the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty. A new dual core processor is used for faster communication in the transmission. The Dual Core processor helps execute quicker shifts and greatly improves shift quality. You can definitely feel the difference.
Maintain Speed Downhill Easily
The trucks’ capability to maintain a safe speed going downhill was very impressive. Even with a 35,000 pound trailer at a steep decline, I only had to press the brakes a handful of times in a 4 Mile stretch. One thing I did notice was that the engine braking felt significantly smoother than my current 2018 Ram 2500. Sometimes it can feel a bit clunky on my truck. This is especially the case when traditionally braking in tandem with the engine brake. The new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty engine braking system was practically flawless.
While I personally enjoy the sound of a diesel engine, I understand why a quiet cabin is important to so many of you. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks are the quietest they’ve ever been. Even with the hood open, the 2019 6.7L Cummins engine is unbelievably quiet. Ram also made improvements to the cabin itself to reduce external noise by up to 10 db. Acoustic glass and active noise cancellation help make this possible.
What We Didn’t Like
Two Variations, Two Different Outputs
While the new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks are more capable than ever, they aren’t perfect. Due to the fact that there are two different available 6.7L Cummins engines, you won’t get the 1,000 lb-ft of torque unless you opt-in for the high output Cummins paired with the Aisin Transmission. There is a very noticeable difference between the two.
When compared to competitors, the 2019 standard 6.7L Cummins engine still falls a bit short. Both Ford and GM trucks produce over 400 horsepower and 900 ft-lbs of torque across their entire spectrum of diesel trucks. Can you notice the difference when towing? Nope. But if you’re someone who commutes in a diesel truck, this could be a pain-point.
Transmissions Improved, But Still Fall Short
Both the 68RFE and Aisin equipped 2019 Ram HD trucks feel significantly better on the road, but they still fall short compared to GM or Ford’s transmissions. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty still feels like a truck. GM and Ford trucks feature 8 or 10 speed transmissions offering superb ride quality and effortless shifting, like a car.
Towing technology was big theme amongst automotive manufacturers this year. Because of this, I was curious as to what Ram would offer their customers to help their customers tow easier.
What We Liked
Bed Lowering Mode
Ram introduced a bed lowering mode on 2019 HD models. Drivers can now lower the truck’s bed 2.5 inches by pressing a button. This is a very useful feature for truck owners who tow frequently as trailer hook-up time is greatly reduced. When used in unison with Ram’s active grid lines you can easily line up your gooseneck trailer and ball. Once positioned correctly, simply press the button again and the truck raises. I think this feature will also make it easier for owners to enter the bed.
While Ram’s HD tailgate doesn’t have the functionality we recently discovered on newer 1500 trucks, it still received some modern touches. For higher trims, you can lower the tailgate at the press of a button inside the cabin. I think this is a valuable feature as you now no longer have to exit the truck to open the tailgate. Tailgates now offer dampening control too, so you can’t slam them.
2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks will gain a couple of camera views geared towards towing. A split camera view is now available, giving you a line of sight down both sides of the vehicle. I really liked this feature as we had the opportunity to pull some very long trailers. Both Cargo and Rear-view cameras are also still included. Cargo cameras now, as I touched on previously, feature active grid lines to help drivers easily line-up their gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailers. Auxiliary cameras can be used to provide an extra camera view of the rear-end of any trailers or inside the actual trailer. Ram also added a 360 degree camera for the truck. It made navigating tight spaces and sharp turns very easy.
Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring
Monitoring trailer tires can be a very time consuming, but important task for drivers who tow. With Ram’s 5th generation heavy duty, drivers have the ability to add up to five trailers with tire pressure monitoring systems. The first truck I drove had this feature. It gave me peace of mind knowing that all I have to do is flip through a couple of screens to check on my trailer tires. If trailer tire pressure falls 10% or more, you actually get a warning too.
What We Didn’t Like
Ram added a couple of tow-centric features to their arsenal. However, they still fall a little short compared to other manufacturers’ recent towing innovations. For example, certain Ford trucks can back themselves up while pulling a trailer. If you’re someone that is very comfortable pulling a trailer, I doubt these features really matter to you. Either way, it seems Ram wasn’t as concerned with trailer innovation in 2019 compared to their competitors.
Ram has always done very well when it comes to their trucks’ interiors. With the fifth-generation Ram trucks, I was looking for them to maintain their dedication to interior excellence. The 4th generation Ram trucks had very impressive interiors, but could they improve? Absolutely! Here are my thoughts.
What We Liked
An Interior For Anyone’s Needs
Ram has always excelled at providing a large spectrum of interiors to meet the needs of any customer. Want a basic work truck? The Tradesman model is perfect. Want a truck that turns heads, and offers luxury that even certain luxury cars don’t contain? The Laramie Longhorn or Limited Trims are right up your alley. Want something in between? The Big Horn is a perfect solution for customers wanting some luxury for their work trucks. In 2019, the new Ram HD trucks will have six total available trim packages. Only five trims are available with diesel engines.
With the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Trucks, there are now 3 different available head units. Tradesman models feature the 3″ Uconnect system. Ram’s 8.4” Uconnect is available middle level trims like the Big Horn or Laramie. Ram’s top tier trims including the Laramie Longhorn and Limited trims gain an exclusive 12” Uconnect headunit.
The 12” Uconnect System single-handedly brought another level of luxury to Ram’s pickup truck line. A split screen feature gives greater connectivity, allowing you to keep track of both your navigation and media screens simultaneously. You can also view the different available camera views simultaneously with another screen. Navigation visibility is also greatly increased. The large screen allows you to see a significant distance ahead of you without having to zoom out.
