2020 Ram EcoDiesel gets best fuel economy among 1/2-ton 4×4 pickups

2020 Ram Rebel (above)
2020 Ram Rebel (above)

The battle of the diesel ½-ton truck segment continues as Ram announces fuel economy ratings for the 2020 Ram 1500 powered by the new 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine.

Ram’s half-ton EcoDiesel will be EPA rated at 32 miles mpg highway, 22 mpg city for 4×2 models; 29 mpg highway, 21 mpg city for 4×4 models.

Though both of GM’s two-wheel-drive ½-ton diesels, the 2020 Chevy Silverado and 2020 GMC Sierra, are tops in fuel economy at 33 mpg, Ram surpassed Ford and earned a top mpg rating among four-wheel-drive ½-ton trucks. Ford’s two-wheel-drive F-150 diesel gets 30 mpg.

While Ram didn’t place first in overall fuel economy, they’re pleased with the top spot among fuel-sipping 4×4 trucks since, as the company pointed out, those drivetrains represent more than 80 percent of the U.S. full-size truck mix.

The 2020 Ram 3.0-liter EcoDiesel offers best-in-class torque at 480 lb.-ft.The 2020 Ram 3.0-liter EcoDiesel offers best-in-class torque at 480 lb.-ft.

Plus, Ram’s riding high with a class-leading 480 lb.-ft. of torque and class-leading diesel towing capability of 12,560 pounds.

“The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel offers the best torque and towing among all half-ton diesel trucks,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. “Now with a 10-year track record, the Ram brand has emerged as a truck powertrain technology leader. The all-new EcoDiesel engine and Ram 1500 eTorque mild-hybrid powertrains deliver outstanding fuel efficiency alternatives for our Ram 1500 customers.”

The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel also leads all trucks in fuel range. Paired with an available 33-gallon fuel tank, Ram’s driving range exceeds 1,000 miles.

The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is available across all models and configurations, including a first-time offering in the Ram Rebel.

2020 Ram 1500 EPA Numbers City Combined Highway
3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel 4×2 22 26 32
3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel 4×4 21 24 29
3.6-liter V-6 eTorque 4×2 20 22 25
3.6-liter V-6 eTorque 4×4 19 22 24
5.7-liter HEMI V-8 4×2 15 17 22
5.7-liter HEMI V-8 4×4 15 17 21
5.7-liter HEMI V-8 eTorque 4×2 17 19 23
5.7-liter HEMI V-8 eTorque 4×4 17 19 22

The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $­­­­­­36,890 for the Tradesman Quad Cab 2WD, plus $1,695 destination. The EcoDiesel is a $4,995 option, or $3,000 premium over the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 eTorque ($3,300 on Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Rebel and Laramie base models).

The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Crew Cab is also offered with the second-generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel. Pricing for the Ram 1500 Classic EcoDiesel (Crew Cab 4×2) starts at $39,140, plus destination.

All-new EcoDiesel

The third generation of the turbocharged EcoDiesel V6 delivers increased torque and horsepower, along with superb fuel economy and minimal levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), to meet the needs of Ram 1500 owners.

In the 2020 Ram 1500, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 is rated at a best-in-class 480 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm, a 14 percent increase from the previous-generation EcoDiesel V-6, that peaks 400 rpm earlier. Horsepower increases 8 percent to 260 hp at 3,600 rpm.

Several significant changes contribute to the new EcoDiesel’s improved dynamic and fuel economy performance:

  • A new-generation water-cooled turbocharger with variable geometry is more efficient and provides improved response as engine rpms rise and fall
  • Redesigned intake ports to improve engine performance and fuel economy
  • Introduction of a dual, high-pressure and low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system, a first for a diesel engine in North America. The EcoDiesel’s existing high-pressure EGR, with cooling exhaust gases drawn from the exhaust manifold, is augmented with a low-pressure EGR system that draws exhaust gases after they exit the diesel particulate filter. The addition of cooler, low-pressure exhaust gas makes a significant contribution to improved fuel economy and lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx)
  • The compression ratio is changed to 16.0:1, from 16.5:1, which helps reduce exhaust emissions, particularly NOx
  • Redesigned high-pressure (29,000 psi/2,000 bar) direct-injection fuel injector nozzles
  • Combustion chamber geometry optimized to improve fuel economy
  • Redesigned aluminum-alloy pistons improve fuel economy. The redesigned pistons use thinner piston rings and coating on the side skits to reduce friction
  • The piston pin is offset 0.3 degrees from the centerline to reduce “piston slap” against the cylinder wall, minimizing NVH
  • The lower portion of the two-piece oil sump uses a sandwiched polymer/metal material to reduce NVH
  • The Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system is 50 percent larger and incorporates a new-generation diesel oxidation catalyst with the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system to reduce NOx
  • New-generation brake system vacuum pump with low-friction blades contributes to improved fuel economy

These upgrades build on the EcoDiesel V6’s attributes and performance that made it a winner of Wards 10 Best Engines award for three consecutive years.

The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 uses dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) with four valves per cylinder and a 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks. The block is cast with compacted graphite iron, which provides strength to dampen vibrations, but weighs less than grey cast iron. A compacted graphite iron bedplate adds rigidity to the block.

The EcoDiesel V6 uses a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods for strength and durability. The aluminum alloy pistons are cooled on the underside via oil jets. Heat-treated aluminum cylinder heads use individual bearing caps to reduce friction and minimize NVH. The chain-driven overhead camshafts employ roller-finger followers.

The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 is produced at the FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy.