Assessment: 2019 Ram 1500 Presents a Attractive 12.3-Inch Portrait Show With CarPlay Assist

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Assessment: 2019 Ram 1500 Presents a Attractive 12.3-Inch Portrait Show With CarPlay Assist

Again in November, I took a take a look at Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system and CarPlay integration within the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, discovering a fairly optimistic person expertise that just about seamlessly incorporates CarPlay into Uconnect. That seamlessness comes because of an 8.4-inch Uconnect show that retains a high standing bar and a backside menu bar seen always for straightforward navigation.

FCA is not stopping at an 8.4-inch show, nevertheless, with the corporate’s 2019 Ram 1500 providing a huge 12.3-inch portrait show as an non-obligatory improve. I’ve had an opportunity to spend a while with a Ram 1500 Laramie, so I assumed I would share my impressions of this massive portrait show.

Uconnect on the Large Display

Given my earlier take a look at Uconnect 4, I am not going to spend a lot time wanting on the infotainment system basically, aside from variations distinctive to the bigger show. Suffice it to say, I’ve discovered Uconnect to be one of many higher infotainment methods on the market, and its persistent standing and menu bars on the high and backside of the display screen make it straightforward to shift between features. The interface is comparatively clear and easy-to-use, and the varied features carry out nicely.

In relation to {hardware} on the Ram 1500, it is unattainable to overlook the attractive 12.3-inch portrait show with wealthy, vibrant colours. It merely dominates your complete middle stack within the automobile, with a number of {hardware} knobs, buttons, and switches framing it.

You may suppose an enormous 12-inch rectangle of glass might generate a big quantity of glare, and that may be a little bit of a difficulty in sure conditions with direct daylight. It is actually not sufficient to make it tough to see the display screen, however it’s noticeable at occasions. The show can be a little bit of a fingerprint magnet as you may count on, however once more, they’re usually not too noticeable in particular person until you are in the appropriate gentle.

What the massive portrait show permits for Uconnect is a selection between a unified single app interface or what is actually a pair of seven.5-inch shows stacked on high of one another. No matter which setup you select, the standing and menu bars on the high and backside stay seen.

Full-screen audio app

The only app view generally is a little bit of overkill for some features, however it permits for giant, easy-to-hit buttons and an impressively broad map view. I usually discovered the split-screen interface to be extra helpful, permitting a full view of navigation and audio features concurrently, for instance.

Navigation on high, card choice display screen on backside

Configuring the split-screen show is as straightforward as hitting the Dwelling icon within the high left nook after which selecting what you need displayed on the highest and backside playing cards from 5 accessible choices: Media, Consolation, Nav, Cellphone, and Sirius XM Journey Hyperlink, which affords knowledge equivalent to close by gasoline costs, sports activities scores to your favourite groups, and extra.

Cut up-screen navigation and audio

If you wish to swap the positions of your two screens, there’s an icon within the high left nook of the underside card that can do this. And the menu bar on the backside stays energetic to simply leap right into a full-screen app, for instance.


CarPlay is not designed for use on a big portrait show by itself, so that you’re restricted to the split-screen Uconnect interface when utilizing CarPlay, which lets you show a Uconnect app concurrently for handy entry to car methods exterior of CarPlay. Whereas Uconnect usually allows you to swap the highest and backside app playing cards, CarPlay is restricted to the highest card, so you will not be capable to customise that format.

CarPlay dwelling display screen on high, SiriusXM audio controls on backside

The CarPlay interface, significantly maps, can begin to really feel a bit cramped on smaller screens, however fortunately the Ram 1500’s show is sufficiently big that even in split-screen mode you continue to have a roughly 7.5-inch display screen dedicated to CarPlay, which is within the vary of regular infotainment shows.

Apple Maps on high, Uconnect local weather controls on backside

There are a couple of quirks with the mixing of CarPlay and Uconnect on this setup, pushed largely by the truth that the methods are designed to solely enable one among every app kind to be open concurrently. For instance, you understandably cannot run Apple Maps and Uconnect navigation on the identical time, as you’d find yourself with complicated conflicts of knowledge. Equally, the system is designed to forestall you from accessing your telephone by way of each CarPlay and the Uconnect Bluetooth setup on the identical time.

These restrictions are current on all car infotainment methods, however they stand out a bit extra on the Ram 1500’s portrait show as a result of it is one of many few methods that means that you can view CarPlay and a full native infotainment app on the identical time.

In sure circumstances, you may get CarPlay audio and Uconnect USB audio controls to indicate up concurrently

The upshot of that is that in the event you activate CarPlay, it populates the highest app card on the system and nonetheless affords the total set of app choices for the underside card, however in the event you faucet navigation or telephone, it merely prompts Apple Maps or the Cellphone app up within the CarPlay display screen slightly than mentioning the Uconnect variations within the backside card. It is not an enormous deal, however it takes a bit getting used to when issues do not essentially react as you’d count on.

As on the Pacifica Hybrid and different Uconnect autos, there isn’t a “Ram” icon on the CarPlay dwelling display screen to take you again to the Uconnect system, because of Uconnect’s backside menu bar that allows you to simply hop out and in of CarPlay controls from wherever you might be within the system.

Google Maps in CarPlay

Each Uconnect and CarPlay can in fact even be managed by way of voice utilizing a button on the steering wheel, with a brief press mentioning the Uconnect voice assistant or an extended press mentioning Siri.

