2014 – 2015 RAM 1500 Eco Diesel Review

because this is the 2014 RAM 1500 eco diesel the only half-ton diesel pickup truck sold in America on the outside it looks just like any other Ram pickup truck we have the same big rig styling that Ram has been known for since 1994 2014 brings us
a slightly massaged front end with new

headlamps a new grille it’s now leaning
slightly forward just like all the other Dodge and RAM products we have a nice chrome bumper down here is a metal chrome bumper this year and we have parking sensors integrated into that front bumper as an option package for 2014 it’s the same story outback we still have dual chrome exhaust tips back here just like you get with the v8 we have a chrome bumper with optional parking sensors back here a particular model does have them we have a two inch trailer receiver which we’ll talk about in a little bit
with a four pin and a 7 pin wiring

harness right there one thing to keep in
mind is that unlike Toyota and General Motors pickup trucks for 2014 we have a standard tailgate here so the toda and the GM pickup trucks use a spring assist system to make it easier to open and close the tailgate we don’t have that in the Ram 1500 pickup truck but we do have a nice high mounted back up camera right here that lets you view the trailer and the connection right there so you can more easily line up your trailer if you’re backing up into that trailer receiver one thing to note is that there’s also an optional bed cam that can be mounted up there by the third stoplight that looks down into the bed and you can also get that at the same time as you get the backup camera park next to it the only way that you’d know
this is the diesel 1500 model is this

logo right here that says eco diesel
right on the front fender it’s now time to take a look at the reason why we’re watching this video it is this 3 liter v6 turbo diesel engine you could say this is the Cadillac of v6 diesel engines because this was originally designed by via matauri of Italy for the European market Cadillac CTS however when the world market went into the toilet in 2008 all those plans were scrapped and it just sort of sat on the shelf for a while because via matauri is half owned by General Motors as well as Fiat and of course Chrysler is now in bed with Fiat now we have access to this 3 liter turbo diesel engine and because it didn’t have any other uses they jammed it inside the pickup truck as well as the Grand Cherokee that means this engine has a very

interesting pedigree it also means it’s

awfully smooth I’ll take off the cover so you can see why the engine so smooth not only do we have a decent amount of sound insulation right on this cover you can see there’s an incredible amount of foam coating the top of this engine you can remove these additional foam blocks and get a little bit more diesel engine sound out of this engine something that I would probably do if I bought this engine because half of the reason to own a diesel is just because of the way it sounds for me this turbo diesel engine produces some impressive power numbers we’re talking 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm compared with the gasoline lineup in the 1500 it beats all the torque numbers down the line the 3.6 liter gasoline v6 is good for 305 horsepower but only 269 pound-feet of torque where the 5.7 liter Hemi engine beats

this in horsepower at 395 as well but it

does come in short a 410 pound-feet of torque and it delivers that torque higher than 2,000 rpm in fact when you compare this to other half-ton pickup trucks out on the market only GM’s brand new 6.2 liter v8 beats this in the torque department with 434 pound-feet of torque but now we have to talk about transmissions because that’s also big news for 2014 this 3 liter turbo diesel is mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission meaning it has two more speeds than either the Ford or the GM pickup trucks out there on the market that’s a big deal when you’re talking about a diesel engine because Diesel’s don’t rev terribly high and they produce their power in a more narrow power band than a lot of gasoline engines so that 8-speed automatic transmission really maximizes the
drivability of this engine possibly more

impressive than the power figures is the

price tag on this diesel engine $4,000 more than the base v6 engine for almost twice the torque is not a half-bad value this engine costs two thousand eight hundred fifty dollars more than the Hemi v8 but it will pay you back in terms of fuel economy which we’ll talk about later well the gasoline Ram 1500 comes in 11 different term levels the diesel is only available in six of those the tradesman the SLT the outdoorsman the Bighorn the Laramie and the laramie longhorn it is still available with three different cabs as well as three different beds and the version you’re looking at right here is the biggest cab and the shortest bed that’s available with this big cab Chrysler has yet to release official payload numbers for the eco diesel 1500 but it is only 50 pounds heavier than a similarly equipped 5.7 liter v8 so we expect those to be fairly close I estimate about 1700 pounds one thing to
keep in mind is that all of General

