By on October 3, 2013

 

2014-Ram-1500-diesel-grille

The most important year for the American pickup truck might have been 1996. Although the tenth generation Ford F-Series would debut that same year, the biggest development for the segment had nothing to do with trucks. It was the death of the General Motors B-Body sedan.

A perennial best-seller in America through the 1970s, the B-Body’s demise left American consumers with only one choice for a traditional full-size sedan, the Ford Panther cars. Conventional wisdom states that SUVs subsequently picked up the slack as America’s family hauler of choice, but there’s a case to be made that it was the half-ton crew cab pickup truck that truly replaced the large sedan as America’s family hauler. From 2002 onward, domestic full-size SUV sales began to trend downward, as pick-up sales, well, picked up.

The crew cab era began in earnest right around that time, with the Ford F-150 SuperCrew and a subsequent GM crew cab trucks debuting in 2002. Over a decade later, and both GM and Chrysler have replaced the rear-hinged doors on their extended cab models with a shorter crew cab model, supplemented with even bigger crew cab models that feature massive rear doors.

Shortly before we were invited to test out the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel CrewCab (the bigger of the two 4-doors in Ram nomenclature, with QuadCab being smaller) shown above, TTAC was loaned another Ram 1500 CrewCab – a Pentastar V6 Outdoorsman model, which featured the 8.4″ UConnect system, the lockable Ram Box storage system and a rather spartan interior with drab hard plastics and cloth upholstery (appropriate given the nature of the truck, but a little surprising given the $46,000 pricetag).

The timing of the Outdoorsman test coincided with a reunion for the summer camp I attended as a youth. Located roughly 200 miles from Toronto, the route to the camp is largely composed of rural two-lane highways with some decent grades and winding roads – a good place to put the Pentastar V6 and the new 8-speed automatic to the test.

With its enormous interior space, the CrewCab Ram acquitted itself well with my passengers, all of whom were over 6’2″. No sedan could possibly give them this much space to stretch out, not even the legendary Town Car Signature L. The air suspension provided an effortlessly smooth ride along the less-than-perfect stretches of pavement we traversed. But the Pentastar V6, as refined as it may have been, was a little lacking in power, especially when passing on two-lane highways. Some leeway has to be granted, on account of the Ram hauling a combined weight of 840 pounds of human cargo, plus the associated detritus, but the Pentastar’s power delivery wasn’t quite effortless. Last time we traversed these roads, we had used a friend’s Sierra 2500HD with a 6.6L Duramax diesel, and I found myself wishing for that kind of turbocharged torque that one can find in a diesel or an Ecoboost Ford.

2014-Ram-1500-diese-logo

Two months and 2547 miles later and I’m staring face to face with Mopar’s answer for how to get some real grunt without sacrificing on the green front. The Ram EcoDiesel is indistinguishable from the regular Ram, save for the fender mounted emblem shown above. Under the hood is a 3.0L V6 made by VM Motori. Originally planned for the Cadillac CTS, the diesel engine puts out 240 horsepower (43 less than the Pentastar V6) and 430 lb-ft (20 more than the 5.7L Hemi V8). Drawing comparisons to a Cadillac might be a bit of a stretch, but the V6 oil burner is incredibly refined. There is very little clatter at start-up or at idle, and the traditional diesel noises are largely kept in check. One noteworthy change is the addition of a Diesel Exhaust Fluid gauge in the cabin. DEF is used as part of the emissions control package, and the fluid is meant to be replenished at 10,000 miles (the same interval as the engine’s oil). However, regulations require that the engine must be disabled when the DEF supply is exhausted, so keeping an eye on its levels is essential.

Most of the seat time in the diesel Ram came in the form of various stop-and-go scenarios as part of the city driving loops, with the diesel returning a very impressive 24 mpg according to the vehicle’s trip computer. While the Pentastar V6 is said to add about a second and a half compared to the Pentastar Ram’s 7.5 second 0-60 time, the diesel felt much stronger, with plenty of torque available throughout the rev range. Merging and passing was a cinch, with the feel resembling that of a boosted gasoline engine. In a blind taste test, nobody would confuse the Pentastar, the Hemi or the diesel, but the oil-burner’s overall feel is closer to that of the Ford EcoBoost V6 than a traditional heavy-duty diesel engine. Although towing wasn’t a part of my drive, Ram claims that the diesel can haul up to 9,200 lbs with the right equipment.

The biggest sticking point for the diesel is likely the amount of time it will take to break even on the $4,500 premium the diesel commands. Based on a national average prices of $3.62 for gasoline and $3.97 for diesel, the payback over the Pentastar V6 will take decades. When the diesel is put up against the Hemi, the proposition makes more sense, taking about 5 years to pay off.

Nevertheless, rationality doesn’t always play in to these kind of purchasing decisions, as evidenced by the legions of buyers who frequently opt for fuel-efficient vehicles that in reality take lots of time to provide any kind of ROI. The notion of a diesel half-ton pickup will likely prove alluring for many in terms of curb appeal, and the powertrain’s combination of brawn and refinement will win buyers over on the dealer test drive. Otherwise, there’s very little to distinguish the diesel from gasoline powered Ram 1500s. And that’s hardly a bad thing.

Ironically, Ram wasn’t even supposed to be the first one to market with a diesel. At the end of the last decade, Ford reportedly shelved a 4.8L twin-turbo diesel V8, fearing that it would steal sales away from the Super Duty trucks.  They won’t be the second one either, since Nissan will release a half-ton diesel Titan within the next year or two. It appears that in this marketplace, the Super Duty trucks are gravitating towards the traditional heavy-duty users, while half-ton trucks are creeping upmarket, serving as replacements for all manner of large cars. Features like four full-size doors, better ride characteristics and lots of passenger space helped spur this trend – and the increasing push towards better fuel economy will only keep it going.

Chrysler provided airfare, accommodations and meals for the event. Photos courtesy AutoGuide.com

 

 

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193 Comments on “Capsule Review: Ram 1500 EcoDiesel...”


  • avatar
    highrpm

    What does it cost to refill that DAF every 10,000 miles?

    • 0 avatar
      bigdaddyp

      I believe you can buy def at truck stops for around $6 a gallon. Getting filled at a dealer? I believe the going rate is one arm and one leg or your first born.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Walmart sells 2.5 gallons of Blue DEF for $11.97. It looks like the Grand Cherokee has an 8.5 gallon tank so the pickup probably has a similar size tank. So maybe $45 to completely fill the tank if you get the DEF cheap enough.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      2.5 gallons is $11 from Amazon.com, based on a quick google.

      From 2nd hand experience with BMWs that use it, you will spend considerably more on screenwash than you will on DEF, even if you buy it from BMW at outrageous markup.

      I would always choose to spend the money on a diesel engine vs. giving it to the oil companies, plus a modern diesel is just plain nice to drive. I still don’t see why a truck needs to be so ridiculously overpowered though. It’s a TRUCK, not a sports car. 10-second 0-60 time and 30+mpg would be more like it.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Have you ever towed in excess of 10k?
        The difference between a 6.0 and 4.8 is astonishing. You can keep up to speed in a 6.0 and average ~8 mpg
        A 4.8 means anything over 50 mph is practically impossible it means you will have that truck floored the majority of the trip and get ~ 4 mpg

        More power means better mpg when towing and less anxiety, you really have to try it to understand, truck engines are not over powered.
        Obviously people lived before 300 lb of torque and trailer brakes, but don’t suggest we should have to continue to suffer that.

        Obviously we shouldn’t have been towing 10k with a 4.8 but it still has more power than many older trucks rated at similar towing figures.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          How about 4.8L with a 4.56 axle versus a 6.0L with a 2.55?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Well you got me there but in this case the 6.0 had 3:73 and the 4.8 had 3:23

            I remember on one occasion having the dump trailer with a couple large rocks/boulders, attached to the 4.8, bump stops weren’t quite touching but later on, trying to back up, I had the truck floored and it wouldn’t move, wasn’t even strong enough to spin the tires in place, we had to attached my tractor and pulled it up to dump.

        • 0 avatar
          windnsea00

          Budget’s 16 ft. box trucks are ordered with the 4.8, slow when empty and downright gutless with a payload and/or towing a car behind.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Are they still top speed limited or does the engine do that for you?

          • 0 avatar
            windnsea00

            Limited to 75 MPH. The Ford’s 5.4L may not have quite as much horsepower as the 4.8L but the huge difference in torque makes it far nicer. The worse combo was the 4-spd auto with the 4.8L, at least the 6-spd keeps it running in the power band far better.

        • 0 avatar
          Scott_314

          Hummer what have you towed that weighs over 10K?

          Honestly I want to know. A large 5th wheel is less than 10,000 lbs. A 27-foot cabin-cruiser boat is less than 10,000 lbs. A small CAT excavator is 30,000 lbs, but a mini excavator is say 5,000 lbs.

          So I’m curious. My friend and I tow his seadoos twice a year with a Camry. We take our time at 60mph and get there safely.

          Thanks

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You tow Seadoos with a Camry? Awesome!

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            3 point hitch PTO areorator at front followed by a tractor with a bush hog.
            Wide area mowers with tractors, fertilizer pallets, dump trailers full of sand, or mulch, or rocks etc
            Trailer alone is 1.5-3k+ depending on what’s needed

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            +1

          • 0 avatar
            st1100boy

            I saw a Toyota Echo towing a pair of SeaDoos a while back. That was cool.

            I tow a sportbike w/ my V6 Mustang and get 25mpg at a steady 70mph. Towing with a car isn’t hard at all, but it does get you some funny looks since so many people assume only trucks can/should tow.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            When towing it isn’t always about moving the weight. Often times that’s the easy part. It’s pushing the air out of your way at highway speeds that can make towing with an unpowered vehicle a pain. That’s where you need torque, not horsepower.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Carlson Fan

            Going slower helps with that greatly. No reason to be going more than 55-60mph while towing a large trailer.

            But ultimately I agree with you – people talk about horsepower, but what they really want is torque, and torque at low rpm.

