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2020 Ram 1500 Review

The 2020 Ram 1500 places near the top of our full-size pickup truck rankings. Its well-rounded attributes include a refined interior, a stellar tow rating, and a comfortable ride.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable seats and ride
  • Lots of rear-seat legroom
  • Cabin is handsome, functional, and nicely equipped
  • Superb maximum tow rating
  • Some rivals are more skilled off-roaders

9.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.8
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 9.4
Safety: 9.1
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Ram 1500 a Good Truck?

Yes, the Ram 1500 is a superb truck. Its ride quality and rear-seat legroom set the bar in the competitive full-size pickup truck class, and it has impressive tow ratings and fuel economy as well. Even the meticulous eye will have trouble uncovering any shortcomings here.

2020 Ram 1500 Dimensions and Weight

  • Length: 19 feet, 1 inch to 20 feet, 2 inches
  • Height: 6 feet, 4 inches to 6 feet, 8 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,798 to 5,372 pounds

Should I Buy the Ram 1500?

With its versatile lineup and extensive options list, there's a Ram 1500 to match most any need. Still, the Ford F-Series earned its title as best-selling pickup truck for a reason, and the F-150 is a worthy contender. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 was redesigned for 2019, and it offers a 13,400-pound maximum towing capacity.

Compare the Ram 1500, F-150, and Silverado 1500 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Ram 1500?

The redesigned Ram 1500 was launched for the 2019 model year. Stick with a new 1500 if you are interested in a new-for-2020 diesel engine. Otherwise, consider a 2019 model to save money. There were few other changes for 2020, so you won’t miss out on any key updates.

You can shop for a previous-generation 1500, but you'll be passing up some valuable powertrain, tech, and safety enhancements. The previous generation spanned the 2012 through 2019 model years, and it was the first without Dodge on the Ram nameplate. Ram sold a previous-generation 2019 Ram 1500 Classic alongside the redesigned 2019 model for one year.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017, 2018, and 2019 Ram 1500 reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Ram 1500 »

We Did the Research for You: 29 Reviews Analyzed

Our Ram 1500 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 29 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

This 2020 Ram 1500 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Ram 1500 Cost?

Prices for the base 2020 Ram 1500 start at around $32,000, which is just above the midrange point in our full-size pickup truck rankings. A fully loaded Limited model can cost you close to $70,000. For full details on powertrains, bed sizes, cab choices, and trim levels, see our Which Ram 1500 Model Is Right for Me? section below.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ram dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ram deals page.

Ram 1500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Ram 1500 or Ford F-150?

In a side-by-side comparison with the Ford F-150, the Ram 1500 wins out when it comes to interior refinement. This is the truck to pick if a luxurious cabin, smooth ride, and state-of-the-art infotainment are priorities to you. If price and utility are paramount, go with the Ford. Its starting price is about $4,000 less than the Ram’s, it can haul as much as 3,270 pounds, and it can tow trailers as heavy as 13,200 pounds.

Which Is Better: Ram 1500 or Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a good pick for those who tow heavy trailers, and it has a best-in-class towing capacity of 13,400 pounds. The Chevy also has spacious front seats and a decent amount of rear-seat legroom. But its so-so interior finish can't match the Ram 1500's, which partly explains why the Silverado sits midpack in our full-size pickup truck rankings. If you don't need the astounding towing capacity of the Chevrolet, go with the Ram.

Compare the Ram 1500, F-150, and Silverado 1500 »

Ram 1500 Performance

Ram 1500 Engine: Four Hearty Choices

Most trims come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. You can boost your tow rating by opting for one of the upgraded V8 engines, both rated at 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. The difference between the V8s is that one of them is accompanied by a fuel-saving eTorque mild-hybrid system.

New for 2020 is a 3.0-liter diesel engine. Cranking out 260 horsepower and a whopping 480 pound-feet of torque, this engine is responsive and quiet for a diesel. Every engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and at the right time.

Ram 1500 Gas Mileage: Good for a Large Truck

With the six-cylinder engine, the Ram gets 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which is one of the best fuel economy ratings for a base engine in the full-size pickup truck class. Models with the regular V8 engine get 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, while those with the eTorque-assisted V8 earn 17/23 mpg city/highway. That may not seem like a big difference, but the V8 with eTorque can save drivers an average of $300 a year in fuel costs compared to the regular V8.

At the time of writing, fuel economy estimates are not available for models with the diesel engine.

