The 2014 Ram 1500 will be the first half-ton truck to get a diesel engine. The diesel engined Ram 1500 will almost definitely offer superior towing capability to anything else in the half-ton truck segment, possibly rivaling 3/4 ton trucks for towing capabilities. The Ram 1500 diesel should also get fuel mileage* in the high 20s, possibly even breaking the 30-mpg mark in certain configurations.
Diesel engines are typically more powerful and fuel efficient than gasoline engines, but cost quite a bit more. Smaller diesel trucks are available throughout the world and you can find an old VW Rabbit diesel if you look hard enough, but for the most part, if you want an compression ignition engine in a pickup, you have to step up to the 3/4-ton (2500) and 1-ton (3500) trucks. Ram hasn’t officially announced when the 1500 diesel will be available, but an internal memo obtained by USA Today says that the truck will be available in July 2013
Unfortunately for all of you car maniacs planning on building hotrod Rams, the Ram 1500 diesel won’t use the Cummins 4BT, the smaller version of the Cummins motor in the larger 2500 and 3500 Ram that has grown famous due to both its power from the factory and the ease of modification. Instead the Ram 1500 will use the same 3.0-liter V6 diesel that will debut in the Grand Cherokee in May. In the Grand Cherokee Diesel, the engine will make 240-horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. That exact engine would be a pretty hard sell in the Ram, where the 5.7-liter Hemi gas engine makes 395-horsepower and 407 lb-ft of torque. Expect the Ram 1500 diesel to be more quite a bit powerful than the Grand Cherokee in order to justify the extra cost.
That extra cost will probably be somewhere between the $4,500 extra Grand Cherokee buyers will be paying, according to Car & Driver and the Ram 2500 diesel’s $7,795 price premium.
*Thank you Jim for pointing out that fuel mileage is a more accurate term than gas mileage in a vehicle that doesn’t use gas.