2019 Ram HD Chassis Cab trucks: tough on the outside, comfy on the inside

Going head-to-head with the new Chevy Silverado HD at Chicago Auto Show

2019 Ram HD Chassis Cab
2019 Ram HD Chassis Cab / Image Credit: Drew Phillips
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The past year or so has been big for Ram. FCA's truck division went from having some of the most dated (though still solid) pickups on the market to introducing the 2019 Ram 1500, arguably the new segment leader. A year later, at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, FCA revealed the new Ram Heavy Duty. Yesterday, Ram announced the 1500 was getting a trick tailgate to compete with the power tailgate on the Chevy Silverado and MultiPro tailgate on the GMC Sierra. Today, at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, FCA will present the new Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cab models.

Like the Ram 2500 and 3500, the new chassis cab trucks appear to share a lot with the current crop of Ram HD trucks. The cab itself appears to be unchanged from the outside, though the front fascia has been updated to reflect Ram's current design. As with most things, it's what's inside that counts. The chassis cab models get the fantastic interior from the 2019 Ram 1500. It's a handsome and well-appointed cabin. Even base Tradesman models benefit from the new design and packaging. There's new tech, too. The 12-inch infotainment screen is nice to look at, but customers are likely to enjoy features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking (with trailer brakes). The safety tech is available on all trim levels. The trucks also pack parking assist and a 270-degree camera view. There are also camera features to help hook up trailers (including fifth-wheel goosenecks).

The Ram Chassis Cab 3500, 4500 and 5500 represent Class 3, 4 and 5 GVW ratings. As such they pack some punch under the hood. The standard engine is the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 making 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, though 4500 and 5500 models only make 370 horsepower. The Ram 3500 features cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy. The three trucks are available with a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel inline-six. The engine makes 360 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. An Aisin six-speed auto is available on V8 models and standard with the diesel. Both engines are available with dual alternators.

The trucks are available in four industry-standard frame lengths measured in inches from the cab to the rear axle: 60, 84, 108 and 120. Upgraded brakes should shorten stopping distances and improve pedal feel. Thanks to high-strength steel and aluminum, the truck should weigh about 120 pounds less than before.

The Ram is more capable than ever, though the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD's tow rating beats the Ram's 35,220-pound rating by a few hundred pounds. Payload is up to 12,510 pounds.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but look for more news before the truck goes on sale this spring.

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