Ram 1500 Ride and Handling: Comfortable and Composed

The Ram 1500 has an incredibly smooth, quiet ride for such a large vehicle, even without the optional four-corner air suspension system. You may forget you're riding in a full-size pickup truck. Rear-wheel drive is standard in every trim, and four-wheel drive is available for around $3,500. Venture off the beaten path, and the Ram can hold its own, though even well-equipped trims aren't as capable as rivals such as the Ford F-150 Raptor.

Ram 1500 Towing Capacity

The Ram 1500’s towing capacity ranges from 6,250 to 12,750 pounds, depending on configuration. Its maximum tow rating is good for a half-ton truck, though it can’t match the Ford F-150's rating of 13,200 pounds and the Chevrolet Silverado's best-in-class 13,400 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Ram 1500 Interior

How Many People Does the Ram 1500 Seat?

For 2020, every edition of the Ram 1500 has two rows of seats. This light-duty truck can hold up to six people, though optional front bucket seats in some editions reduce capacity to five. Quad Cab models have about 3 feet of legroom in the back, which, by comparison, is less than the average compact SUV. Crew Cab versions have 45.2 inches to stretch out, making this the roomiest rear seat in our full-size pickup truck rankings. Uplevel trims pamper travelers with options such as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated outboard seats in both rows, and reclining rear seats.

Ram 1500 and Child Car Seats

The back seat of the Ram has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the outboard seats. The rear middle seat in Quad Cab models has a tether anchor, while those in Crew Cab models have a full set of upper and lower anchors.

The system in the Quad Cab trucks is mostly easy to use, and it earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It's harder to install a car seat in Crew Cab models because the anchors can be hard to find or can be confused with other hardware. The IIHS gave the system in these trucks the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use.

Ram 1500 Interior Quality

This is no bare-bones pickup truck. Every model showcases good craftsmanship and a prime selection of materials, including top-notch leathers, wood, and metal in the upper trims.

Ram 1500 Cargo Space

The Ram 1500 comes with the choice of a 6-foot-4-inch or a 5-foot-7-inch bed, depending on cab style. The available RamBox provides lockable built-in storage in the sides of the truck bed. Also available is a multifunction tailgate with a 60/40 split. In addition to lowering like a traditional tailgate, each side of the gate can open separately and swing outward.

You can store additional items in the cabin by folding the rear seats. Two optional RamBins located beneath the rear-seat floor can stow items out of sight. The available center console offers several different cubbies, including an oversized bin that is spacious enough to hold a small laptop computer.

Ram 1500 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Ram gets a round of applause from professional reviewers for its easy-to-use technology. Its Uconnect interface has a straightforward set of customizable menus. There’s also an optional vertically oriented 12-inch display with a split view that can show Apple CarPlay simultaneously with other menus. There are several USB ports scattered throughout the cabin, providing lots of charging options.

Standard features include a 5-inch touch screen and Bluetooth. The lengthy upgrades list includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 8.4-inch and 12-inch touch screens, navigation, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Ram 1500 Reliability

Is the Ram 1500 Reliable?

The 2020 Ram 1500 has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Ram 1500 Warranty

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles covers the 2020 Ram 1500 with a three-year/36,000-mile basic limited warranty. Models with a gasoline engine come with a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, while those with a diesel engine get a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Ram 1500 Safety

Ram 1500 Crash Test Results

The 2020 Ram 1500 passed all six crash tests with flying colors, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Crew Cab model a Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest honor. Models equipped with optional forward collision warning received a top rating of Superior for front crash prevention. Headlight ratings depend on the trim and options. They range from the best rating of Good to the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave 2020 Crew Cab models an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. Quad Cab models received a four-star overall safety rating. Both trucks earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover evaluations.

Ram 1500 Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in every 2020 Ram 1500. Optional safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

Read more about safety »

Where Is the 2020 Ram 1500 Built?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles builds the 2020 Ram 1500 in Michigan.

Which Ram 1500 Model Is Right for Me?

For 2020, Ram's half-ton pickup truck comes in six trims: Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited. All models come standard with two-wheel drive, and with almost every trim you have the choice of a V6 engine, two V8s, and an all-new diesel. We go into more detail on powertrain choices, available body types and bed sizes, and standard features below.

If you're looking for a few more amenities than what the base Tradesman comes with but want to keep your costs reasonable, take a look at the Big Horn. Prices start at around $36,500, and its slew of available options lets you add the features you care about most. All four engines are available with this edition, as is a locking differential, heated and power-adjustable front seats, an 8.4-inch touch screen, and several appearance packages.

