By on February 5, 2014

2014 Dodge 1500 EcoDiesel

Truck Mountain may still be held by the soon-to-be-lightened Ford F-150, but the fuel-efficiency battle in the valley below is already underway, thanks to Ram’s 1500 EcoDiesel pulling the highest mile-per-gallon highway rating of any light truck in the United States at 28 mpg.

Through an announcement made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s FuelEconomy.gov website, the 1500 EcoDiesel also nets 20 mpg in the city to create a combined rating of 23 mpg; the four-wheel drive variant offers 27 mpg on the highway, 22 combined.

Fighting alongside its brother, the 1500 HFE’s 3.6-liter V6 gasoline powerplant puts out 25 mpg on the highway, 18 in the city, and a combined rating of 21 mpg.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles began assembly in late January at their Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Detroit, with deliveries expected by dealers — who will be allowed to place their orders February 7 — later this month. Once on the lot, expect to pay $30,465 to start, just $2,850 more than to purchase a 1500 that could answer the question about whether or not it has a Hemi. Trim levels available with the powerplant include Tradesman, SLT (both excluding short-bed/regular cab combos), Outdoorsman, Big Horn, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn.

The light-duty diesel pickup — the first to be offered since General Motors sold such trucks in the mid-1990s — is powered by a 3-liter V6 made by FCA subsidary VM Motori S.p.A. in Italy, and produces 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of stump-pulling torque, which is sent through a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic to the bed and bonnet.

Aside from being fuel efficient, the 1500 EcoDiesel is also green thanks to its ability to use B20 biodiesel, and its urea-enhanced exhaust treatment system. The system, which comes with a particulate filter and selective catalyst reduction as well, reduces smog-producing nitrogen oxide emissions, allowing the truck to be compliant with pollution standards in all 50 states. The urea used to treat the exhaust must be replaced every 10,000 miles.

As far as sales are concerned, FCA has high hopes for demand of the 1500 EcoDiesel. Ram boss Reid Bigland estimates that up to 30 percent of 1500 sales will be diesel-powered.

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90 Comments on “2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Pulls 28 MPG Highway...”


  • avatar
    JMII

    Just imagine what a slightly smaller engine in a Dakota sized body could do. Mid to high 30s? We can only dream.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    I’m not sold on the urea diesels yet. I have heard stories of Mercedes Benz replacing entuire exhaust systems under warranty B/C they are rotting away fom the urea. The thing I have always liked about diesel is how simple they are. The moving parts don’t move all that fast. It seems as though in order to make diesels clear air compliant they have been turned into complex over-engineered Rube Goldberg contractions with too many moving parts.

    • 0 avatar
      OliverTwist

      I know that Mercedes-Benz and many other manufacturers had problems with early generations of diesel particulate filters (DPF) in the 2000s. DPF is compulsory fitment for meeting Euro 5 emission control requirement.

      The problem is some drivers don’t drive long enough as required in the owner’s handbooks to make the exhaust system hot enough as to clear out the collected soot.

      Of course, any new technology has teething problems during the first years until the manufacturers figure out the solutions. Remember the 1970s when the emission control system was so abysmal and troublesome with huge performance hit. Anyone remember 500cid Cadillac V8 with 180 horsepowers?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I do remember the ’70s. The best strategy was to take care of your existing car and let people that needed new cars or were ignorant serve as cannon fodder. I do like the idea of an owners’ manual absolving a manufacturer for prematurely rusted out exhausts. Running your engine for 20 minutes when you only need it for five seems like false economy compared to a vehicle that doesn’t make this onerous requirement. The nature of trucks is that sometimes you just need to move something a matter of yards.

    • 0 avatar
      AMC_CJ

      You’re right. I work on big trucks, these systems are problematic. DPF’s, SC’s; they’re all having problems. As much as I love diesel engines, I just could not buy one of the new generation engines right now. The systems are pretty complicated, and apparently fragile.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        AMC_CJ
        Problematic?

