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Why Trucks Like the 2020 Ram 1500 Are Becoming America's Family Car

One of the big stories coming out of the National Truck Summit this weekend, at the Twin Cities Auto Show, is the importance of pickups in every aspect of society. The head Interior Designer for Ram explains why.

This weekend, at the first ever National Truck Summit, Ryan Nagode, Ram’s chief designer, spoke about why the pickup truck is becoming America’s family car. Nagode has won praise for how his team redesigned and upgraded the interior of the both Ram 1500 and the Ram Heavy Duty models. Autotrader just singled out the 2020 Ram 1500 for having one of the 10 Best Car Interiors. Ram 1500 pickup sales have surged based on the upgraded models.

Nagode, who has a BFA in Industrial Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art, has told me in the past that he wants to make sure that there is an interior to suit every driver and what every driver wants in a vehicle. He reiterated that point in his keynote speech telling the audience, “We do a lot of research to see what the customer wants and what a family needs in a vehicle. You have to be able to haul all their stuff.”

Nagode believes that the key to becoming the family hauler is what is inside the truck. “Connecting to the consumer is very important and that happens in the interior.”

When Autotrader recently honored the 2020 Ram 1500 for its luxurious interior, Brian Moody, Executive Editor of Autotrader, echoed Nagode’s point. Moody said “For the third year in a row, the Ram 1500 is on our ‘Best Interiors’ list. The reason is simple, Ram has consistently gone the extra mile in setting their truck apart from the crowd with compelling textures, interesting patterns and rich, contemporary colors. Of all the full-size pickups available, the Ram 1500 has the best looking, highest quality interior,” said Moody. “Anyone who spends most of their day driving a pickup will appreciate the Ram’s soft-touch materials, thoughtful features and sturdy storage options. Eclipsing even some luxury cars, the Ram’s cab an excellent place to spend time either on the road or a night on the town. The 2020 Ram 1500’s interior scored an incredible 4.7 out of 5 in our editor’s evaluation. Something almost unheard of in any vehicle.”

More Room Means More Comfort

The 2020 Ram 1500s are lighter, longer and wider than other trucks, which means that there is more room in the interior. The extra room means that they could put in reclining seats for the rear seat passengers, a perk that really comes in handy if you routinely have family members riding with you. Ram also made the 1500s lighter than previous models which also helps with fuel economy. Saving money on fuel economy is also an important factor for families.

Families Want Technology

Nagode says that building technology into the trucks is also an important way to connect to modern families. The 2020 Ram 1500 features Ram’s signature 12” infotainment touchscreen. “Technology is everywhere and the 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen is the centerpiece of the truck.” Nagode told me previously that it was extremely important to the designers that the screen be functional but not too distracting. They wanted to make sure that the controls were easy to use and didn’t draw the driver’s eyes away from the road for too long.

Improved Storage

The 2020 Ram 1500 has the Ram exclusive in-floor storage bins. The in-floor storage has been a big selling point for many pickup buyers. They are popular when you have any items from toys to sports equipment that you want to secure. The Ram 1500 also has a center console in the front seat that can be configured a dozen different ways, helping the driver stay organized whether they are driving to work or driving the kids to school.

The increased storage, comfort and room for technology may be why the pickup is replacing sedans. The sales numbers support that theory. Trucks and crossovers have outpaced traditional cars to the point that the Detroit Three manufacturers have virtually abandoned sedans in favor of building trucks. Sales for the Ram 1500, in 2019, outpaced the Chevrolet Silverado and now Ram holds the number two spot in pickup sales. Nagode says “We felt that the new Ram 1500 was a culmination of things - storage, technology and function. Bringing value to each and every interior is vital.”

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