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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    The Problematic Launch of the 2019 Ram 1500

      And the headaches continue for Ram Trucks

    It is no secret Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been dealing with a number of issues with the 2019 Ram 1500 launch. As we reported back in April, the  Sterling Heights Assembly plant was only operating at 60 percent of where the company wants it to be due to various issues. FCA announced that it would be investing $300 million to try and get production back on track, along with extending the production schedule to six days a week and running though Independence Day and Labor day.

    But as Automotive News reports, there is a new issue that is likely driving customers away from the 2019 Ram 1500. Currently, the 1500 is only available with the 5.7L HEMI V8. The 3.6L V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8 with the 48-volt mild hybrid system are no where to be seen.

    "I have customers looking for them and asking about them every week," said an unnamed Ram dealer in Michigan.

    It is unclear why neither one of these powertrains are available. Automotive News has two possible guesses. One is that FCA engineers are still doing some fine-tuning work to the mild-hybrid system before putting them into production. The other comes down to the EPA becoming more  stringent with automakers in terms of emission and fuel economy testing.

    While FCA is quick to point out that retail sales were up 18 percent in May to 27,011, we can't help but wonder if that increase is due to the massive incentives that are being put on the last-generation model. Through May, the average incentive on a last-generation Ram 1500 stood at $6.578 according to Autodata Corp. But the lack of new engines for the 2019 Ram 1500 is hurting, as year-to-date sales are down 8.4 percent. Dave Sullivan, a senior analyst with AutoPacific says the lack of V6 this long after the launch is becoming a problem.

    "In the old truck, the V-6 represented about 20 percent of sales," he said.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    I have to think that the lack of modern powertrains along with a mild 48 volt hybrid system that is vaporware right now is hurting them more than helping them. They should have held off till they had the hybrid system worked out before talking about it.

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    Well they never gave any public numbers on it. They just said it's coming and gave us info on what it will do.

    That's like saying Ford and GM shouldn't talk about future EV products until they're shipping to dealership lots, kind of an absurd thing to think. 

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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    Well they never gave any public numbers on it. They just said it's coming and gave us info on what it will do.

    That's like saying Ford and GM shouldn't talk about future EV products until they're shipping to dealership lots, kind of an absurd thing to think. 

    A little bit different as when Ford and GM announce they are building their 2019 products and shipping them they actually do. FCA announces building and the start of shipping and then very little has actually shown up. FCA might need to get a bit more control on actual delivery. Tesla approach does not work for them. :P 

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    I see no direct mention of a hybrid option on the Ram website, so I assume it's all hypothetical at this point (or is the 'eTorque' system what they mean by hybrid? ).

    Oddly, I see mention of a 3.6 and a 5.7 eTorque VVT engine, but on most of the pages the 3.6 seems to not be clickable.  The 5.7 gives a popup w/ a list of specs..

      More importantly, though, is that they claim the '19 Ram 1500 Limited or Laramie Longhorn has 58% more leather than comparable F150s or Silverados. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    @ccap41 @Cubical-aka-Moltar Yes Ram's eTorque system is their 48 volt hybrid system based on all my reading at other sites and from FCA own news releases.

    http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18753&fIId=18758

    Or if you cannot get to the website here is the PDF version to read.

    2019_Ram_1500_-_Powertrain.pdf

    Comparison including pricing by FCA against Ford and Chevy.

    http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18914

    Like Bill wrote in the story, people are going to the Dealerships and asking for the Hybrid truck. One would think if you announce it, state you are building and shipping the trucks that they would show up on the lots then.

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    The FCA Pacifica had a very troublied 2017 launch / model year.  Our 2018 seems to have been free of all these quality / design glitches.  I wonder if FCA isn't purely beta testing with their new launches first model years lately.

    Ask me why i would lease a Sergio mobile and not buy it, that's about the best way I can explain it to you.  Do you feel lucky punk?  The hybrid rollout on the Pac has been I would say bad.  Regular Pac's have had all sorts of issues.  Issues in the new truck doesn't surprise me.

    IF Sergio doesn't want these trucks to go out until there is fewer issues, bless em.  GM has had a rep like this in the past.

    And its not like its the Tesla Model 3 launch, just sayin.

     

    Edited by regfootball

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    5 hours ago, dfelt said:

    @ccap41 @Cubical-aka-Moltar Yes Ram's eTorque system is their 48 volt hybrid system based on all my reading at other sites and from FCA own news releases.

    http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18753&fIId=18758

    Or if you cannot get to the website here is the PDF version to read.