          • 0 avatar
            Stumpaster

            Actually a more typical towing limitation is the breaks.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Very little. It’s $7/gallon at O’Reilly Auto Parts. Probably cheaper at a truck stop. More expensive at the dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      bachewy

      Meh, just pee in the bottle ;)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “However, regulations require that the engine must be disabled when the DEF supply is exhausted”

      If the diesel version of the truck takes off, look forward to an aftermarket hack.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I’ve seen DEF sold in bulk (from a pump) at truck stops for as little as $2.79 a gallon. To me, this is the way to go to minimize your costs.

      • 0 avatar
        Kinosh

        It’s technically feasible to remove the emission systems. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles based on a cutaway diesel chassis have an exception.

        Disabling it on a non-exempt vehicle carries fines/fees similar to using red diesel on road, however…

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Looks like a great match for a half ton truck, but man those MSRPs are absurd, any idea what an actual transaction price would be on a mid-level RAM 1500 4wd with one of these diesels?

    The roominess of a modern crew cab fullsize truck is truly immense, I sat inside a Tundra CrewMax and it was seriously the roomiest back seat I’ve ever been in. I felt like a 3 year old inside the truck, everything was huge, and I was sitting way up high. I can definitely see the appeal of one of these as a second vehicle for family camping trips, but spending $40k for a vehicle that only gets used occasionally doesn’t make any sense.

    • 0 avatar
      MK

      This is it. This is why crew cab trucks have replaced the beloved TTAC family sedan and why most Americans who have a choice would buy such a truck over the mythical perfectly proportioned station wagon.
      Comfort, interior room, legroom front and back, excellent visibility, MASSSIVE lockable trunk (undercover, etc) that holds more than even 60s-70s era American road barges, they’re quieter than a Lexus from 10 years ago and can tow more than you should drag around with you.
      The biggest downside is fuel economy and parking if you’re “urban” but all us yokels in flyover land put up with the gas mileage unless you’re commuting some crazy distance.

      And things only seem “overpowered” until you’re towing a load uphill. ;)

      • 0 avatar

        The room was astounding. At 5’10 and 175 lbs I’m the smallest of the crew. My friend who is 6’3 and 250lbs sat behind me and had tons of space. Ironically, the lack of a parking space is the only thing stopping me from getting one.

      • 0 avatar
        Larry P2

        “Most of the seat time in the diesel Ram came in the form of various stop-and-go scenarios as part of the city driving loops, with the diesel returning a very impressive 24 mpg according to the vehicle’s trip computer. ”

        And THAT is why full-sized trucks have replaced TTAC’s beloved compact trucks. There is no way on earth that a full-equipped four wheel drive compact truck is going to get anywhere NEAR that kind of fuel mileage, let alone easily replace a family sedan, let alone have remotely close to that hauling and towing capability.

        Compact trucks were built as an alternative commuter vehicle. The day and age when this was popular are over and dead.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    “legendary Town Car Signature L”

    Is this ironic or has Panther delusion finally seeped into every TTAC contributor?

  • avatar
    bachewy

    Thanks for that review. I’ve been curious how good the implementation was.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This engine has me excited and intrigued. Hopefully some competition will be sparked in the area of diesel engines here in the US and the quality of diesel fuel will start to rise. We have some of the lowest cetane ratings of the major world powers.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      I hope so.

      Timing adjustment fixes that problem. Though i suppose modern engines thats not something you do but the computer. Some new glow plugs have pressure sensors so in theory the computer can adjust the timing based on that data when it detects the combustion event.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Lots of folks use pickups for towing: boats, campers, travel trailers, horse trailers, etc. If that’s your use, then engine choice is about much more the EPA fuel economy ratings. Chances are the V-6 equipped RAM 1500 is not rated to tow anything near 9,000 lbs. Secondly, the shape of the torque curve and the amount of torque generated becomes a whole lot more important when your towing. And finally, fuel economy differences between diesels and gasoline engines become much more pronounced when you’re working the engine hard by towing or carrying heavy payloads.

    IRC, the hemi-V-8 equipped RAM 1500, equipped correctly, is rated to two 9000 lbs. but to develop the torque that the diesel develops at, say 2200 rpm, the Hemi is spinning at 4,000.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      For some reason, I’m not allowed to edit. Some more info from RAM’s website: the V-6 crew cab has a maximum tow rating of 6,000 lbs., so a person who needs to tow more than that is not a candidate to buy that engine/chassis combination. The hemi-powered versions are rated up to 10,300 lbs. If you want 4wd, the V-6 is not an option at all.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I went to the RAM website but I couldn’t find the diesel as a powertrain option. I wonder if the diesel will be offered in 4WD if the pentastar is not?

        • 0 avatar
          Dimwit

          It is but not for the basic models. You have to go past the SLT, I believe, before the diesel becomes an option.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            No, you can get it on every trim but the Express and HFE. And, in every bed/cab combination but regular cab short bed.

            So 8ft bed regular cab Tradesman diesel V6 is do-able.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      I think the big towing and big motor argument is a lot of BS. Most pickups never haul anything heavier than a new big screen TV or a motorcycle. Similarly, people that needed to tow heavy stuff 30 years ago somehow managed to do it with 7.5 liter V-8s that were putting out less than 200 HP and mated to a 3 speed auto. Obviously for the few that really do tow heavy things regularly, a big motor and lots of gears are nice to have, but a necessity – I don’t think so.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I don’t see why it matters how much power it is, obviously consumers don’t care, if they did the 5.3, 5.7, 5.0 wouldn’t be the top sellers.
        Doesn’t matter if it hauls air 100% of the time, people are going with the bigger engine with more power.

        Sure people got by with 7.5l BB, but when a smaller engine can outperform it, why go back?
        Power sells.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The biggest sticking point for the diesel is likely the amount of time it will take to break even on the $4,500 premium the diesel commands. Based on a national average prices of $3.62 for gasoline and $3.97 for diesel, the payback over the Pentastar V6 will take decades. When the diesel is put up against the Hemi, the proposition makes more sense, taking about 5 years to pay off.”

    I would interested to see these figures expressed in miles driven as opposed to time. If I’m a contractor who travels all over my state I might hit the payoff limit at say 75K in 2-2.5 years and still have a diesel that can/should run hundreds of thousands of miles vs gas. I am personally not a contractor but I’ve noticed those who are (or own small business) tend to hang on to their trucks even if new ones are purchased to increase their fleets (I assume as business grows). If this is my game I might have to stomach Mopar vs GM/Ford in order to get an affordable diesel and keep it in my fleet until it becomes economically non-viable. A gas truck I may just get fed up with and replace after X years/miles.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      And then what about people who just enjoy the diesel driving experience of huge amounts of torque with good fuel economy vs. performance?

      Let’s use the Chevy Cruz as an example. Do I see Prius owners trading for a Cruz diesel? No. But what if you want to drive a car the size of the Cruz with V6 torque? I keep watching Auto Trader to see how long it takes lightly used models to permeate the market. You know there are going to be some people who buy one and then have buyers regret. That’s a good excuse for an enthusiast to snap one up.

      I would imagine that there are crew cab truck buyers who like Derek would prefer the driving experience of a diesel V6 over the gas V6 and don’t care that it cost more than the Hemi because of the better fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ah excellent point. Cruze diesel seems like a great alternative to the forbidden V6 which is no longer offered outside of large cars and top trim midsizers.

      • 0 avatar
        Reino

        Hell yes. I’ve towed a grand total of two times in the last 5 years. Doesn’t matter, I love the power and that Powerstroke ‘purrrr’. Could I get by with a V6 half ton? Sure, but what’s the fun in that?

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I don’t know that I’d give this engine the benefit of doubt versus a gasser as far as long term durability. Ford has shown us that diesel doesn’t automatically mean durable. Today’s gas engine is pretty darned robust and most of these gas trucks don’t have high pressure fuel pumps or turbochargers as an additional failure mode.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        That was the Navistar debacle. The non-Navistar diesels are better.

        • 0 avatar
          Reino

          Just the 6.0. The 7.3 is bulletproof, good for a half million miles as long as you keep up the maintenance.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The 6.4L from ’08-’10 was terrible too. The failures were worse than the 6.0L. Piston meltingly, front cover porously, rod bendingly worse.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 6.4 was after all the lawsuits form the 6.0 too. No wonder Ford and Navistar don’t work with each other anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Ford gassers aren’t reliable, would probably be best to just ignore ford in terms of reliability.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ford’s Mod 4.6L gas motor is unreliable?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Anything that blows out 2 spark plugs within a month is pretty bad, the fords I’ve been around have been plagued with ignition system problems and compression problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            I’m with this guy. I’ve never heard someone call them unreliable.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            They’re very reliable in 2V form, especially those made after ’02. You might end up putting a timing set in it once it it’s life time and a coil pack here and there, but you can find that stuff at any auto parts store, in stock, any time and cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            +1. Anything that can survive hundreds of thousands of brutal miles of fleet/taxi use like the 4.6 mod motor is a reliable engine.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “high pressure fuel pumps or turbochargers as an additional failure mode.”

        I’m not familiar with the engine design of the EcoBoost but I was under the impression there is a turbocharger, and in general direct injection gas engines require a more sophisticated fuel system vs multi-port.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “I’m not familiar with the engine design of the EcoBoost but I was under the impression there is a turbocharger, and in general direct injection gas engines require a more sophisticated fuel system vs multi-port.”

          Correct. The Ford GTDI engines use a high pressure fuel pump and direct injectors, similar to a common rail diesel setup.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          The Ecoboost does have both. By and large, the half ton market is still N/A V8s, though, hence the “most of these gas trucks”.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Just google VM diesels, they have an excellent reputation. In fact Cummins rebrands VM marine diesels as Cummins.

        US News survey of surveys( a kind of 538 blog of car reviews) has Ram the highest rated truck while Consumer Reports rates it a close 2nd to GM’s new wondertrucks.

        Ram keeps gaining marketshare from state sponsored socialist JapanInc’s incompetant offerings. US News has the failed gas pig Tundra at 5th with the horrible antique Titan rated last.
        http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/trucks/

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        The VM Motori 2.8 liter turbodiesel four in my folks’ 2006 Jeep Liberty that they bought new and still own has been an excellent engine. 75k miles thus far, and people on the Internet are near 150k with the same powertrain and excellent reliability.

