2020 Ram 1500 assessment: eTorque truck is a road-trip star

The Ram 1500 is unquestionably the best-looking half-ton pickup.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Earlier this summer season, I made a decision that with a view to dwell my greatest quarantine life I wanted to purchase a automobile. And since I’ve needed a small convertible ever since I moved to Los Angeles in 2017, I went with the apparent alternative: a Mazda Miata, although mine is a 1999 10th Anniversary Version. It has lower than 27,000 miles, it is in nice situation and not one of the earlier house owners made any silly modifications. I adore it.

What does that should do with the 2020 Ram 1500? Effectively, I discovered the Miata on Craigslist in Phoenix, and because it wasn’t registered or plated, I figured the best approach to get it again to LA was on a trailer. Just about any full-size pickup truck would’ve performed this long-distance tow journey with out breaking a sweat, however none would have been as good because the Ram.

LikeBest full-size truck inside within the businessStrong V8 energy with mild-hybrid assistTop-notch infotainment tech

Do not LikeMan, can these vehicles get expensiveAll the great driver-assistance tech prices additional

The towing wasn’t the onerous half. Even the weakest 2020 Ram 1500 can pull 6,390 kilos and the truck’s most towing capability is 12,750 kilos. The combo of my Miata and a light-weight automobile trailer was simply over 3,000 kilos — one thing our long-term Honda Passport may’ve dealt with, had it carried a tow hitch — so for the Ram, it was a chunk of cake. The 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 pictured right here with the 5.7-liter eTorque V8 and non-obligatory 3.92 rear axle is rated to tow 11,190 kilos. In different phrases, if I needed to choose up three extra Miatas on the best way again to LA, it would not have been an issue (theoretically).

This comparatively mild load did not even faze the Ram. The mild-hybrid Hemi V8 makes 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, with a 48-volt starter-generator that provides an extra 16 hp and 130 lb-ft of preliminary acceleration help. Even on uphill begins, the Ram easily and confidently pulled away from stoplights, and on a fast detour as much as Prescott Valley, Arizona — about 5,000 toes above sea stage — the mild-hybrid’s supplemental energy helped compensate for the naturally aspirated V8’s lack of high-altitude oomph.

I used to be initially form of bummed my take a look at truck did not have Ram’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, solely as a result of I like towing with torquey turbodiesels. However the eTorque Hemi actually grew on me. On the freeway, there was by no means a scarcity of energy for making my method round slow-moving semi vehicles, not that I ever did any form of aggressive acceleration with the dear cargo in tow. I am additionally joyful to report that regardless of the elevation modifications and my notoriously heavy proper foot, my noticed gasoline financial system wasn’t completely horrific. The EPA charges the eTorque V8-equipped Ram at 17 miles per gallon metropolis and 23 mpg freeway, and I noticed 17 mpg. That may not appear spectacular, however take into account that I had a 3,000-pound penalty hooked up to the tow hitch always, and the route included a bunch of uphill climbs.

I used the truck’s tow/haul mode a number of occasions within the mountains, largely to maintain the eight-speed computerized transmission from upshifting too early, however I largely left this off on flat roads, for the reason that Miata and trailer solely accounted for a few quarter of the Ram’s complete towing capability. Essentially the most helpful towing assist was really the blind-spot monitoring, which routinely measured the size of the trailer and tailored the sensors accordingly, so I by no means ran the danger of reducing somebody off once I wanted to vary lanes.

I may’ve stacked three extra Miatas on prime of this one and the Ram would’ve been capable of tow them simply high quality.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Not one of the truck’s towing feats are unique to the Ram 1500. And in reality, some rivals provide extra tech that makes hauling even simpler. The Ford F-150 has the Professional Trailer Again-Up Help the place you may steer the truck with a dial, turning it precisely the best way you need the trailer to go along with the electronics finding out the remainder. GMC affords as many as 15 cameras that may even provide you with x-ray imaginative and prescient by way of a trailer, which is freaking superb.

However that is to not say the Ram does not have a number of tips up its sleeve. I like the RamBox mattress cubbies, which have been good for storing the trailer tie-down straps once I unloaded the Miata for a short stint in Prescott Valley, and so they’re lockable, so I may go away issues in them exterior in a single day with out worrying.

The opposite huge ace within the Ram 1500’s hand is an non-obligatory load-leveling air suspension that smooths out the experience while you’ve received a heavy trailer bogging the truck down. However that is about all I can say about this selection, as my truck wasn’t geared up with it.

Finest half-ton truck inside, no query.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Why I am glad I took the Ram really had nothing to do with its towing capabilities. As a substitute, it is how nice this truck was as a long-distance cruiser — a quiet, snug, spacious, tech-rich barge that ate up a whole bunch upon a whole bunch of miles with ease. Even with out the aforementioned air suspension, the Ram was completely easy alongside the 10 freeway between Los Angeles and Phoenix, although it might’ve been higher on smaller wheels with thicker-sidewall tires, not the 22-inch monsters that got here as a part of this truck’s Evening Version look bundle.

Half-ton pickup vehicles rival full-size luxurious sedans within the variety of consolation, comfort and multimedia options they provide, and that is completely the place the Ram 1500 units itself aside within the class. My truck’s heated, cooled, leather-trimmed seats have been as plush and supportive as La-Z-Boy chairs. And whereas I by no means rode within the again myself, a passenger hopped again there to utilize the Ram’s onboard Wi-Fi hotspot and took a convention name with loads of room to sprawl out. There’s an absolute ton of legroom, and the panoramic sunroof stored mild flowing within the cabin. With myriad storage compartments, wi-fi cellphone charging and greater than sufficient USB retailers, I may simply convey all my electronics and maintain all of them charged.

I would be remiss to not point out the Ram’s stellar onboard infotainment tech: Fiat-Chrysler’s Uconnect 4C software program, displayed on the 1500’s 12-inch portrait-oriented display. I cherished the best way I may maintain the map on the highest half and audio controls on the underside, or run Apple CarPlay seamlessly with out having it take over the complete show. Reality be informed, I discovered the display in my take a look at truck to be uncharacteristically laggy when responding to inputs, typically requiring three or 4 presses earlier than a command would really take. However I will chalk this up as an anomaly particular to this truck, since I’ve by no means, ever skilled that sort of unhealthy habits from different FCA merchandise.

The 22-inch Evening Version wheels look cool, however I would in all probability persist with one thing smaller.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

On prime of the infotainment excellence, a lot of driver help options made the journey simpler. I discussed the trailer-length blind-spot monitoring, nevertheless it was nice to have adaptive cruise management, entrance and rear parking sensors, lane-keeping help and a 360-degree digital camera, which made parking this factor a cinch.

A variety of trendy vehicles have these options, too, however taken as a complete, the Ram is my favourite half-ton. It has a greater on-road experience than any of its rivals, the inside is extra snug, the supplies are nicer and the tech is top-notch. The 2021 Ford F-150 goes to offer the Ram an actual run for its cash when it launches, however for now, not less than, the Ram 1500 is king.

That crown will value you, although. The 2020 Ram 1500 begins within the low $30,000 vary, however the Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 is available in at $48,435 together with $1,695 for vacation spot. With all the driving force help add-ons, the Evening Version look bundle, the 12-inch Uconnect show, the eTorque engine and extra, the out-the-door worth of this truck is a staggering $68,815. However it’s not like every of the Ram’s home rivals are any inexpensive once they’re all loaded up. And contemplating how far more luxurious, tech-rich and enticing the Ram 1500 is, it undoubtedly feels price each penny.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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