All you need to know about the 2019 Ram 1500 Longhorn Crew Cab can be derived from its key fob. It’s a robust and functional piece of engineering, but adorned with a glimmer of faded gold around its edges. It tells people your ride can get the job done, but is just a little bit more special than others. Take a drive and you’ll know it’s considerably more special than others.
Texas Prairie Style
Stylists gave the big truck a sleek body adorned with adaptive LED headlamps and shiny chrome grille with RAM emblazoned across. If you looked underneath, you’d see an air dam that lowers at speed to improve aerodynamics. The Longhorn’s fashion show continues with specific 20” wheels, two-tone paint, and beefy fender flares. Our crew cab is 4” longer than previously to greatly increase rear seat legroom. Chrome hood vents could double as a ranch owners belt buckles.
Let’s call the interior “Texas chic”. Anodized gold accents the dash and instrument cluster – looking fresh alongside branded wood trim, alligator print leather, and heated and ventilated leather seats with saddle stitching. As rear passengers lounge legs-out on their fancy heated and cooled bench, and under a dual-pane sunroof, they’ll notice saddle bags on the backs of front seats. A heated wood and leather steering wheel completes the accoutrement.
Moving away from the prairie is a configurable 12-inch touchscreen that rivals Tesla in size, but easily conjures satellite radio, automatic climate control, Bluetooth-enabled devices, navigation, and Wi-Fi. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto simplify accessing phones that are wirelessly charged in the roomy front console. Crank up the 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system to indulge all of your audio fantasies.
Befitting a top-flight luxury truck, this one comes chocked with the full suite of safety tech. Adaptive cruise with stop and go functionality manages forward travel while a parallel/perpendicular parking system slides the big truck into tight parking spots. There’s also forward collision warning with auto brake, lane keep assist, rear cross path detection, and blind spot warnings that adjust to accommodate trailer lengths. An in-dash trailer brake controller, rain-sensing wipers, and adjustable pedals further help drivers maintain control.
Smooth Power, Smooth Ride
They’ll need the help. Base Rams come with a hybridized V6 powertrain, but our truck revs up with a 5.7-liter V8 that routes 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the electronic four-wheel-drive system. That transmission and variable displacement, which shuts down cylinders when less power is required, help deliver 15/21-MPG city/highway.
There’s no doubt the V8 pumps out enough power to move almost whatever you want, but the working bits are much more sophisticated than that. Ram already has one of the smoothest suspensions in the segment, but adds air control to create a driving experience that rivals SUVs. It lowers ride height on the highway or for entry and can raise up to tackle tough terrain. The truck is also quiet. Variable displacement often creates vibrations as engines turn cylinders on and off, but frame mounted modulators detect and electronically squelch that harshness. Very sophisticated.
A fancy key fob only gets you over the Ram Longhorn’s threshold, but once inside, you’re spoiled with fine leather, the truck world’s biggest touchscreen, and safety tech that embarrasses some luxury cars. It’s also pretty capable with that big V8 and air suspension. And, the price reflects that. You can buy a Ram for about $30,000, but the Longhorn rises from $53,995. Our version came to $68,590, which puts it against the Ford F-150 King Ranch, Chevrolet 1500 High Country, Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition, and Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve.
A More Elegant Alternative
Let’s say you love everything about the Ram Longhorn except for its South Texas style. That’s fine because Ram also comes in more elegant Limited trim. It prioritizes uptown style over rodeo chic. Seats give up their saddlebags while gray striped wood graces the dash, console, and steering wheel. Exteriors go with a monochrome theme with available body color bumpers, though there’s liberal application of chrome on the grille, mirror caps, and window trim. Prices are within dollars of the Longhorn: $68,785 as-tested.
Whichever luxury Ram you choose will cause an absolute spoiling of those who ride inside.
Send questions and comments to Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow him on YouTube @AutoCasey.
2019 Ram 1500 Longhorn
5 passengers, 4WD Pickup
Powertrain: 5.7-liter V8, 8-spd auto trans
Output: 395 hp/410 lb.-ft.
Suspension f/r: Air Ind/Solid axle
Wheels f/r: 20"/20" alloy
Brakes f/r: disc/disc
Must-have features: Style, Capability
Fuel economy: 15/21-MPG city/hwy
Assembly: Sterling Heights, MI
Base price: $53,995/68,590