    2019_Ram_1500_-_Powertrain.pdf

    Comparison including pricing by FCA against Ford and Chevy.

    http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18914

    Like Bill wrote in the story, people are going to the Dealerships and asking for the Hybrid truck. One would think if you announce it, state you are building and shipping the trucks that they would show up on the lots then.

    Wrong-o.  They are asking for the V6 truck.  The hybrid system is the bitter pill shoved down the throats of V6 buyers.  Thank God for the good ol' red-blooded, unadulterated Hemi.

    Edited by ocnblu

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    2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Wrong-o.  They are asking for the V6 truck.  The hybrid system is the bitter pill shoved down the throats of V6 buyers.  Thank God for the good ol' red-blooded, unadulterated Hemi.

    Clearly Buck-o you not only did not read Bills write up nor any other web site as people are coming in asking for the V6 and V8 Hybrid system called eTorque and they are nowhere to be found. FCA is late to the delivery of this system.

    Per Bills write up:

    The 3.6L V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8 with the 48-volt mild hybrid system are nowhere to be seen.

    "I have customers looking for them and asking about them every week," said an unnamed Ram dealer in Michigan.

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      The Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks have been tuned to demonstrate optimum balance between on-road handling and class-leading off-road capability. Ride comfort, body roll control and handling are significantly improved with the Ram-proprietary Active Terrain Dynamics suspension management system, new shock tuning, hard points and body mount strategy.
      In addition to a standard urethane jounce bumper, the internals of the Bilstein adaptive performance shock feature a Jounce Cut Off to create three zones for progressive bottom-out control during extreme compression events. All modes can reach peak compression damping for the most extreme events.
      The 2021 Ram TRX is a high-performance pickup truck built to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability. To clear the elevated benchmarks and performance figures that TRX presents, a Dana 60 rear axle with full floating axle shafts is standard equipment and handles the increased torque output, rear electronic locking differential and 35-inch tires. The Dana 60 rear axle uses an axle hop damper that enables improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. A new rear axle center section provides balanced performance and a locking differential for increased off-road performance.
      The Ram TRX is equipped with a new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case that enables passage through any off-road obstruction or weather condition. This modified transfer case features upgraded internals for improved strength and durability. Ram TRX features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
      Off road, the 2021 Ram TRX will race to 100 mph with ease, and the segment’s largest brakes bring the TRX to a composed halt. Ram TRX relies on a four-wheel disc brake system and a hydraulic compensation unit to enhance brake pedal feel and performance during emergency maneuvers. Up front are two-piston monoblock calipers clamping down on 15-inch inverted hat (outboard venting) rotors for improved cooling. The rear uses single piston calipers with 15-inch rotors to provide incredible stopping power. An electronic parking brake holds the truck steady when applied and is standard.
      For the 2021 Ram TRX, engineers found that to maximize capability, it would call for a 35-inch tire. Developed exclusively for the Ram TRX, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain 325/65R/18 tires, featuring an aggressive tread and sidewall with D-load rating, are assigned the task.
      There are two different wheel designs that are available on TRX, including an 18-by-9-inch optional beadlock-ready wheel straight from the factory.
      An approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, departure angle of 23.5 degrees and a ground clearance of 11.8 inches allow the Ram TRX to go anywhere.
      Most technologically advanced pickup ever loaded with innovative, customizable features
      Designed to be the most technologically advanced pickup ever, the new 2021 Ram TRX is loaded with an array of innovative features combined with the award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system that offers convenience and connected services, keeping Ram truck customers engaged and informed all while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road or desert path ahead.
      The 2021 Ram TRX interior’s high-tech centerpiece, the Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, is standard and allows for even more customization. Other features include SiriusXM with 360L, Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora and personal device integration.
      The touchscreen can house one application, such as the navigation map, across the entire 12-inch screen or can be divided in half, operating two different applications at once. A multifunction switch bank and the optional Trailer Reverse Steer Control sit below the touchscreen, giving physical control of specific features. Redundant HVAC controls are located on both sides of the display.
      An audiophile-quality audio system is offered to immerse passengers in the ultimate sound experience, including a class-exclusive 900-watt premium Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers and 10-inch subwoofer – the finest and most powerful audio system available in a pickup.
      Ram TRX uses a 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster that is exclusive to the model and features a lit TRX badge, unique TRX colors and graphics with reconfigurable gauges. The same graphics appear on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen, too. This is the first time that Drive Modes and Off-road Performance Pages are displayed on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C screen.
      Performance Pages
      Performance Pages give drivers the tools necessary to become familiar with their vehicle’s performance. The app provides access to real-time vehicle performance information, including timers (such as 0-60 mph elapsed time), g-force, gauges and engine performance. This data can be downloaded to a USB stick, allowing for easy sharing of your driving performance. Owners can also download data to the web. The introduction of the Ram TRX marks the first time Performance Pages is available on an FCA vehicle equipped with the Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display.
      Off-Road Pages
      Off-Road Pages show ride height, the transfer case’s position, the pitch and roll of the vehicle and accessory gauges. The app is accessible through the 7-inch TFT cluster or Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display. The introduction of the Ram TRX marks the first time Off-Road Pages is available on an FCA vehicle equipped with the Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display.
      Forward-facing Camera
      As part of the available 360-degree Surround View Camera system, a forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions ahead on the trail to be easily seen. The front camera sits under the crossbar that dissects TRX’s grille and can be accessed through the available Off-Road Pages.
      Digital Rearview Mirror
      An available digital rearview mirror option replaces the traditional rearview mirror with a 9.2-inch-wide LCD monitor. The digital rearview mirror displays video in real time from a rear-facing camera and can be turned off to revert back to a traditional reflective mirror.
      More than 100 available advanced safety and security features
      Safety and security were primary drivers in the development of the new 2021 Ram TRX, which offers more than 100 available active and passive safety and security features. Standard features include ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six standard air bags. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, adaptive cruise control, Ready Alert Braking and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus.

