The Washington Times-Herald

Z_CNHI News Service

September 30, 2013

Ram 1500 breaks new ground as first light-duty truck with diesel engine

(Continued)

WESTLAKE, Calif. —

Ram also brought some gasoline trucks to compare it to, and more than once I had to double-check to be sure I was in the diesel version. I just couldn't tell from the sound.

One of the biggest question marks about this truck — and one of the best reasons to buy it, too — is the gas mileage it's going to get. The official government ratings haven't been announced yet, but the folks at Ram swear it's going to be "class-leading" whenever the numbers come out.

That means it should get better fuel economy than the V6 gasoline trucks that are on the market right now, with the added benefit of greater towing capacity. It's rated to tow up to 9,200 pounds, which is approaching the figure you would expect from a big, thirsty, V8 gas engine.

The price premium for the EcoDiesel is also reasonable. It's just $2,850 more than a similarly equipped Ram with a HEMI V8 engine, a price that's low enough to pay for itself in fuel cost savings over time. And given the historically higher resale value of diesel trucks, it could turn out to be an even smarter decision down the road.

Aside from the coolness of the new diesel, I like what this move says about the Ram brand as a whole. This is a company that's been breaking new ground in the pickup market and rolling out innovations before other trucks, like their diesel engine brakes in heavy-duty models and their big-rig styling in the 1990s.

Being the first to put a diesel engine in a light-duty chassis is just another step in that process. It's a smart move on Ram's part because I suspect there's a large, untapped market of people who want to drive a diesel truck but don't want to deal with the drawbacks and expense of a heavy-duty model.

It's been a long wait, but those people finally have their truck.

Derek Price is an independent automotive columnist. Reach him at carcolumn@gmail.com.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Church's denied request for National Guard visit draws national attention

    A Missouri church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    August 1, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Impeachment arms Democrats, doesn't end the Obama disaster

    Republicans may have grounds to impeach President Barack Obama but they would be daft to pursue a case they cannot win in a Senate controlled by Democrats. Impeachment would only drive the Democrats' fundraising and potentially squander the GOP's best opportunity in years to capture both houses of Congress then, in two years, the White House.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014