2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500

Last Updated July 20, 2021 | C.J. Tragakis

One of most important evolutions for the Ram 1500 (formerly known as the Dodge Ram 1500) came with the 2019 model year redesign. This fifth-generation Ram 1500 offered a revolutionary change in terms of the truck’s interior and technology, plus a much-needed refresh of the exterior styling.

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Exterior

It’s worth noting, however, that overall engine performance and capability didn’t change that drastically from the 2018 model. If you’re shopping in the used market for either a 2018 or 2019 Ram 1500, going for the older truck could potentially save you tons of money, without sacrificing the capability you need in a pickup. The deciding factor could be the new cabin of the 2019 Ram, which is undeniably a comfortable, nice-looking place to be.

To help you sort out the differences between these two model years/generations, we’re taking a look at the main changes between the 2018 and 2019 Ram 1500 trucks. Ram has actually kept the 2018 Ram 1500 around for at least another model year, calling it the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic. It’s virtually identical to the 2018 model in all attributes, and therefore all of the comparisons that we make will be equivalent as well.

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Exterior

For Ram fans, the most instantly recognizable difference between the 2018 and 2019 model years will be the “face,” namely the headlights and grille. Ram has abandoned their long-standing mostly trapezoidal grille, which often featured a two-bar cross design in the middle, in favor of a more hexagonal grille with a variety of different designs for the middle. Most of the new grille designs for 2019 are much more horizontal in nature, save for the Rebel. The off-road-focused Rebel trim carries over its trademark “swoopy M” design that really helps it stand out from the pack. The Rebel’s distinctive looks are an important part of its brand identity as it was designed to compete against the Ford F-150 Raptor in an attempt to knock it from its throne.

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Front Grille
The 2019 Ram 1500 is distinguishable by its grille, headlights, and more aerodynamic look

Instead of the ram head emblem on the front, the grilles now simply feature the word “RAM” spelled out prominently. The headlights also have a more modern look for 2019, being more streamlined and flush with the grille. It contributes to a sleeker and more refined look, without losing too much of the traditional Ram toughness.

Ram Classic Warlock vs Ram Rebel
The Ram Rebel maintains some of the grille style of the previous generation, but little else was carried over

Also notable in terms of exterior changes is that the regular cab variant has been dropped for the 2019 Ram 1500 (but lives on for the Ram 1500 Classic). Box sizes are the same year over year at 5’7” and 6’4”, but the 2019 Ram 1500 is noticeably wider and taller than its predecessor.

Red 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock
The Ram 1500 Classic Warlock represents an interesting mix of old and new style cues

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Colors
Paint Color2018 Ram 15002019 Ram 1500
Bright White
Pearl White
Ivory White Tri-Coat
Bright Silver Metallic
Billet Silver
Granite Crystal Metallic
Granite Crystal
Maximum Steel Metallic
Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl
Diamond Black Crystal
Blue Streak Pearl
True Blue Pearl
Patriot Blue
RV Match Walnut Brown Metallic
Rugged Brown
Flame Red
Delmonico Red Pearl
Black Forest Green

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Interior

Despite all of the changes made to the exterior of the Ram, the interior is where reviewers have most praised the redesign. The fifth-generation that debuted for 2019 is an immensely more luxurious place, and the new, massive, optional 12-inch touchscreen on the dashboard is the talk of the town in the truck world.

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Interior
Unlike many other manufacturers, Ram integrated their large optional touchscreen flush into the dashboard

Love it or hate it, the tablet-like interface gives the interior a much more modern feel, with plenty of novel technology and features to go along with it. Some of these include the ability to view multiple exterior camera angles while driving and an impressive 19-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system. An 8.4-inch touchscreen is also an option, but the base models still come with the older 5-inch infotainment system.

In general, most will find that the 2019 Ram 1500’s upgraded cabin is a quieter and more luxurious place to spend time when contrasted with the somewhat more utilitarian feel of the old model. It features higher quality leather finishings in addition to being more spacious as well (the redesigned crew cab adds an incredible five inches more rear legroom compared to the 2018). Everything feels more modern, and lots of critics have declared it not only a vast improvement but the best truck cabin you can buy today. It’s practical too, with a reconfigurable center console and under-seat rear storage. Though the 2018 Ram 1500 offers lots of practicality, it simply can’t hold a candle to the look and feel of the redesigned interior.

