Despite a certain amount of controversy surrounding diesels in recent years, this type of power unit remains a highly desirable asset, especially when it comes to pickup trucks with demanding work to be tackled. For many pickup buyers, it’s the only way to go and all major manufacturers in this segment offer a diesel.
The basic advantages of diesels over internal combustion (IC) engines include fuel efficiency, greater torque, cheaper fuel, a lower fire hazard and lower maintenance. Diesels also have a reputation of being exceptionally long-lived and durable with a life expectancy more than double that of a comparable IC power unit. In modern diesel engines, continual refinement over the years has all but eliminated excessive noise and smoky exhausts.
Ram’s new 2020 1500 EcoDiesel is bound to be a major contender and the automaker claims that it will offer best-in-class torque thanks to an impressive 480lb-ft from its 3.0-litre V-6. Also, the price is claimed to be lower than that of competing diesel pickups.
Interestingly, the EcoDiesel engine is manufactured in Italy, no bad thing considering the vast diesel experience of European automakers. Ram is, of course, now part of the huge Fiat organization.
Since the EcoDiesel engine is an option on the Ram 1500 range, the truck is available with that product’s impressive range of cab and box sizes and other equipment choices and can be ordered with either two or four-wheel drive. Right now, no rival offers a half-ton truck with torque levels as high as those you’ll get with the EcoDiesel. Towing is also a big plus with a rating of 12,560 lbs.
While the EcoDiesel will be a big draw among truck buyers with serious work duties or perhaps RV applications in mind, there are many other worthwhile technical benefits with this Ram. Included on the spec sheet are a new-generation water-cooled turbocharger; high-pressure direct fuel injection nozzles and an exhaust gas recirculation system that enhances fuel economy. Also worth a mention is the class-exclusive sir suspension, which enhances ride control, off-road capability, ease of entry and exit and cargo handling. Automatic load-levelling is also a feature of the air suspension.
The new diesel-powered Ram bristles with innovations and would be a worthwhile investment for any buyer wanting a combination of ruggedness, long life, fuel economy and high towing capability. The truck should arrive at dealerships towards the end of 2019.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Multi-configuration pickup
ENGINE: 3.0-litre V-6 turbo-diesel, 480 lb-ft of torque
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed ZF automatic
TOWING CAPACITY 12,560-lbs
FUEL ECONOMY: Not yet rated
PRICE: $49,395 base, arriving later in 2019