        What do you do on ‘big trucks’?

        Have a look at the data and you will see even gasoline engines have problems. When will the EPA address the particulates issue with gasoline engines?

        I run a small diesel and so do many I know, we actually seem to have less problems than our gasoline counterparts.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “I run a small diesel and so do many I know, we actually seem to have less problems than our gasoline counterparts.”

          This isn’t true from a statistical standpoint on newer models anymore. It hasn’t been true on some models in a decade or more. It’s thanks in no small part to the emissions equipment and controls that AMC_CJ is referring to.

          If your diesel vehicle was designed previous to or not for US Tier II emissions standards, I could understand that you wouldn’t know what AMC is talking about, but don’t refute him if you don’t know.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I think that it’s fantastic that efficient and clean diesels are being developed, I just don’t want to be on the receiving end of these inherent growing pains as a customer who just plunked down $30-40k on one. In my mind this is like the Malaise Era emissions control systems, a necessary evil out of which modern fuel injected engines with efficient catalytic converters were born. Likewise in a few years (5) I hope that we will be past the DPF and urea horror stories.

      Between this Ram and the upcoming diesel Colorado, I hope the light duty diesel war is just heating up. A diesel Tacoma, 4runner and Xterra would be of much interest to me.

      I do like the appeal of older, pre-high pressure common rail diesels. Toyota made a few naturally aspirated ones in the late 80s that they stuck on Hiluxes that will run on damn near anything. I was reading a adventure report by some guys who went wheeling in Siberia near the Mongolian border, they were buying diesel being sold out of old buckets from the locals. Besides reduced power and needing to replace an inline fuel filter, the trucks did just fine. I hear some modern VWs are shredding their high pressure fuel pump innards due to slight gasoline contamination in some of the diesel sold here in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        “Malaise Era emissions control systems”

        I was thinking the same thing. Many people are having success with the new-fangled diesels, but the upward pressure on greening diesels means there will certainly be growing pains.

      • 0 avatar
        daver277

        I hope you have seen Top Gear’s long tortuous murder of a diesel HiLux? I think that show sold more Toyotas than any advertisement.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Yes that was indeed interesting. Here’s that adventure report (in Russian only unfortunately):

          linkhttp://travel.drom.ru/22392/

          And here’s a pail of diesel fuel found in the hinterlands of the Altai mountain range:

          linkhttp://s.drom.ru/1/pubs/4483/22392/837706.jpg

          Those old Toyotas with the solid front axles are some tough buggers!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Can’t wait for a properly engineered hybrid pickup (that is, not the mild hybrid GM tried to offer on the cheap). If people ever had firsthand experience with hybrid buses or delivery trucks, they’d see just how well the technology can work in certain truck applications. The diesel’s highway mileage is impressive, but that 20 mpg city number is still pretty bad.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Bad being entirely comparative, I reckon.

      Sure, it’s not obviusly great compared to, say, my Corolla.

      But 28mpg ~= 3.5 gallons per hundred miles vs. 5 gallons per hundred miles, and a hundred miles of city driving is a lot … and at today’s prices that ‘s about $5 per hundred miles, or five cents a mile.

      The impressive part is comparing it with “traditional” city mpg numbers for a class-1 pickup – 14 mpg if you’re *lucky*, with the lowest-powered V6, and single digits with a serious engine.

      20 mpg in town for a full-sized pickup is not bad, it’s *glorious*.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Sorry, still sucks. European diesel trucks with comparable payload (although not towing ability or speed) are getting 30+ mpg in the city, and that’s before any hybridization.

        Here in the US we have just learned to accept lousy fuel mileage on trucks, partly because we all think we need to tow fifth wheels at 90 mph, and partly because we’ve demanded that they be very cheap to buy.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    “1500 EcoDiesel also nets 20 mpg in the city to create a combined rating of 23 mpg ..1500 HFE’s 3.6-liter V6 gasoline powerplant puts out 25 mpg on the highway, 18 in the city, and a combined rating of 21 mpg.”

