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Discovering the 2020 Ram 1500

A white 2020 Ram 1500 is parked in front of a metal walled building.

 

The Ram pickup has been in production since 1981. At the time known as the Dodge Ram 100, Ram followed the same numbering as Ford for its lineup of trucks (although it used a “D” or “W” to signal whether the pickup was a 2WD or 4WD). It wasn’t until the second generation pickup, released in 1994, that Dodge went with the full “1500” name. Made popular by Chuck Norris in Walker Texas Ranger, the pickup did see a slight sales boost, but it still lagged behind Ford and Chevy. It wasn’t until the fourth generation of the pickup where the Dodge Ram started to make real inroads into the full-size pickup industry. The fourth-generation debuted in 2009, and Chrysler eventually went on to spin its truck line into its own separate division, known as RAM. In 2019, the Ram 1500 became by far the most awarded pickup, taking home just about every major award imaginable, and now the 2020 Ram 1500 follows up this award winner. Here’s everything you should expect with the 2020 Ram 1500.

MSRP

The MSRP for an entry-level Ram 1500 starts at $31,895. This doesn’t include additional delivery charges, taxes, and other fees that will likely be applied on top of the initial price tag. This entry price is also for the most basic features of the Ram, so there’s a good chance what you pay will be higher than this for the 2020 edition (if you want to save money, now is the perfect time to buy a brand new 2019 Ram 1500 as lots will be looking to move the previous model year off the lot).

There are a number of trim options available on the Ram 1500, with the top-tier trim, which is the Limited, starting at $57,215. This is substantially less than the MSRP of most other tip-tier trim packages on other manufacturers. The Ford F-150 Limited, for example, has an MSRP of over $71,000. So if you’re looking to max out your trim package on any half-ton pickup, you may want to do it on the Ram 1500 simply because of the more affordable price point.

Engine Performance

There’s nothing like the kinds of engines Ram puts into its 1500 pickups. These are some of the best engines you’ll find anywhere. The HEMI engine carries serious weight in the V8 world, and the 2020 Ram continues with this kind of performance.

A black 2020 Ram 1500 Rebel is parked on an open dirt trail next a grassy field at dusk.

There are a number of engine options, both HEMI and diesel offered on the 2020 Ram 1500. You will find there are two 5.7L HEMI options offered. There is the standard HEMI V8, which gives you 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. It also has a maximum towing capacity of 11,610 pounds. However, you can upgrade this same engine to include eTorque. eTorque is what Chrysler likes to refer to as a “mild hybrid system.” What it does is it takes out the standard alternator and replaces it with a new generator.

The classic alternator runs off of the engine (there is a belt that runs off the engine and spins the alternator). However, with eTorque, this system is replaced with the electric motor-generator. Instead of running off the engine, it collects energy from when the truck brakes. It stores this energy and then uses it to help boost engine performance at lower speeds. It’s a fantastic feature designed to help boost towing potential.

Because the same 5.7L V8 HEMI is used, you’ll receive the same kind of horsepower and torque numbers. However, the towing capacity jumps significantly to 12,750 lbs (over 11,610). So if you’re looking to maximize your towing potential, you’ll want to spring for the eTorque feature.

Maybe you’re not much of a HEMI person and instead want a smaller engine. That’s possible with the 3.6L PENTASTAR V6. This engine comes with eTorque to help with the towing numbers. The 3.6L engine produces 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque with a maximum of 7,730 pounds of towing (not shabby when considering you’re using a V6).

If you’re going for maximum fuel economy, you may want to consider the 3.0L Ecodiesel V6. This engine produces 260 horsepower but sees a sizeable jump in torque to 480 lb-ft. The maximum towing capacity on this engine is 12,560 pounds.

Safety Features

Sure, you’re probably looking at a pickup because you want something you can tow with, but driving a pickup also comes with several safety benefits. Beyond sitting up higher than most other vehicles, the 2020 Ram 1500 comes packed with safety elements. On the base package, you’ll receive a driver, front head, rear head, front side, and passenger airbags, 4-wheel ABS and 4-wheel disc brakes, plus brake assist, traction control, child safety locks, daytime running lights, and electronic stability control. Some optional features include integrated turn signal mirrors, cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring). Not bad for an entry-level trim package.

The top-tier limited features the same brakes and airbags, plus all the same safety features in addition to integrated turn signal mirrors, front tow hooks, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, and adjustable pedals. You can also add lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning.

Entertainment

One of the ways pickups have seen a sizeable improvement in recent years is through the kind of entertainment features now packed into the pickup. Gone are the days where all you had was a radio. Now, even the base model comes with AM/FM stereo, MP3 player, AUX input, and wireless cell phone hookup. It also comes standard with a WiFi hotspot, which is an exceptional feature in a base truck package. You will need to add on the data package to take advantage of it, but if you have kids or you love streaming music, this is a must-have feature. Satellite radio is also an option for the base model.

A close up look at the drivers display and the 12-Inch touchscreen inside the 2020 Ram 1500 is shown.

Throughout all the trims, you can upgrade and update the features within the pickup. If you do decide to go with the Limited truck you’ll end up receiving AM/FM stereo, AUX input, HD radio (for a superior listening experience), MP3 player, satellite radio (subscription required after the trial subscription ends), a premium sound system, WiFi hotspot, and smart device integration. It also comes with onboard hands-free communications, wireless cell phone hookup, and navigation system, all standard.

Ram does an excellent job of adding all these features into the Limited pickup, which again is going to end up costing you $14,000 or so less than what the top-tier Ford pickup provides. And yet with the RAM, you’ll still have better fuel economy and towing performance.

Ram 1500 Continues To Lead The Pickup Charge

Ford might have the best-selling pickup of all time, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. The Ram 1500 continues to impress with its collection of features while pushing the boundaries of what is expected of a pickup. Whether you want the ultimate in towing, want a diesel in a half-ton pickup, or want a vehicle that comes loaded, even at its base model, the Ram 1500 may just be the perfect truck for you, and often at a smaller price point than Chevy and Ford. But what do you think? When shopping around for a new pickup, what are the major selling points?

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