Ram 1500 Powertrain Options:

  • Base powertrain: 3.6-liter V6 engine with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque; features eTorque mild-hybrid system that improves fuel economy and adds up to 90 pound-feet of torque; starts at $31,895 (standard in Tradesman, Big Horn, and Rebel trims)
  • Available powertrains:
    • 5.7-liter V8 engine with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque; starts at $33,390 (standard in Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited trims; available in all other trims)
    • 5.7-liter V8 engine with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque; features eTorque mild-hybrid system that adds up to 130 pound-feet of torque; starts at $33,590 (available in every trim)
    • 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine with 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque; pricing not yet available (available in every trim)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available four-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Ram 1500 Appearance Packages:

  • Chrome Appearance Group (prices start at $995; available in Tradesman, Laramie): 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, bright front and rear bumpers, and a chrome grille
  • Tradesman Group (prices start at $845): a spray-on bed liner and a class IV receiver hitch
  • Premium Lighting Group (prices start at $995; available in Big Horn): LED front fog lights and LED headlights and taillights
  • Sport Appearance package (prices start at $895; available in Tradesman, Big Horn, and Laramie): an auto-dimming exterior driver mirror, black interior accents, deluxe cloth bucket seats, power-folding and heated mirrors, exterior mirrors with supplemental signals and courtesy lamps, and body-color grille, bumpers, and door handles
  • Night Edition package (prices start at $1,895; available in Big Horn, Laramie): 20-inch aluminum black wheels, all-season tires, a dual exhaust with black tips, black exterior badging, and black headlight bezels
  • Body-Color Bumper Group (prices start at $195; available in Laramie Longhorn and Limited): body-color bumpers

Ram 1500 Work Packages/Options:

  • Bed Utility Group (prices start at $445; available in all trims): four adjustable cargo tie-down hooks, in-bed LED lighting, a bed step, and a spray-on bed liner
  • Trailer-Tow Group (prices start at $400; available in all trims): a class IV receiver hitch, power trailer-tow mirrors with manual fold-away, and a trailer brake control

Ram 1500 Trims:

Ram 1500 Tradesman

The base Tradesman comes with cloth or vinyl upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, a rearview camera, push-button start, the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and a mix of USB ports.

Prices start at $31,895 for the Tradesman with two-wheel drive, and you can add four-wheel drive for $3,500. Available packages include the Level 1 Equipment Group ($1,500), which adds upgraded cloth upholstery, satellite radio, and a power-sliding rear window.

Ram 1500 Big Horn

Notable upgrades in the Big Horn include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, upgraded cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, exterior chrome trim, and fog lights. Prices start at $36,440 for the Big Horn Quad Cab 4x2 and $42,640 for the Big Horn Crew Cab 4x4.

The Big Horn's Level 1 Equipment Group ($1,200) includes a class IV receiver hitch, a power-adjustable driver's seat, power-adjustable pedals, a power-sliding rear window, satellite radio, and the upgraded Uconnect 4 infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen.

Ram 1500 Laramie

Leather seats jazz up the interior of the Laramie, along with front seats that have heat, ventilation, and 12-way power adjustments. Additional standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, the upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and a 10-speaker Alpine premium sound system.

Prices range from $40,140 for the Laramie Quad Cab 4x2 to more than $46,000 for the Laramie Crew Cab 4x4. Standout features of this trim's Level 1 Equipment Group ($1,695) are blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, automatic high-beam headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Ram 1500 Rebel

The Rebel is a 4x4 model that emphasizes off-roading with a factory lift, locking differential, tow hooks, and a performance suspension system. It also gets a power-adjustable driver's seat, satellite radio, and a 115-volt household-style power outlet. Though this is the off-road edition, four-wheel drive is not standard. Prices for two-wheel-drive models start at $44,240, and four-wheel drive costs an extra $3,500.

The Rebel’s Level 1 Equipment Group ($2,000) adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The Safety and Convenience Group is a new addition to the Rebel's list of options. This $895 safety package includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist.

Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

The Laramie Longhorn builds off the Laramie trim, adding premium leather upholstery, heated rear seats, navigation, HD Radio, and front and rear parking sensors.

Without options, the Laramie Longhorn starts at $51,140. Packages include the Level 1 Equipment Group ($3,895), which comes with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 12-inch touch screen, ventilated rear seats, wireless device charging, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and power running boards.

Ram 1500 Limited

The range-topping Limited has a 12-inch vertically oriented touch screen, power running boards, a class-exclusive active four-corner air suspension system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and wireless device charging.

