2019 Ram 1500 Laramie: Real-World Fuel Economy

RealWorld-RAM1500-560

When we get to test a pickup truck, it's usually for week during which we drive it, at most, a couple of hundred miles and report to you what it's like from our limited experience with it. But now and then, we like to plan a longer voyage in a test vehicle to get a better feel for what it's like. These longer trips also provide the chance to find out what kind of real-world fuel economy it can achieve.

The new 2019 Ram 1500 wowed us at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, stunning everyone with its clean, futuristic yet surprisingly conservative exterior lines and show-stopping high-quality interior. The new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 might have been more impressive from an exterior styling and powertrain standpoint, but the Ram was the one we chose as the Detroit Best in Show, for the aforementioned reasons.

I had a road trip planned from Ann Arbor, Mich., to the Great Titan Meat-Up in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., before I knew that a new Ram would be gracing my driveway. Yeah, I drove a Ram to a Titan event. Yes, Nissan was as thrilled as you might imagine. But with the opportunity to drive it to Tennessee and back followed by a few days of touring Detroit with some visiting friends from the United Kingdom, I knew I had the perfect chance to get to know the Ram a little better. One week and more than 1,300 miles later, I became pretty familiar with the new model.

The 2019 Ram 1500 that showed up that May morning was a mid-level Laramie model — not the Laramie Longhorn super-luxury trim, but the more common, more reasonably priced trim. I say reasonably priced, but the sticker on my V-8-powered, crew-cab, 4x4 model was still a whopping $55,325, which is a crazy amount of money for a pickup truck, especially one that's not a range-topping trim. The base price was still a hefty $48,535 (both prices include an increasingly onerous destination charge of $1,645). But, like all pickups, you probably won't pay anywhere near this price for one, thanks to generous incentives and competition.

These early 2019 Ram 1500s only come with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine, which is likely limiting sales but is allowing Ram to get the rest of the powertrains right before unleashing them to the public. We expect to drive the eTorque-equipped Pentastar V-6 and eTorque Hemi V-8 models later this summer; the new EcoDiesel won't arrive until 2019. But that's OK, the Hemi remains as good as ever, equipped with cylinder deactivation and mated to the smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. It rumbles appropriately, provides seemingly endless torque and the cylinder deactivation is nigh undetectable.

On the highway, it's smooth and silent. In fact, the Ram 1500's overall quietness is quite remarkable and a tribute to the aerodynamicists in Ram's employ. The smoother flanks of the big truck allow air to flow better over the skin, impressively minimizing wind noise. The ride is exceptional as well, thanks to Ram's coil-spring rear suspension. There's no bounciness or choppiness to the ride quality, even when the bed is empty, as I've experienced in competitor trucks.

So how did it do on a road trip? My total voyage to Tennessee and back plus two days of playing tour guide through southeast Michigan saw me put 1,367 miles on the Ram 1500 at an observed 17.4 mpg combined. That's considerably better than the calculated 15.6 mpg that the truck's computer told me I was getting. That's not bad, considering this is a full-size, V-8-powered, crew-cab 4x4 pickup. I was regularly getting more than 20 mpg during highway driving through the flat countryside of Michigan and Ohio, but was unable to maintain that in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee. I kept my speed to within 10 mph of the posted speed limit as well, but I was in no way babying the throttle — my goal was to see how it worked when used normally, not when attempting to hypermile it. EPA estimates for the 4x4 2019 Ram 1500 are 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined, so the Ram pretty much hit those marks.

It also compares favorably to the last official mileage test we performed on a 2015 Ram 1500, during the 2015 Light-Duty Challenge. Then, the Ram turned in an observed 16.4 mpg rating over our test loop, so it looks like the improved aerodynamics, retuned V-8 and lighter weight of the 2019 model will pay off. It makes us even more eager to see what the eTorque system does for the V-6 and V-8 models, and to see what the new EcoDiesel delivers when it finally arrives next year.

Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan; manufacturer image

Comments

F150 sales are already slipping. Now this!

Excellent! I cannot wait for mine! Great write up.

-CT

@ onstar sierra

Do you come to PUTC to read about trucks or to meet GM fellows in the comment section by hoping they follow your lead?

@ FullSize_only

Do you come to PUTC to read about trucks or to meet other Ford men in the comment section?

I request that PUTC block the I.P. Address of the first 3 comments in this article.

I request GMSRGREAT to be blocked.

@ sierra

Are you onstar sierra's other half? You were very quick to defend him. Plus by using a grade school response? Sheesh...

I mean C'ommon can we just stick to the article at hand?

Two posts in and FSO still hasn't posted about the article.


Nice! You changed to a colorful username to make a non-point. Which one of the previous commenters are you?

To clarify for you however, me saying stick to the article was for the genius defending the first commenter on something that should be annoying to all readers here regardless on what brand's kol-aid you drink and that's starting the conversation with something irrelavant.....

Fullsize- these are the same posters as usual who use different names. they all sound exactly the same when they write, and sometimes use a lot of these !!!!!!!!!

-CT

Sadly, I have seen some good conversations come from you, but once the real TNT shows up it becomes apparent that logic and reasoning goes out the window.

