Driving Impressions: 2014 Ram 1500 Diesel
V6 EcoDiesel a strong performer; Ram Truck benefits from Fiat technology
by Lazelle Jones
The demand for a full size light-duty diesel powered pickup truck is real and Chrysler’s Ram Truck Division has responded.
This coming January Ram Truck will have the 2014 Ram 1500 diesel at dealers and we expect them to move fast after our first time behind the wheel during a “ride and drive” for the automotive press yesterday here in Southern California.
We drove a fully optioned 2014 Ram 1500 V6 Crew Cab 4×4 with the air suspension sporting the 3.0L diesel with the equally new 8-speed automatic .
Ram execs say the fuel economy to be better than 25 mpg highway and at least 20 mpg city (actual factory numbers are pending EPA certification). What we saw showed they are being a little conservative.
Driving 25 miles along blue-line highways that lace the local hills; through residential communities and covering several miles on Hwy 101, we logged a very respectable (overall) 28.6 mpg.
Towing mpg is also impressive compared to the Hemi. Using a duplicate copy of this first Ram 1500, we trailered a boat with a Gross Trailer Weight of 4800 lbs. The fuel economy recorded was 15 mpg.
Suffice it to say that from zero to 70 mph (no trailer) the diesel 1500’s acceleration is quick, very quick.
It’s alo very quiet. With up to 8 fuel injections per combustion event, and the Ram’s body-on-frame construction that facilitates isolation of road and engine noise, it was transparent to us that this Ram 1500 features a diesel engine in lieu of a Hemi.
At the same time with the optional 4-wheel air-ride suspension system the unit yielded the ride of a luxury SUV.
The standard cab, 4X2 WD diesel, with a 3.92 rear axle ratio, is rated to tow 9,200 pounds with a payload capacity of 1510 pounds, while a crew cab model with 4WD and the 3.55 rear axle ratio is rated to tow 6,800 pounds and handle a payload of 1140 pounds.
As for price, the upscale 2014 Ram 1500 diesel we drove had a base MSRP of about $30,000.
We’ll have a full road test not too far down the road. Stay tuned.
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