A brand's grille is the first thing people associate with brand recognition. Sometimes, it's even more important than the model name. Dodge cars and RAM Trucks have done a marvelous job of creating a tough and sporty ethos with their cross-hair grille that's been present through both brands. It's a solid design that's evolved and remained strong. It seems, though, that RAM wants to make a change.
Photos have been leaked of the 2019 RAM 1500 fresh on the factory floor, and though the body seems largely unchanged except for the hood, it's the fascia and grille that mark the most significant redesign. There's now a large chrome bar across the top of the grille and headlights, and five smaller internal bars, versus last year's seven.
It's actually an evolution of the 2016-2017 grille (below), which sported larger nostrils flanking the "RAM" lettering. The 2019
It seems that FCA can't exactly make up its mind regarding the grilles on their pickup trucks. Though we find the 2019 version quite nice, it just doesn't have the presence of the cross-hair grille that everyone recognizes. The rather odd attempt with the larger nostrils wasn't exactly received well by the car-buying public, but RAM couldn't exactly go leapfrog backward. We get that the third place RAM pickups (behind #1 Ford and #2 Chevrolet) needed to do something new to get noticed, but the move was perhaps too much.
The 2018 North American International Auto Show starts this weekend in Detroit, so we'll see photos of the 2019 RAM 1500 reveal to assess it fully. Sometimes change is hard, and sometimes it's just not as good as we hoped it would be.