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    • By William Maley
      It is no secret that Ram wanted to give the Ford F-150 Raptor a challenge. Look back to TRX concept from 2016 with its off-road suspension and a de-tuned version of the supercharged 6.2L Hellcat V8. Fast-forward to today and Ram has introduced a production version of the TRX and let's just say they took it to the extreme.
      No De-Tuned Hellcat!
      Open the hood of the Ram 1500 TRX and you'll find the 6.2L Hellcat V8 producing 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph takes a mouth-dropping 4.5 seconds and you'll be past the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds with an exit speed of 108 mph. Sure it isn't the full 707 horsepower, but Ram engineer's had to make some concessions for the TRX's off-road capability.  For example,  a high-mounted air induction system allows the TRX to ford a 32-inch body of water, but also requires more exhaust pipe to allow for easier breathing.
      Other modifications for the V8 include a new oil pan; the alternator being raised up, and a set of heavy duty filters.
      Power is routed to an eight-speed automatic and a four-wheel drive system. Ram employs a a new BorgWarner 48-13 transfer case to handle all of the performance from the Hellcat engine. A locking rear differential completes the four-wheel drive system.
      Not Your Normal 1500's Frame or Suspension
      Ram says the 1500 TRX's frame is 75 percent different from the standard 1500. The differences include thicker high-strength steel, boxed side rails, and certain parts being hydroformed. All of the changes are claimed to hold up better to high impacts such as landing from a jump than competitors (ahem Ford Raptor). 
      A set of Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive shocks with nitrogen-charged remote reservoirs handle damping duty. They can automatically adjust depending on the terrain, but the driver will able to control them via a set of settings. 
      The front suspension features forge aluminum upper and lower control arms, while the five-link rear suspension has a new design to make space for a Dana 60 axle. A set of Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels provide the traction.
      Not Your Father's Ram
      Its clear that Ram allowed its designers to go mad with the TRX's design. There's a massive hood scoop with lighting, mean looking grille surround, composite fender flares, and a set of optional graphics. Move inside and there are some minor alterations such as a console-mounted shifter, drive mode selector being placed where the dial gear selector would be on other Rams, and a heads-up display - a first for any FCA model.
      So What's the Catch?
      That would be price which begins at $71,690 with a $1,695 destination charge. For the first year of production, Ram will offer a Launch Edition version with a special anvil gray paint and every option in the book for $90,265. You'll won't be waiting too long as the TRX arrives at dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.
      Source: Ram Trucks
      Press Release is on Page 2


