The 2020 RAM 1500 is the best all-around full-size pickup you can buy. With excellent technology options, a functional and stylish design, capable off-road performance, and comfortable ride quality there is a lot to love.
With the new EcoDiesel engine under the hood, you can upgrade to better fuel economy and additional towing and payload capacity. This is a great engine choice and one you should definitely consider as you compare to the 2020 RAM 1500 HEMI with eTorque.
Driving the 2020 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel
At first glance, the new Deisel engine may seem very similar to the model it replaced, but under the hood, it’s made with 80% new parts. This includes a new turbocharger and thanks to a collection of smart upgrades you get more power and more torque.
The 3.0L V6 Ecodiesel in our RAM 1500 Limited delivers 260 horsepower and 480-lb.-ft. of torque. This torque is even more useful, and fun since it arrives early to give you good acceleration before smoothly handling the rest of your drive. You won’t experience the old tell-tale diesel engine sounds and vibrations on the 2020 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel. RAM did an excellent job of removing the harshness of diesel.
The acceleration is good, but it doesn’t match up to the quickness of the gas-powered V8 Hemi with eTorque that we tested. When you do get on the accelerator, the Deisel engine delivers smooth power that you will feel. This engine is an improvement on the highway and while running errands around town.
Ride quality is very good, thanks to the air suspension system included on our loaner. This is a must-have if you plan to spend a lot of time on the road. It does an excellent job of soaking up road imperfections and delivering a comfortable and confident ride. Steering is weighted well and helps avoid an overly large feeling when on the highway or maneuvering through parking lots in town.
The payload rating is 2,040 and the towing capacity is 12,560 pounds. That’s a class-leading towing capacity for diesel-powered full-size pickups. With the air suspension, you can expect a smoother towing experience as it will auto level while you are towing.
The EPA rates the 4×4 2020 RAM 1500 Limited EcoDiesel at 24 mpg combined with 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. That’s in line with our observations testing the truck and noticeably better than the 5.7L V8 Hemi with eTorque that we previously tested.
2020 RAM 1500 Interior & Features
The 2020 RAM 1500 Limited offers a very comfortable cabin and there are a lot of exciting and useful features packed inside and outside of the pickup. The Crew Cab offers a lot of room and RAM does a great job of keeping the important controls at arm’s reach. There is plenty of room for two adults in the front and two more in the rear.
The center console design is especially handy thanks to the sliding cupholder component and varied storage. You can slide the middle portion of this setup forward to hide clutter in the storage area, or slide it back for more room. There is a wireless charger and a phone holder tucked into the front edge of the compartment.
The seats are comfortable and in the front, the Limited offers heated and ventilated seats, plus heated second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.
We like the storage capability of the back seat in the RAM. The seats fold up to make room for cargo that you want to be able to lock up or keep away from the elements. With the Ram Bin storage, there are also two compartments built into the floor that are perfect for storing essentials that would otherwise clutter up your back seat.
The bed of the RAM 1500 is packed with useful features. Our loaner came equipped with an easy to open cover and a cargo management system that acts as a divider that you can place throughout the bed.
The RamBox storage compartments are hands down one of our favorite RAM features. These lockable boxes on the side of the bed allow you to carry tools and gear easily or to stash groceries.
While the multifunction tailgate doesn’t offer as many options as the GMC Sierra Multi-Pro tailgate, it is very handy. We like the barndoor opening style that makes getting into the bed or reaching deep into the bed easier than a standard tailgate. It’s also fully damped when you open it, meaning it opens slowly and smoothly. This trim level also came equipped with a remote release.
If you opt for the Off-Road Group, that was on our loaner, you get 20-inch wheels, an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates, a full-size spare tire, and hill descent control. Trust us, you’ll want these if you are planning serious off-road adventures.
2020 RAM 1500 Tech & Safety
The 12-inch UConnect system is one of the best infotainment systems you will find on the road today. The massive screen shows the information you want at the right time, and you can customize the display to see the controls and options that are important to you.
This system also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which offer access to calls, messages, apps, and navigation. We prefer to use these over the built-in controls, but you can still stream or make calls over Bluetooth. Thanks to the huge screen, you can keep CarPlay or Android Auto up top and then a separate set of controls below, so you aren’t constantly switching in and out of them to access vehicle functions.
You can also control almost all vehicle functions for heating, cooling, and stereo controls with physical buttons. The buttons and large knobs are all easy to use with gloves on.
RAM really delivers with connectivity options, packing in nine USB ports, wireless charging, and three standard outlets to power up your gear, laptops, and tools. The RAM 1500 includes four USB C and four standard USB. The 19 speaker Harmon Kardon premium sound option is great for blasting your favorite music on a road trip, and the in-car calling sounds very good.
RAM also packs in all the must-have convenience and safety features. The RAM 1500 Limited we tested includes;
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go
- Advanced Brake Assist
- Full-Speed Forward Collision Warn Plus
- Lane Keep Assist
- Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist with Stop
- Surround View Camera
- Automatic High Beams
- Blind Spot with Cross-Traffic
- Rain Sensitive Wipers
The adaptive cruise worked very well, and blind-spot monitoring added extra confidence on the highway. The Parallel and Perpendicular Park are really useful if you need help parking on the street or in parking lots. Once the parking spot is detected, the vehicle can automatically turn the wheel to fit the pickup into the spot, and then stop when it is parked.
I do miss the Ford F-150 Pro Trailer Backup Assist that lets you turn a knob to control the direction of the trailer while backing up. It is nice to have the automatic trailer detection on the Blind Spot Monitoring for the RAM 1500. We didn’t test this feature, but it is a nice option if you plan to tow often.