A Touch of Luxury: Driving The Canadian 2019 Ram 1500 Sport

For a number years, one of the top selling trim levels of Ram 1500 has been the Sport. With it’s body colored bumpers and grille, the Sport was the perfect combination of luxury and practicality. For those buyers that wanted a nicely dressed up truck over the base models without the price point and extra features of the top of the line ones, the Sport was fantastic; and it proved so with high sales numbers. When Ram released the new re-designed 2019s, they also announced they would be discontinuing the Sport. However, being as most of the Ram 1500s you see on the road in Canada are in-fact Sports, they decided to continue building the Sport for the Canadian market only.

Recently, we had the opportunity to take a brand new 2019 Ram 1500 Sport out and enjoy it for the day. The new 2019 1500 is different in all ways from the previous model years. Practically every square inch and almost every single part of this new truck has been massaged in some way or another right down to the frame. The new 1500 Sport comes quite a few configurations. You can get the Crew Cab or Quad Cab and from there choose either a 5’7″ or 6’4″ bed and either 4×4 or 4×2. The Crew Cab is the largest cab in its class and has had the length increased a total of four inches inside for even more room.

The 1500 Sport comes with the proven 5.7L Hemi MDS V8 as the only choice, producing 395 horsepower and 410 ft. lbs of torque. Currently, we do not see the E-Torque option available and if you are hoping to get a Sport with the 3.6L Pentastar V6, you’re out of luck. Backing the Hemi is the quick shifting 8-speed automatic 8HP75 transmission that is tuned for heavy hauling while maintaining fuel efficiency. The 8-speed automatic is shifted by a turn dial knob on the dash like the previous generations. You are able to shift manually via buttons on the steering wheel but we find we don’t use them as they are kind of awkward. That being said, the shifter buttons are a much better design than the previous generation.

Standard in the Sport are 3:21 gears in the rear axle but you can upgrade to the 3:92 gears for $175 CAD and an anti-spin rear differential for $525 CAD. All new is an electronic-locking “E-Locker” rear differential for an additional $525 CAD. Ram’s Active-Level Four-Corner Air Suspension is available for an additional $1,895 CAD as well. We found our test truck (without air suspension) rode absolutely beautifully and actually drove nicer than most of the luxury sedans out there! It really doesn’t feel like you are driving a truck.

For 2019, towing and payload capacities have also been bumped up. When a Quad Cab 4×4 model is equipped with the 5.7L Hemi and 3.92 gears, it has a towing capacity of 11,470 lbs and a pay-load capacity of 1,970 lbs. When a Crew Cab 4×4 is equipped with the 5.7L Hemi and 3.92 gears, it has a towing capacity of 11,240 lbs and a payload capacity of 1,780 lbs. When equipped with a 5’7″ box or 4×2 system, these numbers get bumped up by 100-200 lbs depending on the specification. Trucks equipped with 3.21 gears have their towing capacities drop to the 8,150-8,510 lb range depending on the specification of the truck.

Standard are 20×9″ aluminum wheels that are similar to those found on previous generation Laramie Longhorns. Optional are no charge 20×9″ Black Aluminum 5-spoke wheels (only with the Black Appearance Package). You can also get 22×9″ Aluminum wheels seen on our test vehicle for an additional $1,295 CAD. These wheels are similar to older Dodge Viper wheels and feature polished faces with black pockets. The 20″ wheels come with 275/55R20 OWL all-season tires and the 22″ wheels give you 285/45R22XL BSW all-season tires.

The exterior of the 2019 Sport features body-colored bumpers, grille, door handles and side mirrors for a sleeker, more attractive look. The badging and window trim has been blacked out. While we still aren’t huge fans of the new front end, it’s growing on us and the Sport’s body-colored parts really do look good versus other trim levels with the chrome front ends. You’ll find blacked out LED automatic reflector headlamps and LED fog lamps up front. Optional for the Sport is the new re-designed Sport Performance hood, which we honestly don’t like. The Sport Performance Hood on the previous Rams would look a million times better on these new trucks. The new Sport Performance Hood just has too much cheap-looking plastic on it.

Standard are 6×9” power heated mirrors. Full size heated tow mirrors are an option with the trailer tow package however they are manual fold units. We still don’t understand this as the 2500s and 3500s have power folding trailer tow mirrors that are the same part and have the same control unit. On the rear of the Sport, you’ll find Ram’s signature “Rams Head” badge on the center of the tail gate. The new dampened tail gate feels a lot lighter than the old one and will be available with Ram’s new multi-function split tail gate option at some point. The body-colored back bumper features dual black chrome exhaust tips. The redesigned taillights are LED and feature a black surround.

