This 2023 Pickup Truck Won an Environmentally Friendly Award Without Being an EV

Will the 2023 Ram 1500 pickup truck beat the competition and earn the title of the best truck of 2023? That remains in the hands of the automotive critic. However, the Ram flagship is off to a good start by winning the “2023 Green Truck of the Year” at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show by Green Car Journal. So, what makes a “green pickup truck,” and why is the 2023 Ram 1500 the best?

Is the 2023 Ram 1500 a good pickup truck?

The 2023 Ram 1500 is a great pickup truck. In recent years, the Ram 1500 overtook the perennial second-place Chevrolet Silverado and began nipping at the heels of the long-standing ruler of the full-size pickup truck segment, the Ford F-150. As a result, some critics have already crowned the 2023 Ram 1500 as the new monarch of its class. Although the Ram 1500’s last major update came in 2019, it’s enjoying a technology upgrade for 2023.

The tech update includes a new rear-seat reminder system that alerts drivers to check the rear when shutting off the truck anytime the system senses a rear door opening before starting the truck. There’s also a new tailgate handle light that shines on the trailer hitch to make hooking up your trailer easier in the dark, and perhaps it will save your shin bone from colliding with the hitch in the dark too. Upper trims, above the base Tradesman, will enjoy an optional 12-inch digital gauge cluster behind the steering wheel and a center-mounted 12-inch touchscreen complete with emergency vehicle alerts.

Does the new Ram truck have good fuel economy?

Ram’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, paired with the company’s mild hybrid eTorque system, returns the best gasoline economy with an estimated 20 mpg on city streets and up to 25 mpg on the highway in the rear-wheel drive version. The 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V6 has better numbers, with up to 23 city mpg and 33 highway mpg for an estimated 26 mpg combined. However, if diesel prices continue the way they are, this option is likely less economical. For comparison, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque gets an estimated 20 mpg combined in the rear-wheel drive Ram 1500. Additionally, opting for four-wheel drive with any powertrain option reduces fuel efficiency by a mile or two per gallon. 

What makes the 2023 Ram 1500 the best green pickup truck?

A red 2023 Ram 1500 Limited full-size pickup truck model parked on a dirt gravel trail near farmland
2023 Ram 1500 Limited | FCA
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According to Green Car Journal, its mission for Green Truck of the Year is “to identify the pickup that best represents environmental performance while balancing the core needs of pickup buyers.” The Green Car Journal chose the 2023 Ram 1500 over other full-size pickup truck finalists, including the Ford F-150 Lightning electric vehicle and the Toyota Tundra, based on its “fuel-efficient hybrid engine choices” and its “ability to tow and haul loads within its substantial ratings.” 

The Ford F-150 Lightning’s limited battery range and higher price put it behind the gasoline-powered hybrid Ram 1500. Additionally, while the Tundra offers hybrid powertrains, they’re not as efficient as Ram’s eTorque models, and the Ram 1500 offers more towing and payload capacity.