    I’m glad there’s a good diesel available to P/U buyers. But since both Rams have gobs of torque, isn’t the gas version a better value? I’m just sayin.’

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The gas V6 is a way better value, cheaper to purchase, cheaper to fuel, and almost certainly cheaper to maintain and repair. Plus since the V6 has more HP it will be faster too.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Scoutdude
        Cheaper?

        Why is it the detractors always talk of price?

        It seems many of the diesel detractors think a highend V8 full size is the best.

        Why aren’t you guys driving around in 2.5 and 2.7 litre Frontier’s and Taco’s? Or if you tow why aren’t you guys driving stripper HD’s?

        What does price really amount to? Did you know that the average price of pickups has increased significantly over the past 20 years in the US. It has outstripped the CPI. Why? Because people are buying highend dual cab pickups.

        So you price theory is flawed.

        • 0 avatar
          daver277

          Those very fancy high end pickups only get used for real work when they are 8 years old and bought for 15 cents on the dollar.
          At that point, they can easily become a parts truck if a major repair is needed.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @daver277
          I’m not talking used trucks.

          I’m talking the average new sale price. This covers all pickup trucks, ie, the average price paid for a vehicle.

          The average price gain of new pickup prices has increased over 20% against the CPI in 20 years.

          Research has shown this is due to the SUV effect of pickup sales. People are buying them in lieu of a SUV, so naturally a higher spec’d and more comfortable vehicle is required. We have the same here in Australia with our pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It will depend on the use of the vehicle. The naturally aspirated Pentastar V6 makes significantly less torque than the turbocharged diesel V6. So if the prospective buyer plans to tow anything anywhere near the rated maximums, they’d likely prefer the diesel.

      As a commuter, definitely the gas V6.

      Personally, I’d opt for the V8.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      * good towing performance
      * good fuel economy
      * lower buy-in cost

      Pick any two.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      It seems like the premium for the diesel isn’t worth it it, fuel economy wise.

      Towing? That’s a different matter, but a 2500 may still be a better value.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Diesels make the most sense when they are run hard versus their gas counterpart. If you tow / haul using the pickup the diesel will net a very impressive 50% better mpg. EPA ratings are also based on laboratory results and not real world so you can’t use those numbers as diesels get higher than EPA in real world more often and gas lower than EPA in the real world. Think of the fact that diesel has 25% more energy density than gas and the engine runs as substantially lower RPM (2-3k less) to make its power. That equals significant fuel savings when it is running hard.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Darned impressive, and it is a very good looking machine.

    However, I’m still a bit wary of Chrysler product durability. (I’m still apologizing to my sister for my recommendation of that minivan which proved to be the mother of all hanger queens.)

    Time will tell, and I hope they pull it off.

    And dittos on introducing a smaller truck…methinks there’s a solid market out there for a Ranger (or smaller) sized machine.

  • avatar

    Diesels have significantly more carbon emissions per gallon, so that 28 on the highway. I’m not going to chase down the actual numbers right now, but my guess is that the emissions correspond to roughly 24mpg from a gas engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “Diesels have significantly more carbon emissions per gallon, so that 28 on the highway”

      Yeah, but who cares about CO2?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I certainly don’t, I’m more concerned about all of the other poisonous stuff out there.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @28-Cars-Later
          Reports suggest the new EFI gas engines have vastly more “nasties” than a common rail diesel. Take your pick.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            I read that Direct Injection gasoline was the one with high particulates. Normal port injection gasoline was not included in that.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Quentin,
            “I read that Direct Injection gasoline was the one with high particulates. Normal port injection gasoline was not included in that”

            Yes got my type of injections mixed up. They were quoting figures of a 1000 times more particulates than Diesel, or something like that.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I was wondering the same thing, there’s a reason cat converters convert other gases to gases including CO2, — because CO2 aint gonna kill you or cause problems.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DenverMike aka Hummer
          Why not err on the side of caution?