        The only negative I give that powerplant is that it’s industrial and loud – and not good loud like a modified Cummins ISB.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Diesels tend to not lose a ton of MPGs when towing compared to gas engines. For my family’s company, I typically drive a Dodge Ram with a 5.9L. It gets way better mileage than the old GMT400 beast diesel. But once you tow, the 6.5L Detroit Diesel is the way to go. I love the Ram with the 5.9L Magnum though.

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say the F-150 will eventually get a diesel. I don’t know when, but they’ll have one in the T-series and Ford is obsesed with fuel economy on the next F-series. They’d love to advertise 30 MPG highway. Maybe a smaller ecoboost six will get them there, but I like the idea of an F150 with a ten speed and a diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Maintenance on the diesel engine will be a good deal more expensive than the gas motors as well. Oil, oil filters and fuel filters are all more expensive. Fuel filter changes are especially important and frequent as it is critical to make sure there is no water in the HP fuel system or severe damage will result.

      I’m not sure what the exact cost will be yet for this exact motor, but it is guaranteed to be significantly more than the gas engines as it is with other trucks in the same comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Danio-

        I agree, the diesels in our fleet cost way more to service, and haven’t been as reliable as the V8 gas models. I know people preach about diesel longevity, but the 318 and 360 have never let me down. I have my Ram 1500 towing a trailer with a skid-steer on it because of issues with one of the diesels.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          This, once you factor in running costs with a modern diesel… It’s a break even proposition at best. At the end of the day it’s just how often do you need to tow heavy.

        • 0 avatar
          Kinosh

          In regards to repair, I love working on them. You need fuel, air, and spark to run gas, and diesel gets rid of (arguably) the most PITA part of diagnostics.

        • 0 avatar
          nrd515

          When I was truck shopping in 2000, the Dodge dealer let me test drive a brand new Ram 1500 4×4 360 powered truck. I had tested a Chevy Silverado the day before, and it blew away the 360 in pretty much every way. I actually liked the Ram itself better, especially the looks, but the 5.3 in the GM trucks was just plainly superior, even though the Chevy only had 3.42 gears in it vs. the Ram’s 3.92 gears. In 2003, I wrecked the Sierra I bought in ’00, and replaced it with a hemi Ram, and the hemi was as much better than the 5.3 as the 5.3 was better than the 360. I was kind of sad to see how outclassed the 360 was, as I had owned a 360 powered Roadrunner, and a 360 Power Wagon. I loved the 2003 Ram, I only sold it because I had been injured and getting into the thing was flat out dangerous. I replaced the Ram with a Charger R/T and now I have a 2010 Challenger R/T. I wouldn’t have bought any of the last three vehicles if they still made the 318/360. Great engine family, in it’s day, which should have ended about 1988 or so.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            Those old LA engines were very underrated. The 3.9L V6′s made out of them are still bouncing around in a lot of 300k+ miles Dakotas

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The Magnum 360 really wasn’t outclassed in performance, it was on paper though. In reality the same vehciles equipped with the Hemi didn’t perform as much better as the peak horsepower numbers might suggest.

            For performance applications, I prefer the LS engines over the LA Mopars (I own examples of both) and perfer the Hemi over both, but in basic truck applications any of the three would be suitable.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m not claiming the superiority of the 360 performance wise. It tends to work all the time though. Same for the 318 in the 1990 Dodge Ram 2500 we used to own. My father sold it to a former employee in the late ’90s, and its still running.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      Excellent point about needing to look at it on a miles per year rather than number of years basis. Auto writers feel they need to bring up the “break-even period” or risk looking stupid but in reality ignoring the number of miles driven, fuel consumption under load and real world MPG versus EPA is what’s stupid.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I want one of these, first thing I do will be to remove that def crap and the other emissions mess and get it running right.
    I’ll bet mpg would have been in the 30s pre 2006

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Please don’t. It’s illegal and the rest of us have a right to breathe clean air. If you don’t like US emissions regulations, write your senator or congressman or move to a country with no emissions laws.

      Also, as soon as you have a problem, watch all that stuff go right back on as you have it towed into the dealer claiming you don’t know what happened to it – after all, you were just driving grandma to church on Sunday.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        It’s not like anyone will ever notice it gone, the increased emissions is negligible, even more so when you add the lack of DEF cost, increased MPG and power when you tune the engine to work without the add ons.
        There’s nothing writing a letter will help, the Sierra club/ecoterrorists have a massive lobby arm, the people’s concerned be da**ed.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          Without the DPF, the engine will emit particulate matter or soot, a known carcinogen. Removing the DEF system and reprogramming the engine to run efficiently without it will only produce more soot, thus compounding the problem

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            It’s still emitting the same carcinogen with or without soot,I also didn’t say I wanted to roll coal, some emissions devices are important, I only want to remove unessential devices.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            Soot is an additional carcinogen beyond the trace amounts of CO and HC in the exhaust gases, so it is not emitting the same amount of carcinogens with or without soot. The DPF captures the soot and prevents it from entering the air. The SCR catalyst (part of the DEF system) converts NOx into nitrogen, water and carbon dioxide. Modern diesels can be quite clean assuming owners don’t think they know more than the people who engineered the engine and aftertreatment systems in the first place.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    OK you diesel guys, give me some ammo. My brother-in-law is convinced that diesel soot is “not that bad” and that “it’s not that harmful, people just don’t like it because it looks bad”. Basically he is convincing himself that rolling coal is perfectly acceptable. After I roll my eyes and call him a moron, what facts can I throw his way to discredit him?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Breathing pure soot isn’t really good for the respiratory system. But in small doses, the effects would be negligeable.

      Doesn’t really seem worth debating that it isn’t good for people.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2158574/Diesel-engine-exhaust-fumes-major-cancer-risk.html

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      From Wikipedia: “Soot is a powder-like form of amorphous carbon. The gas-phase soots contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The PAHs in soot are known mutagens and are classified as a “known human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).”

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      That “coal” is undercombusted fuel going out the tailpipe. Might as well punch a hole in the fuel tank. Back in the days of steam locomotives, a black exhaust was the sign of a noob fireman who didn’t know what they were doing. Some railroads would have semiofficial contests and bonuses for running a clean stack, and firemen who didn’t get with the program didn’t stay firemen for long.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        I love the morons who “roll coal” and claim the black smoke means they are making more power. Nope…just wasting fuel, dummy.

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        Could it also mean they, you know, bypassed or removed the particulate filter? If the air/fuel ratio is correct, but you removed the DPF, would you still “roll coal”?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Under light load and cruising, a diesel wihtout a DPF won’t generate much if any visible soot. Under light load, diesel engines need comparitively less fuel in the combustion chamber to keep a rollin. They run much leaner than diesels 14.5:1 stoichiometric ratio would suggest.

          Diesels are completely throttled through fuel, most diesels don’t have a throttle plate (many do now, but for emission system cycles and emergency shutdown, but its not “connected” to the accelerator pedal like a gas engine). So when you want big power in a diesel, you’re basically just hooging fuel and boost into it to make the engine accelerate, and diesels running at or below that 14.5:1 ratio form soot because diesel doesn’t have the evaporative properties of gasoline. But that’s how you accelerate a diesel, so the harder the acceleration, the more soot.

          • 0 avatar
            BigOldChryslers

            Yep, my 100% stock 12-valve Cummins only puts out visible soot when I hammer the gas pedal, and only until the turbo spools-up to feed it extra air.

            If Hummer did as he suggests and removed the DEF system and tuned the engine properly to run without it, it would probably behave the same. ie:no visible soot most of the time.

            It seems pointless for guys to mod their engines to “roll coal” from a performance perspective because it means they’re running the engine too rich. It also perpetuates the contempt of people who don’t like diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            You know what I say to my wife when I see some idiot “rolling coal”?

            “God damn idiot needs to get his system adjusted. He’s giving diesels a bad name.”

            Those of you who do that for show are giving diesels a bad name just like the ricers who turn old Civics into rolling fart cans give youth culture a bad name.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “It seems pointless for guys to mod their engines to “roll coal” from a performance perspective because it means they’re running the engine too rich.”

            That’s just how you make big power with a diesel. It would make less power if it were leaner. Diesel is just a dirty fuel and to make power you just pour it on.

          • 0 avatar
            Kinosh

            I don’t often drive diesels, and I’ve never played around with *Extremely* heavily loaded ones.

            Is there any truth to the assertion that dumping the extra fuel in appreciably lowers engine temperature when running 100% load at high RPMs (construction equipment, truck pulls, ect)?

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Is there any truth to the assertion that dumping the extra fuel in appreciably lowers engine temperature when running 100% load at high RPMs (construction equipment, truck pulls, ect)?”

            It doesn’t, I’m not sure who asserted this, but it’s not true. In diesels, rich is mean. They run hotter with more fuel because they are purely compression fired.

            Running them lean leads to cooler operating temperatures. This is one reason why diesels exhibit a lack of heat when operating at low load in colder temperatures. Many have auxiliary electric heaters in the HVAC system or the old fashioned way is to use a grille cover.

          • 0 avatar
            BigOldChryslers

            “It seems pointless for guys to mod their engines to “roll coal” from a performance perspective because it means they’re running the engine too rich.”

            QUOTE: That’s just how you make big power with a diesel. It would make less power if it were leaner. Diesel is just a dirty fuel and to make power you just pour it on.

            Only to a point. I’m not into modding my truck for more power, but I’ve read enough to know that a truck that blows black all the time isn’t tuned well, and will make even more power with more air, or the same power with better fuel economy with less fuel.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    What’s the depreciation on a diesel vs the gas V6? I wonder if part of that cost difference will be offset by the diesel potentially having better residuals?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I am confused by diesel love the same way some are by Panther love.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It’s the holy grail of truckdom!

      Lift kit? Check
      Oversized/styled rims? Check
      Truck nutz? Check
      Diesel? oh yeah.
      Power programmer? On the bill of sale!