Steering wheel controls with voice assistant button at proper fringe of left cluster

Lastly, whereas CarPlay is greatest managed by way of the touchscreen, you can even management it utilizing the {hardware} scroll/enter knob to the appropriate of the show. As with different knob-based management methods, it is not as straightforward to navigate the CarPlay system as it’s by way of direct contact manipulation, however the choice is there in the event you choose a extra tactile enter technique.

Local weather Management

Whereas Uconnect affords entry to in depth local weather controls by way of the touchscreen, FCA has fortunately retained {hardware} buttons alongside the left and proper sides of the show to regulate essentially the most generally used local weather management choices.

Temperature overlap pop-up

Adjusting the temperature by way of the {hardware} buttons, for instance, briefly pops up a temperature show over high of your current display screen content material slightly than utterly exiting to Uconnect’s full local weather management app.

Ports and Charging

As a piece truck, the Ram 1500 unsurprisingly has quite a lot of accessible energy ports scattered all through the cabin, together with a 12V energy port on high of the sprint and two 115V conventional energy retailers, one on the backside of the middle stack and one on the rear of the middle console.

The Ram 1500 additionally has no scarcity of USB ports, together with each USB-A and USB-C variants. The middle stack has two simply accessible units of ports, with every set together with each a USB-A and a USB-C port. Both set can be utilized to connect with the Uconnect system, together with for CarPlay.

Rear USB ports and energy outlet

Rear passengers will discover two extra units of USB-A and USB-C ports, with one set permitting Uconnect/CarPlay entry whereas the second is for charging solely. There’s additionally a single USB-A port with Uconnect/CarPlay entry contained in the lid compartment of the middle console if you wish to hold your telephone and cable utterly hidden away.

Wi-fi charger at backside of middle stack, with USB ports and energy outlet additionally seen

My take a look at car additionally included a Qi wi-fi charger down close to the underside of the middle stack. A rubbery holder retains the telephone upright and pressed towards the vertical charger, with a blue gentle letting you understand that your telephone is charging. Its location low on the middle stack means you will not actually be capable to see the display screen of your telephone whilst you’re driving, however it’s greatest to not be taking a look at your telephone anyway.

iPhone XS Max on wi-fi charger

Wi-fi CarPlay will not be supported within the Ram 1500 or in any Uconnect system, so you may must have a Lightning to USB (Kind-A or Kind-C) cable readily available to hook issues up. The rubbery telephone holder within the middle stack can maintain a second telephone to the appropriate of the Qi charger, though bigger telephones with a cable protruding could get in the best way of the a number of the toggle switches for parking sensors.


The accessible 12-inch portrait show on the Ram 1500 is a uncommon characteristic amongst automotive infotainment methods, and it strikes a powerful look once you first encounter it. It is definitely helpful having the ability to see two full-size app screens concurrently, though another producers have been capable of get away with almost as a lot performance packed right into a break up 75/25 widescreen show.

I appreciated that Ram maintained {hardware} buttons for an important local weather management choices, in addition to quantity and tune/scroll knobs for these occasions you wish to make adjustments by really feel. And I actually like the best way Uconnect makes it straightforward to entry regularly used features by way of the customizable menu bar on the backside of the display screen.

Much more so, as with the Pacifica, I really like the best way CarPlay feels so built-in into Uconnect, making it extremely straightforward to leap backwards and forwards between the 2 methods. The split-screen portrait show even helps combine issues additional by providing you with entry to each methods with out even needing to change.

Sure, there are a couple of quirks launched by the truth that CarPlay usurps a number of the conventional infotainment system features, quirks made extra apparent by that double app display screen that allows you to work together with each methods concurrently. However total, it is a internet optimistic.

I do additionally nonetheless have some issues in regards to the shift towards more and more giant touchscreens in autos, which might make it more durable to make adjustments by really feel and find yourself taking your eyes off the highway for longer. A portrait show magnifies these points by bringing important parts of the show decrease on the middle stack and away from the motive force’s line of sight. I might have appreciated it if the show might have been moved all the best way to the highest of the stack to attenuate this subject as a lot as potential.


The 2019 Ram 1500 begins at $31,795 for the Tradesman trim, however that solely comes with a 5-inch Uconnect Three infotainment system that does not assist CarPlay. If you would like CarPlay, you may must step as much as not less than the second-level Large Horn/Lone Star trim with the Degree 1 Gear Group that bumps as much as an 8.4-inch Uconnect Four system, bringing the whole as much as at a bit over $40,000.

The 12-inch portrait show reviewed right here requires a minimal of the Laramie trim plus the Degree 1 Gear Group and the 12-inch show improve, which suggestions the scales at a bit over $44,000. You’ll be able to in fact add all types of different upgrades to the Ram 1500, with my tester approaching $55,000 and a maxed out Restricted mannequin coming in at over $65,000.

Pickup vans just like the Ram 1500 need to serve a variety of wants, so that they’re usually extremely customizable with quite a lot of choices throughout all completely different value ranges, and the Ram 1500 is definitely no exception. It could be good if the 12-inch show system may very well be an choice on lower-tier trims for tech-heavy customers who could not have a necessity for a number of the different upgrades you get as you progress up the trim chart, however it’s definitely commonplace for top-end expertise to be restricted to larger car trims.

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