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Ram 1500 Power and Performance Update

2019 Ram 1500 Long-Term Report 5 of 6

Jul 14, 2020
Report 5 of 6 is finally here, and thankfully we've been able to log a few miles on our long-term 2019 Ram 1500. The number of miles we've driven for this report is still light, but we managed to log 2,200 miles on the Ram, and it continues to impress.
We've still had no major issues to report with the Ram 1500, which is fantastic. We did get one more recall notice, this time for an update related to the backup camera staying illuminated for too long after placing the truck in drive. We never experienced the issue ourselves but were glad to get it fixed. Thankfully, Ram performed this update over the air, so there was no need to take the truck to the dealer. We also encountered the need to update the Uconnect system through the same over-the-air update process. When needed, the truck alerted us to the pending update and allowed us to either choose to run it then, skip, or schedule for a later date. We opted to postpone the update until evening as the system indicated it would take upwards of 40 minutes to complete and the truck needed to be turned off during the update.
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Highway ride is still incredibly comfortable, and the cabin is among the quietest we've experienced in a pickup. The truck's four-corner air suspension still acted like it had a mind of its own sometimes, though we think we've finally figured it out. If we lowered the truck to Entry/Exit mode, then shut the truck off, it would start up the next time and stay in this position unless we manually returned the truck to Normal. While not ideal, it was a fairly easy workaround to get the system to operate as intended. Towing is where the air suspension really shined, with its ability to lower under a hitch, raise up to secure it, and then auto level with the load. We also had the chance to do a fair bit of hauling with the truck this period and appreciated the ability to lower the truck's height from the key fob for easier loading and unloading.
During this period, we had a trial of the truck's built-in 4G Wi-Fi activated. The setup process is fairly involved, from setting up the account to generating the Ram's hotspot name and password. Once completed, the Wi-Fi worked fairly well. It operates on AT&T's network, so service was fairly reliable. We have a lot more experience with GM's OnStar and 4G LTE internet service, and using that as a benchmark the Ram system still falls short. However, that's not to say it was bad in any way; it's just that the other system is a touch quicker, easier to connect to, and more reliable. We appreciated having the offering and wish we would have activated the service sooner so we could spend more time with it.
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The stereo is still outstanding, with among the best audio quality we've experienced in a pickup. And our time working with the 12-inch Uconnect 4C system has been delightful. Fortunately, we have not experienced any of the sudden system restarts that other owners have reported. We did notice that the pinned cards didn't always stay on the screen, often asking us to select a new one for the top or bottom of the divided screen. This may very well have been user error instead of a system flaw, though.
Without having an equally equipped truck to compare to, we still question the effectiveness of the eTorque mild-hybrid system. Restarts are still quite jumpy and abrupt at times, and when averaging less than 13 mpg, we've failed to see where it's helping on the fuel economy front. At this point, if we were to order the truck again it would be without the eTorque system. We're sure it works great in some situations, but on a four-wheel-drive pickup with 3.92:1 axle gears, it may just be too much to try and compensate for.
Thus far we are still extremely satisfied with our 2019 Ram 1500 and our decision to name it our 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year. While our time with the truck is quickly coming to a close, we know this will be a truck we'll be sad to see go. Check back soon for our sixth and final report.
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Report: 5 of 6

Previous reports:
Long-Term: 2019 Ram 1500 Report 1
Long-Term: 2019 Ram 1500 Report 2—Let's Talk About Tires
Long-Term: 2019 Ram 1500 Report 3—How Well Does the Ram 1500 Tow?
Long-Term: 2019 Ram 1500 Report 4—Ram 1500 Storage and Charging Solutions
Base price: $46,140
Price as tested: $67,020
Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 12,108.6
Miles since last report: 2,266.4
Average mpg (this report): 12.63
Test best tank (mpg): 19.61
Test worst tank (mpg): 9.33 (towing)
Maintenance
This period: None
Problem areas: None
Logbook Quotes
"I have gotten more compliments on the style of this truck and more questions about it than all of the previous long-term vehicles combined."
"I went a full year without putting a CD in the truck. Kudos to Ram for including a player, but I have to wonder why."
"Apple CarPlay is awesome, but it's made it so that I never use the inductive Ram Charger phone charger still nice to have, I guess."
"Still struggling to get more than 300 miles on a tank of gas. And the Hemi's thirst for 'mid-grade' fuel is touch annoying."

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