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We got a good look at the 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. After that, we saw the Laramie Longhorn at the Houston Auto Show, and most recently, pricing was announced. Now, at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) 2018 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Ram has fittingly highlighted its ultimate economical workhorse trim, the durable Tradesman. Distinguished by its bold black grille and black steel bumpers, the Tradesman trim (model) is the everyday, real-world hard worker of the batch, aimed at the diligent vocational customer. It’s also desirable for commercial fleets. The hierarchy of truck trims can get confusing, so as a quick reminder, Ram’s 2019 1500 trim lineup looks like this: Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited.
Although many have a natural attraction to the upper-level trims, the success of the Tradesman, which was introduced in 2011, proves customers indeed want economical practicality and utility. And it’s certainly no dud of a truck—in fact, it’s harder and harder to get a minimally equipped “stripper” or cheap truck anymore, and there is no longer a Regular Cab Ram 1500—even for the Tradesman. The Quad and Crew cabs are the two options; the Quad is offered with the longer 6-foot 4-inch bed only (true for all Quad cabs), and the Crew is offered with the 5-foot 7-inch short bed and 6-foot 4-inch long bed.
The Tradesman is available in both 4x2 and 4x4, powered by the standard 3.6L Pentastar V-6 with eTorque mild hybrid system or the optional 5.7L Hemi V-8 with or without eTorque. Properly equipped Tradesman trucks can tow up to 12,750 pounds and offer up to 2,300 pounds of payload. A standard Class III trailer hitch and lighted, above-bumper four- and seven-pin trailer wire connectors add to the Tradesman’s value.
The Tradesman comes garbed in standard features and equipment, including Uconnect 3 with a 5-inch touchscreen, one year of SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, three USB ports, automatic headlamps, 12V auxiliary power outlet, cargo bed lamp, rearview camera, tilt and telescoping steering column, locking tailgate, power door locks, power front windows, remote keyless entry, 18-inch steel wheels, and vinyl seats.
Expect to pay in the low 30s to low- to mid- 40s for a 2019 Tradesman, depending on options. The 2019 4x2 Quad Cab Tradesman starts at $31,695 (not including destination fee), while the 2018 4x2 Quad Cab Tradesman starts at $30,895. That’s not a huge price difference for an all-new truck. The Tradesman is on sale now.