2020 Ram 1500

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2020 Ram 1500 Test Drive Review: Trucking Has A New Benchmark

To understand the habits of the typical American car buyer, you need look no further than the full size pickup truck segment. This is, by far, the hottest segment in the US market with the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram 1500 repeatedly earning spots as the top three best-selling vehicles in the country. Counting heavy-duty sales, Ford's F-Series rules the roost by a considerable margin but last year in 2019, there was a major shift in second place.

The Chevy Silverado, which has finished in second place for the past several years, was dethroned in sales by the redesigned Ram 1500. This is a miraculous win for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, proving how much customers loved the luxurious changes made to the fifth-generation truck. After such a momentous victory, Ram didn't need to overhaul much on the 2020 Ram 1500 to keep it competitive. A new, Generation 3 EcoDiesel V6 joins the engine lineup producing 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque with impressive fuel efficiency to travel over 1,000 miles on a single tank. FCA sent us a fully-loaded 2020 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab with the EcoDiesel to see what this new engine is all about.

Read in this review:

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2020 Ram 1500 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 1500?

After being completely redesigned for 2019, there's not really much need for a major update, but that hasn't stopped Ram from reworking its EcoDiesel engine with updated components that increase power to 260 horsepower and class-leading 480 lb-ft of torque - even more than it boasted last year as an already class-leading package. Lesser updates center around styling, with the introduction of the Night Edition for Big Horn and Laramie models, as well as a Laramie Southwest Edition package available exclusively in Texas and surrounding states. This year, the Ram Rebel trim can now be upgraded with the Black Appearance Package giving the truck a meaner look and a new Safety Group for the Rebel adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, advanced lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. Lastly, three new colors have been added to the exterior color palette: Olive Green, Hydro Blue, and RV Match Walnut Brown.

Pros and Cons

  • Best-in-class infotainment
  • Plush, luxury-rivaling interior
  • Easy-going ride quality
  • Class-leading diesel powertrain
  • Impressive towing capacities
  • Heavier than rivals
  • The best features are locked behind high prices
  • Driver assists restricted to upper trims
  • Unproven long-term reliability

What's the Price of the 2020 Ram 1500?

With no fewer than seven trims and various body configurations to consider, the Ram 1500 spans a broad price range. The cheapest model starts at $32,145 for the Tradesman in Quad Cab guise, followed by the Big Horn/Lone Star models at an MSRP of $36,450. The Laramie is next up at $40,640, which each of these trims can upgrade to the crew cab for $2,800. The Rebel gets the Crew Cab configuration as standard and starts at $44,490, while the Laramie Longhorn has an asking price of $51,390. Topping the range is the Limited, which goes for $53,665 excluding options and a destination charge of $1,695. $3,500 upgrades all trims from 4x2 to 4x4, while selecting the V8 engine on models that don't receive it as standard costs an additional $1,495 ($1,695 for the eTorque version) and the diesel option starts at $4,995. Decked out with pretty much all available options, our 2020 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab tester rang in at $75,850.

Best Deals on 2020 Ram 1500

2020 Ram 1500 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Lone Star
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Big Horn
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Ram 1500 Trims and Specs

2020 1500 Exterior

2020 Ram 1500 Front Angle View CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Rear View CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Frontal Aspect CarBuzz
See All 2020 Ram 1500 Exterior Photos


  • Length 228.9 in
  • Wheelbase 140.5 in
  • Height 77.6 in
  • Max Width 82.1 in

Exterior Colors

  • Diamond Black Crystal Pearlcoat +$100
  • Delmonico Red Pearlcoat +$100
  • Patriot Blue Pearlcoat +$100
  • Olive Green Pearlcoat +$100
  • Hydro Blue Pearlcoat +$100
  • Delmonico Red Pearlcoat, w/APD, Build Out:07/22/2019 +$100
  • Olive Green Pearlcoat, w/APD, Build Out:07/08/2019 +$100
  • Patriot Blue Pearlcoat, w/APD, Build Out:07/22/2019 +$100
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat +$200
  • Maximum Steel Metallic Clearcoat +$200
  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat +$200
  • Walnut Brown Metallic Clearcoat, Build Out:05/08/2020 +$200
  • Ivory White Tri-Coat Pearlcoat +$500
  • Ceramic Gray Clearcoat
  • Bright White Clearcoat
See all 16 colors

2020 1500 Performance

2020 Ram 1500 Aft View CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Wheel CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Badge CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    3.0L Turbo Diesel, 3.6L V6 Gas, 5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT, 5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT eTorque
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Truck owners are very particular about how they like their vehicle to drive. Some enjoy the feeling of being larger than everything else on the road but even though the Ram is physically massive, it doesn't provide this sensation from behind the wheel. Ram has focused on making the 1500 easy to drive, so even someone who has never driven a pickup truck before won't be intimidated. It has the most accurate steering we've tested in a truck without being too heavy and difficult to park. Keeping the Ram between the lanes on a tight road is made easier with available lane keep assist but even without this system, the Ram feels remarkably SUV-like in its demeanor. Buyers who prefer a more truck-like driving experience might prefer the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, or the Toyota Tundra.

