2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman Review: Simple But Effective

2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman
Based 1-5
4.8 AWESOME
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Cargo & Storage Space
  • 4x4 & Towing Capabilities
Cons
  • Driver Safety Aids Not Available

The 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman is a truck for the business owner who needs a workhorse. The Crew Cab 4×4 gets down and dirty by performing the toughest jobs on the site. With the Tradesman, you can carry the crew and lots of extra equipment. The 2019 model gets a redesign with upgrades making it even more effective as a work truck.

And even though it’s made for work, it’s not totally devoid of conveniences or creature comforts. This was a nice surprise as we spent the week driving the 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman. 

What’s New For 2019

The 2019 Ram 1500 is entirely new and redesigned, losing some significant weight in the process. Ram says the new truck is nearly 225 lbs. lighter than its predecessor, despite adding higher grades of steel to its frame. Max towing and payload also increase. Properly equipped, the Tradesman can tow 12,750 lbs. with a payload exceeding 2,000 lbs. 

With the Tradesman, you can carry the crew and lots of extra equipment. Click To Tweet

Features & Options

The Tradesman Crew Cab 4×4 ($37,995) comes standard with 18-inch steel wheels, vinyl flooring and upholstery, and the Uconnect infotainment system with a five-inch touchscreen display. Other creature comforts include automatic headlights, a locking tailgate, heated side mirrors, push-button ignition, cruise control, a 40/20/40-split folding bench seat, air conditioning, and a rearview camera.

Connectivity features include Bluetooth capability, rear-seat USB charge ports, and a six-speaker audio system with dual USB inputs and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Tradesman can be upgraded with options that include a Class IV hitch receiver package ($645) with trailer brake controls, an electronic locking rear differential, towing mirrors, chrome exterior trim, a spray-in bedliner, cloth upholstery, a folding rear seat, and satellite radio.

Total MSRP including destination: $44,275. By comparison, the 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman starts at $33,340. 

A class III trailer hitch, 160-amp alternator, 3.21 rear axle ratio, and 730-amp battery are standard on the 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman.

Interior Highlights

The cab feels big and is a pleasing place to spend your work day. We used the generous amount of tilt-and-telescoping adjustment range to find the perfect driving position. There’s plenty of head, leg, and shoulder room in all seating positions. Overall, the inside is intelligently-designed for the business owner always on the go. We liked the center console with a large flat surface for a laptop or clipboard, perfect for writing estimates or keeping inventory.

The center stack is close enough too, putting all the controls within easy reach. The buttons and knobs are logically positioned for easy operation, just as you’d expect. Push-button start and an electric parking brake are standard even on the entry-level Tradesman.

The amount of side glass and the design of the dash makes for good visibility, despite the truck’s size. The redesigned crew cab offers more rear legroom than anything else in the class by a long shot. Stepping in the back reveals even more room for employees. When you need to give them a ride, they won’t feel cramped. The rear bench folds up easily, opening up a large cargo area for tools and equipment.

The 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman is available in two cab styles and two bed lengths: Quad Cab with a 6 ft., 4 in. bed, Crew Cab with a short bed (5 ft., 7 in.) or Crew Cab with an optional 6 ft., 4 in. bed.

The redesigned crew cab offers more rear legroom than anything else in the class by a long shot. Click To Tweet

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

Standard on the Tradesman is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 producing 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s a selector knob on the dash with 2WD, 4WD -Auto, 4-High, and 4-Low settings. 

Fuel mileage estimates come in at 19/24 city/highway and 21 combined for the Pentastar V6. Those looking for more power for their Tradesman can upgrade to the 5.7-liter Hemi V8.

Driving Dynamics

We were impressed with the power of the V6, especially with its eTorque feature. It’s a mild hybrid engine assist technology, and it’s new on Ram trucks for 2019. Not a hybrid technology in the traditional sense, eTorque stores electricity in a lithium battery and helps the automatic stop-start system work smoothly.

It also provides a bit of extra power from a stop and gives a boost on the highway. With the Pentastar V6, up to 90 lb-ft. of additional torque can be sent to the wheels. 

The Ram’s weight loss helps when pulling up a steep hill at altitude. We had no trouble passing slower traffic as we pushed hard up I-70, heading west into the high country. The large power exterior trailer tow mirrors made it easy to see small cars on the highway. We even had an early fall snow in Colorado this week. We shifted into 4-High on the fly and the big truck powered through the white stuff without loosing grip. 

We had no trouble passing slower traffic as we pushed hard up I-70, heading west. Click To Tweet

Conclusion

The workhorse 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman makes minimal concessions to luxury and offers all the things you need to get the job done. If you spend lots of time driving and going from site-to site, it’s a comfortable place to spend your work day.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman Gallery

2019 Ram 1500 Official Site.

Photos: FCA US LLC.

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