Ram might be on to something with the new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, as initial demand for this oil-burner has far surpassed the company’s expectations for this powertrain. Ram says it received more than 8000 orders for the EcoDiesel within three days of opening up orders, filling the initial allocation for this configuration.
Production of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel started this month, and these trucks will ship to consumers next month. Ram points out that many buyers who ordered an EcoDiesel have already paid for the truck, despite not having test-driven the truck when equipped with the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine. That’s a testament to how eager buyers are for this sort of vehicle.
“The Ram 1500 is the only half-ton truck available with a diesel, so we see this as incremental business by having the only truck that can offer best-in-class fuel economy of 28 mpg combined with 9200 lbs- of towing capacity,” said Ram President and CEO Reid Bigland in a statement. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is indeed EPA-rated at 20/28 mpg for rear-wheel-drive models and 19/27 mpg city/highway for four-wheel-drive models. That’s much higher than any other half-ton pickup, and the EcoDiesel also makes 420 lb-ft of torque which is competitive with many other trucks’ V-8 engines. The next-most efficient Ram 1500 is the 3.6-liter V-6, rear-wheel-drive model with an eight-speed automatic that achieves 18/25 mpg city/highway with the HFE package.
Ram is currently building EcoDiesel-equipped Ram 1500 models in “popular configurations,” but customers who placed orders on the truck were able to spec their truck out in a wider range of combinations. The EcoDiesel V-6 is available on Ram Tradesman, Big Horn, Lone Star, Outdoorsman, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Laramie Limited models in either quad cab and crew cab models or regular cab models when equipped with the long box. Prices for this optional engine range from $4000 on lower-trim models to $2850 on higher trim levels, and all Ram 1500 EcoDiesel models are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.