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Ram diesel: official mileage

by David Zatz on

The 2014 Ram 1500 pickup, powered by the VM 3-liter V6 (also used in Jeep Grand Cherokee), set a best-ever full-size-pickup 28 mpg in EPA highway testing, neatly beating all current mid-size and full-size pickups. Before the diesel, the best full-size pickup highway mileage was set by Ram 1500 V6.

 The half-ton pickup also set a new combined city/highway benchmark of 23 mpg, matching the best four-cylinder midsize pickup’s record. The Ram 1500 diesel  is rated at 20 city, 28 highway, and 23 combined, where the Toyota Tacoma, with a four-cylinder engine and manual transmission, is rated at 21 city, 25 highway, 23 combined. Ram 1500 easily beat the Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline midsize pickups, as well as all Ford, Toyota, GM, and Nissan full-size trucks. 

In Canada, the pickup has earned a 7.1 L/100 km (40 mpg) EnerGuide fuel economy rating, also setting a class record.

ram 1500 diesel gas mileage

Ram chief Reid Bigland said, “To put the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in context, it gets 6 mpg better fuel economy than the best F150 EcoBoost. Overall, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has outstanding pick-up truck capability with compact car-like fuel economy.”

Ordering will begin on February 7, in all 50 states (and presumably in Canada).

The engine delivers peak torque unsurpassed among V-6 pickups (420 lb-ft). Ram 1500 remains the only pickup with eight-speed automatics, and the only half-ton pickup with an optional diesel.

Torque is higher than the base F-150 V8 and Silverado 1500 V8s , both rated at 15 city, 21 highway; and the Ram Hemi, rated at 14/20 with six-speed, and 15/22 with eight-speed.  (The base Nissan Titan V8 is rated 13/18, while the base Tundra V8 is 15/19).  The Ram 1500 diesel is rated to tow 9,200 lb.

The engine’s block and bedplate are made from lightweight Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI); it uses Fiat’s highly praised MultiJet 2 common-rail fuel-injection system, whose high-dispersion nozzles and servovalve can accommodate up to eight fuel-injection events per cylinder cycle. This mitigates noise and improves low-speed throttle response, while cutting fuel consumption and emissions. Other features include Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), high-pressure cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), variable swirl intake ports, and a variable-geometry turbocharger (pioneered by Chrysler with the 2.2 Turbo IV).

One of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 2014, the EcoDiesel V-6 was a major factor in the Ram 1500’s selection as 2014 Motor Trend Truck of the Year.  Powertrain chief Bob Lee said, “We are immensely gratified by achieving these milestones. Not only do they confirm our position as an industry leader in powertrain development and truck design, they promise tremendous benefits for our customers.”

The truck also has a thermal-management system that quickly warms transmission oil to reduce pumping losses associated with cold, low-viscosity fluid, active grille shutters, electric power steering, and aluminum for components, such as hoods, “that do not compromise capability.” 

The diesel engine adds $2,850 to the cost of the 2014 Ram 1500 Hemi; the diesel includes the eight-speed automatic, but even without that, the “diesel premium” is far lower than with the hefty Cummins diesel available on Ram 2500-5500. The truck has a five-year /100,000-mile powertrain warranty and three-year / 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.  It is built in Warren, Michigan (which has assembled more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938) except for regular cabs, which are made in Saltillo, Mexico. VM engines are made in Cento, Italy, while the eight-speed automatics are made in the United States.  See our review (by Bill Cawthon)

This article was first posted February 4 at 12:01 pm. It has been re-dated.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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