      All-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX: Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Mass-produced Truck in the World With 702-horsepower 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI® V-8 Engine
      2021 Ram 1500 TRX Engineered to Handle the Most Punishing Conditions With Extreme Capability and to Outperform Every Other Truck  2021 Ram 1500 TRX, the apex predator of the truck world, is engineered to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability, significantly outperforming every other truck New frame extensively uses high-strength steel that increases low-torsion attributes to amplify durability and stability Engineered to deliver a new level of truck performance, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI® V-8 engine sets new benchmarks for power and performance among half-ton pickups: Rated at 702 horsepower, 650 lb.-ft. of torque 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.5 seconds; 0-100 mph in 10.5 seconds Quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph Top speed of 118 mph High-torque-capacity TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission delivers quick, crisp gear changes during both normal and performance driving conditions New, innovative dual-path air induction system delivers maximum output and feeds a steady supply of cool, clean air to the engine through the front grille and functional hood scoop Largest air filter in the segment uses dual filter elements and is designed for extreme, dusty environments with four times the dust trapping capacity when compared to the closest competitor Full-time active transfer case features upgraded internals for improved strength, durability All-new, unique suspension system with active damping, inspired by desert off-road racers, incorporates forged aluminum front upper and lower control arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling New independent front suspension system with active damping uses high-strength aluminum to maintain overall strength and durability TRX uses a Dana 60 solid rear axle with a 3.55 ratio featuring full-floating hubs and axle-hop damper for improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. An electronic locking rear differential is standard for increased performance off-road Designed exclusively for TRX, new front and rear 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks provide fast reaction time, unbeatable damping and improved heat dissipation for traversing harsh terrain at speeds greater than 100 mph Five-link coil suspension is tuned to deliver the best combination of ride, handling and comfort no matter the road surface Wheel travel is greater than 13 inches at all four corners, an increase of more than 40 percent compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup All-new face of Ram includes modern Ram’s head logo and “R-A-M” badge with flow-through lettering Functional hood scoop is responsible for 50 percent of air entering the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine while the other 50 percent enters through the grille New integrated composite fender flares add 8 inches of body width and feature all-new steel box outers, creating a striking “hourglass” body New LED clearance lamps are cleverly integrated into the hood scoop and front bumper flares, amplifying the new aesthetic of the truck Full LED Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) includes twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and taillamps with up to 15 degrees of direction control with steering input Most spacious interior in the segment offers new, authentic premium materials, colors and textures, including hand-wrapped leather instrument panels for unexpected luxury throughout All-new 2021 Ram TRX features three interior options, including premium cloth and vinyl, premium wrapped leather and suede, or premium wrapped leather and suede with available red and carbon fiber accents New flat-bottom steering wheel offers enhanced hand grips wrapped in leather with optional suede and carbon fiber accents. New aluminum paddle shifters stretch above and below the steering wheel spokes Reimagined center console with maximum storage includes a new performance-oriented floor shifter, wireless charging dock and five USBs, including Type A and C ports Custom specifications plate on the console lid lists which engine is under the hood, the type of supercharger Ram TRX uses, boost output, horsepower and the vehicle-specific Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Ram TRX-specific transfer case switches are integrated into the dashboard along with Drive Mode selector and Launch Control Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch touchscreen is standard equipment and includes SiriusXM 360L with Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, which offers a custom listening experience through a 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system All-new Head-up Display unit makes its FCA vehicle debut and can show up to five different content areas at once TRX touts the first FCA application of Drive Modes and Off-Road Pages with the Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch touchscreen New Baja drive mode calibrates four-wheel-drive and steering systems, stability control, paddle shifters and suspension for ultimate desert performance, delivering maximum capability on undulating, loose surfaces Available digital rearview mirror replaces the traditional rearview mirror with a 9.2-inch-wide LCD monitor Trailer Reverse Steer Control is an available standalone option on Ram TRX and uses a dial to point the trailer in the desired direction while the system controls the steering wheel More than 100 active and passive safety and security features, including ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six air bags. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, adaptive cruise control, Ready Alert Braking and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, available All-new 18-by-9-inch aluminum wheels are available in both standard and a beadlock-capable option Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires, developed exclusively for Ram TRX, achieve unmatched levels of wear resistance, traction and reduced road noise Ram TRX offers the largest front brakes in the segment at 15 inches Ram TRX has a maximum payload of 1,310 pounds and maximum trailer tow of 8,100 pounds Ram TRX features a 2-inch ride height increase over Ram 1500, enabling 11.8 inches of ground clearance and capability of up to 32 inches of water fording All-new 2021 Ram TRX underwent rigorous testing in extreme environments across the continental United States to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme confidence, capability and durability August 17, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The all-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the apex predator of the truck world and cements Ram Truck as North America’s off-road truck leader. Ram TRX expands the light-duty lineup and sets new benchmarks for power and performance among half-ton pickup trucks with the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI® V-8 engine.
