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It is totally possible, today, to take the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck, load it up with gear and people, and drive it from Texas to Michigan while getting 38 miles per gallon. We know because we did it. Officially, though, the 1500 gets just 20 mpg combined. A more impressive number is the 28 mpg on the highway.

Bob Hegbloom, the Ram brand director, thinks that there's a more important fuel economy target to hit: 30 mpg. Whichever truck company can manage that feat, he recently told Automotive News, "wins." It's kind of an obvious thing to say, but in the 1500 with both the EcoDiesel and the V6 Pentastar engine, Hegbloom said, "fuel economy is so important."

Hegbloom didn't promise that the next EcoDiesel truck will manage to get on up over the 30 hump, but he did say that Ram is not sitting still when it comes to fuel economy. "I just want to have continuous improvement and to keep gaining every day," he said. "We sat still in the past and it doesn't lead to a great place."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 72 Comments
      Rob H
      • 5 Months Ago
      Diesel engines, small ones anyway, tend to get much better real world mileage than EPA estimated mileage and it surely has everything to do with their testing procedures. Basically every diesel car out there does better than the ratings indicate.
      jimmy_james44
      • 5 Months Ago
      Ok, I'll be blunt, the Oil Industry has priced diesel so that you save Nothing. You don't just look at mpg, you look at mpg and what the price of fuel is. ( 12000? miles a year driven / your MPG ) * Price per gallon = Total Yearly Cost. Compare a gas truck you'd buy to a diesel truck. - You should use the combined mpg published by the EPA, but even with highway mileage your going to find out that you don't save any money and in most cases you just give More Money to the Oil Industry. When you understand that calculation, you'll find out why hybrids and EV's are becoming so popular. They truly return $1000+ a year back into your pocket.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jimmy_james44
        You are correct!!!!! Then add in the MUCH HIGHER maintenance cost for a diesel. Oil changes are 200% to 300% higher. When a diesel injector pump goes out it is $2000 and not $150 for a gas fuel pump. At 28 MPG there will be no savings. Don't forget to add in the added cost of the vehicle- I bet between $6000 to $10,000.
          Neez
          • 5 Months Ago
          Lots of misinformation here. If you use full synthetic to change your oil in a gas car, then oil changes cost the same. It's just that most diesels are for commercial operators, so designers put a larger oil pan on vehicles to accomodate more oil capacity. The more oil capacity you have, the longer you can go between oil changes. This is important for commercial operators which lose money during downtime. I haven't had any diesel injector pumps fail in any of our fleet of service trucks, ford and rams. Yes, lots more money to pay for a diesel engine, but the ram's diesel engine is only $3k more than the gas engine, and does a better job towing. The payoff over gas even at current fuel prices is at about 75k miles. Which for someone who drives alot like me, will see that in 3 years. If you don't drive much, then get a gas engine anyways.
        Neez
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jimmy_james44
        First off, i own a prius. I drive an hour to work. I did it for the economics. But i'm trying to be impartial with your statement. It's very greentard and not based much on facts. First, diesel is more expensive in the united states, taxes from the state and federal are both higher on diesel than gas. So blame politicians, not so much oil companies. Oil companies don't set the prices for diesel so much, but rather it's set in the stock exchange. Gas has some ethanol subsidies baked in as well. Diesels aren't good for short trips, only people that do alot of driving should buy diesels. Diesels that idle too long can build up too much soot from low combustion temperatures and cause valve stiction and other problems. I would only buy a diesel if much of your commuting is highways, and really commuters like me only look at highway numbers. Diesels do make sense, but just like electric cars, they aren't logical for everyone to own, but make perfect sense for others. EV's also, can't tow squat, keep in mind that you're looking at a truck here. EV's on heavy vehicles don't make sense because the required current draw to mover such heavy vehicles is too great. Battery packs would have to be massive, and the economics just aren't there yet.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Neez
          Um, Tesla weighs 4700 lbs, ah, trains weigh, well, a bunch, yet a electric motor makes them move. I digress I am sure you are right a electric motor could never move a 5,500 lbs PU. LOL!
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Neez
          Oh, yea, ever hear of a company called VIA? I drove that PU and it pull just as hard as any PU.
