2020 RAM 2500 vs 2021 RAM 1500

2020 RAM 2500
2020 RAM 2500
$33,895MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 RAM 1500
2021 RAM 1500
$29,490MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2020 RAM 2500
$33,895MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 RAM 1500
$29,490MSRP
Overview
Overview
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CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 RAM 2500 was 8.8 out of 10, while the 2021 RAM 1500 scored 7.8 out of 10. Given these ratings, the 2020 RAM 2500 emerged as the more highly recommended truck. Its combination of exceptional towing capacity, luxury, and cutting-edge technology makes it the superior choice, particularly for those who need a heavy-duty vehicle that doesn’t compromise on comfort or capability.

Overview

MSRP

$33,895

MSRP

$29,490

Average price

$45,540

Average price

$37,448

Listings

715

Listings

8094
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.8 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Off-road capability
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Sluggish performance
Pros
  • Great ride quality
  • Stylish design
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard

2020 RAM 2500 Reviews Summary

Heavy-duty trucks are all about headroom. It's packing a half-ton of timber in the bed without feeling a thing in the cab, or pulling 8,000 pounds and knowing there's another 8,000 or more in reserve. While it's acceptable to max out a light-duty truck on occasion, doing so puts excessive stress on the powertrain, brakes, and tires. HD trucks like the 2020 Ram 2500 are flashier and monstrous in size, but their posture is serious. If your life requires a truck like this, then I’d recommend you indulge in the Ram’s top-grade luxury, technology, and capability.

2021 RAM 1500 Reviews Summary

Always the bridesmaid but never the bride, the Ram 1500 enters the fray of high-performance off-road vehicles with cocksure confidence. Second place in truck sales last year, Ram earns the first-place podium in superpowers with its new SRT Hellcat-powered TRX trim level as it looks to make moves to climb the sales charts. Or, maybe, just literally drive over its competition.
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

Engine

3.6L 305 hp V6

Drive Train

Drive Train

4X2

Seating Capacity

3

Seating Capacity

3

Horsepower

Horsepower

305 hp @ 6400 rpm

MPG City

MPG City

17

MPG Highway

MPG Highway

25
2020 RAM 2500
2020 RAM 2500
$33,895MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 RAM 1500
2021 RAM 1500
$29,490MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 RAM 2500
$33,895MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 RAM 1500
$29,490MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 RAM 2500 was 8.8 out of 10, while the 2021 RAM 1500 scored 7.8 out of 10. Given these ratings, the 2020 RAM 2500 emerged as the more highly recommended truck. Its combination of exceptional towing capacity, luxury, and cutting-edge technology makes it the superior choice, particularly for those who need a heavy-duty vehicle that doesn’t compromise on comfort or capability.

Overview
MSRP
$33,895
$29,490
Average price
$45,540
$37,448
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.8
4.5
Expert reviews

