EcoDiesel Helps Pickup Earn Second Straight Honor from Motor Trend
Pulling off a fairly significant upset, the 2014 Ram 1500 recently became the first vehicle to win two consecutive Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year Awards. How did that happen when MT only considers all-new or substantially changed models for the trophy, and the 2014 Ram is neither? Reid Bigland, president and CEO of the Ram Truck Brand, had the answer: "Half-ton truck customers have been asking for a diesel engine and Ram is the only truck manufacturer to answer the bell and deliver not only best-in-class fuel economy but also 9,200 pounds of towing capability.”
Also on the delivery menu from the Ram’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 are 240 hp and a whopping 420 lb.-ft. of torque, but what elevated the 2014 Ram 1500 to Truck of the Year status is the fact that the engine’s true-truck capabilities come matched to fuel-economy performance that’s unheard of in the segment. Now, the EPA has yet to publish official grades for the EcoDiesel-powered Ram, but in real-world testing for the Motor Trend honor, the publication reported a Laramie Longhorn model, with all-wheel-drive, hit 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/21 mpg combined; a rear-wheel drive “Lone Star” edition Ram achieved 18/28/22.
Further, in a test-track evaluation designed to “simulate a truck’s best/worst days,” including hauling and climbing hills, the 2014 Ram 1500 managed 15 mpg—the only other pickup to reach double digits was the GMC Sierra with a V6, and that model topped out at 10 mpg. But as MT’s Mike Febbo also noted, “Our judges rated the EcoDiesel the highest in ease of towing as well,” and “as we established last year, the rest of the Ram 1500 is class-leading in just about every other respect.”
The brand had two other MT Truck of the Year finalists, with the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty pickup and the 2014 Ram ProMaster van joining:
"At the end of the day, though, the Ram 1500 quickly rose to the top,” said Edward Loh, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend. “Not only did it withstand our rigorous testing, it thoroughly impressed our judges with its vast array of standard and optional equipment, and, most notable, its fuel-efficient, segment-exclusive EcoDiesel V6.”