      I know quite a few people who bought into all that, then cried man-tears as the diesel repair and maintenance bills started to roll in.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Do you know how many lifted 3/4 or 1 ton diesel trucks with 20s I see EVERY DAY?! And with Confederate flag front license plates, a “drainpipe” stack in the bed and aggressive driving as a bonus! Gotta love living out in semi-rural Pennsylvania, where people move up from places like Missouri and Alabama for…reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          You just described the 253 area code in Washington State.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Wow, people move all the way from the South to the Northwest? Jebus.

            I work in retail, and I get customers who live in the area but have obvious Southern accents, so I know people move up north from the South and take their Southern-ness with ‘em. For better or for worse.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      I see it’s strengths in a truck application where I’d want all that torque. In a passenger car however I’m as confused as you. Diesel cost more than premium around me and the TDI’s are still loud and dirty. Maybe the skyactive will be different.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Perhaps the difference is in the amount of money spent on the engine, not the fuel used. The 6-cyl. diesels in the Touareg/Cayenne/Q7, BMW d’s, and Mercedes ML are similar in spec. to Fiat/Chrysler’s, and they are ridiculously smooth, much more so than 4 cylinder diesels. Perhaps it’s the cylinder count and layout, but it could be that all these larger diesels are sold at a significantly higher price point and more is spent on balancing and isolating them.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    The break even metric you posted in this review is totally, 100%, absolutely meaningless to the person who is going to buy this truck for its indented use. I don’t know why you even bothered posting it.

    Realistically, you can’t even make an accurate break even point for opting for the diesel, because they’re much more efficient under load than their gasoline counterparts.

    But anyway, this will be a nice rig for somebody who tows a boat or a camper every other weekend and wants/needs the drive ability and low end torque that the diesel offers, without having to step up to the Cummins/Duramax/Powerstroke line of HD trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      Excellent point.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Besides that, Derek also points out that the diesel is a better cruiser, even unloaded.

      If saving money is the primary reason someone wants a diesel, then they should probably pick something else.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Geez, some people just can’t win. Say that someone was looking at a truck and was wondering whether to get the base Pentastar V6 or step-up to either the Hemi or the diesel. I’d say there’s lots of good information in this article for that person, who just happens to not be you.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Own a WK diesel and compared to the Hemi I get mid 20′s highway mpg versus their 16-18. Towing it’s even more dramatic delta as I get 17-20 mpg towing a 6k lb open trailer with racecar, gear & tires on a tire rack (so lot’s of wind resistance). The CRD is a daimler benz engine but also a 3.0 turbodiesel with similar output.

    The inflated breakeven period is incorrect (like other TTAC articles) b/c it is based on EPA mpg for the “breakeven” period. If you are educated with diesel versus gas engines you’ll know most diesels get easily meet and most often exceed their EPA mpg (with the Dodge Ram 2500 as the worst) especially after 25k miles when the diesel engine is worn in like a comfortable shoe (less friction). Gas engines often get worse EPA mpg b/c the EPA tests really don’t give an accurate real world mpg rating. Ask Ford, Hyundai, Honda about their EPA mpg brags and owners not being able to meet it even though they try.

    The writer also doesn’t understand that models with diesel optiosn over gas have much higher resale values meaning you’ll recoup that higher up front purchase costs when you sell it. To help understand look at this study by Univ of MI’s Transportation Research Institute.

    http://www.dieselforum.org/files/dmfile/20130311_CD_UMTRITCOFinalReport_dd2017.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Your TCO argument is moot by incentives. UofM’s calculations don’t stack up for resale. Spend $7k more for a powertrain option that makes your vehicle $3k more valuable in 10 years? Good call when the alternative is a fuel hog powertrain for a heavy duty pick up. This analysis doesn’t pass the sniff test for 1/2 ton trucks. We have yet to see how this Ram will affect the price point of 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Whenever someone makes these calculations they often also forget to factor in the cost of DEF, which can be quite variable depending on where you purchase it and if you buy from a bulk pump or in bottles.

      Also people don’t realize that DEF usage is variable depending on engine load/fuel usage. Tow with your DEF equipped diesel and you will use more DEF than someone just using it as a commuter vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        DEF costs $6 a gallon and the WK2 ecodiesel uses < 8 gallons in 10k miles. So that is $6 x 8 = $48 in 10k miles. So what is the problem here? You haul / tow a load in just in the first couple fill ups the diesel will cover that gap easily when it gets 50% better mpg.

        Also as I don't think you know the difference between a WK CRD and a WK2 Ecodiesel – the WK2 uses DEF and the CRD has a DPF diesel particulate filter thus I don't have to worry about it anyway.

        TCO is determined first by MSRP (blackbook). This is for a study starting point – but the argument you make that a gas truck gets a discount is invalid as so does a diesel truck in the real world (can't take into account only the gas models discount). The resale price is based on dealer wholesale auction price which are real world.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      Another great point. You guys are doing really well today.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The guys who are making some of the diesel comments have never driven or owned a diesel and listen to friends tell untruths about diesels. As for diesel reliability, it is superior to a gas engine. Anyone can pluck an example of a poor product. How many ‘bad’ gas stories are there, and now as I’ve seen Telsa even is having a hard time.

    A few months ago another site had an article on the average American’s are spending on their pickups. It appears they aren’t buying base model trucks, ie single cab V6s.

    The consumer is buying mid to high end trucks. There are people who are spending additional money on a 6.2 or whatever V8, that only come in a mid or high end truck. Why? in some cases to tow.

    If a base model Ram can be offered with the VM diesel with a six speed manual what would the cost be?

    Many around the world have gone to diesel and this isn’t just about the cost of the fuel. Australia has significant diesel sales and the cost of diesel fuel is similar to the US, it is more expensive than gas.

    People will buy a diesel for a number of reasons, the effortless driving, the FE, the tow capabilities, etc.

    Soon diesel will be getting near the 100kw lite category with efficiency gains of 15%. Can a gas engine achieve those kind of improvements?

    Here’s a interesting link.

    http://autoindustrynewsletter.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/ricardo-highlights-next-generation.html

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Part of it is like Derek stated, GM and Ford wanted to get you into the bigger truck if you wanted a diesel. The HD and SuperDuty trucks make a ton of money. We’ll see more diesels here as time goes on. The automakers will do whatever they can to pad their CAFE/fuel economy numbers.

      There is still a big cost gap here between engines though. Until more people here buy diesels, you won’t see them on the lower trims. Ford, GM, Ram, etc want to make that premium money that pays for everything they do in the rest of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      bball40dtw is right.

      As usual, Big Al, you are pointing the finger at the consumer when it should be pointed at OEM marketing. Proof is in the pudding: Ford Marketing didn’t believe that anyone would want a ecoboosted ‘V6′ in a truck. The capacity planning take rate was pegged at 25% and the actual take rate ended up being closer to 70% during the first few years. Same goes for the death of the P415 and U22X 4.8L diesel. There is a reason why the transaction prices for Excursions with a diesel are outrageous – the consumer isn’t dumb. It’s the hand that feeds us that you should be addressing.

      Kudos to Chrysler for deeming this to have a viable market. They have the least to lose as they don’t market their 3/4 and 1 ton pick ups like Ford. For f*cks sake, Ford has brand ‘DNA’ for what used to just be a F-250 and F-350.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “you are pointing the finger at the consumer when it should be pointed at OEM marketing”

        Pointing the finger at anyone doesn’t help, unless you want to have three fingers pointing back at you.

        Diesel vehicles aren’t popular in the US. Nonetheless, the US consumes plenty of diesel in heavy equipment, such as semi-trucks and agricultural vehicles.

        The US oil refinery system is geared toward producing a gas-diesel mix that largely matches demand. If the US starts consuming a lot more diesel, then we would need to import refined diesel fuel to make up for the lack of capacity. A completely pointless exercise.

        Chrysler likes diesels because of CAFE and the company’s failure to invest heavily in the alt fuels and hybrid segments. Ironically, regulations are driving the increase of diesel pickups in the marketplace, rather than demand.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Pch101
          The US/Canada has a large diesel refining capability. It can even refine EU diesel which it does.

          The US is refining 15ppm diesel around the Gulf states and exporting to the EU. The EU is turning North Sea oil into gasoline and sending it over to the US. This is occurring in quite substantial quantities.

          Not to mention oil heating. I would use natural gas for industrial/domestic use and keep the gas/diesel for transport.

          @tresmos
          I don’t normally point the finger at the consumer, I’m a strong advocate in providing the consumer whatever he wants and not to have policy/regulation/tariff impede.

          The US has a slow take up in diesel because of the lobbying done by energy, Big 3 and yes even the UAW.

          Diesel will take off in the US. Trust me on that one.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The US is refining 15ppm diesel around the Gulf states and exporting to the EU.”

            As I’ve explained to you before, the fuel itself averages well under 10 ppm. You’re confusing the legal maximum with the actual product.

            “Diesel will take off in the US. Trust me on that one.”

            We’ve heard that rhetoric in this country for over 35 years. No reason to trust your position — you have little knowledge of the US vehicle market.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Al, the main truck makers here use diesel engines trucks as a profit center like Tresmonos said. The cost difference is even greater once you figure in incentives. Diesel trucks typically don’t have the huge rebates gas trucks do. For $46K you can get a damn nice gas truck here. Or two RAMs with Hemis.

            As someone who buys this size truck for a business, the price for what you get is a no go. Maybe others feel differently, but I”d jump up to a gas Ford Super Duty or Chevy HD. If I’m towing on a regular basis, those trucks have more than just the engine.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            I totally agree. The fact that we have different emissions standards which until recently were MUCH different than the worldwide ones didn’t help the situation.

            Heating oil is horrible. We use that and natural gas is stupid cheap here in comparison. Now if only i can get my parents to spend the money to convert their furnace.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            I’m sorry it’s 10ppm that’s going from around Texas and other areas around the Gulf to the EU.

            ULSD in the US isn’t as good as the stuff the EU and we have. Your cetane level is lower, you have a higher scar rate, and you guys have 15ppm sulphur.

            The scar rate and cetane levels are a big issue with EU diesel vehicles. It is essentially a lower quality.

            I don’t know if the the US diesel is of lower quality than the EU and requires blending.