      “The all-new 2021 Ram TRX sets the benchmark for extreme performance pickup trucks and solidifies Ram Truck’s position as the off-road truck leader,” said Mike Koval, Head of Ram Brand, FCA - North America. “Ram has a strong history of high-performance trucks and TRX adds to that while expanding the light-duty lineup with the segment’s best combination of performance, capability, luxury and technology.”
      Rated at 702 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine powers the Ram TRX to a top speed of 118 mph. Combined with a high-torque-capacity TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, the Ram TRX delivers a new level of performance: 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph.
      A proven and reliable high-performance engine, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine delivers top output for extended driving sessions without degradation in performance.
      The 2021 Ram TRX benefits from up to 32 inches of water fording, up to 8,100 pounds towing and a maximum payload capacity of 1,310 pounds.
      New aesthetic design pairs chiseled form with extreme function
      The all-new 2021 Ram TRX features an aggressive stance and an impossibly wide, muscular body wrapped over the top of it. Like a mixed martial arts fighter in a tailored tuxedo, the Ram TRX makes an impactful visual statement with an acute “hourglass” body design that features composite flares and fender wells that have been stretched to cover aggressive 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain tires.
      Ram TRX is 8 inches wider when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup, and the composite flares help to compensate for a 6-inch increase in track width. Normally, Ram 1500 features a wheel that is 8 inches wide, but the TRX design team had to accommodate a wheel that is 9 inches wide.
      The front axle was shifted 20 millimeters forward to accommodate the 35-inch Goodyear Territory All-Terrain tires that were designed exclusively for TRX. The 35-inch tires are available with 18-inch beadlock-ready wheels with accent color-matched rings.
      LED clearance marker lights flank the front bumper, creating a menacing light signature that further sets TRX apart from anything on the road – day or night. A new, aluminum hood features bright LED clearance lights that are integrated in the hood scoop.
      The hood scoop is responsible for 50 percent of air entering the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine while the other 50 percent enters through the grille. Design elements, like the functional hood scoop, are complemented by secondary details, such as the functional air curtain just outboard of the headlamps, relieving high pressure zones at the front corners and allowing air to pass through the fenders.
      A unique R-A-M badge, front grille, hood, skid plates and steel bumpers help the TRX meet extreme functional objectives. The R-A-M badge is bigger when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup and features a new “flow-through” design that assists with airflow. All-black premium LED headlamps, including twin bi-functional projector headlamps, are standard.
      TRX buyers can choose an optional full-length rock rail for added body/sill protection or traditional off-road powder-coated aluminum running boards. Optional body-side and hood graphics are available as a pair or separately.
      Ram TRX features new box outers made of steel and are wider than that of a traditional Ram 1500. A bed-mounted spare tire carrier is available in addition to the standard full-size spare tire that sits underneath the bed, between the rear axle and trailer hitch. Premium LED taillamps are standard on TRX and the bezels allow for the Blind-spot Monitoring function to see around the extended box outers.
      Closing out the rear of the truck, a large R-A-M badge, similar to that seen on Rebel, stretches across the tailgate. Center identification marker lights, like what is seen on Ram Heavy Duty models, are tucked between the tailgate and rear bumper.
      The new aesthetic is taken to even higher levels of visual impact with oversized tow hooks, found at the front and rear of the truck, and integrated 5-inch dual exhaust ports driving the functional performance objective home.
      High-performance-inspired interior with authentic premium materials
      The 2021 Ram TRX combines all-new features, technology and authentic premium materials with extreme performance, class-leading quality, comfort and durability. The interior design team chose premium textures, colors and material, including available hand-wrapped leather instrument panels for unexpected luxury throughout.
      The all-new 2021 Ram TRX features three interior options, including premium cloth and vinyl, premium wrapped leather and suede, or premium wrapped leather and suede with available red and carbon fiber accents. Based on the Rebel layout, trucks outfitted with a TR Equipment Group will greet occupants with premium cloth and vinyl accents featuring black and Dark Ruby Red surfaces. Opting for the TR1 or TR2 Equipment Group provides an interior based on the Ram 1500 Limited and features an all-black color scheme with leather and suede to give TRX a unique feel. Heated and ventilated premium Natura Plus leather with perforated suede accents cover the front bucket and rear bench seats. The TR1 and TR2 Equipment Groups come standard with medium Greystone stitching and Graphite Metallic accents. The TR2 Equipment Group offers TRX red stitching and carbon fiber accents as an available option.