      • 5 Months Ago
      While some may be aware and this may have been posted by another this really is nothing new. When Jeep teamed up briefly with Benz they produced a Grand Cherokee (2005-2006) with this same engine. I own a 2006 Liberty that has a 4 cylinder turbo diesel made by the same company as this engine (VM Motori of Italy). Anyway. there are many thing the Italians excel at and one is engine builders. These engines have been used in Europe for years and are top notch. The engine in my Liberty has a wet sleeve design similar to engines used in Semi Trucks. It is a true diesel not a lousy modified gasoline engine like those of VW and others. These engines are used in tractors, equipment and even boats. They are superlative and I can't say enough good about them. Every one I have talked to that has a diesel Jeep loves them (Grand Cherokee and Liberty). I have about 110,000 on my Liberty and it runs like new and pulls like a mule. I assure this is a great engine and is very reliable and durable. I can say without hesitation they wont have issues like Ford and GM with this diesel. As far as Fiat is concerned they are a really big company and very successful. While some uninformed Americans can giggle about Fiat the are just showing their stupidity. Fiat owns Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati and even Ferrari. They also own VM Motori, and controlling interest New Holland Tractors / Agriculture among others. Fiat is nothing to joke about they are huge in Europe and other parts of the world and the Italians are arguably the best engine builder in the world.
        • 5 Months Ago
        And a Jeep Liberty with a diesel is nearly impossible to sell.
          Ed
          • 5 Months Ago
          I'd buy one in a heart beat if I could find one!
        Neez
        • 5 Months Ago
        the problems with the liberty and grand cherokee CRD's (common rail diesels) are not necessarily related to the engine, just poor implementation in chrysler vehicles. The cherokee was hindered by the craptacular 4 speed auto, whereas the mercedes had the same engine but a better 7 speed trans. The 3 extra gears put the engine in a much higher efficiency rpm on the highway. When they put the diesel in the liberty, they used the same tranny from a ram 1500. While it was fine for a V8, the massive torque of the diesel caused problems with torque converters that weren't sized properly to work with it. The turbo hoses weren't silicon lined for some reason, so they wear and cause problems but are an easy fix. The torque converter upgrade is a must IMO. The liberty also had massive problems with EGR because the tune is the oppostie as europe. So it creates too much soot, getting a Green Diesel Engineering tune is a must IMO.
      Jim1961
      • 5 Months Ago
      There's some really good news here if you read between the lines. Truck buyers are demanding better fuel efficiency and smart truck buyers outnumber "rolling coal" types by a wide margin.
      jimmy_james44
      • 5 Months Ago
      But does it save you any money. Diesel is now priced higher then Premium gas.
        Bassracerx
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jimmy_james44
        by about five percent thats it.
          TruthHertz
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Bassracerx
          And the engine costs THOUSANDS more initially. The Ford 2.7L Ecoboost will be less than a $1,000 add and has considerably more horsepower than the piss ant Ecodiesel. So the Ecodiesel engine is $4,000 more, and nationally, on average the fuel cost 9% more. As it stands, according to FuelEconomy.gov, you will save $150 a year with the diesel. That means to break even you will need to have had the truck for over 26 years and 400,000 miles. Seems legit... If you are a motard...
        Jesse Gurr
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jimmy_james44
        It'll also cost you extra for the diesel option when you buy the truck, plus extra for the fuel. I guess it just comes to personal preference.
          gargoyle
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jesse Gurr
          not nearly as much as TruthHertz would have you believe. The cost comparison shouldn't be between the Pentastar and the Ecodiesel, but between the Hemi and the Ecodiesel (which have similar performance envelopes). The difference there is only 2,000 and you end up with much better milage under-load than you ever will with the Ecoboost.
      Rex Seven
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm confused. Did you get 38 mpg or is this yet another example of your editing skills?
      Hazdaz
      • 5 Months Ago
      All the engine tech in the world can only go so far if these pickups keep on ballooning in size and weight. Ford has absolutely taken the lead on this problem by cutting many hundreds of pounds out of its new F150. That is the direction that all truckmakers need to follow. Conversely, GM has done the right thing with its new Colorado mid-size truck. This is a truck aimed at the very people that aren't using a truck for business purposes - which is probably the majority of full-size truck owners. I don't know if GM has released EPA numbers for the Colorado, but its the right size, and probably lighter weight that should give it better numbers than its full-size rivals.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Hazdaz
        And yet Ford is being sued because the Ford Ecoboost gets no where near its fuel mileage rating.