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Performance and Capability

The changes to the engine choices for the Ram 1500 were less drastic than the overall exterior and interior updates. Noticeably, the 3.0 liter EcoDiesel was dropped for the 2019 model but will join the line-up once again for 2020. This is the same engine that is used in the new diesel Wrangler.

Other than that, the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 base engine was upgraded to the newer eTorque mild hybrid version of the same engine. The famed 5.7 liter HEMI V8 engine remains, but you can also opt for an eTorque mild hybrid version if you so choose. Both of these mild-hybrid engines have the capability to add temporary boosts of “eTorque” as well, 90 lb-ft for the V6 and 130lb-ft for the V8. Those numbers don’t get added to the official figures, but can certainly help with acceleration and towing. Plus, the mild-hybrid system adds some noticeable fuel efficiency benefits, especially in the city. The widely-used ZF 8HP 8-speed automatic transmission has been carried over as well and is used for all engine variants.

Red 2019 Ram 1500
While it looks very different on the outside, most of what's under the hood hasn't changed much

Despite minimal engine changes, the restructuring of the body has led to some noticeable improvements in payload and towing capacity. Payload capacity for the 2019 Ram 1500 is up to 2,300 lbs maximum (with a quad cab V6 variant). That’s up from a maximum 1,880 lbs for the 2018 Ram 1500 in the same trim.

Moreover, the 2018 Ram 1500 had a maximum towing weight of 10,620 lbs (with a regular cab, 8-foot box, and the 5.7 HEMI V8). For 2019, the Ram 1500 boasts a maximum towing weight of 12,750 lbs in a quad cab with the 5.7 HEMI eTorque V8.

Increasing these maximum payload and towing capacities was an important move for Ram in order to keep the 1500 competitive in the market. It’s not class-leading, but it stacks up much better when compared to the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado. However, if you’re in the used market and don’t need to maximize your towing and payload capacity, the 2018 still offers tons of capability at a lot more affordable price.

While the base Tradesman trim won’t cost much more looking at 2018 vs 2019 MSRP, the price difference between the two model years can quickly rise to $5,000 or more on higher-level trims like the Laramie. Given the similarities in overall performance and capability, we recommend getting inside both generations to see which one you can live with, based on your budget.

2018 Ram 1500 vs 2019 Ram 1500 Comparison: Quick Stats
2018 Ram 15002019 Ram 1500
Length 209.0-237.9 inches 228.9-241.8 inches
Width 79.4 inches 82.1 inches
Height 74.6-77.7 inches 77.4-77.6 inches
Wheelbase 120.5-149.4 inches 140.5-153.5 inches
Engine 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, 5.7 liter HEMI V8, 3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6 3.6 liter Pentastar eTorque V6, 5.7 liter HEMI V8, 5.7 liter HEMI eTorque V8
Horsepower 305 hp (V6), 395 hp (V8), 240 hp (Diesel V6) 305 hp (V6), 395 hp (V8)
Torque 269 lb-ft (V6), 410 lb-ft (V8), 420 lb-ft (Diesel V6) 269 lb-ft (V6), 410 lb-ft (V8)
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Max Towing Capacity 10,620 lbs 12,750 lbs
Max Payload Capacity 1,880 lbs 2,300 lbs
EPA MPG (V6, 2WD) 20 comb, 17 city, 25 hwy 22 comb, 20 city, 25 hwy
EPA MPG (V8, 4WD) 17 comb, 15 city, 21 hwy 19 comb, 17 city, 22 hwy
Bed Length 67.4 inches, 76.3 inches, 98.3 inches 67.4 inches, 76.3 inches
Starting MSRP (excl. Destination Fee) $27,645 (2019 Ram 1500 Classic) $33,440
CJ Author Photo

About the Author

C.J. is a Focus ST owner and car industry buff. He uses his first-hand experience and passion for the industry to craft interesting and helpful topics for fellow enthusiasts. Read full bio →

Sources: Ram | FCA | Motor Trend | Autotrader | EPA

Image Credit: Ram

2018 vs 2019 Ram 1500

Although there were few changes under the hood for the redesign, the 2019 Ram offers new looks, a vastly improved interior, and modest towing/payload gains versus the 2018 Ram. Which one is best for you?