8.8 out of 10

Read full review

7.8 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Off-road capability
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Sluggish performance
Pros
  • Great ride quality
  • Stylish design
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Summary
Heavy-duty trucks are all about headroom. It's packing a half-ton of timber in the bed without feeling a thing in the cab, or pulling 8,000 pounds and knowing there's another 8,000 or more in reserve. While it's acceptable to max out a light-duty truck on occasion, doing so puts excessive stress on the powertrain, brakes, and tires. HD trucks like the 2020 Ram 2500 are flashier and monstrous in size, but their posture is serious. If your life requires a truck like this, then I’d recommend you indulge in the Ram’s top-grade luxury, technology, and capability.
Always the bridesmaid but never the bride, the Ram 1500 enters the fray of high-performance off-road vehicles with cocksure confidence. Second place in truck sales last year, Ram earns the first-place podium in superpowers with its new SRT Hellcat-powered TRX trim level as it looks to make moves to climb the sales charts. Or, maybe, just literally drive over its competition.
Video
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.6L 305 hp V6
Drive Train
4X2
Seating Capacity
3
3
Horsepower
305 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG City
17
MPG Highway
25
Look and feel
2020 RAM 2500
10/10
2021 RAM 1500
7/10
The 2020 RAM 2500 had positioned itself as an epitome of elegance within the heavy-duty truck category. Unlike its more ruggedly designed competitors like the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and the Ford F-250 Super Duty, the RAM 2500 exuded a design sensibility that emphasized upscale aesthetics. The grille of the RAM 2500, unique to each of its six trim levels, stood as a symbol of this elevated taste. This truck's sheer size might have felt overwhelming, yet it maintained a strikingly attractive appearance. chrome accents were prominent on the bumper, but a painted body-color option was available for those who preferred a subtler look. The LED headlights on the higher trims seamlessly complemented the domed hood, reinforcing the RAM 2500's familial resemblance to the smaller RAM 1500. Every aspect seemed to be broadened and elongated to suit the 2500’s commanding size. Optional clearance lights on the cab and extended side mirrors added a semi-truck-like aesthetic to the vehicle, giving it an imposing road presence. Along the sides and rear, the RAM 2500's design leaned towards a more car-like demeanor with its rounded edges and smoother body panels compared to its peers. Inside the Limited trim I tested, the RAM 2500 was lavishly appointed with 20-inch chrome wheels and LED taillights. The interior left a lasting impression with its exceptional materials and finish. In upper trims like the Laramie Longhorn and Limited, the interior rivaled even luxury cars in craftsmanship. Soft-grained, perforated leather adorned with elaborate stitch patterns covered seats, doors, center console, and the entire dash. The interior was accentuated with light wood trim, contrast piping, and aluminum speaker covers, presenting a stunning beige-and-navy-blue color combination. Contrast this with the 2021 RAM 1500, which, as a carryover model from its 2019 redesign, didn’t introduce new design elements for that year. It retained its stylish configurations, including a choice between a quad or crew cab, with bed lengths varying between a five-foot, seven-inch bed and a six-foot, four-inch bed. The larger two-door RAM 1500 variant exclusively paired with the longer box. Both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) options were available across all configurations. The standout addition to the 2021 RAM 1500 lineup was the all-new TRX model, which drew immediate attention with its commanding presence. Inspired by off-road rally races, the TRX sported a functioning hood scoop, a massive grille, and fender vents. Its dimensions were adjusted to emphasize its robust nature, with a 145.1-inch wheelbase, a height of 80.9 inches, and a width of 88 inches—considerations that nearly placed it in the commercial vehicle category. The TRX also had amber identifier lights within the hood scoop and red lights above the rear license plate to comply with regulations. Featuring large 325/65R18 35-inch all-terrain tires, black surroundings for the LED headlamps, composite fender flares, and new Ignition Orange paint, the TRX’s exterior demonstrated an outdoor-ready attitude while keeping up with RAM's standard for first-class comfort and technology. Inside, the TRX embodied both luxury and durability. The standard upholstery was a blend of black premium cloth and vinyl with red accents, which could be upgraded to leather and suede materials. The TRX's interior bore close resemblance to the RAM Rebel but boasted higher-grade finishes. The SRT-signature flat-bottom performance steering wheel provided both comfort and functionality, wrapped in leather and optionally available in suede and carbon fiber. The TRX’s 12-inch Uconnect infotainment display commanded the center console, seamlessly integrating with the overall design without appearing obtrusive.
Performance
2020 RAM 2500
9/10
2021 RAM 1500
9/10
The 2020 RAM 2500 offered versatility with its engine and transmission options available in both RWD and 4WD configurations, featuring an electronic low-range transfer case. The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 delivered an impressive 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, coupled with a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. This combination, previously noted on the RAM 2500 Power Wagon, was lauded for its strength. The gasoline V8 models boasted high payload capacities, with up to 4,380 pounds on RWD Regular cab models, and towing capacities hitting a maximum of 17,350 pounds for a RWD 2500 with the Regular cab. For those opting for diesel, the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbocharged engine, with its 370 horsepower and staggering 850 pound-feet of torque, offered solid performance. This diesel variant could tow up to 19,780 pounds and handle up to 3,060 pounds of payload. Despite the engine's slower acceleration, the RAM 2500's diesel model displayed unexpected