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by Gregg Laskoski on Feb 10, 2014 02:30 PM
Fiat/Chrysler now says its 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has been certified at 28 miles per gallon on the highway, making it the most fuel-efficient half-ton pickup when it goes on sale later this year.
The truck has been certified at 20 m.p.g. in city driving and 23 m.p.g. in combined city/highway driving after tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The rating gives Ram a bragging point in the extremely competitive truck segment, says Brent Snavely of the Detroit Free Press. Ford has said that its 2015 aluminum-body F-150 pickup will be the most fuel-efficient version yet when it goes on sale later this year, but the EPA hasn’t yet certified its fuel efficiency.
Pricing for the 2014 Ram 1500 starts at $24,200, plus a $1,195 delivery charge. The V6 EcoDiesel is about $4,500 more than a V6 gasoline Pentastar engine.
“We will be giving our customers more capability and greater efficiency, and it doesn’t matter which engine they choose,” said Ford spokesman Mike Levine.
Diesel engines typically provide better torque and towing capability. For years, automakers have produced heavy-duty pickups with diesel engines, but when it goes on sale in March, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will be the only half-ton diesel-powered pickup on the market.
That will change. Nissan is developing a Titan pickup with a 5.0-liter V8 Cummins diesel engine that it plans to introduce in 2015.
Executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles say they think that eventually up to 15% of Ram 1500 sales will be diesels.
The 3.0-liter diesel engine in the Ram 1500 generates 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The engine is made by VM Motori of Italy.
In the U.S., a gallon of diesel fuel is about 64 cents more expensive than a gallon of regular gas, but diesel fuel is denser, lasts longer and gets about one-third better fuel economy.