We were happy to have been sent a 1500 Limited model with the four-corner air suspension. Not only can the suspension raise and lower, but it also gives the Ram 1500 the most supple ride in the class. The expression "rides like a truck" needs to be thrown into the trash when referring to the Ram's ride manners, which border on luxury SUV levels of comfort. As mentioned earlier, the optional EcoDiesel engine offers smooth passing power, never making the Ram feel slow. We didn't have an opportunity to tow with the truck but there is a towing setting as well as a gear limit controller on the steering wheel.

2020 1500 Interior

2020 Ram 1500 Dashboard CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Central Console CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Steering Wheel Controls CarBuzz
See All 2020 Ram 1500 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.2 in

2020 1500 Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Ram 1500 Charging Ports CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Rear Doors CarBuzz
2020 Ram 1500 Storage CarBuzz

2020 1500 Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Ram 1500 A Good Truck?

Pickup truck buyers are the most loyal customers in the automotive business, so it is nearly impossible to get them to switch brands. But there has never been a better time to switch from a Ford or GM product to this new Ram 1500. It offers, by far, the nicest interior in the segment with the most car-like road manners. Coupled with great technology and cool features like the multi-function tailgate and RamBox cargo management system, the Ram 1500 is, in our opinion, the number one full-size truck in America.

If you are looking for a more back-to-basics truck, GM offers a more simplistic solution that could be more robust than the Ram. Meanwhile, Ford offers a multitude of engine and trim options in the strong-selling F-150 and Toyota still sells the Tundra as a long-lasting option for someone who plans to keep their truck for multiple years. FCA's track record for reliability hasn't been as strong as some of its competitors, which might deter some truck buyers who value low maintenance costs above all else. But since we only drove it for a week, we can't speak to the Ram 1500's long-term reliability. If we had to go out to buy a full-size truck right now, this would be it.

What Ram 1500 Model Should I Buy?

Since there are so many trim levels and option packages, it is almost impossible to recommend a one-size-fits-all trim that will cater to all buyers. If we had the money, we'd easily buy the top Limited trim with the Limited 1 Equipment Group ($2,295) which adds adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, ventilated rear seats, parallel and perpendicular park assist, surround-view cameras, and the 19-Speaker Harman Kardon sound system. If you plan to do a lot of highway miles, the $4,995 EcoDiesel engine could be a smart choice. Buyers who are looking for something more utilitarian will enjoy the well-equipped Laramie and off-road enthusiasts will enjoy the rugged Rebel trim.

Check out other Ram 1500 Styles

2020 Ram 1500 Comparisons

Ford F-150 Ford
Ram 2500 Ram
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ram 1500305 hp20/25 mpg$37,410
Ford F-150 290 hp19/23 mpg$34,585
Ram 2500 410 hpTBC$44,205

2020 Ram 1500 vs Ford F-150

If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, which is precisely what the Ram 1500 does when it comes up against the Ford F-150. It may be heavier and might not offer the same power as the 3.5-liter bi-turbo EcoBoost V6 found in the performance-oriented Raptor, but the hybridization of it engines and the available diesel engine give the Ram unparalleled towing capacities (12,750 lbs vs 11,000 lbs) and gas mileage estimates (26 mpg combined vs 24 mpg). The available air suspension means the Ram rides more comfortably and is, Raptor-aside, more capable off-road, while the abundance of high-quality materials inside make the F-150 feel spartan by comparison. Both are fairly equal in terms of tech, but the Ford brings more standard safety features to the table. However, that's little consolation for the fact that the Ram 1500 has trounced the F-series pickup for the first time possibly ever.

See Ford F-150 Review

2020 Ram 1500 vs Ram 2500

Fundamentally based on the same underpinnings, the 1500 and 2500 share a lot, including available air suspension and plush interiors. But the 2500 differs in its ability to do more and work harder, charging $4,000 for the ability to tow 19,780 lbs and haul payloads of up to 4,520 lbs. The 2500 is a much thirstier companion, though, with a standard 6.4-liter HEMI V8 or 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel inline-six propelling the heavy-duty truck. While at the end of the day, both are easy enough to live with and provide plush accommodations on upper trims, unless you're desperately in need of big pulling power, we'd say the 1500 is more than fit for the purpose most truck owners will need it for.

See Ram 2500 Review

2020 Ram 1500 Video Reviews

Check out some informative Ram 1500 video reviews below.

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