            My argument isn’t what you think the US is refining, but you stated the US has plenty of diesel.

            But the majority of what you put forward isn’t very good as a daily driver.

            Some of them might be fun driving a combine to work everday:)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I’m sorry it’s 10ppm that’s going from around Texas and other areas around the Gulf to the EU.”

            Studies have found that US ULSD has sulfur content ranging between 4 and 8 ppm, with an average above 6 ppm. The refiners are permitted to go up to 15 ppm, but they don’t.

            Cetane levels for California are in the low 50s, which should comply with Euro 5. The federal fuel is in the mid 40s and would not comply with Euro 5.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw
            Your light diesel market is in it’s infancy. The US ‘experimented’ back during the energy crisis, it failed with help from the Big 3, energy etc.

            But the global market persisted with diesel. It succeeded. They didn’t have to fight anti-diesel regulation and policy to protect a market and refiners not prepared to invest. I find it ironic the greenies also stop refineries from being built to provide a cleaner form of energy.

            But they are greenies, a weird lot.

            At the moment there isn’t enough real competition in the US to set up a really competitive diesel market. But it will increase quite rapidly now.

            Also, infrastructure will be needed. The US lacks adequate diesel filling stations suited to the family truckster/car.

            People still have to go to a truck stop in some instances to purchase diesel. But this is being addressed as I type this comment.

            Competition is the name of the game. I believe in fair competition.

            Diesel will surprise many. It can offer nearly the same FE as a hybrid at a much lower cost.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Big Al, as usual you show just how little you know about the US specifically and diesel powered vehicles in general.

            Having to go to a truck stop to find diesel was something you had to do in the 70′s and early 80′s. Around me the only stations that don’t offer diesel are a small mom and pop station that only has 2 pumps and Costco.

            As far as a diesel offering the same FE as a Hybrid and at a lower cost it complete BS. The best example is the Jetta TDI, the standard bearer of a diesel passenger vehicle in the US, and their new Jetta Hybrid. The TDI with an AT is rated at 30/34/43 while the Hybrid is rated at 42/45/48, it uses cheaper fuel and will need less frequent brake pad, fuel and air filter replacement. The fact that it will need a spark plug replacement at 100K miles will still be cheaper than the other costs that are increased on the TDI. Yes the Hybrid costs about $2000 more, but the $500 per year fuel savings will more than make up for that, leaving you the money you saved on maintenance in your pocket.

            I do not think that the Ram diesel will sell all that well, I’m sure that they will sell a few but it is highly unlikely that will make up a significant percentage of the trucks sold. Those that are looking for economy will choose the V6 while those looking to tow with any frequency will move up to the 2500 or 3500 series even if the Pentastar would have all the tow capacity they need.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          I tend to agree with Al that there is an untapped market for diesel in the US and we will have a litmus test with this 1/2 and the luxury market (Audi).

          Your points about CAFE are spot on.

          You sound like my dad when you tell me I have three fingers pointing back at me.

          Diesel can be stored for 12 mos or longer. Might as well import it since we import every other damned commodity that doesn’t require stringent quality control.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Diesel can be stored for 12 mos or longer. Might as well import it since we import every other damned commodity that doesn’t require stringent quality control.”

            Diesel refining capacity elsewhere in the world is already maxed out, and most of the world isn’t producing ULSD. The EU imports US leftovers because they don’t have other sources, and they can’t refine enough for themselves.

            The diesel fetish that one finds on the internet is over the top. Diesel and gasoline come from the same source, and refineries are optimized to produce a given mix. Changing the mix is not cost effective for refineries, which are low margin businesses, and producing another gallon of diesel will cause the loss of more than a gallon of gas due to the difference in specific gravity.

            The US already consumes a lot of diesel. There’s no reason to consume more of it. The markets abroad are already distorted by incentives and taxes that favor diesel usage over gas, which only makes these refinery imbalances that much worse.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            There really isn’t a fetish with diesel.

            Diesel is becoming or has become mainstream, outside of the US and Japan. Even the Japanese are starting to realise the positives diesel offers.

            CAFE is currently the biggest enemy of gas engines in the US. That was what it was designed to do.

            The EU went down a different path of taxing fuel and using vehicle weight (as opposed to the footprint method CAFE uses).

            The model the EU has adopted has proven to be more viable and economical.

            The EU is using more of the existing technologies and US is being forced to create some new technologies.

            With the higher prices of fuel coming and the EU still have harsher FE benchmarks to meet in the future. I can foresee the US manufacturers still relying on the EU tech for over a decade.

            As an example, look at he Ram, it’s running an Italian engine. I do realise the connection between Fiat and VM.

            Look at the new vans coming one line in the US. Look at your cars.

            This diesel Ram will be a success. Ford will be forced to drop the 3.2 Duratorque into the F-150. GM really doesn’t have a satisfactory engine, unless it buys the VM
            V6 from Fiat.

            The Transit has been delayed. Sth Africa has already ramped up to knock out the Transit Baby Powerstrokes.

            These little diesels need a home. A F-150 seems to be the perfect place to put one.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The EU went down a different path of taxing fuel and using vehicle weight (as opposed to the footprint method CAFE uses).”

            Europeans have had high fuel taxes, and have typically taxed size factors such as engine displacement.

            The EU is now moving to carbon emissions standards, which are essentially about the same thing as the old style CAFE standard. If you’re going to criticize the US, then you should at least learn about what the rest of the world is actually doing.

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            Great comment Big Al. Someone who calls the budding interest in diesels “internet fetish” is someone who has hung on to their conventional wisdom for far too long, and has a hard time being wrong.

            Our nation will have to build new refineries sooner rather than later. Those can be set up to crack crude anyway the market wants. As for existing refineries sure it’s tough to take those offline to reconfigure for a more diesel friendly crack but it will make plenty of business sense when the demand is there.

            The country will not let itself starve from scarce diesel, the trucking industry depends on it.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Our nation will have to build new refineries sooner rather than later.”

            I wasn’t aware that there was some sort of law requiring that refineries be built. Perhaps you could provide a reference to the appropriate statute.

            The US has been adding minimal refining capacity because it isn’t a particularly lucrative business. The money in the oil business is upstream (sourcing it), not downstream (distribution and retail.)

            It truly is a fetish to obsess about switching uninterested consumers from one type of fossil fuel to another. If you want a diesel that badly, then go buy one for yourself and leave it at that.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Low margin or no, fuel refineries are a national security issue. If one of them is taken offline for any reason, the effects will ripple throughout the economy. I suspect due to the political pressures, business reasons you cited, and general lack of planning so prevalent in US society, it will take a prolonged refinery shutdown before proper attention is given to them.

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            Refining oil isn’t a lucrative business? Live and learn I didn’t know that.

            It actually is pretty lucrative but like anything else in America that requires huge amounts of capital, private money can’t build or develop in any place that it chooses. Where I live you can’t legally change out a window in an old house without a permit. I have a feeling ExxonMobil would probably need to do a bit more than pull a permit to build a refinery.

            City, state and federal governments have been the road blocks on refineries, not to mention the populations living nearby. They will need to rethink that way of doing business as our population grows. New refineries haven’t been ALLOWED in 30 years.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            How is my comments anti American. Just because the US has blundered in forming policy over the past 50 years, and persisted.

            VHS vs Beta, the US chose the wrong format.

            The US will be on it’s own with it’s vehicle policies. As I have stated the US should adopt UNECE regulations.

            I even stated that the Chinese will adopt them. Well, they are, they just aren’t signatories yet.

            Brazil, Indonesia, India with China will represent most vehicle sales with Europe.

            Having a different market will increase costs.

            I’m sorry Pch101, but you are incorrect.

            Sometimes I think I’m debating DenverMike.

            Am I :-)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Al, you condemn the US for having a CAFE standard while praising the Europeans for their policies.

            The EU has corporate fleetwide carbon emissions standards. That’s basically the same thing as having a CAFE standard. Did you not know that carbon emissions limits are basically the same thing as CAFE, or are you simply not aware of what the Europeans are doing?

            You are full of opinions, but you are lacking in facts. If you don’t like CAFE, then you should also dislike carbon emission standards. Try being consistent, and understand what it is that you like or dislike prior to forming an opinion about it.

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            “It truly is a fetish to obsess about switching uninterested consumers from one type of fossil fuel to another.”

            So that big, powerful, easy to drive Ram 1500 that Derek drove, the one that got 24MPG city or 15% more than an Accord V6, won’t find any interested customers? Why is that?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “So that big, powerful, easy to drive Ram 1500 that Derek drove, the one that got 24MPG city or 15% more than an Accord V6, won’t find any interested customers?”

            If you want a diesel truck, then buy one. I’m not stopping you.

            As Mr. Kreindler pointed out, you don’t buy these things in the US in order to save money. Most people who buy trucks aren’t going to need the torque, so that doesn’t provide a particular advantage to them.

            I doubt that they will sell well, partcularly for non-commercial applications, because the average US truck buyer would rather spend the extra four grand on comfort and style options than on a diesel motor. But whether it sells well or not has no impact on me personally, and it’s up to Chrysler to turn a profit on them.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            Where are your links supporting your arguments.

            Just because you state something doesn’t give me much confidence.

            You need to provide, validity, currency, to gain credibility.

            Support your claims.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Al, seriously, go learn about this stuff before posting about it. This is basic science, which you should try to understand before pontificating about it.

            One can convert grams per km of CO2 emissions to mpg, and vice versa, with an arithmetic formula. There is a direct relationship between them.

            https://www.eta.co.uk/2010/02/22/calculating-a-cars-co2-emissions-from-its-mpg/

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            “…the average US truck buyer would rather spend the extra four grand on comfort and style options than on a diesel motor.”

            Aside from the build to orders, Chrysler will produce the 1500 Diesel in well loaded configurations. There won’t be an extra $4,000 in “comfort and style” equipment to purchase.

            Even if there was it would be a sunk cost whereas the same $4,000 spent on the diesel will pay for itself in fuel savings, especially if the miles driven are significant or there is towing, and resale value.