          Emission regulations has had a hand in improving the quality of life in many urban areas. The world is urbanising.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Oh, so you believe I’m denvermike?
            Judging by his handle he lives in Denver, when my IP is run it will either say clayton (raleigh) NC, or greenville NC, no where near Colorado.

            Also there’s nothing wrong with emissions regulation up to a point, cat converters are great, partially because CO2 comes out rather than Poisonous gas. But the point it CO2 isn’t harmful, whereas the other gases are.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike, oops, Hummer
            Yep.

            You ain’t getting out of this one easily.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’m sure all of the editors are having a good laugh at you right now.

      • 0 avatar
        daver277

        The rest of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      28 mpg diesel produces equivalent C02 of about 24.5 mpg of gasoline. So your guess was correct. (The CO2 difference per gallon/liter is about 14%.)

      The V6 gas truck gets a highway rating of 25 mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Pch101
        Diesel is the most economic fuel currently to reduce CO2 emissions.

        The US could have more and better diesel products. US diesel quality is needed to improve and equal Euro 10ppm, 51 cetane diesel.

        Also, the EPA has to produce equatable standards across diesel and gasoline. If one looks at the current EPA standards diesel has to make a 50% larger improvement over gasoline by 2018 in CO2 emissions.

        By your own words diesel produces less CO2 than gasoline to achieve the same work.

        Don’t you think this is working against the consumer.

  • avatar
    segfault

    “…and its urea-enhanced exhaust treatment system… particulate filter… selective catalyst reduction…”

    I’m cautiously hopeful that this translates into immediate engine failure when some jerk decides to install straight pipes to make the diesel sound louder.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Bypass technology is well-established. . . and not for the noise. Just Google “EGR delete” and you’ll find more than you want to know. “EGR” stands for exhaust gas recirculation, one of a number of tricks used by “clean diesels” to reduce formation of oxides of nitrogen by lowering combustion temperatures. EGR was, apparently, particularly failure-prone on the first generation of the Ford “Powermax” diesel sold in its heavy-duty pickup trucks.

      As was the case with early generation gasoline engine pollution controls, the early generation diesel engine pollution controls have the unfortunate side effect of reducing fuel economy.

  • avatar
    ash78

    6 months ago, you never could have convinced me that I’d be sitting here today, contemplating for our list of next two vehicles a full-sized diesel pickup, a large unibody V8 SUV, and a V6 minivan.

    All from the same company?

    And that company is Chrysler?

    Hell. Frozen. Over.

    Well done, team. Even if this thing is fraught with growing pains, the early marketing alone is going to cement a lot of sales.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Hell has frozen over for me, too. Kudos to folks in Auburn Hills.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Please put in in the Wrangler.

  • avatar
    walker42

    You know how EPA label fuel economy overstates the MPGs for hybrid cars? Well the opposite is true for diesels. The 20/28 EPA for the 1500 2WD will likely be 10-20% higher in real world. The city figure will certainly be better. Alex Dykes got 24 combined, 29 highway in his test which included hauling and 0-60 runs.

    Too bad this engine isn’t sitting in a CTS right now.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    If they came out with a Wrangler diesel and the upcoming Colorado diesel I would have a tough time deciding between them. Even this truck is very appealing to me, I like the Dodge, it is just so massive I am not sure I need something so large. But when I do commute I do almost all highway so this would be perfect for me as the biggest economy gains are in highway mileage.

  • avatar
    DGA

    As previously stated, it’s going to get better MPG than what the sticker shows. I know it’s a bit of apples to oranges, but TDI Jettas that I know of average over 50 MPG on the highway without much trouble, I’m betting the EcoDiesel RAM will do at least 30.