      Emilio
      • 5 Months Ago
      GreenCarReports has an article out today about how lots of Ram EcoDiesel buyers are getting better mileage then the reported average. Some say well over 30mph.
        timber
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Emilio
        That was expected from anyone experienced with diesel engines. If you go to the European market for example everybody knows that Diesel engines keep closer to homologation than gasoline engines. And that under particular situations, like flat open road driving with flat feet, they obtain fabulous consumptions even from large engines.
      Hoale
      • 5 Months Ago
      "I just want to have continuous improvement and to keep gaining every day," he said. "We sat still in the past and it doesn't lead to a great place." This should be a no brainer for anyone in almost any industry...very insightful!
      .
      • 5 Months Ago
      Yeah but it's still a Dodge.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @.
        The only people who say that about Dodge/Ram are people who have never owned one. I currently own one and have two previous. 2 Fords and 2 Chevys. Ram hands down better quality every single time. 3 Dodge/Ram trucks, all kept until 200,000 miles and never a major repair. Can't say that about any of the Fords or Chevys.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @.
        The only people who say that about Dodge/Ram are people who have never owned one. I currently own one and have two previous. 2 Fords and 2 Chevys. Ram hands down better quality every single time. 3 Dodge/Ram trucks, all kept until 200,000 miles and never a major repair. Can't say that about any of the Fords or Chevys.
      roberto tomás
      • 5 Months Ago
      How is it that it got 38mpg in a real world travel test but gets only 28mpg rating? Did you guys drive 40mph the whole way?
        brotherkenny4
        • 5 Months Ago
        @roberto tomás
        The EPA test models real world use and most guys imagine that they are race car drivers. Most guys also like the jackass movies and think that anyone who speaks clearly is kind of gay. So the test are made for them. However, while most people whine about gas prices, they don't really care since a simple adjustment of driving style can significantly increase ones mileage. Typically people start from a stop like they at a drag race. Slow acceleration, lower speeds as you mentioned and coasting when available can change your mileage significantly. You know what I am saying, like when a guy starts off at a stop light like a drag racer, speeds to the next light and slams on the brakes and waits, then cycles through that process as if he is getting there faster than the person who slowly accelerates and then starts coasting well before the next light because it is still red.
        Ed
        • 5 Months Ago
        @roberto tomás
        Like the fine print has said for the last 40 years, "your mileage may vary". The EPA tests are uniform protocals so that you can compare one brand to the other on a level playing field. However, unless you drive exactlly the same as the EPA protocals, your mileage will vary. If you drive like an a$$ you will get worse mileage than the EPA predicts regardless of the brand/model. That said, diesels typically get better mileage in the real world than the EPA tests while gasoline versions get less. This article supports that. 38 mpg down the highway is awesome.
        BipDBo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @roberto tomás
        This was not a real world test to achieve 38 mpg. This was an exercise in hypermiling. Very slow trip.
        Neez
        • 5 Months Ago
        @roberto tomás
        EPA testing is not done by the EPA. It's just a guideline manufacturers have to follow. The actual testing is done in their labs on a dyno. Calculations for road resistance and acceleration and speed profiles are entered into a computer, and the dyno simulates the profile. They then calculate the mpg based on the distance the vehicle moved on the dyno. Obviously, nowhere near real world. Diesels love highway driving, and highway driving for nearly all diesels is usually quite a bit higher than the EPA ratings, which autoblog had an article about the EPA investigating why manufacturer numbers aren't lining up with the real world. Mostly because people don't complain about getting more mpg, but rather from hybrids like ford and gas engines like kia/hyundia fudging numbers and getting less in the real world. The EPA is updating their testing criteria. Most of the VW diesels like the passat, golf, and jetta all get over 50mpg on the highway easily, yet are rated for only 42/43. The ram got 38mpg because the driver kept the speed in the engines most efficient range, which meant using a certain gear at a certain highways speed, i think he tried to keep it under 55mph.
      Hybridnetics
      • 5 Months Ago
      It can be done: hypothetically, the aluminum extensive 2015 F150 Extended cab weighing in at an approximate 4700ish pounds with a 4 Banger Turbo and the (still in development) 10 Speed automatic co-developed with GM, might be the first to flirt with that number.
        philntx
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Hybridnetics
        Down hill with a tail wind and empty. Still....Possible.
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