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Quick Look: 2019 Ram 1500 North Edition

Kamil Kaluski November 26, 2018 Featured, Quick Spin, RAM Reviews 6 Comments

FCA loves making special edition vehicles. I lost count how many Challengers, Wranglers, and Grand Cherokee special editions there have been. The new Ram 1500 is no exception to the rule. The new for 2019 Ram 1500 North Edition just premiered here in the Northeast and it seems to be the perfect vehicle for the upcoming winter.

The North Edition is based on the Big Horn model. Pay attention, there will it be a quiz. The Big Horn itself is middle-ish level model, fitted between the Tradesman and Laramie. Above that are the Rebel and Limited models. There is also the Longhorn version of the Laramie between the Rebel and the Limited. And somewhere in all that mess is the Kentucky Derby Edition. And we all know there will be more.

But the North Edition is a rather special model, or at least special enough to require its own article…

What I like about the North Edition is that it comes with the hardware that is actually useful on the northern climate. What’s not totally great is that one must order the pricey Level 2 Equipment package to be able to get the North Edition package. But most people would want the Level 2 Equipment package anyway as it comes with things like heated seats, remote start, big screen infotainment, hitch, and beep-beep back-up sensors. The North Edition consists of:

  • One-inch suspension lift.
  • Skid plates over suspension, fuel tank, and steering.
  • Locking rear differential.
  • Heavy Duty shocks.
  • Tow hooks.
  • Engine block heater.
  • Body-colored trim and bumpers (as opposed to chrome).
  • Rubber floor mats.
  • Falken light truck all-terrain snow-rated tires. There aren’t many vehicles that come with snow tires out of the box.

Modern full-size pickups have become like Porsches, where they are configurable in a hundred ways. The North Edition comes only in the Crew Cab variety but gives the buyer a choice of five or six passenger seating, and a 5’7” or 6’4” bed. Three powertrain choice are available: the V6 and V8 with eTorque, or the basic 5.7-liter Hemi. Air suspension and RamBoxes are also available but oddly the larger fuel tank and the factory nav (there is Apple CarPlay) are not. Manufacturer suggested retail  price for the Ram 1500 North Edition is $45,890, as described above. 

While I am very familiar with the outgoing Ram 1500 generation, the Classic as it is called now, itself still available with three different special editions, this was my first look at the new generation of Ram 1500. It looks more like an evolution and improvement from the previous model, rather than a compete revolution. What surprised me the most was the quality of the interior. Even the cloth seat fabrics were really nice and really gave no justification for an upgrade to leather. There were plenty of storage bins and a really handy phone holders which still allows for glancing at the screen. I would say that it’s overall much nicer than the Ford F150’s interior.

Winter is coming. The problem with a lot of people is that they think because they have an AWD/4WD utility vehicle, they’re invincible. Nope. Tires and the nut behind the wheel are key factors in winter driving. It’s refreshing to see an automaker offer a vehicle with snow rated tires (it’s an all-terrain tire, fine for summer driving, too). Just make sure you pick you Ram 1500 wisely, you don’t want to buy the Big Horn with the expectations of receiving the Long Horn.

Expect a full review in a near future. 

Disclaimer: FCA invited the local media to the premier of the Ram North Edition near Boston. There was food. 

I’m Thankful For: My friend’s pickup truck

  • GTXcellent

    Cold weather = Cloth > Leather. If this Dodge Ram uses the same seat and steering wheel heaters that Jeep does, it’ll work so well that you only run it for about a minute.
    I’d like to have seen FCA add rear wheel liners to the box as part of the package to maybe cut down on the corrosion, otherwise, this sure looks like a win for me

    • Yup. But it’s a $195 option that I’m sure a dealer can throw in.
      The only butt warmers better than Jeep’s are Volvo’s. Level 1 and I couldn’t keep it on for more than two minutes.

  • ptschett

    One-inch suspension lift – guess I’d need the wheel-to-wheel side-steps then
    Skid plates over suspension, fuel tank, and steering = I wouldn’t spec out a pickup any other way
    Locking rear differential – I’d rather have a limited slip, but can live with this
    Heavy Duty shocks – ok fine
    Tow hooks, engine block heater = defaults for me again
    Body-colored trim and bumpers (as opposed to chrome) = I like chrome myself, but whatever
    Rubber floor mats = good idea
    Falken light truck all-terrain snow-rated tires = nice
    comes only in the Crew Cab variety = …Ram doesn’t want my money? Guess I’ll keep driving my 2017 Big Horn Quad Cab

    • outback_ute

      Does the Ram already have skid plates for the sump (oil pan) and transmission?

      Also how can snow tires work in summer too? Are they more of an extended all season?

      • They’re actually one of the newer breed of “all weather” tires, rather than dedicated winter tires. All Weather tires have a snow-tire type tread pattern and the M+S snowflake symbol on them, so they’re effective and legal wherever snow tires are required, but the rubber compound is designed as a compromise between grip in freezing temperatures and tread wear on dry summer roads.

      • ptschett

        I’ve not been under a 2019 Ram 1500, but if they’re built like my 2017 the engine & transmission oil pans would already be fairly well protected by the frame cross-members.