We jumped on the opportunity to compare a brand new 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie to the famous 12 valve Cummins powered 1994 Ram. Both trucks are impressive in their own respect, but one of them is my personal daily driver.
I’ll do my best to be objective here
Chrysler built old trucks the same way every manufacturer did, cheaply. Other than its paint, my 1994 Laramie is in shockingly good shape. Even so there are tons of tragically cheap parts I can’t help but shake my head at.
The 1994 Ram’s saving grace was the optional 12 valve Cummins engine. Many people consider this engine one of the toughest ever made, and it’s easy to see why. A Bosch P7100 mechanical fuel pump controls almost every part of the engine’s operation. The absence of electronic sits at the core of its rugged appeal.
The 2020 Ram is drenched in electronics, so there goes the simplicity that kept old trucks going forever.
However, manufacturers build vehicles better than they used to. That means a lot of those electronics if not most of them, actually work. Whats more, adding technology to a vehicle refines the way it drives and makes it more comfortable.
When it comes to comfort, the 2020 Laramie Ram wins by miles. Every part of the new interior trounces the old truck, no surprise there. The quality of materials, presence of technology, ergonomics and sound insulation make the 1994 Laramie look like a well furnished prison cell.
The story is much the same when it comes to ride quality. The 2020 truck rides like a luxury car whereas the 1994 feels closer to a horse drawn wagon. That being said, the old truck isn’t all bad.
Here is a detailed look at how the new 2020 Ram HD 2500 works on a long cross-country road trip.
The old interior has comfortable seats, all the necessary features, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, and you can shift through every gear without lifting your elbow from the console. Thats right, you can shift gears.
Ram stopped offering manual transmissions in fifth generation trucks. Thankfully, my second generation truck has the holy trinity of pedals, gas brake and a clutch.
At the end of the day, the best truck is determined by what you want to do with it. For towing huge trailers and driving long distances, you cannot beat modern comfort and performance. 2020 Rams are objectively better in almost every way than their predecessors.
The 1994 truck personifies what trucks used to be for. Everything you need to be happy in it every day, and nothing more. Perfect simplicity which allows you to fix everything from home with basic tools and keep it going past the apocalypse. Best of all, it cost me $8,000 to buy, little more than a tenth of the 2020 Ram Hemi’s sticker price of $70,980.
For more detail on the differences between these Rams, check out the video linked above.