-CT

Posted by: Nitro | May 23, 2018 12:13:44 PM

Nitro-uh-er-um, would you please stop posting in my name? I will pull a TNT and call you an idiot.

-CT

Posted by: crunchtime | May 23, 2018 12:18:04 PM

Who can forget that epic failure by crutchtime and Nitro on the " Silverado 1500 delivers plenty of powertrains ".

Hilarious!


Posted by GMSRGREAT/ March 12, 2018 11:16:31 AM

GM only makes one pickup not 4 like Ford hahahaha


Classic

-CT


GMS, you have been called out almost as many times as I have, but I still hold the record.

I remember when I posted as Sierra and nobody ever knew!?

-CT AND Nitro are the same person.
Now he's arguing with himself. Lol

If your gonna be a sissy and post under someone else's name, at least spell it right

Posted by GMSRGREAT/ March 12, 2018 11:16:31 AM
GM only makes one pickup not 4 like Ford hahahaha

Classic
-CT

Posted by: crunchtime | Jun 5, 2018 2:53:54 PM

Haha! The comment always post before the time stamp. Mega fail once again.

HAHA!

this is the real TNTGMC....

Not bad by dodge...I mean RAM getting over 20 on highway.

As for CT....grow up...heck it probably u using all user names. U are the worst of anyone. Trying to come out of hiding to one up someone and then slither under your rock after your done...unreal!

First time on this website. Thanks for the article.
But is there anyone over 14 commenting here?
Well, direct injection is really necessary for the displacement on demad to really work, but these Hemis are just port. When is RAM going to modernize/

I was shocked when Ram unveiled the 2019 Ram 1500 and the engines were just carried over from the last Ram 1500. It's no surprise the fuel economy is only 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined. I can't believe they didn't touch the powertrain. Especially the tired old 5.7, which while a good tried and true V8, is still an old iron block V8 with old school port injection.

@ brick

Didn't touch the powertrain? Right like being the first one with a V6 AND V8 hybrid is old.

They usually don't do everything at once. I predict a new motor coming in the next couple of years. That said the Etorque looks very interesting to me.

The big problem with the F-150's gas mileage numbers is the 5.0 V8 is making the F-150 look bad and holding back the MPG numbers.
Both the 2.7 and 3.5 Eco-Boost is getting over 20 MPG
,,,but the 5.0 V8 is getting 15 MPG,,,, so if you lump them all together it brings the average down and makes the Eco-Boost look bad.
I contend the older 2009-10 F-150 WITH the older 5.4 V8 gets BETTER gas mileage than the 5.0 V8

The Ram 5.7 Hemi and both the Silverado 5.3 and 6.2 gets better MPG's than the 5.0 F-150 but NEVER beats the F-150 Eco-Boost
The 2.7 Eco-Boost is the King Of The Hill in best gas mileage in a full size gasoline pickup.

@ ecobust

Obviously you don't read the articles on this site. The last comparison had the 5.3 AND 6.2 with better MPG than the ecobust...to top it off, in the max MPG comparison, the 5.3 beat the 2.7 ecobust

That seems to be pretty good gas mileage since you had it loaded with stuff plus later people running around the city,,,,
wonder if the are going to put the I-6 turbo in it soon...FYI that is a gas engine they are working on...

Congrats Ram, you finally caught up to my 2008 5.7 Tundras fuel efficiency. In another 20 years you'll make it as robust and reliable. Maybe.

Why are ford fanWhy are ford fans a bunch of f@gs!!!!!!!!s a bunch of f@gs!!!!!!!! blow blow eachother.

Ford is still chasing the class leader Ram in MPG, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRHmz1j5aTg

Didn't touch the powertrain? Right like being the first one with a V6 AND V8 hybrid is old.
Posted by: truck guy | Jun 5, 2018 8:10:27 PM

There have been plenty of hybrid gas half-tons sold. Ram isn't the first. They're the first to use Delphi's new 48 volt mild hybrid system in a half-ton. And bolting an electric motor to an old gas V8 that hasn't really received an update in 8 or 9 years isn't touching the powertrain. Is the etorque system even available in a 2019 Ram 1500 yet?

The 2019 Ram 1500's 5.7 is ancient. It's a heavy old school iron block that doesn't have direct injection and hasn't received any improvements its VVT. They could have redesigned the 5.7 a greater operating range of VVT, conservatively they could have cut at least 100+ pounds out of the truck just by going to an aluminum engine block, they could have gotten a HUGE boost in fuel efficiency and power by going to direct injection, etc. What's the point in using all that aluminum to cut weight when you ignore that huge chunk of iron in the engine bay?

Excellent! I cannot wait for mine! Great write up.

@brick

Cast iron blocks in a half ton truck are fine.

Seriously, did you do the math? I have more than 100 pounds lopping around in the back of my truck on any given day. Many of us do.

Saving 100 pounds in a truck that weighs over 5000 pounds w/driver and fuel is nice but not really a big deal by itself.

In a race car? Sure.