The Limited has a starting price of $53,615. This trim’s available Level 1 Equipment Group ($2,995) bundles goodies such as a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, ventilated rear seats, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a surround-view parking camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and active park assist for parallel and perpendicular parking.

Which Ram 1500 Cab Style Is Right for Me?

Ram offers two cab styles for the 1500. The Quad Cab is an extended cab with smaller rear doors, and the Crew Cab has full-sized rear doors. Most trims come standard with the Quad Cab, and the Crew Cab is available in every trim. The Laramie Longhorn and Limited come only with the Crew Cab. The Regular Cab – which was available in the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic – is not an option in the 2020 Ram 1500.

Upgrading to the Crew Cab costs around $2,700, and if you frequently carry full-size travelers in the back seat, it may be worth the extra money. The Crew Cab gives occupants almost 10 more inches of extra legroom than the Quad Cab.

Which Ram 1500 Bed Length Is Right for Me?

For 2020, the standard bed size for most 2020 Ram 1500 trims is 6 feet, 4 inches. All Quad Cab models have this bed size, and Crew Cab versions off it as an option. The only other choice is a 5-foot-7-inch bed that you can only get with the Crew Cab.

The larger bed unmistakably grants more cargo space, providing an additional 9 inches of length and 7.6 cubic feet of volume. Its biggest downside is parking. However, it makes this truck much longer, so make sure it can fit in your garage or driveway before you choose the 6-foot-4-inch bed.

Which Ram 1500 Model Is Best for Towing and Hauling?

The Ram 1500 reaches its 12,750-pound maximum towing capacity with the Quad Cab, the eTorque-assisted V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, the 3.92 rear axle ratio, and the class IV hitch. Prices start at $34,130 for this configuration.

You can tow significantly heavier trailers in models with the V8 engines (which have tow ratings that range from around 8,100 to 11,560 pounds, depending on configuration) or the diesel engine (which enables towing up to 12,560 pounds). With the V6 engine, this truck can tow trailers as heavy as 7,730 pounds.

On the flip side, this truck has the highest payload capacity when equipped with the smaller engine. The V6 unlocks a maximum payload capacity of 2,300 pounds, compared to the V8’s highest rating of 1,970. No payload specs are available for the diesel engine.

Which Ram 1500 Model Is Best for Off-Roading?

Without question, the Rebel is the best off-roader in this lineup. A locking differential, tow hooks, skid plates, off-road-tuned suspension components, a 1-inch factory lift, hill descent control and 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires are among its list of standard equipment – when four-wheel drive is added. Note that upgrading to four-wheel drive costs an extra $3,500.

While a few of the Rebel's off-road enhancements are exclusive to this trim, many of its upgrades are available in the 4x4 Off-Road Group ($795). You can add this package to any four-wheel-drive-equipped trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ram dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ram deals page.

See 2020 Ram 1500 specs and trims »

The Final Call

Ignore the pickup bed, and the Ram 1500 could easily pass for a premium-grade SUV. It treats guests to a quiet, relaxing ride (for a truck), and its oversized rear seats can be equipped with heating, ventilating, and reclining functions. Its technology includes a user-friendly infotainment system in base models to a state-of-the-art interface with a tablet-sized touch screen in upper trims.

While it pampers its passengers, the Ram remains a workhorse. Its range of engine options offers a good mix of fuel economy and towing abilities, and its composed handling makes easy work out of rough roads. Few rivals are as well-rounded as this full-size pickup truck.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Ram 1500 is my favorite truck in the highly competitive full-size pickup segment. With excellent onboard technology, good looks both inside and out, lots of utility and a comfortable ride, it's hard to beat this well-rounded package. For 2020, the story only gets better with the addition of a new diesel engine." -- CNET
  • "The 2020 Ram 1500 received a stem-to-stern redesign in 2019 that brought with it increased capability, improved fuel economy, greater refinement and a features list that can't be beat. It builds upon its smooth-riding, well-rounded predecessor while adding plenty of new, impressive elements: from the most basic Tradesman work truck and its standard eTorque mild-hybrid V6 powertrain to the range-topping Limited interior that deserves the title 'luxury truck' more than anything previous. Is it the best full-size pickup you can buy? It's certainly racking up the awards to indicate that, and we certainly wouldn't argue." -- Autotrader
  • "With plenty of miles already spent with the new 1500 over the past year, we know the fresh generation of the Ram full-size pickup is already an overachiever. Its interior is class-leading, the ride is surprisingly comfortable, and the 1500's handling is surprisingly agile for its size." -- Autoblog
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