            Truck buyers may not need more peak torque but they sure as heck can appreciate the beefier torque curve provided by a boosted engine. If you missed Derek’s point on that here it is again:

            “Last time we traversed these roads, we had used to a friend’s Sierra 2500HD with a 6.6L Duramax diesel, and I found myself wishing for that kind of turbocharged torque that one can find in a diesel or an Ecoboost Ford.”

            Torque like that is a comfort for truck users. The “Diesel” emblem on the Heavy Duty trucks is a bragging right, a style benefit if you will.

            Also, we aren’t talking about the “average” truck buyer, we are talking about the diesel buyer. Even a less-than-average take rate means plenty of volume – the P/U segment is huge.

            Maybe you should let the truck guys make the points in this thread. You can talk about how diesels have failed in cars, like at VW where they represent 40% of the mix.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            “Al, seriously, go learn about this stuff before posting about it. This is basic science, which you should try to understand before pontificating about it.”
            ……………………………………

            Your first sentence (above) indicates that you don’t have an adequate response to debate me.

            As for CO2. Lower CO2 limits like the EU regulates equates to lower fuel burn.

            This has nothing to do with our debate.

            You are trying to deflect the argument into another discussion.

            Tell me how the US auto industry will succeed with it’s current policies?

            How is the UNECE model inferior?

            How is it that the Ram with the Pentastar with the variable geometry suspension, shutters, 8spd, which will have to be the norm within a few years be cheaper for the consumer? $27 000 is what it costs.

            Tell me how the US energy industry will fare? They are living in the past. Where will better quality fuel come from?

            The US has cheap energy, but sooner or later infrastructure will require replacing.

            @Scoutdude, start educating yourself :-)
            Like I’ve told DenverMike/Mikey/Pch101 use links to justify an argument or view or even one of your incorrect perceptions.

            Prove this comment wrong (cut and paste with a link)

            “One hurdle is the relative lack of filling stations across the U.S. with diesel pumps, but as such vehicles become more popular, filling stations that don’t already offer them can relatively easily add a diesel pump or two.”

            As for your comment (beat up) on my actual comment as shown below;

            - Diesel will surprise many. It can offer nearly the same FE as a hybrid at a much lower cost.

            Provide a link supporting your claim or opinion.

            Here is my cut and paste and link

            “Highway mileage is close enough between popular hybrid models and popular diesels that the way you drive will make more of difference than what you drive. In the city, it’s a different story, as stop-and-go traffic is where hybrids have the advantage. Regardless, where you drive and how much are massively important things to consider.”

            Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/are-diesel-powered-cars-better-than-hybrids/#ixzz2gjRPE9Ff
            Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook

            Read more at: http://phys.org/news160071387.html#jCp

            http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-09-03/the-65-mpg-ford-the-u-dot-s-dot-cant-have

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/new-cars-on-sale/9013827/What-were-driving-Ford-Fiesta-Econetic.html

            I suppose this is propaganda?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Al, you claim to oppose CAFE standards.

            You claim to prefer what the Europeans are doing.

            As I’ve just shown you, the EU has what amounts to its own version of CAFE. Again, I ask you: Were you ignorant of what a carbon emissions standard is, or did you not know what the EU that you praised is actually doing?

            I find it amusing that you are so quick to praise the EU and condemn the US when they are both doing basically the same thing. It just goes to show that you are more interested in whining about the US than in constructively assessing the policies.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Even if there was it would be a sunk cost whereas the same $4,000 spent on the diesel will pay for itself in fuel savings, especially if the miles driven are significant or there is towing, and resale value.”

            Great. Then go buy one. Hell, get two of them.

            I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve here. I have low expectations for high diesel sales, and I have the historical sales data to support that position.

            I’m also fairly indifferent as to whether consumers change their minds about diesels (although I would prefer that we eventually find some sort of substitute for both gas and diesel.) Yet for whatever reason, what other people put into their fuel tanks seems to matter to you a lot more than it does to me.

            You can preach all you like, but the consumer will ultimately decide what to buy. I suspect that they will decide against you, for a variety of reasons. My guess is that when this doesn’t happen in the next several years, you’ll say then that the great diesel awakening is just around the corner, just as it is now and just as it was a good 3+ decades ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            What have you shown me? Nothing, provide some form of link.

            I want you to prove yourself correct.

            You haven’t done that yet DiM.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

            I thought you would be a challenge to debate.

            You have nothing.

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            “…and I have the historical sales data to support that position.”

            I know you love conventional wisdom but guess what? Things change. The diesel engine certainly has. No more smoke, noise or smell. For whatever reason people today want to buy green cars witness the Prius and Tesla Model S.

            The next question is “‘Why not 1500 Trucks?”

            The most successful automotive leaders – Ghosn, Musk, Marchionne and Mulally – consider where customers and technology are going, not where they’ve been. You have the mindset of a 1970s Big 3 exec.

            In this thread I would like to see a balanced POV on clean diesel below HD truck. The discussion has been great today about how the fuel economy difference versus gas is understated in EPA label, if you tow the diesel FE advantage goes up, and if you drive a lot the payback is much sooner than when done on a 15,000/year basis.

            Like many others I was surprised by the Eco Diesel offering on the RAM 1500. Had no idea that was coming. I’d like to see one on the Ford F150 too. Nissan just announced a non-HD TwinTurbo V8 for the next Titan.

            I want to see these things succeed because they are good for our country and sure I’d like to buy one myself.

            Allowing the Debby Downer types to go unchecked in their antiquated criticisms can hurt the effort. That’s why I challenge those people.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Two things, Al:

            1. Stop accusing people of multi-handling. It’s obnoxious, and an effort on your part to obfuscate.

            2. If you would type less and read more, than you would understand that the grams per km standards used in the UK and elsewhere in the EU are basically the equivalent of an MPG standard. They are both derived fron the amount of fuel burned.

            The EU’s version of CAFE is actually stricter than the US. It’s also more costly, since vehicle registration fees in the US are not tied to emissions. In the US, CAFE is the automaker’s problem; in the EU, they’re everybody’s problem by impacting the cost of vehicle ownership.

            If you dislike CAFE, then you should really, really despise what the Europeans are doing. Given your response, I can only conclude one of two things:

            a. You really have no idea what the EU policies are. You praise them out of ignorance.

            b. You’re fixated on the US to such a degree that you would shamelessly practice a blatant double standard just so you can keep whinging about the US.

            So you’re either ignorant or a jingoist. You choose.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I know you love your conventional wisdom but guess what? Things change.”

            Some things change. Other things, not so much.

            Diesel demand throughout the developed world has been driven by regulations. When regulations that favor diesel are lacking, then diesel demand has been low.

            The US is not going to follow the Europeans in taxing gasoline more heavily than diesel. There won’t be any incentives, ala hybrids, to spur adoption. Most drivers don’t fixate on diesel torque. All of that adds up to very low odds of change in the marketplace. I may be proven wrong — predictions are hard, especially about the future — but I doubt that I’ll be proven wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @walker42
            I wonder how pickups will meet CAFE in a few years with gasoline engines? FE might present itself as a issue, even with aluminium and all of the aero defeating tech.

            I wonder if diesel might be the answer?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Allowing the Debby Downer types to go unchecked in their antiquated criticisms can hurt the effort.”

            I get it. I’m trying to analyze the market and predict the future. You’re an evangelist who wants to convert the masses and change the future.

            Again, I have no idea why diesel fans are so fixated on the idea of getting everyone else to drive diesels. Why do you even care about the fossil fuel choices of others?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Big Al, you want links here is a link to the differences in MPG between the Jetta with the TDI engine and the Hybrid. http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=34167&id=33817 note the cost for fuel is based on a national average and prices do vary considerably across the country as does the price difference between gas and diesel. Also not that in this case the Hybrid version uses premium fuel rather than regular like virtually all of the other Hybrids.

            The link you provided that you claim that proves your stance that diesel is cheaper actually says that when they used Edmunds TCO calculator that the Prius and TDI were within $100 of each other after 5 years. Of course it is Edmunds calculator which is very poor as they calculate maintenance and repairs as a percentage of the cost of the vehicle and that has a very poor relationship to the real world particularly when comparing diesel vehicles to Hybrid vehicles.

            As far as the availability of diesel check here http://gasbuddy.com/GB_Map_Gas_Prices.aspx select any city and state you want in the US then select “96 hours” and toggle back and forth between diesel and regular and you’ll find that very few stations “go away” when you toggle to diesel. In my area when I do that it switches between 10 stations with gas and 8 stations with diesel. Certainly, that will vary by the location you pick but you’ll find that diesel is available pretty much anywhere in the US w/o the need to go to a truck stop.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “As for diesel reliability, it is superior to a gas engine. Anyone can pluck an example of a poor product. How many ‘bad’ gas stories are there, and now as I’ve seen Telsa even is having a hard time.”

      It isn’t, not here with products made in the last 10 years. I’ve seen and worked with the numbers based on frequency and cost at different manufacturers. It was once true, before the latest power arms race and Tier 2 emissions, but it isn’t anymore. The peak was probably the era of the 7.3L Powerstroke, GM 6.5L and 5.9L Cummins.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        God I love those engines. All rumbly and crude. You could turn the radio on and never hear it.

      • 0 avatar
        walker42

        Al I think light duty diesels like the one in the RAM 1500 will help loads with CAFE, if people buy them. But no one is going to buy them if they aren’t offered, and they won’t be offered if those with a “kill diesel” agenda are allowed to dominate the discussions on the web.

        Fortunately there were a lot of sharp posters here today and Derek’s article was excellent except for the break-even calc. Stuff like that makes the haters very angry. Keep up the good work.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @walker42
          The anti diesel crowd fear change as you can witness by the way these guys write.

          The US needs change, not just in this area, but across the board to succeed like it once did.

          It seems from the Congress across many industries and areas there is an unwillingness to take on the future in the US. The US is polarised in so many ways.

          If find this sad. The US once represented a dynamic society that took on challenges and changes and succeeded like no other country. It lead.

          It would use good ideas, even foreign ones, accepted foreigners and built a fantastic society.

          Now it seems some have adopted the ‘blue blood’ attitude of arrogance.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @walker42
            This comment is aimed at the people like the ones we were debating.

