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The Ram 1500 returns flaunting the same eye-catching style from last year’s redesign, but there is a notable change for the 2020 model year: the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that took a hiatus is back, showing off more power than ever. There are plenty of customizable versions to choose from, too, so you’ll surely find a Ram that’s right for you. On that note, if you’re in the market for a pickup with serious maximum towing ability (12,750 pounds, to be exact), genuine off-road chops, and exceptional interior accommodations that rival many luxury-brand vehicles, put the ’20 Ram 1500 high on your list.
There are six trim versions of the Ram 1500: the Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited. All variations can be configured as either a short bed (5’7”) or long bed (6’4”) crew cab, but the extended quad cab only pairs with the 6’4” bed. Also, the Rebel and Limited require the 4WD option to be eligible for the longer bed. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive an option.
Engine choices include a standard 3.6-liter mild-hybrid V6 engine producing 305 horsepower or the optional 395 hp 5.7-liter mild-hybrid V8 (mild hybrid is optional for the V8). As mentioned above, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel making 260 hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torque is also offered. Each of these engines is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Tradesman gets you 18-inch wheels and remote keyless entry, but should you decide to step up to the Big Horn, you’ll get those features plus a 60/40 split-folding bench seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Laramie comes with LED headlights, heated power-adjustable side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote engine start, heated and ventilated power front seats (with memory settings for the driver’s seat), and leather upholstery. With the Rebel, a raised off-road suspension, Bilstein shocks, rear anti-roll bars, an electronic locking rear differential, alloy wheels, and black exterior accents are all included.
The Rebel does away with the leather seating, remote engine start, and automatic climate control from the Laramie, but it keeps the heated power front seats (without memory). The Laramie Longhorn returns the Laramie’s equipment but does away with the Rebel’s off-road features. It does, however, add 20-inch wheels, heated rear seats, a rear-seat center arm rest, rubber floor mats, and a wood-accented steering wheel. The range-topping Limited gets all of this in addition to power running boards.
The Tradesman includes a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice recognition, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system. The Big Horn adds steering wheel audio controls and becomes eligible for the optional upgraded infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Laramie gets this upgraded infotainment unit and a 10-speaker audio system. The Rebel has the same technology from the Big Horn, while the Laramie Longhorn returns the Laramie’s tech features in addition to integrated navigation. The Limited comes with a 12-inch touchscreen plus all of the tech from before. A premium, class-leading 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio unit is available for some of the higher-level versions.
The ’20 Ram 1500 received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), although it as of this writing it hadn’t been evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In addition, it has a slate of driver assist/active safety technologies ranging from automatic emergency braking to lane keeping assist. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control are all available for each trim.