  • avatar
    Sweet Fancy Moses

    In the market for a light pick-up at the moment, and the thought of the mileage that this diesel offers is awfully tempting. That said, I have to echo the comments of others: what’s the cost of getting in early? Based on Canadian pricing, the cost difference even to the Hemi would still buy quite a bit of fuel. I like the Ram 1500, but I’m thinking I may go used 2013 MY and wait for the diesel offering to mature a bit.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I just love reading the comments concerning diesel in the US.

    It brings back the memories when Australia started it diesel push in large vehicles.

    Australia used to be like the US. If you wanted to have a work vehicle with some tow ability a V8 was the only way to go.

    But then, the Japanese started to gain more and more power and torque from their diesels and people who wanted to off road and have an economical daily driver turned to diesel.

    The only comparison between the Pentastar and diesel you can make is FE. Even then the diesel is a far better vehicle. If you take into account how most people drive they will not see the Pentastars FE number anyway, especially in city traffic.

    The diesel is more forgiving in the FE department when you have a heavier right foot.

    For all of the ‘uneducated’ pickup diesel guys, we used to be a ‘gas only’ country in Australia. We have found diesel is the way to go.

    Even here in Australia we pay significantly more for diesel at the bowser, just like the US.

    I think most of the diesel detractors or negative comments are from people who have had little or no exposure to the benefits of diesel.

    The VM diesel Ram is providing 4 cylinder FE with V8 workability.

    That’s a win for me.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Big Al From Oz,
      The difference is we had a fair number of people using diesel anyway for trucks, so when the diesel Pickups started to rule the roost it was not such a big deal.
      I find it interesting how many people are excited on the PUTC site and other related Automotive forums about the introduction of a small diesel. When you go the older demographic RV sites, there appears to be more for and against. Most talk about experiences of diesels in the past and seem to have little idea of the increasing sales of diesels in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      You tend to see anti-diesel comments from the conventional wisdom types who repeat truisms from the past as if they were spoken by God. “Americans like cheap big cars.” “Americans hate diesels.” We have plenty of them at TTAC.

      In Volkswagen’s US lineup you can see both points of view at work. There are the conventional wisdom cars like the Passat and Jetta that were no doubt recommended by American staffers and/or dealers and the TDIs that were “forced” on VWoA by Germany. Guess whose ideas were a better fit with what US customers really wanted.

      The idea of this baby-diesel RAM no doubt came from the Fiat side of Chrysler. You can bet plenty of people are praying it fails, including some regular posters here.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        So who are you going to blame if/when this effort doesn’t produce a lot of sales?

        You seem to have something invested in the outcome. I can identify why I expect this to be a low-volume venture, but you seem to believe that a pessimistic analysis based upon trivialities such as facts is something akin to blasphemy.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Pch101,
          “So who are you going to blame if/when this effort doesn’t produce a lot of sales?”

          Hmmm poor marketing, fear of the unknown, expect it to be expensive and of course “smoky and noisy’. Then it could be a success and that negates the above.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Pch101
          I would trust the data from Fiat before your brilliant deductive wisdom.

          Fiat estimates that their Ram 1500 sales will be 30% diesel. I didn’t see a date for that figure.

          Fiat will put some spin, but even a 25% take up rate as diesel is quite good.

          What will it be in 5 years? 80% once the American consumer gets to drive a truck with a truck engine.

          Many of you Americans don’t realise that large diesel powered vehicles perform quite acceptably. Like this Ram with 4 cyl. FE and the workability of a V8.

          Hard for some of you to get your heads around. New concepts and ideas is what made America. This is called progress.

          But you Luddites try and call it European Socialism or something else to hid your fear of the unknown.

          Embrace it so the world doesn’t pass you by.

        • 0 avatar
          walker42

          Let me guess. You don’t think Tesla is going to make it either.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Let me guess. You’re going to blame people like me when this vehicle doesn’t generate much volume.

            By the way, my question wasn’t rhetorical. Who or what will you blame when this turns out to be a lackluster endeavor? I presume that you won’t be blaming yourself or others like you for missing the market.