Our test truck came equipped with the RamBox cargo management system which overall is a great feature for those who use their truck for work. The weatherproof and lockable RamBoxes come with LED lights and 115V AC power. While you can still fit 4×8′ sheets of plywood in the bed with the RamBox system, those of us that carry larger Mopar parts such as hoods that are wider than 4 feet are going to have a heck of a time fitting them with a tonneau cover.

Exterior options for the 2019 Sport include a deployable bed-step, tri-fold tonneau cover, black tubular side steps, spray-in bed liner, bed utility group, power folding running boards and a larger 124 liter/ 33 gallon fuel tank. While rear wheel well liners come as optional equipment on other trim levels, they do come standard on the Sport.

Open the door and step into comfort with the Sport’s gorgeous interior. The interior color options are black, black and black; so you better like black! The interior features Light Black Satin Chrome finishes and everything is very functional. The heated high back bucket seats up front are bolstered to keep you in place. They come standard in Black vinyl with cloth inserts and Medium Greystone accent stitching.

For an additional price, you can switch those out for Black leather-faced versions with perforated inserts and Medium Greystone accent stitching like our test truck. When you upgrade to the leather seats, you get memory on the driver’s side as well as heated and cooled front seats. We found while driving our test truck that the driver’s side cooling fan on the seat was very noisy however it could just be a bad fan on our particular test vehicle; we hope.

The Sport’s interior is loaded with creature comforts to ensure you enjoy those long road trips. Standard is a full length center console with storage and plug-ins galore. The reconfigurable center console has enough space for a 15-inch laptop and features even more storage room than the last one as well as a sliding tray and a standard single-disc CD player. Open the console lid and you will discover a couple cool “Easter Eggs” such as the conversion and angle charts on the bottom of the lid and the historic Ram line-up at the bottom of the console.

The small storage tray above the Uconnect unit has been made deeper and features a 12V plug so it’s actually useful now. All of the push buttons for the Tow/Haul, traction control and ParkSense systems have been replaced with attractive toggle switches. In the back, the cab on the Crew Cab models has been slightly extended for more room. When the rear seats are folded up, the rear floor of the truck is completely flat for tons of room to load boxes and the like-wise. The rear in-floor storage bins have also been made slightly larger.

Technology wise, the new Sport is loaded! The new customizeable 7-inch gauge cluster is beautifully designed and very functional. Standard is the Uconnect 4 system with an 8.4-inch display; with or without navigation. When you option your truck with the Leather & Sound Group, you automatically get the highly anticipated Uconnect 4C system with the huge 12-inch display and navigation. This new 12-inch display is absolutely fantastic as it’s fully customizeable and the picture is crystal-clear. It does have a part of us wondering how much it would cost to replace if it went kaput down the road though. All of the systems come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Leather & Sound Group also gives you the 19-speaker high performance Harman/Kardon audio system. A 9-speaker Alpine system is also available.

Options for the interior include the new power dual-pane panoramic sunroof (only available on the Crew Cab), a single pane power sunroof (only available on the Quad Cab), Blind-Spot monitoring with Cross-Path Detection and all-weather floor mats. Remote start, ParkSense Front and Rear Park-Assist and the Parkview rear back up camera are standard on the Sport. Ram has also packaged certain items together in a few different packages; the Level 2 Equipment Group ($1,025 CAD), Advanced Safety Group ($2,300 CAD) and the previously mentioned Leather & Sound Group ($3,590 CAD).

The 2019 Ram 1500 Sport starts around $43,345 CAD plus a $1,895 CAD destination charge. Our test truck as optioned worked out to be around $78,760 CAD before any discounts which is not cheap by any means however there usually are some decent discount programs on these trucks. Available colors are Ivory Tri-Coat Pearl (like our test vehicle), Billet Silver Metallic, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic, Diamond Black Crystal Pearl, Blue Streak Pearl, Patriot Blue Pearl, Flame Red and Red Pearl.

Overall, the new 2019 Sport holds true to the previous generation Sports as the perfect combination of practicality and luxury. While the prices have jumped over the previous generations (most, if not all 2019 trim levels have), deals can be had for sure and we’re sure Ram is going to continue selling a ton of Sports in Canada. Sorry to those friends down south of the border!

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Kyle Sethi and the team at Abbotsford Chrysler in Abbotsford, British Columbia for allowing us to take their truck out. Kyle truly is one of the best out there if you are looking for a new or used vehicle in the British Columbia, Canada area. Without him, these wouldn’t be possible!

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Cody Krueger

Car Feature Editor – cody.krueger@shawgroupmedia.com Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '71 Charger R/T, '71 Super Bee, '73 Duster, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '13 Ram 3500. Cody can truly and proudly say that he is a true Mopar nut in love with all types of Mopars!

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