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The 2018 Ram 1500 was the last year for the previous generation Ram trucks. That means the bugs were all worked out, and that they’ve depreciated quicker as buyers pick the latest and greatest. The anomaly is the 2018 Ram 1500 became the Ram 1500 Classic in 2019, as Ram continued making it as a more economical truck filling the role of a midsize truck it doesn’t make. Still, used 2018 Ram 1500 trucks come in all flavors, including a V6, Hemi V8, and EcoDiesel V6. We’ll help you determine which of the three is best for you.

What were the 2018 Ram 1500 engine options?

Black 2018 Ram 1500 on city street
2018 Ram 1500 Limited | Stellantis

For 2018, Ram offered three engines in 1500 trucks, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V6, and 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Since power and torque are important considerations for what you want your truck to do, let’s take a look.

The Pentastar has 305 hp at 6,400 rpm, and 269 lb-ft of torque at 4,175 rpm. With the 3.0 Ecodiesel, there is 240 hp at 3,600 rpm and 420 lb-ft torque at 2,000 rpm. The 5.7 Hemi offers 395 hp at 5,600 rpm and 410 lb-ft at 3,950 rpm. Note that the advantage of a diesel engine is its strong power at low RPMs, while gasoline-powered engines see the power come on at higher RPMs. 

What were the 2018 Ram 1500 transmissions?

Blue 2018 Ram 1500
2018 Ram 1500 | Stellantis

With the Pentastar V6, the Torqueflite 845RE eight-speed automatic transmission backs it. The Ecodiesel gets the 8HP70 eight-speed automatic, while the Hemi V8 is hooked to either the 8HP70 or a 65RFE six-speed automatic. Now we’ll break down the payload and towing capacity numbers, which are the other side of the engine equation.

Payloads and towing numbers vary depending on whether the truck is equipped with four-wheel drive, as well as the bed and cab configurations. So these numbers are a range and not specific figures. And with the Hemi V8, it is also affected by which transmission is behind it.

What are the 2018 Ram 1500 towing specs?

Black 2018 Ram 1500 at work site
2018 Ram 1500 | Stellantis

Gross combined weight ratings according to the Ram Towing Chart:

Pentastar V6: From 9,850 lbs to 12,900 lbs.

Ecodiesel V6: From 13,750 lbs to 14,750 lbs.

Hemi V8: From 12,350 lbs to 13,950 lbs. (six-speed automatic)

From 13,800 lbs to 15,975 lbs. (eight-speed automatic)

Gross vehicle weight ratings:

Pentastar V6: From 6,000 lbs to 6,800 lbs.

Ecodiesel V6: From 6,600 lbs to 6,950 lbs.

Hemi V8: From 6,350 lbs to 6,900 lbs. (six-speed automatic)

From 6,350 lbs to 6,900 lbs. (eight-speed automatic)

How is the fuel economy for the Ram engines?

Black and silver 2018 Ram 1500
2018 Ram 1500 | Stellantis

So based on the numbers you can see there isn’t a huge difference between payload and towing. What might shift your decision might be over fuel economy. Here, there is a wider range of differences. But keep in mind that diesel fuel generally costs more, anywhere from 30 cents to 60 cents or more per gallon, and whether 2WD or 4WD.

Pentastar V6: 20 mpg combined, 17 City, 25 Highway

Ecodiesel V6: 23 mpg combined, 20 City, 27 Highway

Hemi V8: 14 mpg combined, 13 City, 18 Highway (six-speed automatic)

17 mpg combined, 15 City, 22 Highway (eight-speed automatic)


2018 Ram 1500 vs 2019 Ram 1500: Two Very Different Beasts