            This is a business, not a religion. If you can make a cogent case (emphasis onthe “cogent”) that explains why this could be a success, then I’d like to hear it. Saying that mean people disagree with you doesn’t provide much meat for your position; instead, you should explain how this situation is different from before.

            Personally, I see it as an exercise in CAFE compliance and cost amortization (the latter because Fiat owns a diesel engine production company, so it may as well.) It can’t hurt much to try, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a game changer.

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            You are asking who will want it and why. OK let me tell you…

            People who would otherwise feel guilty about buying a full-sized truck for style or comfort reasons. “My truck gets better milage than your Camry V6 so leave me alone”

            People who tow frequently because the diesel makes that job safer, easier and cheaper. See Alex’s article.

            Worry-wart types who think the next fuel shock is right around the corner. See places like California.

            People who keep their trucks a long time because, true or not, they will think the diesel lasts longer than the gas offerings. See comments in this thread.

            Anyone who is going to drive their truck a lot because after about 60,000 miles the diesel engine price premium is paid for and the fuel cost savings end up in your pocket. See contractors, sales people and delivery oriented businesses.

            Rational types who like the idea of same power as a V8 but better fuel economy than a V6. See Big AL.

            Long distance drivers because diesel shines on the highway for FE and drivability. If you’ve never driven one, passing is a breeze compared with any of the gas offerings. See vacation users, long distance commuters.

            Wasteful people who drive with a heavy foot. Similar to the towing benefit in that diesel is cheaper for this driving style and will probably last longer under the abuse. You people know who you are.

            Early adopter types who want the latest tech. See early buyers of Prius, Tesla, Leaf.

            Your “they did it for CAFE” reason doesn’t mean it won’t be successful. HEVs were initially done for California EV credits but have since blossomed into strong pull products, witness Prius.

            Put all of those customer types and diesel benefits together and I’m seeing a 30% penetration rate for this marvelous engine, which is a Wards Top 10 for 2014.

            Furthermore I see most of these sales being incremental meaning if the diesel wasn’t around they would have bought something other than a gas RAM 1500, probably one of the new aluminum Fords.

            This incrementality will make the 3.0L diesel extremely profitable for Chrysler which will guarantee enough marketing support to reach all of the target customers I mentioned.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            That’s a nice list of a few dozen buyers.

            OK, I kid. Perhaps several thousand. But not enough around which to build a viable business.

            In any case, that demonstrates a rather naive view of the truck market. Let’s break it down into a few basic segments:

            -The guys who want basic transportation won’t pay a premium to get slightly better fuel economy over the V6. The difference is merely 10%, not enough to matter to all but a few.

            -The serious towing types will buy a V8

            -The guys who buy trucks as a form of luxury car will buy the V8

            -The light-duty commercial buyers who get the V6 if they want to save cash, or the small block V8 if they want something familiar

            -Those who really want a diesel for the sake of it will, for the most part, get the HD

            In short, this will probably cannibalize a few HD diesel sales and move a few of the towing-inclined out of HEMIs, neither of which is exactly an ideal situation for Chrysler.

            This incremental market of yours is the typical diesel fan’s fantasy market that largely doesn’t exist and for which no proof of its existence has been provided. If the claim had merit, then it would have already happened.

            I was asking you for what was different, but you offered nothing with any substance to it. That might be a list of your hot buttons, but they apply to very few people. (And no, Australian blowhards such as BAFO are not a relevant component of the US vehicle market.)

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            The improvement over a gas V6 is not just 10%, you are going by EPA label which is understated for diesel. This is a fact and you said you liked facts.

            In a 1500 the HEMI is not better for towing than the Fiat diesel. I take it you are more of a car guy to not understand this.

            Yes the price buyer won’t be open to the diesel. Fortunately RAM is the hot new brand and has relatively few of those customers, they are moving over to Chevy.

