Eco Trucks are everywhere and they’re all a bit like Jumbo Wieners or Military Intelligence in that they’re oxymoronic and seem self-contradicting.
Sylvan Lake, AB -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/08/2014 -- But, in light of consumer demands for ever-improving fuel efficiency and performance, as well as the recent auto-industry trend of adding the ‘ECO’ suffix to as much vehicular nomenclature as possible, Eco Trucks are springing up everywhere, and they’re not going away.
Following last year’s inclusion of the Pentastar V6 engine under the hood of select RAM 1500 models, the new ECODIESEL engine provides shoppers yet another way to save at the pumps while enjoying all the manly-man benefits of driving the handsome RAM 1500.
The numbers? The Italian-built diesel V6 displaces three litres, uses one variable-geometry turbocharger and makes 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft of torque. That’s more torque than the 5.7-litre HEMI V8, and without the giant fuel bill, since diesel fuel, by volume, contains more energy than gasoline which means engines that burn it can burn less of it. So, you get the torque output of a big V8, the promise of a slashed fuel bill, and towing capacity exceeding 9,000 lbs.
That, wrapped up in a package with all of the benefits of the latest RAM 1500. The recently refreshed cabin is nice to look at, handy in terms of storage space and media hookups and clever little bins and compartments and nooks for your stuff all over the place.
Beneath the rear floor are even two deep storage bins that can be removed and washed out, say, if your kids want to bring anything gross home from the swamp. Up front, the partially-digital instrument cluster, which can call up just about any info you like, is another delightful touch, as is the central command screen interface, which is the fastest-reacting, most easy-to-use and responsive unit you’ll find in a pickup today.
Other typical RAM traits abound here. It rides like it looks like it rides — big, heavy, tough and robust — though smooth sailing on smooth surfaces, and with a jiggly but satisfying ruggedness on the rough stuff.
And the new engine is just what your writer expected of a new, advanced diesel powerplant. Start it up, and you barely hear a peep. The exhaust sneaking noiselessly from the pipes is free of stinky soot and smells clean and clear, too. Heck, even with 5,000 kilometres on the dial, the inside of the tester’s dual exhaust tips were still squeaky clean.
Sure, you get the signature diesel clatter and rattle when you take off, but it’s minuscule in volume and vibration, and settles out into a deep hum as the revs climb. You can hear the turbo, just a bit. But it’s all so quiet, you don’t even need to turn it off in the Tim’s drive-thru to order your coffee. And smooth.
And quick even, once you overcome the lazy throttle pedal calibration with a good stomp of the right foot. It’s as peaceful, effortless and laid-back a diesel engine as I’ve ever used during light-footed driving and cruising, and turns in giggle-eliciting low and mid-range torque for passing and merging as required. Plus, it provides access to a fuel source that, depending on the season and your locale, may well be well cheaper than gasoline.
But the engine isn’t free and, at $4,500, the ECODIESEL will require potential shoppers to do a little math to figure out if it’s worthwhile as an investment or business decision. I can provide the following information should you be attempting to make that decision.
On my watch, the tester put away a measured-by-hand average of 9.3L/100km after plenty of in-town driving and speedy highway cruising. Easily, with complete break-in and a lighter foot than your writer, drivers will have this figure down into the 8s.
With gasoline V6, an identically-equipped RAM 1500 put away 12.3L/100km on a test-drive last year, with a HEMI V8 a few years prior logging just shy of 17L/100km on my watch. These figures are for where and how I drive, and your real-life figures will vary, so take them as a comparison tool only.
But the point? The technology works. You get more torque than the HEMI and a fuel bill like a CR-V or RAV4. You’ll have your own reasons for considering this EcoDiesel engine in your RAM, or for not considering it, but shoppers love options, and this is another one for them to check out.
Those shoppers, with their dollars, not the automakers with their marketing, ultimately decide the fuel-saving technologies that ‘win’ and survive in the real world. And this Ram ECODIESEL is just another one of those technologies and options to consider. Now’s a good time to be shopping for a fuel-efficient truck and shoppers should be sure to consider all options available to them.
There are plenty.
For those after torque output like a massive V8 and fuel bills like a four-cylinder compact crossover, the RAM 1500 can be had with ECODIESEL power from about $37,000.
As for the rest, we liked how quiet the ride is and its improved overall comfort. There’s no doubt that this new generation will force the competition to react.
Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.
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