Despite the negative effects of Dieselgate, diesel engines remain popular in the pickup truck market. With a combination of improved fuel economy and more torque compared to gasoline engines, it’s easy to see the appeal. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was one of the first to offer such an option, in its full-size Ram line. And today, FCA revealed the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pricing and EPA ratings.
Ram 1500 Diesel vs. Gasoline
All 4×2 Ram 1500 diesels are rated at 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway. 4×4 models take a minor fuel economy penalty, and are rated at 21 mpg and 29 mpg highway. That last figure is significant, as Ram claims it is the highest highway rating of any 4×4 full-size pickup on the market. And, when equipped with an optional 33-gallon fuel tank, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has a claimed driving range of 1,000 miles. Ram alleges this range is the highest of any pickup truck on the market.
Ram also released the EPA ratings for the rest of its engine offerings. When equipped with the eTorque mild hybrid system, the 3.6-liter V6 4×2 is rated at 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway, and the 4×4 at 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway. The 5.7-liter V8 4×2 is rated at 15 city/22 highway and 17 city/23 highway with and without eTorque, respectively; with 4×4, those numbers drop to 15 city/21 highway and 17/22 highway, respectively.
Now in its third generation, the diesel V6 found in the Ram received several updates to achieve these ratings. Among them are an increased compression ratio and larger catalytic system to reduce harmful NOx emissions. The engine also features a claimed first for any North American diesel engine: dual exhaust gas recirculation systems, which serve to both improve fuel economy and lower emissions.
Ram Diesel Pricing
For 2020, the Ram 1500 Diesel has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price starting at $36,890 for a Tradesman Quad Cab 2WD, along with $1,695 in destination. The EcoDiesel can also be ordered as a stand-alone $4,995 option on any trim level, including, for the first time, the Rebel. This represents a $3,300 premium over the 5.7-liter V8 on the Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Rebel, and Laramie base models.
Ram 1500 Diesel vs. Competition
As of this writing, the official EPA ratings for the 2020 F-150 have not been released. For 2019, the diesel-equipped F-150 was rated at 22 city/30 highway and 20 city/25 highway in 4×2 and 4×4 spec, respectively. The F-150’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 is, like the Ram, a $4,995 upcharge. However, it is unavailable at the base XL trim; only in SuperCab XLT trims and above. Like the Ram, the Ford F-150 can also be equipped with an extended-range fuel tank. But the Ford’s carries more—36 gallons vs. the Ram’s 33—making their potential range roughly equivalent.
The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 is also, like the F-150, rated lower in diesel fuel efficiency than the Ram. The Sierra’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six is rated at 23 city/30 highway and 22 city/26 highway in 4×2 and 4×4 spec, respectively. Also, like the F-150, the base GMC Sierra cannot be equipped with the diesel engine. Unlike the Ford or Ram, however, no extended-range fuel tank is available. Pricing for the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 diesel is not available as of this writing.
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, however, does meet or exceed the 2020 Ram 1500 Diesel’s ratings. In 4×2 spec, the Silverado diesel achieves 23 city/33 highway; the Silverado 4×4 diesel is rated at 23 city/29 highway. However, as with the GMC Sierra, no extended-range fuel tank is available. Only LT trims and above can receive the diesel, which is a $5,310 upcharge over the 5.3-liter V8.