            They are resisting change.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Lets be clear, I am not “anti-diesel”. Diesel has many very good applications. It however is not a blanket solution to our automotive energy needs.

            The big problem with diesels here is that to meet Tier 2 and eventually Tier 3 emissions, they become cost uncompetitive.

            Diesel Oxidation Catalysts, Particulate Filters, Urea Injection and all the associated hardware adds thousands unpon thousands in cost to the vehicle.

            The regeneration cycle leads to poor fuel economy as fuel is dumped down the exhaust, unused for motive power. DEF, while more reasonable now, is an added cost. Common rail HP fuel systems (much higher pressure than DI gas motors) are near universal on diesels and require meticulous maintenance.

            All of this, with the much higher entry cost all conspires agains the diesel market here. PCH and I don’t always agree, but he’s right on this one. Diesel will continue to be a relative niche market in light vehicles in the NAFTA region with the way things are going.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @danio3834
            The comment was directed to Pch101 and Scoutdude.

            They provided inaccurate false information, opinion.

            …………………………………

            Also, don’t look at the past. There are new technologies and better way they are going to use with diesel.

            Read up on the work Cummins is doing with the ISF 2.8.

            As for costs, look at the cost of an aluminium vehicle, suspension lowering, shutters, 8 sped transmissions, etc. This cost money as well as the pollution technology in a diesel.

            Gas engines also spend money on pollution measures.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Al, have you figured out yet that a CO2 standard (as is used in the EU) and an mpg-based CAFE standard (as used in the US) are essentially the same? Or are you too proud to admit that you didn’t understand it?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            They aren’t the same. Reducing FE and reducing carbon is the same, it’s about how the rules and regs are structured.

            It’s how it impacts vehicle classes and CAFE discriminates against certain vehicles in favour of others. This was create with a bias.

            CAFE works against smaller pickups, midsizers and favours larger vehicle ie, full size pickups.

            Some of CAFE regulation has been structured to favour one form of vehicle over another.

            So no matter how much you want to bull$hit your way they are different.

            Designed to achieve a different outcome.

            So stop trying to crap on, mate.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “CAFE works against smaller pickups, midsizers and favours larger vehicle ie, full size pickups.”

            No, it doesn’t. The new version of CAFE attempts to create fuel economy improvements within individual segments. This is meant to encourage innovation that reduces fuel consumption for all types of vehicles, as opposed to the old CAFE system that effectively placed the emphasis on downsizing.

            And I know that you’re absolutely obsessed with diesel-powered midsizers, but Americans prefer large gas-powered pickups. Those who were in the US midsized truck business have bailed out of it, due to lack of demand. They’ve figured out the market; perhaps it’s time that you did, too.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I just don’t see it. All of the practical considerations that point towards an economical, moderately powerful diesel also point to a single cab with 2WD and a vinyl bench seat for $20Kish. A $4,500 mileage option – probably even more than that in the real world since Chrysler has typically excluded diesels from their monthly incentives – isn’t practical at all.

    Practical considerations have no place in a loaded crew cab that stickers close to $50,000. A diesel doesn’t make it any kind of practical, it makes it a slightly cheaper to fuel luxury that’s also very slow.

    To have any place in a loaded truck it needs another 100 horsepower. 150 would be better.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      You’re still looking at it as a work truck. The quad cab really is the only replacement for the full size sedans. In terms of length, width, curb weight and interior space, this Ram Quad is similar to a 1977 Chrysler New Yorker, the last year for Chrysler’s full size C bodies. You can’t compare engines, because by the Malaise era, even Chrysler V8s were strangled, but overall, this Ram is an extended wheelbase C body.

      You can say GM stopped building the full-size B bodies in 1996, but check out the length, width and wheelbase of a standard Silverado today with the last year B bodies. The bodies are gone, but they’re still building the B-body chassis, with a cab and box on it. It makes you wonder if the chassis could handle a swap with an older B body car!

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I agree, luxury trim is a little to optimistic, “ecodiesel” as they call it, does not scream luxury (rather economy car but I digress). If one were going for luxury the 5.7 is the only engine that makes sense.
      This engine shouldn’t be restrained from any option style, the smaller the truck the more this engine makes sense.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        You can get the 3.0L diesel on the Tradesman.

        A Tradesman 3.0L regular cab 8ft bed 4×2 with trailer brake controller and limited slip has a MSRP of like $29000.

        I think you can get it on every trim except for the Express (5.7L only) and HFE (3.6L only).

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          $29K makes it more reasonable. I’d think about it for business purposes. I haven’t bought a Ram since the days of the Magnum engines though. GM and Ford have had better products for my business needs. My company truck is still a ’98 Ram, but everyone else drives newer Fords or older Detroit Diesel powered Chevys.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    Diesel torque is addicting. I have a 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD — and the only reason I bought this model over better-built Japanese competition was the diesel.

    The new Jeep Grand Cherokee would be tempting for the same reason except:

    1) The annoyance of DEF in the vehicle’s warranty years, and the post-warranty failures — sensors and such — that’ll make it an expensive maintenance / repair item as the vehicle ages; and

    2) The DPF (diesel particulate filter), which from everything I’ve heard is a problematic nightmare even in warranty periods, much less out of warranty as the vehicle ages (this not being a Jeep-Dodge problem, but with all manufacturers as it is the nature of DPF), and

    3) Many manufacturers took the cheap DPF route of injecting fuel into the piston / exhaust valve area, instead of directly into the post-engine exhaust stream, thereby greatly increasing fuel contamination in the engine oil, with the predictable degradation of engine longevity. (I don’t know if Jeep-Dodge took the “naughty” or “nice” route in this regard.)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Thanks, Derek; This is the first review of the new Mopar V6 diesel I’ve seen.

    If I was buying a Mopar truck, I wouldn’t consider any engine but this one. The Dodge gas engines get notoriously awful fuel economy, and the resale on the diesel is surely higher.

    RAM is certainly gouging on the price, but if the price premium was $1000 they probably couldn’t keep up with demand, and the folks who build the gas engines would be mad.

    I’m eager to see one in the wild.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Pch101
    Links assist :-)

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-09-10/news/41938016_1_diesel-fuel-diesel-prices-ultra-low-sulfur-diesel

    This is worth reading if you want to understand what is required from a fuel (diesel).

    http://www.globaldenso.com/en/topics/091012-01/documents/common_position_paper.pdf

    Read page 9, the Conclusion of this study. The anti diesel crowd will be amazed. The study is one gas vs diesel, testing of aromatics and pollutants that are present in fuel exhaust, but aren’t regulated.

    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/50/57/59/PDF/cazier_PNR_AE_final_250305_p.pdf

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I think that the 4,500 price premium is from the Pentastar V6 to the VM 3.0 diesel. It is around 2,800 over the 5.7 Hemi.

    I read another site’s brief impressions and they were getting 21 mixed city and 28mpg Highway at 65-75 mph.

    @jaje – posted the link to a recent study on diesels. The majority of diesels have a better return on investment when compared to the same model with a gasser.

    The other point one should look at in relation to HD 3/4 ton and 1 ton pickups is the fact that HD diesels have considerably higher tow ratings then a gasser. You can’t really compare the two.

    In the case of the VM 3.0, it probably would be more fare to compare it to smaller gassers like Ford’s 5.0 and GM’s 5.3. It has the torque of a bigger gas motor but not the horsepower. Horsepower is defined (loosely)as work versus time. The diesel will get the job done but not as fast as a gasser with comparable torque. That is what will kill the popularity of a small diesel. People want immediate get up and go. The HD diesels have reinforced that notion. I rarely ever see a 1 ton diesel pickup pulling more than 10K. Most people do not drive in a way that takes advantage of the superior down low torque. It is comparable to driving a long stroke gas motor (example 5.4 Ford),if you rev it up, all you do is burn fuel and make noise.

    If we compare the Ecodiesel to the ecoboost, the EB3.5 will most likely beat it in any timed event. The Ecoboost’s MPG is very sensitive to driving habits and engine load. I’ve seen two camps develop. Both camps like the power (loaded or unloaded). But one camp says empty MPG sucks and the other camp says empty MPG is stellar. Loaded MPG on the Ecoboost sucks like any V8.
    The ecodiesel will be less sensitive (or I expect it to be less sensitive) to load or habit related drops in MPG.
    The whole ROI argument makes sense if you are a businessman wanting to buy new fleet vehicles. Most fleets don’t touch diesels because they want the cheapest possible unit. A diesel’s higher up front costs and the fact that fleet vehicles often have poor lifespans and poor maintenance also score against purchasing diesels. A diesel may be able to outlive a gasser but what’s the point when the rest of the pickup won’t last as long as the engine.

    Premium gas engines cost anywhere from 2k to 5k over their mid level gassers. I don’t hear anyone mention ROI when they are ticking off 6.2 (Ford or GMC) on the options list. Same can be said for the Ecoboost.

    There are several caveats to buying this diesel or any diesel:
    1. Very short runs will not get the engine or emissions “warm” enough to function efficiently = decreased mpg and shortened engine life.
    2. Cold climates will make #1 much more problematic.
    3. One needs to adjust one’s driving habits. The gas pedal is not like an electric light switch – either On or Off. Treat the pedal more like a rheostat.
    4. High RPM does not equal to rapid foreword movement.
    I’m sure that there are more.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou_BC
      I can see two things changing the price of future diesels in the NA market. The other is slower to come on board, that is technology.

      Competition will drop prices dramatically.

      Diesels here in Australia started out like the new vans that the US is going to receive and basic work utes.

      Also, high end vehicles received them. Middle of the road vehicles didn’t. But that changed after 5 years or so.

      So get ready for rapid increase in offerings of diesels for the everyday driver. It’s around the corner. No business want to lose a buck, especially in the pickup market.

      Larger vehicles are best suited to diesels.

      I do agree with you on the pro’s and con’s of diesel vs gas. Except the fuel. Does NA diesel fuel perform worse than EU diesel in the colder climates?

