The 2020 MotorTrend Truck of the Year

FindItMore | Building an award-winning MotorTrend Truck is a pretty challenging affair. Unlike building a luxury sedan, where you primarily need great looks, a nice ride and plenty of creature features, trucks today require all of that plus the ability to do serious work with.

According to Motortrend, meeting those requirements for 2020, better than any of the competition, are the Ram 2500 and 3500 series of Heavy Duty pickups.  Thus, the MotorTrend Truck of the Year award went to the Ram 2500 and 3500 series of Heavy Duty trucks. Our local dealer, Dayton Andrews Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram filled us in on a few things that they felt helped lead to the award.

General looks

It’s not easy making the large heavy-duty pickup attractive but the Ram Heavy Duty handily delivers in ways no other does.

The grille, for instance, is 30 percent larger than previous years, mainly to feed the largest radiator and intercooler ever fit a heavy-duty Ram. Plus, the Ram MotorTrend Truck Heavy Duty is the most aerodynamic in its class, with a 0.40 coefficient of drag.

Just like with the light-duty 1500 Big Horn Quad Cab, Ram HD buyers are spoiled for choice. Each of its six trim levels features a distinctive grille, wheel options, and trim befitting the character of the truck.

Inside details

Things are even better inside. All models get two to four color scheme options, acoustic glass, active noise canceling, and a variety of standard infotainment options. Most notably are the infotainment screen options which range from a standard 5.0-inch screen to a massive 12.0-inch version. The cockpit offers up to five USB and USB-C outlets, wireless charging, an optional auxiliary switch bank, and a new center console.

Delivering the goods

The Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks offer three compelling engine options. The lineup starts with a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 making 410 hp with 429 lb-ft of torque. Backing up the legacy Hemi is a beefed-up version of the Ram 1500’s quick-shifting eight-speed automatic.

If the Hemi doesn’t satisfy you, a duo Cummins turbodiesels will. The standard Cummins turbodiesel is a 6.7-liter I-6 which makes a healthy 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. Next up is a high-output version making 400 horsepower and a mind-blowing 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

Working hand in hand with the high-output Cummins is an Aisin-sourced six-speed automatic, which, when equipped with the Max Tow package, a regular cab, rear-drive, and dual-rear-wheel 3500HD, helps the HD tow up to 35,100 pounds.

Excellent ride

Ram also spent a lot of time refining the suspensions on the 2500 and 3500. One big point in previous Ram HD—is a harsh ride quality when unloaded. As a result, the all-new HDs get Frequency Response Damping shocks, which work with the rear five-link coil springs on the 2500 and traditional leaf springs on the 3500 to give both trucks better ride quality and handling when empty or loaded.

Value

Rams have traditionally been stronger values than their Ford and GM rivals. The HD is no exception. Prices for the 2500 Tradesman start at just $35,090, undercutting both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500HDs. At the other end of the pricing spectrum, the Ram 3500 Limited starts at $64,045, coming in less than both the GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali and Ford F-350 while offering one of the most luxurious cabins ever seen on a pickup truck.

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