      Ram TRX features new front seats with enhanced upper bolster support and embroidered logos. TR1 and TR2 Equipment Groups feature a Modular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment / Pouch Attachment Ladder System (MOLLE/PALS) on the seatback that enables bags and other equipment to be weaved in place.
      A new SRT-signature flat-bottom steering wheel, with enhanced hand grips wrapped in leather with optional suede and carbon fiber accents, enables performance driving. New aluminum paddle shifters stretch above and below the steering wheel spokes, allowing the driver to choose the proper gear with their fingertips.
      A console mounted performance floor shifter, which includes a cast metal main grip wrapped with semi-perforated leather, lends itself to spirited performance driving that TRX was bred for, while maximizing storage. Both the console and paddle shifters mark the debut of each in a Ram truck.
      The Drive Mode selector has been integrated into the dashboard above the transfer case switches and offers different modes of operation, indicated by a TRX pictogram for select environments: Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and Baja. A Launch Control button is easily within reach of the driver, sitting to the right of the transfer case switches, and is standard on TRX.
      Reinforcing TRX’s performance chops, an all-new Head-up Display unit can show up to five different content areas at once, including Lane Departure, Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, turn-by-turn navigation, current speed, current gear and speed limit. The Head-up Display is available on the TR2 Equipment Group and is a full-color unit accessible through the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen.
      A custom specifications plate on the console lid lists which engine is under the hood, the type of supercharger Ram TRX uses, boost output, horsepower and the vehicle-specific Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
      A new, innovative dual-path induction system enables extreme performance
      The new 2021 Ram TRX is designed for class-leading, uncompromising performance in the harshest environments. Stratospheric power and performance numbers were achieved in part through a new, innovative dual-path air induction system that ensures the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine receives a steady supply of clean, cool air regardless of inbound dirt and debris.
      The Ram TRX uses two paths to draw in outside air and routes it to a large, 29-liter air box that filters out dirt, sand, debris and water before getting anywhere near the engine. The innovative dual-path system pulls in outside air from a functional scoop in the hood and the upper edge of the grille. Air entering the grille flows to the bottom front of the air box, guided by tailored panels. The hood scoop ducts air to the bottom rear of the air box via ports that seal to the hood when it is closed. An air box support bar is precision-mounted in the engine compartment during vehicle assembly to ensure the hood intake seals to the air box ducts to prevent engine-heated air from entering the system.
      Directing incoming air to the bottom of the air box helps dirt and water settle out before the air reaches the filter elements, ensuring that the Ram TRX continues to perform in the most grueling environments. A one-way drain in the bottom of the air box evacuates water even when the vehicle is moving. Intake air is drawn upward from the box through twin, heavy-duty air filters that provide 198.4 square inches of filter surface area, four times the dust trapping capacity when compared to the closest competitor, to remove any residual dust or sand before the air is ducted. Unfolded, the filter surface medium covers 13.3 square feet.
      The entire Ram TRX intake system is engineered to minimize power-robbing air restrictions while ensuring only clean, cool air reaches the engine. Industry-standard testing shows that the Ram TRX far exceeds any competitor in the amount of time it can ingest dirty air and debris before performance is diminished. The Ram TRX’s air box is mounted at the top of the engine, making it easy to access should the owner choose to field-clean the high-performance filter elements.
      From modern muscle cars to high-performance SUVs, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 has earned a reputation as a potent, reliable power source that delivers head-turning power when ordered by the driver’s right foot and is also a smooth, efficient power plant at cruising speeds.
      To best match gear selection and shift points to the driver’s demands, the robust TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission monitors inputs, such as engine torque gradients, throttle kick-down, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, detection of friction, downshifts and road grade. This versatile, well-developed, high-torque-capacity, eight-speed transmission delivers quick acceleration and precise, crisp, quick gear changes, enhancing ride quality to luxury car levels with consistent performance and drivability.
      Launch Control is standard with the 2021 Ram TRX and manages tire slip while launching the vehicle to give the driver consistent straight-line acceleration. Wheel speed sensors watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, provide inputs to the powertrain control module to modify the engine torque to regain full grip.
      The Ram TRX is also equipped with Jump Detection, which uses wheel-speed and ride-height sensors and accelerometers at each corner to identify when the vehicle is airborne and acts to prevent driveline-damaging power spikes. Acting in milliseconds, Jump Detection modifies engine speed and torque, gear selection, transfer case torque split, damping rates and other powertrain and suspension components through the landing to deliver optimum performance.
      Dynamic drive modes
      The 2021 Ram TRX uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish five dynamic modes – Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow and Custom – enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering. All modes use active slip control that prevents binding and excessive slip from front to rear.
