Jump to content

Chrysler's Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Pickup Earns 28-mpg Highway Rating


Recommended Posts

Wall Street Journal / February 4, 2014

Chrysler Group LLC said Tuesday its Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck has earned a U.S. EPA-estimated rating of 28 miles a gallon in highway driving, setting a new bar to top for truck brands, and especially Ford’s lightweight, aluminum-bodied F-150, due out later this year.

Chrysler, now owned by Italy's Fiat SpA, took the highway fuel-economy crown more than a year ago with the rollout of a new gasoline-powered Ram 1500 that, when equipped with a V6 engine and 8-speed transmission, gets 25 mpg highway.

The mileage ratings for Ram are significant as the industry's closely watched pickup truck wars heat up this year with Ford planning to introduce a new aluminum-bodied version of its best-selling F-150 pickup.

Ford has yet to release fuel-economy numbers on the new F-150, which is 700 pounds lighter than the current model. But at the Detroit auto show in January, Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said he was "absolutely" confident the redesigned pickup would deliver class-leading fuel economy.

Asked whether it would get 30 mpg highway, Mr. Mulally replied: "We're absolutely going to be the leader."

Company officials clarified Tuesday that the new F-150 would lead the class in fuel economy against other similar gasoline engines.

"Even customers who choose a base model F-150 are going to get improved efficiency," a Ford spokesman said, referring to the redesigned truck that will go on sale this year.

"They don't have to buy a special engine to get best-in-class efficiency or performance."

The sparring over fuel economy comes as Detroit's Big Three auto makers are profiting from a surge in demand for large pickups, boosted by stable gasoline prices and a slowly recovering economy.

Ram's pickup sales shot up 21% last year to 355,673 vehicles. In January, Ram pickup sales rose 22.5% while Ford F-series sales were flat, and Chevrolet Silverado sales dropped by 18%.

The new Ram diesel goes on sale this month. It will be the first light-duty diesel truck to hit the market in nearly 15 years.

Opting for the diesel over the gasoline-powered model won't come without a cost.

The new 1500 EcoDiesel V6 will cost buyers $2,850 more than the base model of the gasoline version, which starts at $24,200. Diesel fuel also is more expensive, currently averaging about 60 cents more per gallon than gasoline.

"To put the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in context, it gets 6 mpg better fuel economy than the best F-150 EcoBoost," said Reid Bigland, chief executive for the Ram brand.

"Overall, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has outstanding pickup truck capability with compact-car-like fuel economy."

The turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine that Ford offers on its current F-150 is meant to supply V8 power with improved fuel-efficiency. It gets 22 mpg highway, but costs buyers $2,095 more than the base engine.

In the 2015 F-150, Ford will launch a 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine that the company expects will best all other "like" gasoline engines for fuel economy.

Auto companies are under pressure to improve fuel savings, particularly on large trucks and SUVs, not just because of consumer pressure but also because U.S. government fuel-economy requirements are set to climb sharply toward a target fleet average of 54.5 mpg by 2025.

For the Detroit auto makers, pickup trucks are huge profit generators and ceding sales to rivals could have put a dent on earnings. Analysts estimate that such trucks on average generate between $8,000 and $10,000 in operating profit.

Chrysler is opting for a different strategy for improving the Ram's fuel-economy numbers than Ford's move to an all-aluminum body. Instead, Chrysler is making changes under the hood, such as adding an 8-speed (ZF 8HP based) transmission, the diesel option and a more efficient gasoline six-cylinder model. With more gears, the transmission can keep the engine running at the most efficient level through a broader range of speeds.

Last year, General Motors redesigned its full-size trucks, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, but their fuel-economy ratings remain behind those on the Ram 1500.

The 2014 Chevy Silverado, for instance, is rated at an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway when equipped with a similar V6 gasoline engine.

Toyota and Nissan also sell full-size pickups but their share of the pickup truck is much smaller. The fuel economy of their trucks also lags that of the domestic rivals.

Nissan, however, plans to offer a (Cummins) diesel engine on its next-generation Titan pickup, although it is unclear when exactly it will debut.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the green nazis ruin everything they touch. it wont be long and the rumble of a smallblock american v8 will be nothing but a memory .

How dare you curse like that on this forum! Never!

"Any Society that would give up a little LIBERTY to gain a little SECURITY will Deserve Neither and LOSE BOTH" -Benjamin Franklin

"If your gonna be STUPID, you gotta be TOUGH"

"You cant always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hope you have an extra $4000 for the Diesel engine option. Likely other crap options will be needed to opt for the Diesel. Not worth the extra cost unless you plan to keep it forever. Too much "emissions crap" on a Diesel engine for my liking.

Here in central PA, Diesel fuel is $4.359 and regular gasoline is $3.599. You do the calculations.


PRR Country and Charter member of the "Mack Pack"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The price of diesel in the United States, compared to the price of gasoline, is a national embarrassment.

As much as I like a diesel in a car or pickup truck, our country's diesel prices make it cost prohibitive to own a diesel light vehicle. At a time when our government is simultaneously promoting fuel-efficient vehicles, the situation is ironic indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...