@Brick, "efficiency and power by going to direct injection" Do some research on it. Gas Fuels today are NOT good right now for Direct injection.
"The Cummins was used direct injection; at the time of its launch, neither Ford nor GM had diesels with direct injection or turbochargers. 1989 dodge ram diesel ..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ynGWxzJHjA

@truck guy: that hybrid stuff will come out, when? Like everything Chrysler nowadays, after they say it will.

I won't be their guineas pig.

I come here for the guys. Come come

Durr

Sad, this comment section shouldn't be allowed to live on. So many ignorant teens, sad.

I think FCA hasn't updated the old Hemi 5.7 or Pentastar 3.6 because money is tight right now. Converting an engine from PFI to GDI has to be expensive and the EPA just slapped them with a multi-billion dollar fine over the Ecodiesel emissions issue. Which hurts even worse when you consider just how many 3.0 ED's have had to be replaced under warranty.

The Pentastar 3.6 was supposed to be updated with GDI in 2017 or 18 according to Allpar. That hasn't happened yet or there isn't any word on when it will happen now.

I'll be honest though, I was really disappointed that the 5.7 didn't get a bump in power or displacement. I was even more disappointed to see that the EPA fuel economy numbers were the same after all the aero and weight savings.

The other reason they may continue to use cast iron blocks is because they are better at deadening noise in the cabin. And it seems like Ram is slowly turning the 1500 into a quiet luxury highway cruiser.

Ram is to be congratulated! They have improved their trucks year over year since they parted ways with Daimler... I currently own an F-150 but believe my next truck will be a RAM. I’m nearing my 5th decade of driving work and luxury pickups. I grew of on a cattle ranch in the mountains of NM. It use to be that each brand of pickup varies greatly from one another. In the 70’s Chevy bodies, interiors were better than ford. We had both and our Fords ran longer, cost less but we liked driving our chevys more. Dodge had a good power train but the bodes didn’t hold up on the dirt roads that just beat the crap out of everything. There isn’t a “clear winner” in today’s market place except for the buyers. Every 1/2 ton pickup made today is an amazing vehicle to drive. My F-150 has amazing power and will pull 11,900 lbs!!! At the same time I often see 20-21 mpg on the highway. My only complaint is Fords seat cushions and leather. For a $65,000 dollar truck, the leather is paper thin and the cushions break down far too fast. I have a friend who has a 4 year old RAM longhorn and he is 220 lbs. and works in construction. His seat leather and cushions look nearly new. So I know Ford could offer a better quality seat material if they wanted to.

We had both and our Fords ran longer, cost less but we liked driving our chevys more.

Posted by: Tidwell Bret | Jun 10, 2018 9:37:04 PM

These days we like our Chevy's because they run longer, don't require major engine work, and have tough steel beds and heavy duty axles standard. But good observations. The pre-1980 Ford's were pretty tough. So were the Chevy's. We had a High Boy and a Cheyenne on the family farm that took a beating and still started every time. We lost out interest in Ford for good when they went DOHC for their V8's and started having expensive repairs.

There isn’t a “clear winner” in today’s market place except for the buyers. Every 1/2 ton pickup made today is an amazing vehicle to drive. ...Posted by: Tidwell Bret | Jun 10, 2018

You go that right! Only one quibble with your statement. Today's trucks cost more than any house I lived in growing up, but the safety features, powerful and efficient engines, sophisticated transmissions and durable finishes are pretty amazing.

Today's trucks will last if you take care of them. But when it comes time to buy a new one...

What rear end did you have in it? That makes quite a difference in MPG.

what actual speed did you travel mainly. My Eco F 150 gets 21.9 on mild hills at 65 and 16 on the interstate at 80 with a 3.73, so details really matter.

What rear end did you have in it? That makes quite a difference in MPG... My Eco F 150 gets 21.9 on mild hills at 65 and 16 on the interstate at 80 with a 3.73, so details really matter....Posted by: ham | Jun 13, 2018

@Ham

The (rear) gear ratio has much LESS to do with FE today than it did a few years ago. A much bigger factor at "80mph" is the big increase aero drag over the 65 mph figure you compared it to. The F150 turbo is hardly working at cruising speeds, but when you run at speeds above 70 or 80 mph the engine is really using some gas. The turbo provides so much oxygen to the intake that your management system is dumping gas into the motor to keep the desired air/fuel ratio in the correct range. There are some neat tools you can buy online that will show you your "fuel trim"

Keep your highway speeds under 70 mph and watch how long and how well that Ford motor runs. Above that speed you're taking years off the life of that drivetrain and you're killing your mileage.

Where I work, we run chevy's and Fords 25 and 35 series trucks.
The users choose the Chevy's over the Fords due to the smoother ride with independent front suspension and overall creature comforts like A/C that works. The Fords I hear are tough but the engines are weak. Many of our Ford's drop a cylinder or 2 with just 20-30 thousand miles. Secondly, the sold front axles tend to collect mud and water inside the axle shaft tubes and eventually past the tube seals. This destroys the front gear set resulting in major repair and downtime. The chevy's run a completely different front axle which doesn't collect mud and water and, as a result, no front axle failures due to water / dirt intrusion.



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