It’s a great time to be a diesel half-ton pickup buyer in America with innovations in engineering and technology making them more capable than ever, more fuel efficient than ever and, yes quieter than ever. These improvements are definitely getting the attention of full-size truck buyers who need all of the above. According to the Diesel Technology Forum
, in Q2 2019, U.S. full-size diesel pickup sales increased 23% over the first quarter. That said, the timing couldn’t be better for the arrival of the new 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel heading into dealerships soon to do battle with Ford’s fairly new to the market F-150 Powerstroke diesel
and Chevrolet’s all-new 3.0-liter Duramax for the 2020 Silverado 1500.
Ahead of its 4th quarter arrival in CarProUSA certified dealerships, I was among a group of automotive journalists invited to drive the Ram 1500 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel at an Dallas-area media event. There we learned Fiat Chrysler had just started building the engine at its plant in Italy earlier this month. (The engine is built overseas but the pickup is assembled in Michigan.) Two decked-out trims awaited us. The luxurious western-themed Laramie Longhorn and the first-ever Ram Rebel EcoDiesel. Mike Koval, Director of Ram Brand U.S Product Marketing, explained:
“We are really excited for 2020, for the first time to offer our EcoDiesel engine on the Ram Rebel,” said Mike Kovcal, Director of Ram Brand U.S Product Marketing “This is something our customers have been asking about for quite some time and we are pleased to be able to bring it to the marketplace in the fourth quarter of 2019.”
The 2020 Ram Rebel is also available with a new Black Appearance Package
2020 Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel
The new third-generation EcoDiesel arrives with impressive numbers. It delivers a class-leading 480 lb.-ft of torque (a 14% increase) along with a class-leading half-ton diesel 12,560 pound towing capacity. Its 260-horsepower is an 8-percent increase over the 2nd-gen engine. The third-generation EcoDiesel is also lighter which improves its fuel economy. 4X2 models are rated at 32 mpg highway and 4X4 at 29 mpg highway and Ram says that is where more than 80-percent of diesel purchases happen.
“We know fuel efficiency is the one purchase reason for diesel buyers, “ said Koval. “We know these folks like to haul, and to tow, in fact 23 percent of diesel buyers tow on a regular basis compared to gasoline buyers. So we know they want to get where they are going with as few stops as possible.”
Its range exceeds 1,000 miles per fill-up when paired with an available 33-gallon fuel tank.
So the new EcoDiesel delivers impressive numbers, but how quiet is it? That’s what I was on a mission to find out. After taking a spin in the Ram Rebel Crew Cab 4X4 EcoDiesel (base MSRP $47,990), I have one word for you: Very. More than 80 percent of the engine’s nuts and bolts are redesigned and new parts reduce friction which cuts engine noise levels. The result is an impressively quiet engine that puts any past concerns about diesel engine noise to rest.
“It’s remarkable. The engineers did a fantastic job with the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) on this particular model. When you are riding in it you truly don’t even know you are in a diesel equipped vehicle,” said Koval. “It is really quite impressive when you package that accomplishment along with the power and capability like we discussed it is really believe a winning formula for Ram Trucks going forward.”
Having already driven the 5.7-liter V8 HEMI (395-horsepower and 410 lb-ft. of torque 2019 Ram 1500
, I came into this already a fan of its overall smooth ride and drive. Like my previous experience, it’s more car- than truck-like, thanks to Ram’s unique rear-coil suspension.
This media drive wasn't set up to test towing and payload capability.
The new Ram EcoDiesel is based of course on the new redesigned Ram 1500 which is proving to be a big sales success for the brand. As of the third quarter, Ram is currently ahead of the Silverado, ousting it from its long-held second spot in truck sales, behind the number one Ford.
“The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 has been a true commercial success in its own right. It’s also had a halo effect on the entire brand and really elevated our performance on a year over year basis,“ Koval said. “So we are very pleased with how it’s performed, we think it is resonating well in the marketplace. The combination of power, capability, efficiency and technology continues to bring new buyers into the Ram showroom.”
2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn
Pricing and Availability
The EcoDiesel is available across the 1500 lineup and arrives in CarProUSA certified dealerships in the fourth quarter. Pricing starts from $36,890 for the Tradesman Quad Cab 2WD, plus $1,695 destination. The EcoDiesel is a $4,995 option, or $3,000 premium over the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 eTorque ($3,300 on Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Rebel and Laramie base models).
Note, the Ram 1500 Classic will be offered with the optional second-generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.
RAM 1500 ECODIESEL FAST FACTS
- Torque: Best-in-Class 480 lb.-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm.
- Towing: Best-in-class half-ton diesel towing of 12,560 pounds.
- Horsepower: 260-horsepower at 3,600 rpm.
- Fuel Economy: 32 MPG highway, 4X2; 29 MPG highway 4X4
- Range: Exceeds 1,000 miles per fill-up when paired with an available 33-gallon fuel tank.