An oldie, but a goodie. The 2020 Ram 1500 Classic is based entirely on the previous-generation model of the Ram 1500. Ram is keeping the old model around long enough to keep up with increased demand for its 1500 Series. Although we think the latest 1500 is the best one yet, the 1500 Classic has its merits.

You won’t find nearly as many build choices with the 1500 Classic as you would with the latest model. Ram offers the truck in Regular, Quad, and Crew cabs. You’ll find 6-foot-4-inch and 5-foot-7-inch beds, depending on the configuration. You have a pick of three trims and standard rear-wheel drive or available four-wheel drive.

Two gas engines, no diesel. Ram offers a 3.6-liter V6 and a 5.7-liter V8, which are the gas engines found in the current-generation 1500 model (the latest V6, however, is a partial hybrid). The trusty V6 delivers 305 horsepower, while the proven V8 serves up 395 hp. The V6 has a maximum towing capacity of 7,730 pounds to the 10,630 pounds of the V8.

The missing ingredient is the available 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 offered in the regular Ram 1500. It’s a fantastic engine boasting 260 hp and 480 pound-feet of torque, the latter rivaling the big V8. It also earns an EPA-estimated 26 miles per gallon combined and is the towing leader of the three, rated as high as 12,560 pounds.


Chevy 1500 Classic

Lacks base infotainment, available upgrades. Depending on the trim and configuration chosen, the Ram 1500 Classic supplies a basic infotainment setup with a radio, a six-speaker audio system, an aux input jack, and two USB ports.

Thankfully, the range-topping Warlock trim improves upon this with its standard 5-inch touchscreen with the brand's Uconnect 3 infotainment system, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. You can also upgrade to an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Uconnect 4, and more through the $695 Electronics Group package.

Safety and security. Large pickup trucks don’t have nearly as many advanced driver assist safety features as most car models, but newer versions are making a headway. The Ram 1500 Classic is an example of a truck with just a few offerings, but they’re something to consider.

Beyond the standard rearview camera, Ram offers a rear park assist system that makes backing up a drama-free event. This is only available on the Warlock trim, however. The 1500 Classic does carry a four-star overall safety rating with the NHTSA.

On the security front, Ram supplies a keyless “enter and go” fob with central locking and a panic button. The remote vehicle start function is a welcome assistant on chilly mornings.

Final thoughts. The 2020 Ram 1500 Classic exists to help fulfill orders as well as to supply a low-cost entry point to this pickup truck lineup. Unless you’re a budget-minded shopper, the new model simply offers a better choice with its handsome styling, more trims and packages, and an excellent turbodiesel engine.

Check prices for the 2020 Ram 1500 Classic »