new 1500 pickup trucks have class-leading payload numbers so you can stuff a few hundred pounds more in the bed of your chevy silverado than you could in this Ram 1500 when it comes to towing the eco diesel slips the difference between the 3.6 liter v6 engine and the 5.7 liter Hemi ringing at nine thousand two hundred pounds for this engine versus ten thousand four hundred fifty for the Hemi if you want to tow an awful lot and you want a 1500 series pickup truck then you’re going to have to go to GM because they do have class leading towing there but one important thing to keep in mind is that in most states if you’re going to tell over ten thousand pounds you need a
commercial driver’s license anyway so I

think that you’d probably be just fine
with this eco diesel front seat comfort is excellent in our Laramie model we do have the 10 way power adjustable driver’s seat as well as power front passenger seat the seat does offer a two-way adjustable lumbar support as well as two positioned memory in our trim level of 1500 one thing to keep in mind is that well we do have power adjustable pedals the steering wheel only tilts it does not telescope which is somewhat different than the new GM pickup trucks which tilt and telescope so it is a little bit easier to find an ideal driving position in that GM pickup truck especially we like to sit particularly close or particularly far away from the steering wheel we’re in the largest cab available in the Ram 1500 and these back seats are very comfortable they don’t recline so that is one thing to keep in mind and these seat bottom cushions are a little bit closer to the floor then you’ll find in the GM pickup truck so it’s a little bit more comfortable for children but a little bit less comfortable for adults this front seats adjusted for me at 6 feet tall as you can see I have about 6 inches of legroom left back there I also have about 3 inches of headroom left our particular model does not have the optional sunroof moving over to the middle seat we do have a slightly
pronounced hump right here in the middle

which does mean I get a little bit less
legroom I have to have my knees sort of in my chest here in order to be sitting in the middle but I still have a decent amount of headroom here in the middle and because the RAM 1500 is so wide it’s very easy to fit three adults across the back bench seat if I slide all the way over to the right this front seat was adjusted for a six foot five passenger in the car and I still have about six inches of legroom left behind that seat there are a lot of cupholders going on back here we have two cup holders right here in the floor we also have two cup holders in the center armrest if we flip these rear seats up you’ll find additional storage right under this little lid right here I happen to have a cable modem in there for some reason and you can also flip and fold this load floor area to create a flat load floor with the bottom of the seat there’s a little bit different than other pickup trucks on the market most notably the diem pickup trucks which have a standard flat load floor because they don’t have this optional cargo area right here as standard you can get one available in that silverado and the GMC version but it’s not standard over here

in our particular model we have the

optional subwoofer hiding in this storage bin so if you didn’t have the subwoofer you have a little bit of extra storage there this side folds out just like that other side let’s take a look around the interior since we are in the Laramie edition we do have these leather seats and they are heated and cooled in our model that’s why they have the perforated seat bottom as well as the seat back because we’re not in the Laramie long hard Edition we don’t have leather doors over here so these are just injection molded plastics with faux stitching right along the front there moving along to the dashboard we have a very attractive brown interior I do have a thing for Brenna Terriers that is one thing to keep in mind again injection molded with the faux stitching up here we do get hard plastics down lower in the dashboard we have a dual glovebox arrangement going on in the Ram 1500 with a small glovebox there and a slightly larger one below moving over to the center you can see up there at the top of the screen the optional center channel speaker if you get the Alpine
sound system we have a little storage

cubby right here surrounded by fake wood
in our Laramie model if we had the laramie longhorn edition this would be real 8.4 inch you connect touchscreen which we’ll go over in a little bit moving down below that we have a dual zone climate control system and we have this Jaguar ask shift knob the reason we have this instead of a console shifter is because there is still a six passenger bench seat option in the front I think this is a little bit more attractive than a column shifter but a little bit less intuitive to use below the climate control buttons we have our $230 optional trailer brake controller definitely something that I would buy if I were you we have the optional $1600 air suspension system that’s not only load levels but it also raises and lowers the truck just like the Jeep Grand Cherokee heated seats cooled seats tow haul button heated steering wheel parking sensors front and rear and this little blank right here is used for the optional exhaust break in the RAM 2500 and 3500 series something that you don’t find on the 1500 diesel moving over to the right we have another little storage cubby and then we have an
optional 115 volt power adapter right

