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A white 2020 Ram 1500 is parked in a field next to a wind mill.

How to Decide on an Engine for the 2020 Ram 1500

If you are in the market for a 2020 Ram 1500 and are just starting to research the available engine options, you might have noticed that there are a lot of choices. So, how do you decide on one? With the many configurations and features to choose from, there are a lot of decisions to be made. So narrowing down the engine choices is probably the best place to start.

In the ever-competitive full-size truck segment, the 2020 Ram 1500 stands out for its impressive towing and payload numbers and its sophisticated interior. It is not just a work truck with an interior that borders on luxury – it is a truck made for the demands of modern life, whether you live on a ranch or in town. With many powertrain and equipment choices, there’s an option for every buyer. Whether you need your truck to haul serious weight or drive the kids to school, for the weekday commute or weekend off-road adventures, it’s easy to find a model that suits your lifestyle.

It is this versatility that makes the 2020 Ram 1500 not only one of the best full-size trucks on the road but one of the best all-around vehicles you will find. Available class-exclusive air suspension and standard coil-spring suspension provide best-in-class comfort and a smooth driving experience. And inside the cabin, you will find many luxury amenities, the latest technology, and plenty of premium materials as well as Ram’s Uconnect technology and innovative storage features. Finally, for those of you who value serious towing and off-road chops, the Ram 1500 offers an all-new turbodiesel engine with best-in-class torque for the 2020 model year. That is some serious low-end power.

3.6-liter Pentastar V6

The most significant decision you will encounter when shopping for a Ram 1500 is finding the engine that best fits your needs and lifestyle. You want to make sure that you find one with enough power for the work you will be using it for, but you also want to make sure that you do not spend money on an engine that you do not need. If you are not going to be towing heavy trailers, for example, the diesel engine might not be worth it for you. Luckily, there are four engine variations, and they are all good options.

The base engine for all trim levels is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. This engine comes standard with an eTorque mild-hybrid electric-assist system that employs a 48-volt battery pack and an electric motor for up to 90 lb-ft of extra torque and improved fuel economy. The fuel efficiency rating for this engine is 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, making it one of the best fuel efficiency ratings for any base engine in the segment. This engine produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, making for a powerful standard option. The maximum towing capacity for the 3.6-liter V6 is 7,730 pounds, which is a good amount of weight for a base engine.

However, you might be looking for even more capability from your Ram 1500. If so, there are three more powertrains offered that feature a higher towing capacity than the base engine. But if you are only looking for a truck to tow your boat to the lake or for light weekend work, the base V6 is a great option.

A gray 2020 Ram 1500 is towing a boat on a coastal highway.

5.7-liter V8

The next engine option is available with or without the eTorque mild-hybrid system. This optional engine is a 5.7-liter V8 with 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Choosing the eTorque system will add up to 130 lb-ft of torque and it also increases the fuel efficiency. The mild-hybrid system also boosts the tow rating from an already impressive 11,610 lb to an excellent 12,750 lb. The fuel economy for this big V8 with the eTorque system is 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, but it drops to 15 and 22 mpg without the mild-hybrid boost.

With the 5.7L V8, you can tow around 12,000 pounds, so if you are looking to tow heavy loads regularly, this engine is worth the investment. Ensuring that your truck can handle the work you need it for will lengthen your truck’s life. When you are hauling loaded trailers, you will be putting extra stress on the transmission and engine, if you choose a powertrain that is not up for the job. But with the 5.7L V8, you are sure to have enough power for just about any situation.

5.7-liter V8 with eTorque

The eTorque system comes as an option for the 5.7-liter V8, and though it does not change the headline horsepower and torque ratings, it does provide extra low-end power where you need it the most. This system adds up to 130 lb-ft of torque to fill out the torque curve when you are starting off. So, if you will be towing and hauling heavy loads often, this is a great system to consider. When other engines might bog down under heavy loads, the extra torque from the eTorque setup will keep you moving along. And as an added benefit, it also improves the fuel efficiency rating for this engine.

With a big V8 and the backup torque from the eTorque system, this engine can tow up to 12,750 pounds, giving it the highest tow rating of any engine offered in the 2020 Ram 1500. That means this engine is capable of towing more than the diesel engine, which is truly impressive since the diesel features the highest half-ton diesel tow rating.

A white 2020 Ram 1500 is at a construction site in front of a wooden frame.

3.0-liter turbodiesel V6

New for the 2020 model year is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that features best-in-class torque. It also has the highest half-ton diesel tow rating as it is capable of pulling up to 12,560 lb. And as a diesel engine, it also offers an impressive fuel efficiency rating of 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. This is truly an excellent engine choice for your Ram 1500 as it provides both incredible towing and payload (2,040 lb) capability, while also saving you money on fuel.

With an incredible 480 lb-ft of torque and 260 hp, this is a monster of an engine that can do just about anything you ask of it. And though it is known for its instant low-end power, it is also an incredibly refined and quiet engine. The EcoDiesel is an exciting addition to the Ram 1500 lineup and one that is hard to pass up. But the bottom line is that no matter which engine you choose, the 2020 Ram 1500 is still the best full-size pickup out there.

A Solid All-Rounder

You won’t find a more well-rounded truck on the market than the Ram 1500. While the engine options are powerful and efficient, just wait until you see the Ram’s luxurious interior. With one of the most advanced infotainment systems that even includes an optional 12-inch touchscreen, and available premium materials like leather and genuine wood trim, you will feel like you are in a luxury car rather than a truck.

The Ram 1500 is a vehicle that transcends segments and classes and has redefined what people expect from a truck. And with many models and configurations to choose from – including two body styles, two bed lengths, four engines, two transmissions, and many state-of-the-art features – there’s sure to be a model designed specifically for your needs.