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Until someone gets a trailer hooked up, everything else is speculative. Hopefully Fiat modified the suspension so future owners, unlike current owners of the gasoline variety, won’t have to add airbags to tow near max capacity, even with a WDH.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @canddmeyer
      There are plenty of tests with diesels vs gas.

      A diesel pulling the similar weight to a comparable gas engine in the torque department will use approximately 60% – 70% of the fuel to do the same work.

    • 0 avatar
      Mach

      Funny you should mention airbags. I just added a set to the back of my 2013 Ram 1500 Hemi last night so it doesn’t squat when towing. I’m not sure why they don’t come this way from the factory. I spent a grand total of $77, shipped to my door, and about an hour fishing them into the factory coils and routing the fill lines to the license plate area. I bet the factory could add them in 20 seconds for about $10 while the body is off the frame.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @Big Al from Oz – Probably not. Diesel gels around -35C but It has been a long time since I’ve seen that happen. IIRC, there are winter formulations which reduce the risk of that. I’ve been told that heating oil is very similar to “winter” diesel. I’ve never done any research to verify that. I’ve read that DEF/urea will gel but all of the pickups have heated DEF tanks (IIRC).
    I suspect that with the regen cycles required to keep a particulate filter clear, a “cold” engine will tend to burn less clean. That will decrease mpg. Since diesels run higher compression ratio’s, they are harder to get running in cold weather.
    It has been a long time since I’ve worked with diesels, so to be truthful, I do not have any experience with current diesels.
    I have talked to HD mechanics and commercial truckers and the emission systems have improved to where they are much more reliable and the mpg has improved.
    When emissions were first being added to diesels, I did hear a lot of complaints about very poor mpg. I have heard guys complain about Ford’s 6.0 but it all seemed to be typical second hand information. I had a conversation with a client who owned one and he never had any issues with it but he was a HD mechanic and he installed larger oil lines to the turbo. According to him, that was a huge source of problems with that engine. He also pointed out that the head bolts should of been stronger but he never changed them and was fine.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Derek, this is another fine review!

    I owned a 1980 Dodge truck, bought new back in the day, and while it was a stripper – standard cab, long bed, 225/stick, even Wifey enjoyed driving it around town – with NO power steering at that!

    Lately, I’m feeling much more confident in Chrysler’s offerings, but I probably won’t be trading my Impala anytime soon!

  • avatar
    AJ

    True that the test drive will help sell the diesel. I just wish that they could lower the price, same as with the Grand Cherokee.

    I grew up with a diesel in the late 70s and early 80s. Of course back then they were loud, dirty and sensitive to water in the diesel. But still, fun to drive.

    I’ve more recently driven a Cumins 2500 Ram. Great truck and wow will it tow!

    I also test drove a CRD Jeep Liberty back when they were for sale. Fun as well!

    With the Ram diesel, I also have to say that it better be reliable. There were some issues with the Liberty, mainly emissions equipment issues as I recall, plus owners of the previous Grand Cherokee CRD had issues with just getting them serviced.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @BAFO – This has nothing to do with “Fear of Change” or other nonsense rhetoric. I’m a current disappointed diesel owner and a long time proponent and advocate of diesels going back to the early ’80s. The last few generations of diesels changed all that. They’re a complete Pain in the A$$…

    I shouldn’t have to chase after them with additives like cetane. I shouldn’t have to replace the turbo every 50K miles. I shouldn’t have to use the block warmer year round, just to avoid a cold start. Or spend around $3,000 for injectors. Or $2,000 for a FICM. And live in fear of a blown head gaskets. The list goes on and on and on. A simple soot clogged EGR valve will ruin your day.

    Diesels have become delicate, high dollar, high maintenance shop queens. That’s not what I signed up for. And paid a King’s Ransom for, up front.

    I may miss the manly grunt of diesels and the low end pulling force, but gas engines get the job done just fine.

    And any fuel savings is quickly erased while the truck is at the shop AGAIN. I could give a $H!T about fuel savings. Just give me a truck I don’t have to babysit and obsess about maintenance and other garbage.

    I also don’t give 2 craps about all this theoretical longevity of diesels. That’s yet to be proven of the current generations and that’s if they don’t kill your pocket book/purse along the way. Or drive you insane… I’d rather replace a $2,000 (installed) crate/dealer gas V8/V10 every 300,000 miles and never have to think about it along the way. And who the heck wants to keep a truck that long anyways?

    Diesels had their day, and if you didn’t get on board before the 2000′s, you missed a good time. Today, gas engines have evolved and are nipping at the heals of diesel MPG. And cost much less, over all when you do all the math. Diesels are now high pressure disasters waiting to happen. Won’t happen to me again, because I’ll never own a diesel again. See there, I have changed…

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      DenverMike, I had seriously been considering diesel for my next pickup (and Wrangler, when they do it), but I have read enough comment like yours to decide against it. If you do a great deal of towing, fine. If not, forget it.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @thelaine – Exactly. I do great deal of towing and it’s still not worth it. You can’t beat the sound of diesels though. I mean there’s a true romance between trucks and that unmistakable, tough and manly “RAWRAWRAWRAWRAW..”. That alone will have lots of 1/2 ton diesels hitting the road, but when it’s time to get real, you can’t beat a modern gas engine. No way.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Yea I’m starting to go that way myself with new diesels, my newest is an 06 duramax work truck, no def or dpf, solidly reliable.
        Same goes for the two detroits.

        It’s no wonder diesel is a failure, its simply no longer an economic option with the advent of all the emission equipment.
        The duramax returns me 23 mpg unloaded, I was in hope real world mileage with this dodge would be around 30, beig that its less than half the displacemet of the work truck.
        Unless something amazing happens Ill just be sticking with the gassers in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @the laine
        I do the only people who have experienced a light diesel commercials mainly live outside of the US.

        HDs are not light commercial pickups, even in the US as their pollution requirements are aligned with heavy trucks.

        There will be a lot of discussion on this.

        I own one, no one who has posted a comment in this article so far owns a light diesel pickup.

        I was pro-gas up until I bought my first diesel pickup in the late 90s.

        Choice is what is great.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “I shouldn’t have to chase after them with additives like cetane. I shouldn’t have to replace the turbo every 50K miles. I shouldn’t have to use the block warmer year round, just to avoid a cold start. Or spend around $3,000 for injectors. Or $2,000 for a FICM. And live in fear of a blown head gaskets. The list goes on and on and on. A simple soot clogged EGR valve will ruin your day.”

      Ahh a 6.0L powerstroke owner. You poor, poor man. Last year I bought an ’04 off a kid who thought owning a diesel would be awesome. Until it started the awful rolling idle on cold starts and the lack of power. Then the EOT warnings, oops needs an oil cooler. The shop quoted him $7500 for the injectors, oil cooler, turbo cleaning, coolant filtration kit and EGR delete. It still cost me ~$3,000 in parts alone to get it going again. It was an FX4 Lariat King Ranch. That kid musta felt like a real cowboy baller for the 8 months he owned it.

  • avatar
    2KAgGolfTDI

    Driving my first and last VW TDI diesel. While it is fun to drive, and will pull Vail Pass at 75 mph in 5th gear while getting 48 MPG, it’s a PIA to find the right oil for it, you can’t fuel it just anywhere, and I always have that nagging thought in the back of my mind, which $1200-$1500 component is going to fail next?
    Colorado requires the same emissions test for this VW as the big rigs, $60 every year, versus $25 every other year for gassers.
    Not sure I’m saving anything by having the diesel engine or not.
    Don’t get me started about the VW dealer…

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I have been living in Germany the last few years, and bought my first diesel car….partly because I have to drive a decent amount and it saves me money, and partly because I really liked the feel of the diesel in the 3 series. Got some grunt in that I6. My car is 4 years old and hasn’t caused me any issues, but like any BMW, I’m always wondering when that will happen.

    I like it a lot for my cruising on the Autobahn. But I prefer my mother’s gasser for driving pleasure. And I will agree that real-world fuel economy, I can’t say the diesel blows it away. If I baby it and cruise at 120-130km/h (70-80mph), the 3.0L diesel will pull down maybe 37mpg. My mother’s 3.0L gas in a similar situation can get 32 or so. If I really baby it I can maybe get 40mpg in the diesel.

    Its amazing for the size of the car and the thrust it provides.

    But yeah, when I look at the cost of these engines, and all the stuff they’re putting on them, and as much as I love the diesel feel and seeing that MPG needle way up….I too am thinking I wouldn’t get another one, at least not in the USA. For $1500 or so, maybe. But this and the Grand are $4500 or more. Hard to justify, even with better resale and fuel savings.

    Its a tough one. Especially when you look at the sorta flat-lining of diesel MPG vs gas. Didn’t the VWs 10 years ago pull down like 50+mpg and now today they’re in the low 40′s? Meanwhile gassers are pushing upper 30s and maintaining good power with far less complexity.

    I guess I’m just left sorta scared with these new diesels. Though the new complicated turbo gas engines also worry me a bit….

    We all wanna save fuel but too many of us I think forget that these new technologies have their own carbon footprint for production, cost more in components, and if they break more, cost more in maintenance. What price fuel economy?

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    @Scoutdude
    Where are you reading that Edmunds calculates maintenance and repair cost as a percentage of the cost of the vehicle? The below is copied from their TCO website.

    I think Edmunds TCO is a pretty cool tool. I wouldn’t budget against their numbers, but it is a helpful comparison tool.

    “Maintenance

    This is the estimated expense of the two types of maintenance: scheduled and unscheduled. Scheduled maintenance is the performance of factory-recommended items at periodic mileage and/or calendar intervals. Unscheduled maintenance includes wheel alignment and the replacement of items such as the battery, brakes, headlamps, hoses, exhaust system parts, taillight/turn signal bulbs, tires and wiper blades/inserts. Estimated tire replacement costs are supplied to Edmunds.com by The Tire Rack, Inc.

    Repairs

    This is the estimated expense for repairs not covered by the vehicle manufacturer’s warranties over the five years from the date of purchase, assuming 15,000 miles are driven annually. We estimate this expense based on the cost of a typical “zero deductible” extended warranty for the vehicle, minus the estimated amount of that cost that consists of the warranty provider’s overhead and profit.”


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