      Custom mode allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance with a selectable driving experience, offering a multitude of vehicle system combinations.
      Separately, the Ram TRX features three dynamic off-road modes – Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja – enabling drivers to choose a setting that best fits the terrain around them. Like the on-road modes, the off-road drive modes control several systems, including the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and steering.
      Engineered to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability
      Designed bolt by bolt to significantly outperform every other truck, the 2021 Ram TRX has been rigorously tested to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability.
      The 2021 Ram TRX’s frame is composed of thicker, optimally shaped, strategically placed high-strength steel that uses low-torsion attributes to increase durability and stability. Sections of the frame are hydroformed for dimensional accuracy, reducing the need for welding, and the side rails are fully boxed. The front rails use high-strength steel and hydroformed sections to set a strong foundation to better handle the front suspension load. Galvanized frame components provide improved corrosion protection.
      The Ram TRX boasts a ground clearance of 11.8 inches due in part to a 2-inch ride height increase when compared with the rest of the 1500 lineup, along with 35-inch tires. This combination enables TRX to clear surface obstacles easily and at high speeds.
      To protect critical components, including the front axle, transfer case, transmission pan and fuel tank, TRX employs five skid plates. A separate skid plate sits at the bottom of the front fascia, mitigating potential damage, and doubles as a belly pan. Heavy-duty gauge steel rock sliders are an available option.
      The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminum closures, including the doors, hood and tailgate, help reduce weight and boost fuel economy. Ram TRX also uses aluminum engine mounts, front axle center section, front suspension and transmission cross-members, front upper and lower control arms, front skid plate, transmission skid plate and steering system gear.
      An all-new independent front suspension system with active damping uses high-strength aluminum to maintain overall strength and durability. The all-new independent front suspension system includes new front upper and lower control arms made of forged aluminum with special attention paid to the caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. The new, longer, substantially sized front upper and lower control arms are constructed of 80-ksi high-strength steel and designed with a focus on additional wheel travel and axle track width. This new suspension system features upgraded components to provide more performance and improved endurance.
      Out back, the Ram TRX’s rear suspension had to clear packaging barriers and the engineering team took that into consideration with this unique application. The result is an innovative and durable solution that produces greater wheel travel without reducing cargo area in the bed.
      The 2021 Ram TRX uses an all-new rear suspension system with active damping and an exclusive five-link coil system for incredible ride characteristics and durability. The frame’s hard points for the five-link suspension system differ when compared to a standard-issue Ram 1500 and allow the Dana 60 rear axle to travel up to 13 inches. Overall, rear-wheel travel is increased to more than 13 inches from the standard 9 inches, or more than 40 percent when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup.
      The 2021 Ram TRX uses the proven five-link coil suspension configuration and provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf-spring system. This suspension design reduces friction in the spring system and weighs significantly less than a comparable leaf spring system. At 600 millimeters in length, the robust rear springs are the largest ever applied on a non-commercial production vehicle.
      The robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling a maximum payload of 1,310 pounds and towing capability of 8,100 pounds.
      New 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks use precision-machined, single-piece construction comprised of rigid aluminum to reduce and dissipate heat and continuously adjust damping forces for optimal body control and terrain isolation. The adaptive performance shocks feature robust corrosion protection with a durable finish and directional-machined cooling fins aligned with air flow for more effective cooling.
      Dual Electronic Proportional Valves continuously adjust damping forces for precise, independent control of compression and rebound damping. A nitrogen-charged remote reservoir uses a hot-formed, zero-leak tube closure to ensure maximum durability during extreme on- and off-road events.
      A pressure-activated Triple Rod seal has been field-tested for long-lasting durability against contamination and leaks. Ram TRX uses stainless steel braided high-pressure hose to combat corrosion and abrasion while being able to resist up to 5,800 PSI. A high-strength, lightweight rock shield defends the piston rod against incoming rubble with a custom molded escape path for debris.
      The Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks have been tuned to demonstrate optimum balance between on-road handling and class-leading off-road capability. Ride comfort, body roll control and handling are significantly improved with the Ram-proprietary Active Terrain Dynamics suspension management system, new shock tuning, hard points and body mount strategy.
      In addition to a standard urethane jounce bumper, the internals of the Bilstein adaptive performance shock feature a Jounce Cut Off to create three zones for progressive bottom-out control during extreme compression events. All modes can reach peak compression damping for the most extreme events.
      The 2021 Ram TRX is a high-performance pickup truck built to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability. To clear the elevated benchmarks and performance figures that TRX presents, a Dana 60 rear axle with full floating axle shafts is standard equipment and handles the increased torque output, rear electronic locking differential and 35-inch tires. The Dana 60 rear axle uses an axle hop damper that enables improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. A new rear axle center section provides balanced performance and a locking differential for increased off-road performance.
