Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new 2014 Ram 1500 diesel pickup earned a 28 miles-per-gallon highway rating, the best of any full-size half-ton pickup, the automaker said Tuesday.
The automaker said the Environmental Protection Agency rating also exceeds the mileage figure for the top-ranked small pickup.
“The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is truly in a class of its own with 28 mpg and the ability to tow 9,200 pounds,” says Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Ram. “To put the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in context, it gets 6 mpg better fuel economy than the best F150 Eco-Boost,” he added, referring to Ford Motor Co.’s popular pick-up. “Overall,” Bigland concluded, “the Ram 1500 Eco-Diesel has outstanding pickup truck capability with compact car-like fuel economy.”
Chrysler says orders for the new diesel Ram open Friday. Diesels are expected to account for 10 to 15 percent of all 1500 sales.
The EcoDiesel is the first turbo-diesel offering in the half-ton pickup segment. But Nissan Motor Co. said in August it plans to sell a V-8 diesel Titan pickup with a Cummins 5-liter V-8 turbo diesel in the United States, likely starting early next year.
The 2013 Ram with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine earned a 25 mpg highway rating.
General Motors Co. plans to sell a diesel version of its small Canyon and Colorado in the 2016 model year.
GM said in a note to reporters that the estimated annual fuel costs for a diesel Ram is just $50 a year less than GM’s full-size V-8 truck, but that the Ram costs $3,400 more, meaning at current fuel prices it could take several decades to recoup the higher upfront cost.