A white 2020 Ram 1500 is parked behind a red one on a driveway.

The Ram 1500’s Claim to Fame

For eight years in a row, the Ram 1500 has been recognized by Consumer Guide as a Best Buy award winner. Ushering in the latest generation in 2019, the Ram 1500 underwent several changes that marked its continued relevance in today’s competitive market. Although still part of the same generation, 2020 introduced some desirable tweaks and appealing upgrades to this famous fan-favorite. For a top of the line new pick-up, you can’t go wrong comparing the 2020 Ram 1500 vs 2019 Ram 1500. Choosing between the two seems like a tough call with two right answers.

A Long History of Success

Believe it or not, up until 2009 when Ram separated from Dodge, Dodge had been using the name “Ram” for its trucks since as early as 1932. Through 1954, Dodge trucks branded their vehicles under this infamous title, only to discontinue the name until its resurgence in 1981. The first generation of the modern Ram pick-ups ran from 1981 to 1993 and the second generation went from 1994 to 2001. The 1996 film Twister, featured a Ram 1500 as a hero vehicle on the big screen. Special editions for earlier models included a Limited Edition Indy Pace Truck (also from 1996) and a High Output diesel Ram truck in 2001.

The Off-Road Edition Package upgraded the early Ram 1500 to have slightly larger 17-inch alloy wheels, 4X4 transfer case skid plate, 4.10 rear axle gear ratio, heated dual-power side mirrors, limited-slip rear differential, fog lamps, and tow hooks in the front, mounted to the frame. Over the years, the Ram 1500 was awarded Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year six different times, starting in 1994. As part of the third generation, the Ram Heavy Duty truck won next in 2003, followed by a string of fourth-generation victories in 2010, 2013 and 2014. In 2019, the fifth generation was awarded this honor once again, along with a slew of additional accolades to come.

How the 2019 Ram 1500 Completely Trampled the Competition

A grey 2019 Ram 1500 is driving on a highway with a tall building in the distance.

In January 2018, the next-generation Ram first made an appearance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. It was streamlined into seven different trim levels, a reduction from the eleven trims offered prior. Despite being larger in size, the 2019 Ram was 225 pounds lighter than previous generations. Two of its engine options provided hybrid-like technology for a more fuel-efficient truck than ever before.

The 2019 Ram 1500 quickly claimed three titles from the Texas Auto Writer Association, including the Official Truck of Texas, Full-Size Pick-up Truck of Texas, and the Official Luxury Truck of Texas. It was a clear winner in terms of towing capacity, fuel economy, and power, with impressive upgrades to its design, features, and powertrain. The 2019 Ram has four different infotainment systems to choose from, easily beating out other trucks on the market and staying more on par with the latest SUVs and luxury sedans in terms of technology.

Not only is it a good-looking truck with fancy features, but the Ram can also hold its own during even the most rugged off-road adventures. The 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel was named the Off-Road Pick-Up Truck of Texas. Rather than opting for an outdated family van, a new Ram offers the perfect balance of capability and comfort for families of all sizes, as evidenced by its recognition from the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association who named the 2019 Ram 1500, the Best Family Car and Truck for 2019. With so many achievements in 2019, major improvements for 2020 are tough to come by. Here are a few updates heading into the new year.

Powerful Engine Options in 2020

The 2020 Ram 1500 introduces a new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 Engine. Horsepower on this engine is 260, and torque is rated at 480 lb-ft. An impressive maximum towing capacity of 12,560 pounds set this powerhouse a step above engines of the past. It’s also estimated to offer superior fuel efficiency at 24-26 miles per gallon combined.

For the greatest horsepower, the 2020 Ram brings back the available 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with eTorque Hybrid Technology. It’s capable of towing even more weight at 12,750 pounds while producing 395 horsepower and 410 pounds per foot of torque. Since this was originally introduced in 2019, it can still be found in both models. In addition, the maximum payload for the 2019 Ram 1500 is 2,320 lbs but drops a little in 2020 and has 2,100 lbs of maximum payload capacity.

Sleek Exterior Styling Packages

All-new styling packages are being offered for 2020, including the Night Edition and the Black Edition. Available on the Big Horn and Laramie models, the Night Edition adds black exterior accents, including the Ram logo on the grille and headlamp bezels. Make your choice of an exterior color backdrop to set the stage for these stand-out details. Upscale finishes upgrade the interior with more black accents and daring black seats.

The Command Center on the Night Edition models is well-equipped with a Uconnect 4, 8.4-inch touchscreen. Upgrade to an available 12-inch touchscreen to get the largest option in its class, with split-screen capability. For the Big Horn, the Night Edition adds 20-inch satin black aluminum wheels. On the Laramie, standard 22-inch black forged aluminum wheels create a refined look. The Black Appearance Package is available on the Rebel and Limited models. This design trick dips the entire truck in Diamond Black Crystal Pearl Black for a truly stunning exterior.

Two special edition 2020 Ram 1500s, which win when comparing the 2020 Ram 1500 vs 2019 Ram 1500, are parked at the beach.

Finding the Best Value in a Ram 1500

The 2020 Ram 1500 starts at an MSRP of $31,895, while a new 2019 model starts at an MSRP of $33,440. Although the 2019 model contains many of the major upgrades you can from most fifth-generation models, but the new EcoDiesel engine option is bound to be a game-changer for certain buyers. For the latest technology, design, and fuel efficiency, a 2020 Ram 1500 is hard to beat. If you’re a fan of the sleek black exterior packages that are new for 2020, you’ll have no choice but to splurge on a new truck in order to get exactly what you’re looking for.

Then again, the 2019 model is still quite new and offers several advanced features in an award-winning truck. Either year provides the option for a rear or four-wheel drive configuration with multiple cab styles and bed lengths for a truly customizable pick-up truck to call your own. Some of the desirable convenience features that can be found in both the 2019 and 2020 models include a multifunction tailgate with 60/40 split doors and the optional 12-inch touchscreen. Both years also offer the large 5.7 HEMI V8 engine with optimal horsepower and towing capacity.

Perhaps the best possible option you could hope for value-wise would be a slightly used 2019 Ram 1500, although this would probably be tough to find so soon after its release. With a low estimated five-year depreciation rate of just 36.8%, it’s going to be a while before used Rams are given way as a steal on the resale market. On the bright side, this lower than average depreciation makes the Ram 1500 a good investment for new truck buyers.