I was instantly impressed sitting in the new truck. Ram added a significant amount of leather to all of the touch points in the truck. Wherever you rest your arm or however you sit, you will be more comfortable than ever before. To make the trucks even more comfortable, Ram added 4-way adjustable headrests. Front passengers gained all functions of the power seats. Heated and vented seats have three levels for optimum control. While I don’t live in a cold climate, I’m very happy Ram made some crucial changes to their HVAC system. A new inline heater helps bring heat faster to customers in colder climates. Ram also raised HVAC outlets up-front to help rear passengers receive more air.
Sound System Revamp
Previously, higher trim packages featured an Alpine sound system. While the Alpine sound system sounded pretty good, it is no match for the new 17 Speaker Harman Kardon Sound System. The new sound system even includes a subwoofer and amplifier. Ram also partnered with Sirius to give customers a new Sirius XM on demand experience.
New Center Console Design
The center console on new Ram HD trucks, labeled a Swiss Army knife by their lead interior designer, is the best center console I’ve seen to date. It boasts 40 liters of storage space, that can be configured by the driver. There are three adjustable positions, giving Ram truck owners the ability to configure the storage space to their distinct needs. The center console also has five USB ports and features wireless charging.
What We Didn’t Like
A Few Features Could Take the Trucks to Another Level
Ram hit a homerun with their 12″ Uconnect, but they were missing a couple of key features I was looking for. Even the highest trims still feature a regular sunroof. The addition of a Panoramic Sunroof would’ve furthered Ram’s pursuit of best-in-class interior. I would’ve also liked to see a digital gauge display. Chevrolet’s new Silverado HD trucks along with the GMC Sierra HD trucks have this feature. GMC even took it one step further by offering a head up display. Other than that, it was so difficult to find things we didn’t like with the interiors of the new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Trucks.
Ram offers many different trims to meet the various needs of consumers. Basic models, however, are arguably too basic. I believe the 3″ Uconnect screen should be enlarged. It’s 2019, no head unit should be smaller than the screen of my iPhone.
Ram trucks are known for their big-rig look straight from the factory. Does the 5th generation maintain that same big-rig look? Definitely! Here are our thoughts on the new interior.
What We Liked
Antennas have always been an eye sore on heavy duty trucks. Especially when you invest significant money on a show truck, you’ve always had to invest in an aftermarket antenna, like the 50 cal. bullet antennas. With the new 5th generation Ram trucks, they actually removed the antenna all together and included it in the “shark fin” on top of the cab! This is true for every trim!
An Almost Invisible Bed Step
One last feature I appreciate is the bed step beneath the rear bumper. GM has four steps to access the bed on their new HD trucks, however, they’re all integrated into the bumper or the side panels of the truck. While functional, the aesthetics just aren’t there. Ram’s new bed step hides beneath the bumper. This step is easily pushed in and out with your foot resulting in a more aesthetic solution.
Sharp New Exterior
Ram’s 2019 Heavy Duty is definitely a looker. A new grille featuring 30% more surface area adorns the front end. The new trucks feature three available headlight styles. Higher trims gained LED projector headlights with directional control. The new headlights look fantastic and provide a much better light output than standard halogen lamps. Middle level trims feature LED reflector headlights, and low level trims still have halogen reflector headlamps. Finally Ram trucks will be available with factory LED lighting. It The front bumper holds new fog lamps and redesigned tow hooks. Certain tow hooks even feature a chrome finish for a luxurious look.
Round fenders are still present on the new trucks, allowing easy installation of bigger tires and wheels. New Ram logos and badges give the truck a more chiseled appearance. The sides of the trucks look very similar to the fourth generation overall.
An Updated Look, But Not A Total Redesign
I love the 4th generation Ram trucks, so I was very interested to see how the 5th generation Rams would compare. 5th generation Ram HD trucks look like a modernized 4th generation truck. GM made some significant changes to their trucks’ exteriors which have come with significant controversy. I’m glad Ram stuck within similar design boundaries for their new trucks.
Power Running Boards
Running boards don’t always add to the aesthetic aspect of a truck’s exterior, but they serve an important purpose. Many truck owners purchase aftermarket running boards like the Amp Research Powersteps. Ram’s Limited trims now come standard with electrically powered running boards. When a door is opened, the running boards extend. This gives easy access into the cab. After a door is closed, they contract and hide from sight! I’ve always wanted a set of Amp Research steps, so this is a feature I really appreciated.
What We Didn’t Like
Halogen Headlamps Should Disappear
While two variations of the new headlamps feature LED lighting, halogen reflective lighting is still present on Tradesman models. In my opinion, LED lighting should be used across the board. They provide longer life and better light output. If Tradesman trucks are built with function in mind, doesn’t it make sense that they receive the most functional headlights? In the HVAC company my family owns, we have several work trucks as a part of our fleet. Sometimes we have to work late at night. We would definitely benefit from longer lasting and brighter headlamps.
Beds Weren’t A Priority
The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks offered some significant improvements over 2018 trucks. One area I found lacking innovation was the truck bed. When compared to GM’s new DuraBed, it’s clear this is one area Ram wasn’t focused on. No significant mentions of the bed were made during presentations either. There is a lot of room for improvement. We’re hoping for additional tow hooks and better utilization of cargo space in the future.
Disclaimer: For this event, Ram paid for our travel and stay in Las Vegas. It did not have any impact on our review of their trucks.