We have waited a long time for Ram to offer a more economical and smaller diesel engine in their 1500 pickup. The Cummins Diesel that Dodge Ram began offering in the 2500/3500, way back when, has always been a big hit with the heavy duty truck folks. It just seemed as though the light duty driver just had to put their diesel desires on hold for far too long.
Well, with the 2014 Ram 1500 the diesel wait is over. Along with a 3.6-liter V-6 and the very popular 5.7-liter V-8 gasoline engines, Ram now offers a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 EcoDiesel engine that will take fuel economy to a new level for light duty pickups. With 240-horsepower and 420 lb ft of torque this new engine will bring new interest in Ram 1500. No doubt the EcoDiesel towing capacity of 9,200 pounds will not hurt its popularity.
As the demand for increased fuel economy grows the need for developing different innovations to achieve these higher numbers is ever present for vehicle manufacturers. As Ram engineers and designers researched ways to increase fuel economy they discovered it isn’t just something that is applied to engine development. Features such as stop-start function and front grille shutters have come to the forefront. Completely redesigned automatic transmissions like the new Ram’s 8-speed TorqueFlite have added gear ratios never before envisioned that help increase fuel economy.
Pickup trucks have also become more mainstream as families increasingly rely on trucks as their core vehicle for transporting families to and from the normal family functions. Think smoother suspension systems such as the new Ram air suspension and more comfortable passenger compartments. More four-door picks are sold today than any other cab configuration. Even four-wheel drive popularity has exploded as buyers look for increase versatility in their trucks.
With that interest in versatility comes the need, according to the Ram folks, to soften the overall quality of the ride. Buyers want all the work attributes of a pickup truck without the harshness of ride attributed to that work truck.
If there is one full-sized pickup that meets that bill it just might be the 2014 Ram 1500 partly because engineers have replaced the well accepted leaf spring suspension with rear coil springs and a multi-link setup. Additionally, if you want even more of a plush ride you can opt for the available air-spring suspension system.
The air suspension system offers more advantages than other types with variable ride-height, which aids in increasing fuel economy and load leveling capabilities. Other advantages to an adjustable ride height system is increase ground clearance for off-road travels and lower loading for both passengers and cargo. The electronically-controlled air suspension can be activated from the driver’s seat with a mere push of a button to raise the Ram to 10.7-inches of ground clearance,
Even in the 1500 light duty segment towing is a large factor in purchasing a truck. Although owners of light duty trucks do not make a habit of towing consistently they want to know their trucks can fill the bill if ever they have a need to hitch up and go. The availability of the capable diesel power now brings that possibility to more buyers because many did not want to opt for a big Hemi gasoline engine, now buyers have another choice if towing is a factor for their needs.
As the popularity of family owned pickups increase so does the desire for all the trick amenities expected of a family oriented vehicle. The interior on this Ram is just as plush and comfortable as any family sedan and offers plenty of sedan-like features. The Quad Cab offers extended room for passengers or cargo that warrants its own safe area rather than the bed. The Crew Cab is just as accommodating as many sedans with three wide seating and leg room to stretch out.
Creature comfort features such as a multi-view display that offers hundreds of pertinent bits of information on the vehicle. Unheard of for a pickup just a few short years ago is an available 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat. Ram’s Uconnect infotainment system is available with a large 8.4-inch touch screen display as is even a heated steering wheel.
From the exterior there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this truck is anything but a Ram. While the styling continues with the “big rig” front grille and fenders the design is sharper and more edgy with almost shark-like nose and sharp feature lines. It is, as Ram has learned, a design that is quite polarizing. It seems you either like it or you dislike the design. It is rare to find an observer who is ho hum on the design; it has, however, served Ram quite well.
One very useful and cool (literally) feature can be found on the truck bed. Of all the pickups on the market Ram is the only brand that has developed a storage system built into the exterior panels above the rear fenders. The Rambox lockable top-hinged lids open to reveal plastic lined storage holds that can even double as coolers complete with water drains on the bottom. One side could hold your tools while the other can keep your after-work beverages cold through the day.
The 2014 Ram 1500 is an example how pickup trucks are not what they used to be. Gone is the stiff, rough riding work truck, replaced by a versatile and comfortable vehicle that acts more like a pickup truck in sedan clothing. Adding the new Diesel engine along with its respectable power this new Ram is going to make more pickup truck owners happy.