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One Luxe Truck: 2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4X4 Test Drive

There’s a song on Alan Jackson’s 1992 album “A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’bout Love)” that asks the question, “Who says you can’t have it all?” Unfortunately, he’s not able to in that song because even though he’s surrounded by pictures and mementos of someone he loves, he no longer has that person in his life.

That song would’ve gone in a completely different direction if Jackson and co-writer Jim McBride had written it today about another big part of country music: pickup trucks, and the 2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4X4, specifically. You really can have it all in that truck. I know. I spent a week in it and racked up hundreds of miles driving around Austin and San Antonio, Texas. It had the handsome styling, power, ground clearance, and capabilities you’d expect from a truck and the materials and many of the features you’ll find in a luxury sedan.

2019 RAM 1500

2019 RAM 1500 Limited Exterior

Limited is the top trim level for the 1500 and my test truck looked the part. RAM dressed my test truck in sleek and glossy Diamond Black paint. Its standard LED headlights gave it a cool, modern vibe. Chrome bumpers, mirror caps, greenhouse trim, door handle inserts, and door ding protectors added Detroit-style flash.

RAM trucks have always been known for their prominent grilles. The 2019 model is no exception to that pattern; six different grille patterns are available in the range. The Limited’s grille has an industrial, machined look to it.

My test truck had 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which was great for trails, but made getting into the 5’7” bed a little tricky. Luckily, it was also equipped with an optional four-corner air suspension. With the flip of a switch in the cabin, I could lower the 1500 Limited closer to its 20-inch wheels and 275/55 all-season tires. Then I could either use a button on the key fob or manually open the soft-drop tailgate and get into the lined cargo box.

2019 RAM 1500

2019 RAM 1500 Limited Interior

There was no mistaking what the 1500 Limited was from the outside. On the inside, it was much harder. The Ram’s head logo on the steering wheel said, “Truck,” but so many other things brought luxury sedans to mind. I was surrounded by dark leather and contrast stitching. It covered not just the seats (which were heated and cooled in the front and back rows), but the hand-wrapped dashboard, door panel caps, and armrests, too. It was even on the A- and B-pillar grab handles.

I’ve seen other luxury trucks with wood interior trim before. The genuine wood accents RAM used on my 1500’s steering wheel and dashboard were on another level. Their light horizontal veins reminded me of the designo Flowing Lines trim available in certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Cool tech wasn’t far out of reach, either. The Limited comes standard with a giant 12-inch touchscreen and navigation. I could devote the entire display to one function, such as the audio system, or take advantage of the split-screen functionality and have one function show on top and another one show on the bottom.

RAM was kind enough to add the Level 1 Equipment Group to my press loaner. That included a variety of safety features (more on those later) as well as a 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system that delivered 900 watts of clear sound.

The back row of the 1500 Limited offers a shocking amount of legroom for full-size adults. My girlfriend Eli and I spent the weekend hanging out with her cousin Bethany (who’s 5’8”) and Bethany’s boyfriend Logan (who’s 6’2”) in San Antonio. As soon as the two of them climbed into the reclining back row, I heard them say two words: “Whoa” and “Luxury!” Neither one of them had a problem stretching their legs and getting even more comfortable.

It was easy for me to agree with them. The 1500 Limited was well insulated against road noise and its air suspension did a great job of making rough roads seem smoother than they were.

2019 RAM 1500

2019 RAM 1500 Limited Performance

RAM’s eTorque Hemi has it all: the power and throaty roar of a 5.7-liter V8 and the boost of an electric motor. By itself, the Hemi produces a stout 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. The eTorque system replaces the alternator with a belt-driven motor generator unit and temporarily adds up to 130 lb-ft of extra grunt. That hardware’s paired with a 48-volt, 430-watt-hour battery pack that charges the truck’s 12-volt conventional battery and powers its various accessories. The whole package is connected to an eight-speed automatic.

My 1500 Limited media special had four-wheel drive (with a handy Auto setting) and optional 3.92 gearing. That combo gave it a payload rating of 1,780 pounds and a towing capacity of 11,250 pounds. Whereas the 1500 Laramie Longhorns I recently tested had fuel economy ratings of 15 city, 21 highway, and 17 combined mpg, the 1500 Limited with the eTorque Hemi was capable of reaching 17 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined.**

Had Eli, Bethany, Logan, and I decided to go to an off-highway vehicle park, the 1500 Limited would’ve been ready to get dirty. The optional Off-Road Group protected the front suspension, steering gear, transfer case, and fuel tank with skid plates, upgraded the rear end with a locking differential, and added Hill Descent Control.

2019 RAM 1500

2019 RAM 1500 Limited Safety

The 1500 Limited was comfortable in two main ways. Its generous dimensions and impressive amount of features made every trip physically pleasant. Its standard and optional safety technologies gave me peace of mind whether I was cruising through the suburbs or flying down the highway.

An array of airbags, a back-up camera, front and rear park assist systems with the ability to stop the truck, blind spot monitoring with cross-path detection, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic high beams are no-cost equipment.

Thanks to the Level 1 Equipment Group, I had the additional protection of a 360-degree bird’s-eye camera view, adaptive cruise control, Advanced Brake Assist that helps the 1500 stop in the shortest distance possible in emergency situations, Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, and Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist.

2019 RAM 1500

2019 RAM 1500 Limited Overall

In the 2019 RAM 1500 Limited 4X4 with the eTorque Hemi, you can have it all: handsome styling, high-end materials, impressive technology, satisfying V8 power, improved fuel economy, and the hauling, towing, and off-road abilities that only a truck can provide. Just go to an AutoNation RAM dealership and get it. Prices for the 1500 Limited start at $53,295.* If you want a truck just like the one you see here, expect a price of $64,515.

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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