The media preview days of the 2019 New York International Auto Show are over and the show is now open to the public. Go and enjoy it. But our coverage continues, mostly because we had other things to get to and couldn’t get everything done in a day like the big and famous automotive sites. But that also gives us an opportunity for some original content and not reworded press releases.
While aimlessly wandering the the downstairs truck section of the show I came upon the RAM (all caps) display. The heavy duty Ram 2500, 3500, etc. are all new for 2020. Not surprisingly they have the look and the cab layout of the smaller Ram 1500, which was all-new for last year. And that’s good, as in my opinion the cab of the 1500 is the best on the market. But as pickups get more even mainstream as many people replace their cars with them, we don’t often get to see the proper work truck interiors.
The big three, and in some ways Nissan and Toyota, still make proper work trucks. And those trucks still come with cabs lined with vinyl on the floors and
German leather plastic on the seats. Best of all, three-across front bench seats are still a thing. What I find fascinating is the basic design of the dash board. It has to be modular enough and cheap enough to accommodate the work truck, yet versatile enough for the leather-covered giant screen in the Limited version.
Things to notice in these two pictures:
- Gauge cluster differences.
- Leather wrapping on the Limited.
- Shifter differences.
- Both trucks have push-button ignition switches. This means that throwing a potentially pricier push-button with proximity sensors and providing an electronic key-fob was overall cheaper than designing and manufacturing a second old-school ignition switch and a dumb key to be used on the base work fleet trucks.
Work trucks are cool. Owning a vehicle that you really don’t care too much about is sort of liberating. I’m glad that the industrious trucks still exist.