2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets 28-MPG EPA rating

Sections: Fuel Economy

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel press photo 2-14

(Photo courtesy Ram Trucks)

We’ve all speculated on whether the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel would hit the magic 30 MPG highway. After EPA fuel economy testing, it turns out the truck came up just shy — but still leading the fuel economy race — at 28 MPG.

The press release from Ram said the 28 MPG rating gives the Ram brand the two top spots in the full-size truck fuel economy wars. The Ram 1500 with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 rated at 25 MPG coming in the second spot behind its diesel-powered sister. We didn’t quite make it to the EPA highway fuel economy estimate in a four-wheel drive version of the Pentastar-powered Ram 1500 late last year, but given a second, anomaly-free round with the truck, I feel confident I could get there.

Not only does the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel surpass the previous top-ranked full-size Ram 1500, but the truck maker was quick to point out it does better than the top-ranked smaller pickup truck as well. The 2014 Toyota Tacoma in two-wheel drive, manual transmission, four-cylinder form gets an EPA rating of 25 MPG highway — tying the Pentastar Ram 1500 for most fuel-efficient truck in America until now.

Ram Truck Brand President and CEO Reid Bigland said, “The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is truly in a class of it’s own with 28 MPG and the ability to tow 9,200 pounds. To put the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in context, it gets 6 mpg better fuel economy than the best F150 EcoBoost. Overall, the Ram 1500 Eco-Diesel has outstanding pickup truck capability with compact-car-like fuel economy.”

Ram said customers can start ordering the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel this week. I hope I get to test one. A full-size pickup that can get as close to 30 MPG as my current daily driver, a compact 2006 Ford Ranger with a four-cylinder gasoline engine, makes for an intriguing possible next daily driver. I only wish the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel came with the option of a manual transmission. The only negative: Buying a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will cost $2,850 more than a similarly equipped Ram 1500 equipped with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 gasser. That puts it in the neighborhood of $28,000 for a basic Tradesman trim with vinyl seats.

If the Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner concept ever makes it to production at a more competitive price, I would be more inclined to add one of those to my family’s fleet mostly because I don’t need the Ram 1500’s large size and because I value the maneuverability advantages a midsize truck provides. Regardless, the pickup truck field has seldom been more interesting for diesel lovers.

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