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The Ram 1500 is one of the best full-size pickup trucks of the year, and it has earned that prize for a lot of reasons. The diesel engine that Ram offers on the 1500 is one of the biggest reasons why the Ram 1500 is such a good truck. However, according to CNET, the Ram 1500’s diesel engine is also powerful. In fact, it’s more powerful than its competitors’ diesel engines.

3.0-liters of power 

CNET compared the diesel engines that are offered on most of the major automaker’s full-size truck offerings. That said, CNET did exclude some trucks that were considered to be heavy-duty trucks rather than light-duty trucks. All of these full-size trucks had an optional 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine, and although each were very similar in some regards, these engines were very different in others. 

For instance, in terms of horsepower, all four of the pickup trucks that CNET compared, which were the Chevy Silverado, the Ford F-150, the GMC Sierra, and the Ram 1500, had roughly the same horsepower.

The F-150 had the least horsepower, at just 250-hp. The Ram 1500 had slightly more horsepower, at 260-hp. The Silverado and the Sierra came out on top with 277-hp, largely because both of these trucks use the same diesel engine from GM.

All about that torque

So, while the Ram 1500’s diesel engine doesn’t do well in terms of horsepower, in terms of diesel engines, like CNET said, torque is king. And when it comes to torque, the Ram 1500‘s diesel engine is king.

Once again, because of how similar in size these diesel engines are, the torque is pretty similar. But the Ram 1500’s diesel engine still generates significantly more torque than its competitors do.

CNET says that the F-150’s engine generates about 440 lb-ft of torque. The Silverado and the Sierra both get about 460 lb-ft of torque. And the Ram 1500 gets about 480 lb-ft of torque. That’s about 11% more torque than what the F-150 generates.

All that torque is necessary for one thing in particular, towing. The more torque that a truck has, the more that it can tow, generally speaking. That’s actually the reason why electric cars can tow a lot of stuff without being purpose-built for towing like trucks are.  

With that 480 lb-ft of torque, the Ram 1500 can tow over 12,500 lb according to CNET. The F-150, in comparison, can tow 11,400 lb. CNET says that there aren’t official towing figures for the latest model year of the Silverado and the Sierra with the diesel engines. However, the 2019 Silverado, for instance, can tow about 12,000 lb. 

The Ram’s diesel option comes at a price

Although diesel engines generally get great towing figures as well as fuel economies, there is a big drawback from choosing a diesel engine for your truck over a gas engine. Like CNET mentioned, all of these diesel engines will cost a few thousand dollars more than a regular gasoline engine will. 

The Silverado’s diesel engine, for example, will cost between $2,500 to $3,900 more than a gas engine depending on which gas engine you’re comparing it to. The F-150 is similar. The diesel option for the F-150 will cost between $3,000 to $4,000 more than the gas engine options will. Ram hasn’t released pricing details for the new Ram 1500 yet, but the price points should be similar. 

That said, diesel engines, and the Ram 1500’s in particular, are far more fuel-efficient than gas engines are. So while it’ll cost more, it’ll be able to tow more and save you some money at the pump, which should justify the higher price eventually.