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Ram 1500: Which Should You Buy, 2019 or 2020?

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Most significant changes: New diesel powertrain that’s offered on every trim level; Night Edition appearance package for Big Horn and Laramie trim levels; advanced safety features for Rebel

Price change: Varies by trim level with mostly modest increases, but some cab/bed configurations are actually cheaper for 2020

On sale: Now

Which should you buy, 2019 or 2020? 2020 if you want the diesel or a blacked-out truck; otherwise, a 2019 will do in most cases (if you can find one)

The 2020 Ram 1500 doesn’t get a redesign or a refresh for this model year, but that doesn’t mean that the half-ton pickup truck has been resting on its laurels. Not only did it snag our Luxury Car of the Year award for 2020, it also sees changes aplenty. The biggest one is found under the hood: a new diesel powertrain that excitingly will be available across all of the truck’s trim levels.

Related: Here’s What’s New for 2020 Ram Full-Size Trucks

That’s right, folks — whether you’re going to go for a Tradesman, Big Horn, Lone Star, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn or Limited, you can get your Ram 1500 with diesel power. We found in our testing that the diesel doesn’t quite live up to its estimated fuel-economy ratings, but it’s still got a class-leading 480 pounds-feet of torque and much better fuel economy than the V-8 gas engines the Ram offers.

The off-road-oriented Ram 1500 Rebel also sees big changes this year in addition to the diesel. A Black Appearance Group has returned, which adds wheels, a skid plate and an interior all dressed in black. This is available with a variety of body colors. The Rebel’s exterior graphics have changed, as well. On the non-cosmetic side, there’s a new Rebel Safety Group that adds adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go capability), forward collision mitigation, automatic high beams and lane departure warning.

Big Horn and Laramie models will also get the black treatment with an available Night Edition option that includes black wheels (22 inches on the Laramie, 20 inches on the Big Horn), black badging and other exterior details.

Rounding out the changes are a few more exterior styling tweaks. Two-tone 22-inch wheels can now be found on the luxurious Longhorn, and there are three new exterior colors: Hydro Blue, RV Match Walnut Brown and Olive Green.

Not including the options packages, pricing for the Ram 1500 has changed minimally. Most trims see small increases ($100 to $720), but some cab/bed configurations (HFE, Limited) actually see a small reduction in price. I’d pretty much call it a wash between the two model years, with the big deciding factor for shoppers being whether you want a diesel or really, really like black. Apart from that, if the equipment is to your liking, you can opt for a 2019 or 2020 without much difference.

And don’t forget the Ram 1500 interior, especially in the Laramie Longhorn and Limited trims, remains the best in the business. That’s Chevrolet, Ford and GMC you see over there in the corner staring longingly at the luxury-grade cabin you find in the Ram 1500’s top trim levels. It has singlehandedly increased our expectations of what truck interiors can be, and we’re eagerly awaiting the competition to play catch-up, because honestly, a big cushy truck is one of the most satisfying drives around today.

The 2020 Ram 1500 is on sale now.

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