The new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel full-size pickup truck is the real deal as a segment changer, in our opinion, based on several test drives including our most recent opportunity in December - where we were able to use the Ram EcoDiesel in a real world situation.
Ram Brand gave us a pre-production 2014 Ram 1500 SLT Lone Star Crew Cab 4x2 for three days to use in assisting a local charity team as they loaded up a customized new 2014 Ram ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van - donated by Ram Brand - that was to be delivered to the Warrior and Family Support Center at San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Our earlier media test drives of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had shown us that this truck was going to raise the bar on performance and capability for full-size pickup trucks in many areas - not the least of which would be fuel economy and tow/haul capacity.
We covered nearly 250 miles behind the wheel of the 1500 Ram EcoDiesel over the most recent period - picking up and delivering supply and gift items that were being included in the ProMaster gift to the Wounded Warrior program.
The preliminary fuel economy estimates for the EcoDiesel have been stated as expecting to better the industry leading 25 mpg that the Ram Pentastar V6 gasoline engine already delivers.
They were right on the mark.
Our pre-production 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel actually delivered 26.8 mpg combined city/highway as we ran between Austin and San Antonio - including a 65 mile run with a 1800 pound load in the bed.
The new EcoDiesel power plant - the first ever in a full-size pickup truck in North America -has been noted as the most impressive attribute of the 2014 Ram 1500 according to automotive media who have driven this new truck.
In October, the 2014 Ram 1500 , was named the "Truck of Texas" at the prestigious Texas Auto Writers Association annual Truck Rodeo - with its class exclusive 3.0L EcoDiesel Turbocharged engine producing 240 horsepower that delivers 420 lb.-ft. of torque through the (also) class exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission.
Last month, the 2014 Ram 1500 picked up a first-ever back-to-back “Truck Of the Year” title from Motor Trend Magazine - again with the new EcoDiesel power train being singled out as being significant in their awarding of this title.
In making the award, Motor Trend called the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel an absolute game-changer in the segment, one that will offer best-in-class fuel economy and, with its unsurpassed 420 foot pounds of torque - delivered through the eight-speed transmission - able to deliver an industry leading 9,200 pounds.
Other significant elements leading to honors from the media have included a long list of features not found in any other light-duty pickup, including an exclusive Active-Level four-corner air suspension, the RamBox Cargo management System, standard multi-link coil-spring rear suspension, wheel-to-wheel side steps, aerodynamic active grille shutters and “All Secure” one-button locking of doors, tailgate and the RamBox Cargo Management System.
Additional recognition of the Ram 1500 segment exclusive power plant came with the naming of the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel Turbo as a 2014 Ward's 10 Best Engine on Dec. 12.
The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Turbo is on schedule for delivery in the first quarter of 2014.
Dealers are not yet able to order, but according to many we have talked to, they are getting lots of interest from buyers wanting the new EcoDiesel Ram 1500.
We look forward to getting into a regular production 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at the earliest opportunity for a complete full-week ride and drive in order to give you a more in depth report of just how good this EcoDiesel really is.