Trucks

Is the 2020 Ram 1500 Diesel the Most Affordable Full-Size Diesel Truck?

The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was introduced this summer. It’s the latest diesel-powered truck in the full-size, half-ton pickup truck class along with Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150 and others. It’s clear that the Silverado and F-150 are Ram’s biggest competitors.

Full-size trucks are quite an investment. Which of the three, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, or Ram 1500, with a diesel engine is the most affordable full-size diesel truck?

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel

All the diesel trucks in this class have 3.0-liter, turbo-diesel, 6-cylinder engines. Let’s start with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 which starts at $43,605 for the base diesel truck.

Both the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado features Duramax inline-6 engines paired with standard 10-speed automatic transmissions. The engine in Silverado puts out 277 horsepower with 460 lb-ft. of torque.

The Silverado 1500 has a payload capacity of 1,870 pounds and can tow up to 9,300 pounds. The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel will be available as a 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive.

The 2WD model is estimated at 23/33/27 mpg for city, highway, and combined on fuel efficiency. The 4WD is estimated at 23/29/25 mpg. How much the diesel option costs depends on the trim level. It’s a $2,495 upcharge for LZT and High Country. For the LT and RST it will cost $3,890.

Although the Silverado has the highest starting price of the three, it is still a great all-around truck.

Ford F-150

The half-ton Ford pickup starts at $42,825 and has a 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke diesel. It’s the same engine as the 2019 model and it puts out 250 horsepower with 440 lb-ft. or torque. It comes with a standard 10-speed transmission.

Ford isn’t bad if you’re looking for maximum payload and towing capacity. The F-150’s payload capacity is 2,020 pounds for both the XL and XLT fleet models and 1,940 pounds retail. It has a maximum towing capacity of 11,400.

On fuel economy with the diesel engine, the 2WD model gets an estimated 22/30/25 mpg. The diesel engine option isĀ $4,000 on XLT and Lariat models. It’s $3,000 upcharge on the King Ranch and Platinum models.

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The 2020 Ram 1500 has a diesel option that features a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that puts out 260 horsepower with 480 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm. That’s a 14% increase from the previous-generation variant of the engine. Ram takes the lead here in both horsepower and torque.

When it comes to maximum towing, Ram has a capacity of 12,560 which means it takes the towing title here.

The starting MSRP of the new third-generation EcoDiesel engine with a Tradesman Quad Cab 2WD is $36,890 with a $1,695 destination charge. The EcoDiesel engine option is $4,995 or a $3,000 upgrade over the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 eTorque. It’s a $3,300 on Big Horn/Lone Star, Tradesman, Rebel, and Laramie base models.

When it comes to fuel economy, the 2WD models get 32/22 mpg for highway and city respectively while the 4×4 models get 29/21 mpg. So, although it’s starting price is lower than Ford or Chevy, the Ram 1500 diesel does not get the best gas mileage.

The most affordable is…

The most affordable full-size diesel truck is hands down the Ram 1500 diesel.

It’s the first of the Big Three to feature a diesel engine in all configurations of its 1500 trucks. It’s also the most affordable. The EcoDiesel for this Ram is completely redesigned and in its third-generation. This turbocharger is a water-cooled vane Garrett design that will not only reduce lag but it will also offer consistent power over a longer period of time.

It beats the diesel engines of both the F-150 and the Silverado in horsepower and torque. When you factor in that the Ram 1500 also has the best towing capacity too at nearly $5,000 less, you have an offer that’s hard to refuse.