Ram 1500 Tradesman Is the King of American Work Trucks

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2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman

Even in base trim, the 2019 Ram offers more than the competition. 

Pickup trucks are everywhere nowadays, which is great! Unfortunately, they’ve moved so far from their no-nonsense, utilitarian roots that they’re a far cry from what they once were. That’s why we applaud Motor Trend for their recent test of base-model work trucks. “Have manufacturers compromised the rugged utility of their base-model trucks to appeal to suburbanites?” the mag asks. Their mission is simple: “… our winner is simply the best work truck, the one that best fulfills its core purpose.” The big winner? Spoiler alert: It’s the Ram 1500 Tradesman.

Unfortunately, even finding base work trucks proved a challenge. Of the three trucks tested – The Ford F-150 XL, Chevrolet Silverado WT and Tradesmen, only one truck (the Chevy) could be equipped with the base engine, four-wheel drive, and a crew cab for less than $42,000. That’s a lot of money for a workhorse. Especially one with a cloth or vinyl interior, no frills, and options geared toward work, not comfort.

Even stripped down, the Ram shines. 

2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman

But even stripped down, the Ram was the clear favorite. Motor Trend praised the base interior for still having “fine attention to detail” and an upscale feel. They went on to gush over its “quiet and peaceful,” “refined” ride, and declare: ” For someone who’s been cutting 2x4s all day, it’s a welcome respite on the way home.”

But the praise didn’t stop with the interior. They call the Ram’s 3.6-liter V6 with hybrid tech “fancy from a work truck perspective,” then praise it for its admirable 23.3-mpg average fuel economy. The Ram also offered the best ride with an empty bed and while towing over its recommended payload. That’s pretty impressive if you ask us.

2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman

So work trucks ain’t what the used to be. But in this tech-laden world, the Ram 1500 Tradesman is a clear standout against its American competitors. That’s no surprise to us, but after Motor Trend’s fairly comprehensive testing, it’s good to have it spelled out.

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James Derek Sapienza has worked as a writer and editor in the world of automotive journalism since 2015.

He has a BS in History at SUNY Brockport, with a focus on American popular culture. A fan of the classics with a special interest in German cars, he is a proud owner of a 1991 W124 Mercedes. He is a frequent contributor to Mustang Forums, MBWorld, 5Series, Rennlist, and more.

Sapienza can be reached at [email protected]

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