in the center console you’ll find a reasonable amount of storage room that is cubby right there fairly deep storage compartment right there with a 12-volt power adapter two large cupholders and then we have this enormous center console bin money holder decent amount of room in here you can fit a tablet computer inside this area over here is where you’ll find your you connect inputs auxilary input 1 USB secure digital card and then we have a USB charge only port right there if we close this lid and open the next session you’ll find a fairly deep cargo area right there in the center console our 1500 is equipped with key let’s go so we have a start button right over there we still have radio controls on the back of the steering wheel as you can see then on the front of the steering wheel we have gear change buttons these are more gear suggestions to this car because they aren’t a manual mode cruise control buttons right over here and then on this side we have our voice recognition button phone button and then these four buttons control that large
7-inch gauge cluster right there between

the dials this steering wheel is a thick
rimmed leather wrap steering wheel you can get a half wood steering wheel in the laramie longhorn edition it is a very attractive steering wheel for a pickup truck it’s also heated available in our particular vehicle automatic headlamps over here then moving down you’ll find strangely enough the same set of window controls that you’ll find in a Mercedes e-class with the same power folding mirror button let’s take a look at this gauge cluster now over here we have our diesel exhaust fluid tech ometer engine temperature engine oil pressure speedometer and then of course our fuel level over there but the big thing is right here in the center and it’s the seven-inch multi information display we have fuel economy we have trip computers as you can see we’ve been averaging 24 to 25 miles per gallon in this Ram 1500 that’s in a decent amount of towing stop-and-go traffic highway traffic mountain driving etc we have a trailer information screen there for the integrated trailer brake controller we have audio information system messages there nothing right there just to show we can change some options right there on the screen we can get a digital speedometer in this screen we can get a decent amount of vehicle information from oil life to battery voltage gauge summary engine idle hours we can also get tire pressure and then information on the air
suspension settings in our vehicle the

RAM 1500 like most pickup truck scores

ten out of ten points in our exclusive trunk comfort index but we do get a few bonus points for this optional $1,900 RAM box cargo system this helps you use what would otherwise be mostly wasted space in a traditional pickup truck right here on either side of the bed there are fairly deep and they do have drain plugs so you can use them as coolers we also have a little switch over here to turn on the lights inside this cargo area and a little escape handle should a toddler get stuck in there these lock centrally with the vehicles locking system but they do cause the truck bed to become a little bit smaller than a traditional ram 1500 pickup truck it is still about four feet two inches between one side of the cargo bed and the other so you can still foot four by eight sheets of whatever inside the truck with these Ram boxes even though the diesels 240 horsepower are trying to motivate about 6,000 pounds of truck performance is better than you might think we scored zero to 60 in seven point seven five seconds and that’s in one of the heaviest versions of the eco diesel 1500 that you can get we do have the optional 1600 all or air suspension in this Ram 1500 which does increase the vehicle weight that air suspension does give you the best ride in the segment however allowing the Ram 1500 to soak up road imperfections better than any of the other pickup trucks currently out on the market in fact overall the road manners of the
RAM 1500 can be described as very SUV

like I wouldn’t go as far as car-like

but this Ram 1500 definitely rides like a modern body-on-frame SUV if you were worried that this engine would be just a little bit too quiet then fear not Chrysler has piped just the right amount of engine noise into the cabin for a pickup truck this cabin is however very quiet overall ranking at 67 decibels making this the quietest half-ton pickup truck that we’ve ever tested in terms of ride and handling the RAM 1500 does very well in this segment I would call this the best handling as well as the best feeling pickup truck available right now in America but that’s by a very small margin most of these pickup trucks are all very similar out on the road so it’s not necessarily saying too much the steering is still pretty numb and pretty vague but you need to expect that out of any pickup truck now it’s time to talk about the Eco portion of this 3 liter Ecotec engine we’ve been averaging a kid you not twenty four and a half miles per gallon over about 600 miles of very NICs driving it’s important to keep in mind that this is the heaviest version of the eco is a 1500 pickup truck because we have the air suspension the RAM boxes the tonneau cover some cargo dividers all those other options put together and we’ve still been getting twenty four and a half miles per gallon making this the best fuel economy you can get in a 1500 series pickup truck but that’s not all
in a one-way daily commute on my way to

