A great truck with a colossal price tag.
For $75,000, you can get a lot of car. Class notwithstanding, three of our favorite options include the brand-new C8 Chevrolet Corvette ($59,995), the luxurious BMW X7 crossover ($73,900), even the 707-horsepower Dodge Charger Hellcat ($69,995). But if you want a truck, the near-fully loaded Ram 1500 EcoDiesel tested here costs about the same.
Even as full-size truck prices skyrocket, the $75,850 MSRP on our 2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel feels expensive, considering comparable Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado pickups cost far less. And don't get us wrong, this is a supremely good truck; the Ram looks great, drives well, and has a cabin that rivals some luxury cars – it’s arguably the best option in an extremely tough segment. But still, the 1500 EcoDiesel doesn't feel worth its sky high $75,000 asking price. Not even close.
Scores updated in February 2021. A vehicle's ratings are relative only to its own segment and not the new-vehicle market as a whole. For more on how Motor1.com rates its cars, click here.
Hot take: black on black isn't cool anymore. The trend of murdering everything out died in the late-2010s when companies like Chrysler and Honda started offering it on their minivans. And the $3,995 (!) Black Appearance package on the Ram 1500 actually does the otherwise handsome truck a huge disservice, covering the badges, headlight bezels, and 22-inch wheels in an unflattering shiny black finish as opposed to some of the much better color and trim combos we've driven.
Trim issues aside, the Ram 1500 still looks good. The truck's LED headlights blend seamlessly into the rectangular grille. The hood has more angles and edges than a traditional gas model – which adds a bit of toughness – as well as an “EcoDiesel” badge that offers a neat touch. And even though the 22-inch wheels don't look great in gloss black, the design is eye-catching. The only thing our tester didn't offer that we would have liked is the oversized Ram lettering on the rear; the optional 60/40 split tailgate has a much smaller logo.
We have virtually no complaints about the Ram 1500’s interior. The big 12.0-inch touchscreen is impossible to miss, and it looks very sleek and modern. The black leather that covers the seats, dash, and center console is high-quality stuff and has nice contrast stitching. And there's a smooth dark wood treatment with pinstripes that spans the length of the dash and portions of the steering wheel that looks great. This is one of the only parts of this truck that feels worth the asking price.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Ram 1500
The Ram 1500 is the most comfortable truck you can buy right now. The adaptive air suspension (standard on this trim) gives it a luxury car-like ride while the well-bolstered, heated and ventilated front seats offer additional comfort on top of that. There's a ton of headroom and legroom, too – 40.9 inches for both, to be exact. But the backseat is even bigger than that.
The Ram 1500 has a massive 45.1 inches of legroom in the rear. That's better than what you get on six-figure luxury sedans like the Lexus LS (38.9 inches), Mercedes-Maybach S600 (40.0 inches), and even the Bentley Mulsanne (42.9 inches). The 1500's rear bench has the same high-quality leather as the front buckets, too, which makes it uber comfortable – and there's even a manual recline option that allows rear passengers to make the most of that available room.
The only dings we have against the Ram 1500 in this respect is that the diesel engine is pretty loud in the cabin, and the bed could be slightly bigger. We love the functionality of the optional 60/40 split tailgate ($995), which allows us to easily access the bed without having to climb over the tailgate.
The available RamBoxes on either side offer extra storage, too. But the Ram's bed is slightly smaller by comparison. We couldn't fit a full-size barbell (7.2 feet) into the 6.4-foot bed of the Ram, whereas we managed to fit that same barbell easily in a Ford F-150 XLT's 6.5-foot bed. It’s only a minor difference, but something worth considering.
The Ram 1500 Limited's standard 12.0-inch touchscreen (optional on Rebel, Laramie, and Laramie Longhorn models) is one of the best in the business. With the latest Uconnect infotainment system, the home screen is clear and concise, touch responsiveness is great, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.
The portrait-oriented screen also has a split functionality that allows us to run CarPlay or Android Auto on the upper half, and things like climate control, navigation, or music on the lower half. And better yet, Uconnect doesn't bury basic options like fan speed or channel tuning in the screen as Subaru and Volvo systems do. There are still tactile buttons for those.
A 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster comes standard on our tester, as it does on Rebel, Laramie, and Laramie Longhorn trims as well. Lesser models get a basic 3.0-inch screen. And the setup is pretty intuitive, with available readouts for things like fuel economy, music, and various other vehicle settings configurable through buttons on the left side of the steering wheel.
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel uses the brand's third-generation 3.0-liter diesel V6. Good for 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, the 1500 has the most torque in its class, beating the Chevrolet Silverado diesel by 20 lb-ft and the F-150 diesel by 40 lb-ft. And that torque moves the 5,700-pound pickup off the line well; this is no sport truck, but the 1500 EcoDiesel gets up to speed quickly. The eight-speed automatic shifts seamlessly, the air suspension keeps the ride smooth, and the electric-assist rack-and-pinion steering is weighty and direct. For a two-ton truck, the Ram 1500 feels relatively light on its feet.
Another notable feature of the Ram 1500's air suspension is height adjustability. At highway speeds, the adaptive suspension automatically lowers for improved aerodynamics and to achieve optimum fuel efficiency – but the driver can manually raise and lower the suspension as they see fit. At its lowest, the Ram feels more nimble, keeping body roll to a minimum. When raised, the 1500 can easily traverse tougher stuff. And of course, this truck can tow. Our Ram 1500, as equipped, tugs just 6,280 pounds – but the perfect spec pulls as much as 12,560 pounds. That bests both the F-150 (11,500 pounds) and Silverado (9,600 pounds).
The Ram 1500 was one of the first full-size trucks to offer active safety equipment like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist. And even though both Ford and Chevy have jumped on board as of late, Ram's equipment remains some of the best. The $2,295 Limited Level One equipment group adds the aforementioned features plus rear cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree parking camera. And all of those safety features work well; adaptive cruise control is smooth, the lane-departure warning is responsive, and the 360-degree camera makes parking the massive truck much easier.
For a two-ton truck, the Ram EcoDiesel gets decent fuel economy. In our tester's trim, the 1500 returns 21 miles per gallon city, 29 highway, and 24 combined. In our real-world test over a week of driving, the truck achieved a decent 21 miles per gallon in mixed driving conditions. But what's really impressive is that it can go an estimated 650 miles on a single tank.
Compared to the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado diesel, the Ram 1500 is right in the middle of the pack. The four-wheel-drive Ford gets 22 city, 28 highway, 24 combined, while the similarly spec'd Silverado bests them both with 23 city, 29 highway, and 25 combined.
Like we said in the beginning: Our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel costs a whopping $75,850 after options. Some of the priciest add-ons include the 3.0-liter diesel engine itself, which costs $4,995, the $3,995 black appearance package, and the $1,495 panoramic sunroof – plus a handful of other features and a $1,695 destination charge that hikes the price even further.
If you want a bare-bones Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel Crew Cab with a 6.4-foot box, four-wheel drive, and the diesel engine, it will cost you $62,405. A comparable Ford F-150 Platinum SuperCrew costs $61,160, and a similarly equipped Chevy Silverado High Country costs $61,190. So it's not the starting price of this particular Ram that's shocking, it's just available options.
Gallery: 2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel: Review
2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel 4x4 Crew Cab