2020 Ram 1500 Longhorn Crew Cab 4X4 Diesel - Small(er) Diesels Are In?

This is the second pickup I've tested this calendar year that uses a smaller diesel. The first was a 2019 Ford F-150 (https://www.brucehotchkiss.net/2019/08/diesel-in-f-150-why-not.html). After driving the 2020 Ram 1500 Longhorn Crew Cab 4X4 with Ram's 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel I can say I am a believer.

The EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6 makes 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. That's what a diesel does, it makes mucho torque at low rpm. Unlike older, bigger diesels the diesel noise is minimal. In fact in the cabin you do not hear it at all.

Fuel economy is another plus with a diesel. The test 4X4 Ram Diesel is rated at 21-mpg in the city and 29-mpg on the highway. I couldn't confirm those numbers but did see almost 26-mpg on the highway. That's darn good. From the Ram media site I see that a 2WD is rated at 22-mpg city and 32-mpg highway. That is excellent!

Originally the Dodge 150, and later 1500, meant it was a half ton pickup. But the 2020 Ram 1500 has a payload capacity of 2,300 lbs. Equipped with the EcoDiesel the 1500 can tow up to 12,750 lbs. I neither loaded up the bed nor towed a trailer so I cannot attest to its abilities but I have no reason to doubt Ram.

Enough of the specs you say? Okay how about the looks? I'm getting used to the very masculine look of the Ram pickups. The Longhorn edition has been cowboy'd up especially the interior. Ram calls the interior color Mountain Brown. I don't really know what that means (I'd call it tan) but the leather and vinyl are good looking. The whole interior had a rugged yet refined look to it that I found attractive. Everything is coordinated - the seats, interior trim, floor mats, console, etc. I liked the interior. 

I seem to have a thing about gear shifters. I like a lever. The Ram uses a knob but it was easy to use and see. I could just reach over without looking and there it was! 

All the drive functions - gear shift and drive selection - are in one location.

For the most part the 12" touch screen was easy to use. For the most part. Most of the controls accessed on the screen are more or less "set it and forget it". I'm not one who changes radio stations (or in the case of SiriusXM channels), and with the automatic climate control there's no real need to fiddle with anything. The exception for me were the seat heaters/coolers and steering wheel heater. I like to set the seat heater on high to start and then turn it down. That requires accessing the "control" screen and looking down to find the right spot to push.

Deep inside the center console I was surprised to see something that I thought went the way of the Dodo - a place for coins! I guess it beats just throwing your spare change anywhere you like. 

I was glad to see the fold-down/fold-up power running-boards. These far surpass the fixed running-boards for ease and safety of use in my opinion. They are wide enough so that my feet were fully supported, low enough so that it was an easy step into the cab, and they fold up out of the way. The cabin floor is about 20" high and the running board is almost 10" high.

The test Ram was a four-door. I'm growing rather fond of four-door pickups. They seat 5 (or 6 is the front has a bench seat) and they can carry cargo. In the case of more upscale pickups, and the Longhorn is definitely upscale, a four-door pickup can be down and dirty or take folks out to a nice restaurant.

Rear seat
"Saddle bag" on the back of each front seat.

Rear floormat

Cubby underneath rear floormat
One of the things that I think should be important to most pickup buyers is the load-in height. In the case of the 2020 Ram Crew Cab the tailgate height is just under 3'. There are two bed lengths available with the Crew Cab; 5' 7" or 6' 4". The test Longhorn had the shorter bed.

My wife thought the Longhorn was too big (she thinks most full-size pickups
are too big). I waffle on the size of modern pickups. They have grown, way back in 1981-83 the longest D100 had an overall length of 210.8". The test Ram is 232.9" long. But the size does give you a feeling of superiority.

Partially because of the size I welcome the backup cameras and warning systems that alert the driver to how close you are to something when parking. 

I'm not going to tell you that the test Longhorn was inexpensive. It was more than competitive though. The stated price, including options and destination, is $67,160. If you want to "build" your own Ram just go to https://www.ramtrucks.com/. Nice truck, seems to me that Ram sweats the details.


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