the office again climbing up in over 20

200-foot mountain pass I averaged 31 miles per gallon in moderate traffic going an average of about 50 miles an hour again because it was moderate slow and go traffic not stop and go slow and go so it is a very impressive number for a vehicle that’s this heavy as well as this large and now it’s time to talk about the other half of this equation and that’s towing for me an 8-speed automatic and 410 pound-feet of torque are good for only one thing and that’s towing so let’s connect this 7,000 pound trailer and go climb some hills this 3 liter turbo diesel engine is a great engine at oweth not just because it produces better power figures than the first Cummins diesel engine that Ram started using way back when they started their hookup with Cummins but also because it’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that has twice the number of gears as that first generation Cummins turbo diesel Ram pickup truck we also have that height adjustable air suspension system which allows you to have a high tongue weight and still retain your rear suspension in the middle of its travel that really helps improve road manners of the vehicle when you have a trailer with a heavy tongue weight or when you have a trailer and a decent amount of weight in the bed of course I wouldn’t advise anybody overloading the trailering or tongue weight numbers for their pickup truck but an air suspension makes it an

awful lot easier when you do and I know

we all do having eight speeds to work to
really makes climbing hills in this diesel engine with a trailer attached a breeze trailer is fairly heavy again you can’t tow more than ten thousand pounds without a commercial driver’s license in most states anyway so ninety two hundred pound trailer in capacity is adequate for the vast majority of people and of course I’m sure you’ll put an extra eight hundred pounds in there and get it up to ten thousand pounds anyway you’re really not going to cause a problem although you didn’t hear that from me but having all these gears in this transmission really makes us a great towing companion the same thing can be said of the 3.6 liter v6 however had a great time in that towing with the Grand Cherokee and the same 8-speed automatic transmission as well as in a tradesman with that 3.6 liter v6 it is a great engine but this is that much better if you’re buying your half-ton pickup truck primarily for towing then you need to give this a serious look even before you consider something like a Chevy Silverado with their 6.2 liter v8 even though GM’s new v8 engine in that truck gives you higher payload and higher towing capacities than this pickup truck and a bit more torque than this diesel engine this is still the better vehicle to tow it that’s primarily because we have two extra gears in this vehicle but also the broad torque curve of the diesel engine really helps things out GM’s v8 engine and their 6-speed automatic transmission is just not the greatest combination the shifts are a little bit rough and the gear ratios are not as advantageous as they are in this ZF 8-speed automatic transmission climbing up these winding mountain roads

this vehicle has absolutely no trouble
staying in fifth or sixth or sometimes even seventh gear with this heavy trailer attached and that’s something that you really can’t say of the v6 engine or the v8 that’s available in this Ram 1500 while I’m making recommendations this $230 integrated trailer brake controller is worth every penny if you do a lot of trailering then you’ll know that those aftermarket trailer brake controllers not only are they ugly but they’re also kind of a pain to get adjusted right this one seems to work very well it has a variable gain it of course works with the vehicles integrated brake system so it knows how hard you’re pushing on the pedal it’s well integrated in the car looks a lot better 230 bucks it’s not that much more expensive than a good proportional brake controller anyway pricing for the Eco diesel model of the RAM starts at twenty-seven thousand two hundred ninety five dollars for the base tradesman model which seems like a pretty good deal our model as tested right here which is just the standard Laramie model fifty one thousand five hundred forty as equipped right here tops out at fifty six thousand dollars for that top-end laramie longhorn edition with all of the options because this is the only half-ton pickup truck sold in America with a diesel engine in it it’s difficult to draw direct comparisons with anything else out there on the market one thing that I would like to point out however is that General Motors has recently increased the price of their 2014 pickup trucks by $2,000 across-the-board that means that this is now only about $2,000 more expensive than a GM pickup truck with their v6 engine and about the same price as a GM pickup truck with their 5.3

liter v8 and in that light this eco

diesel makes an incredible buying proposition because I would much rather have this then even the 5.7 liter Hemi or GM’s new 6.2 liter v8 engine and I would definitely have this before I had anybody’s v6 gasoline engine and a two thousand dollar premium over that other truck it does make a decent amount of sense even inside the RAM lineup however this makes a decent amount of sense versus the 5.7 liter Hemi because this will save you about six hundred fifty dollars a year in fuel meaning that your payoff time versus that v8 engine is about four and a half years more than just the dollars and cents of it however the Eco diesel engine makes the RAM 1500 more drivable across a wide variety of situations from regular driving to towing to carrying heavy payloads that’s thanks not only to that diesel engine but also the 8-speed automatic transmission this is an awful lot easier to drive than GM’s 5.3 liter v8 it’s much smoother out on the highway it definitely feels like it can pull better when you’re towing as well it’s much better than Chrysler’s own 3.6 liter gasoline v6 engine although honestly versus that 3.6 liter v6 engine you’re really not going to save much
money in the Eco diesel

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