agility on highways, merging smoothly thanks to its hefty torque. The exhaust brake system was particularly effective, enabling controlled deceleration on steep descents, adding a crucial layer of safety when hauling large trailers. Steering felt loose and the ride relatively stiff, making the RAM 2500 feel more utilitarian compared to the car-like handling of the RAM 1500. It’s a truck designed for heavy-duty tasks, and its ride quality reflects that functional robustness. With no EPA fuel economy ratings for heavy-duty trucks, the 2500’s average of 19 mpg over 515 highway miles was noteworthy. In contrast, the 2021 RAM 1500 TRX came equipped with a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 engine. This powertrain, known as the Hellcat engine, generated a staggering 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The TRX had a payload capacity of 1,310 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds. Performance-wise, the TRX was exceptional, accelerating to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, hitting 100 mph in 10.5 seconds, and completing a quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph, with a top speed of 118 mph. Fuel economy took a back seat with the TRX, which required 91 octane fuel and achieved 10 mpg in the city and 14 mpg on the highway, averaging 12 mpg combined. However, the TRX’s performance capabilities far outweighed fuel efficiency concerns for potential buyers. During testing, the TRX handled various driving scenarios, from city commutes to sweeping mountain highways and off-road adventures at the Wild West Motorsports Park. The TRX shone in off-road settings, equipped with eight drive modes including a Baja mode, excelling in both muddy trails and obstacle-filled courses. The TRX’s capacity to handle intense off-road conditions straight from the factory highlighted its robust design and engineering.
Form and function
2020 RAM 2500
8/10
2021 RAM 1500
8/10
The 2020 RAM 2500 offered versatile configurations with its choice of three cabs and two beds. Single cabs, with fold-down or fixed central consoles, paired with either an 8-foot or 6-foot-4-inch bed, optimizing payload capacity. Other trims came as Crew Cabs with either bed, enhancing versatility. The Mega Cab option provided rear passengers ultimate luxury, allowing them to recline and remain shielded by the thick C-pillar. The Crew Cab configuration delivered ample space in all directions, making it comfortable for long hauls or large crews. Utility features included power running boards, a retractable tailgate step, and lockable RamBox storage compartments on the bed's flanks. The RAM 2500 with the diesel model showcased practical features like a diesel emissions fluid (DEF) level gauge and a countdown timer for cold starts. The interior conveniences extended to a 220-amp standard alternator, with the option for dual 380 or 440-amp alternators, and a rear air suspension system to adjust trailer hitch height. The 2021 RAM 1500 TRX, though larger in exterior proportions, retained identical interior dimensions to the standard RAM 1500 models. The front headroom and legroom were ample at 40.9 inches, with rear seats offering 39.8 inches of headroom and 45.2 inches of legroom. Storage was well-utilized within the cabin, with plenty of compartments for passengers’ needs. Power-adjustable pedals and a well-designed seating position contributed to driver comfort, especially on long drives.
Technology
2020 RAM 2500
10/10
2021 RAM 1500
8/10
The 2020 RAM 2500 featured a standard 5-inch touchscreen, upgradable to an 8.4-inch Uconnect system, which provided quick, logical, and high-resolution usability. However, it was the 12-inch touchscreen that stole the spotlight. This extensive display, flanked by physical switches and knobs for climate and stereo controls, allowed for comprehensive vehicle management. It offered expansive map views, dual information tiles on the home screen, and intuitive settings adjustments for trailers and other features. Integrated 360-degree cameras, hitch alignment assist, and high-mounted rear-view cameras enhanced utility and safety. The 2021 RAM 1500 TRX came standard with a 12-inch Uconnect 4C infotainment system. This customizable display enabled quick access to frequently used controls and settings, configurable as a single or split-screen. Performance Pages displayed vehicle metrics like lap times and engine performance, while Off-Road Pages monitored aspects like ride height and pitch and roll. The system supported wireless charging, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a host of other connectivity options, including Bluetooth, USB-A, USB-C, and AUX ports. Entertainment options included HD Radio, a WiFi hotspot, and a six-month SiriusXM Radio trial subscription. New for 2021 was a full-color head-up display (HUD), a first for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, presenting up to five pieces of real-time driving information customizable via the instrument cluster or Uconnect touchscreen.
Safety
2020 RAM 2500
9/10
2021 RAM 1500
9/10
The 2020 RAM 2500 hadn’t been rated by the NHTSA or IIHS, but its sibling, the 2020 RAM 1500, earned the remarkable Top Safety Pick+ status. This award came after acing all six crash tests and evaluations for forward emergency braking and headlights. Optional driver assists included blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and forward emergency braking that functioned with a trailer. The 2021 RAM 1500 TRX also hadn’t been rated by NHTSA or IIHS at launch. Nevertheless, it came with over 100 safety and security features, though many high-end ADAS offerings were optional. Standard features included a rear backup camera. For comprehensive safety, the Advanced Safety Group package was essential, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, pedestrian detection with emergency braking, and a 360-degree camera system. New safety features for 2021 included a digital rear-view mirror and an advanced accident response system.
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By: CarGurus + AI

This car comparison has been created with using generative AI. It is based entirely on CarGurus expert review content, ratings and data, and leverages our extensive library of hands-on product tests to create thousands of unique comparisons to help shoppers choose the right car.