      The Ram TRX is equipped with a new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case that enables passage through any off-road obstruction or weather condition. This modified transfer case features upgraded internals for improved strength and durability. Ram TRX features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
      Off road, the 2021 Ram TRX will race to 100 mph with ease, and the segment’s largest brakes bring the TRX to a composed halt. Ram TRX relies on a four-wheel disc brake system and a hydraulic compensation unit to enhance brake pedal feel and performance during emergency maneuvers. Up front are two-piston monoblock calipers clamping down on 15-inch inverted hat (outboard venting) rotors for improved cooling. The rear uses single piston calipers with 15-inch rotors to provide incredible stopping power. An electronic parking brake holds the truck steady when applied and is standard.
      For the 2021 Ram TRX, engineers found that to maximize capability, it would call for a 35-inch tire. Developed exclusively for the Ram TRX, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain 325/65R/18 tires, featuring an aggressive tread and sidewall with D-load rating, are assigned the task.
      There are two different wheel designs that are available on TRX, including an 18-by-9-inch optional beadlock-ready wheel straight from the factory.
      An approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, departure angle of 23.5 degrees and a ground clearance of 11.8 inches allow the Ram TRX to go anywhere.
      Most technologically advanced pickup ever loaded with innovative, customizable features
      Designed to be the most technologically advanced pickup ever, the new 2021 Ram TRX is loaded with an array of innovative features combined with the award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system that offers convenience and connected services, keeping Ram truck customers engaged and informed all while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road or desert path ahead.
      The 2021 Ram TRX interior’s high-tech centerpiece, the Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, is standard and allows for even more customization. Other features include SiriusXM with 360L, Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora and personal device integration.
      The touchscreen can house one application, such as the navigation map, across the entire 12-inch screen or can be divided in half, operating two different applications at once. A multifunction switch bank and the optional Trailer Reverse Steer Control sit below the touchscreen, giving physical control of specific features. Redundant HVAC controls are located on both sides of the display.
      An audiophile-quality audio system is offered to immerse passengers in the ultimate sound experience, including a class-exclusive 900-watt premium Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers and 10-inch subwoofer – the finest and most powerful audio system available in a pickup.
      Ram TRX uses a 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster that is exclusive to the model and features a lit TRX badge, unique TRX colors and graphics with reconfigurable gauges. The same graphics appear on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen, too. This is the first time that Drive Modes and Off-road Performance Pages are displayed on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C screen.
      Performance Pages
      Performance Pages give drivers the tools necessary to become familiar with their vehicle’s performance. The app provides access to real-time vehicle performance information, including timers (such as 0-60 mph elapsed time), g-force, gauges and engine performance. This data can be downloaded to a USB stick, allowing for easy sharing of your driving performance. Owners can also download data to the web. The introduction of the Ram TRX marks the first time Performance Pages is available on an FCA vehicle equipped with the Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display.
      Off-Road Pages
      Off-Road Pages show ride height, the transfer case’s position, the pitch and roll of the vehicle and accessory gauges. The app is accessible through the 7-inch TFT cluster or Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display. The introduction of the Ram TRX marks the first time Off-Road Pages is available on an FCA vehicle equipped with the Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display.
      Forward-facing Camera
      As part of the available 360-degree Surround View Camera system, a forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions ahead on the trail to be easily seen. The front camera sits under the crossbar that dissects TRX’s grille and can be accessed through the available Off-Road Pages.
      Digital Rearview Mirror
      An available digital rearview mirror option replaces the traditional rearview mirror with a 9.2-inch-wide LCD monitor. The digital rearview mirror displays video in real time from a rear-facing camera and can be turned off to revert back to a traditional reflective mirror.
      More than 100 available advanced safety and security features
      Safety and security were primary drivers in the development of the new 2021 Ram TRX, which offers more than 100 available active and passive safety and security features. Standard features include ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six standard air bags. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, adaptive cruise control, Ready Alert Braking and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus.
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
      The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.
      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
      For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.
      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
      But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
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