Truck buyers are a notably finicky lot, often demanding the ability to personally spec their vehicles down to the microscopic level. Pickups used as tools will be deployed in a myriad of different ways based on customer needs, so it makes sense for manufacturers to offer them in a dizzying array of trims. Styling tastes have a lot to do with it, too.
With the addition of a Canada-only Sport model to the 2019 Ram 1500 lineup, the breadth of trims available on FCAâ€™s new pickup rivals only that found at a good buffet restaurant. Take some of this, take some of that, and make up a lunch to suit your specific tastes.
Excepting the Canuck-only Sport model (which adds monochrome style in several different colors), the 2019 Ram 1500 is offered in six different trims as a starting point. Moving from prole to premium, one will find Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited trims. The MSRP ratchets northward with each step up the ladder.
The base Tradesman appears in Workaday White, complete with blacked-out trimmings and el-cheapo steel wheels. Big Horn models will likely be the bread-n-butter of most Ram dealerships, ladling on the chrome but not going overboard with luxury features like the new 12-inch navigation screen.
Thatâ€™s left to the mid-range Laramie (â€œmid-range Laramieâ€� are words I never thought Iâ€™d type), which starts off with a cadre of premium features such as FCAâ€™s 8.4-inch uConnect system, Alpine stereo, and leather thrones. Slotting in just after this truck is the Rebel, with its off-road creds (now available in a cheaper Quad Cab guise), before hitching up its cowboy boots and heading for the Laramie Longhorn model.
These top two trims, the Laramie Longhorn and Limited trucks, are easily spotted by their distinctly shaped headlights, a detail I totally missed during their January rollout. More than simply applying a bit of LED mascara, the uber-Rams have peepers of a physically different shape than their mundane brethren. That couldnâ€™t have been cheap to tool at the factory.
Interestingly, and in a presumed effort to broaden the truckâ€™s appeal, Ramâ€™s new Off Road Group is offered on every trim â€“ even the base Tradesman â€“ assuming the buyer has selected a 4×4 powertrain. This is absolutely worth mentioning and examining, as this package includes a significant level of kit.
Included in the group is an E-Locker in the rear axle, HD shock absorbers at both ends, skid plates galore, and beefy LT-rated 18-inch off-road tires. Hill descent control is along for the ride, as are a set of tow hooks and a full sized spare. More than just a paint-and-wallpaper package, the Off-Road Group actually imbues the truck with more than a modicum of extra ability. That it is available on every single trim (save for the Rebel which already has this stuff as standard) is remarkable.
Want a super luxurious Limited with body-colored bumpers and knobby tires? Here it is sir, no sweat.
Sport Appearance Packages show up on Big Horn and Laramie models, slathering most of the chrome trim on color-keyed paint. The Limited can be opted with monochrome bumpers but retains its shiny grille. Donâ€™t forget the Lone Star package, which can be layered on top of the Big Horn trim in Texas.
Of course, this means we now live in a world where one can officially buy (in Texas, at least) a 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab Lone Star Off-Road 4×4, likely to be the longest trim name in truck history â€” much longer than even the fabulously-monikered GMC Sierra Gentleman Jim.
For now, only Quad Cab and Crew Cab bodystyles are mentioned by Ram for their snazzy new truck. Remember, FCA will continue to pump out the old style pickup for another few months, one whose tooling has long been paid off and will simply produce money for the company with every copy sold. Thereâ€™s a good chance a steadily increasing ratio of these machines will be regular cab work trucks, leaving the high-dollar (and high-profit) models to the zooty new 2019 model.
Your humble author will be at the media drive of the new 2019 Ram 1500 in March.
[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]