            “Guys who want a truck as a form of luxury will want the V8 over the diesel.” Because? Can’t wait to hear the conventional wisdom on this one. Do you really think all of those 2500 diesel buyers are buying them for work?

            Commercial buyers are already flocking to Dodge and Mercedes Sprinter vans and most of those are going out the door with diesel. There goes that argument about commercial users sticking with the familiar. Yes those ugly vans that guys like you said would never catch on are doing just great. So is the Ford Transit.

            “If the incrementality claim had merit it would have already happened.” Do you really think most of the people who bought a VW TDI would have stayed at VW if the diesel wasn’t available?

            Non-diesel VWs are pure crap as evidenced in VW’s 2013 sales which were disastrous. I predicted right here at the beginning of last year that heads would roll at VWoA and they have. The TDIs with their 30% take rate saved VWoA’s bacon and yes were largely incremental.

            As usual you are presenting tired old cliches as facts and sounding uninformed.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Again, these are the same claims that diesel fans always make.

            I asked you for proof that the market suddenly wants the things that you claim that it wants.

            In the passenger car market, there are more diesel choices than ever. Yet market share of diesels remains flat. If there was pent-up demand, then one would expect to see a greater share of sales, yet we don’t.

            In the business world, one would look for actual facts that could be used to make a business case. You have offered nothing of substance, only the same recycled wishful thinking that fails to materialize, year after year after year.

            Diesel is just a motor fuel, FFS. How did some of you decide to make it a religion?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Pch101
            “Personally, I see it as an exercise in CAFE compliance It can’t hurt much to try, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a game changer”

            Tell that to Ford , they equally have a lot to lose if you are right, which I very much doubt.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I think @PCH has made some really good points on the buying habits of US consumers, and as much as I want the idea of small diesel trucks to succeed, I am not sure it will. Americans buy by the pound and you simply get more HP for less money with a V8. Look around at all the jacked up trucks with straight pipes and giant wheels and its clear that most truck buyers could care less about fuel economy. And check out all the reg-cab long bed V6 work trucks at every job site and its clear that guys who work for a living shop on price. And I know way too many basically uninformed guys who simply think there is nothing better than a big V8.

      But… the holy grail of trucks is an HD with a diesel engine. Why don’t more people buy them? Because there is generally a $10-20k+ price premium on them. Trucks seem to get driven more than cars. Every used truck I see for sale is topping 100k miles even after only a 3-4 yrs, many are over 150k, and still worth a lot of money. Diesel trucks are common around here with well over 200k miles, and still worth big bucks too. Truck guys seem to realize that diesel trucks are longer lasting, and the payoff to buying one makes more sense when you know you are going to keep it that long. The better fuel economy is a bonus, people will see that and care, even if its not sky high. Right now MPG is hot, breaking into the high 20s is going to be a big deal. But if they dont carry many on the lot then no one will even know they are there, so we are at the dealer’s mercy on that one.

      But the biggest thing that is going to matter is price. If it costs $2800 to add a diesel engine, that is cutting it close already for the consumer. Trucks are already expensive and that is a pricey option. But for example, the same engine in the Grand Cherokee costs $4800 to add, and is only available with some other $2500 option package, and only on the mid-level spec model which is like $4-6k more than the ones below it. So now it costs $12k to get a diesel. Not so bad for people who are looking to get that higher spec GC anyways, but for those shopping for a deal, there is no way to justify that price premium.

      Europeans were sold on diesels a long time ago. Because of the tax structure on vehicles and the cost of fuel, they wanted the smallest engines with the best possible economy, and if you wanted any power at all you needed a diesel for that. Americans never had that situation, we still don’t. If a guy has to pay even $4-5k more to get a small diesel engine then they will not sell here. $2k is pushing it already, but that’s close enough that people who wouldn’t normally get a truck might go for one, and that’s where the sales will come from.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The thing is that the truck market has one segment that buys motivated by price and utility, and another that regard them as a form of Red State luxury car. (That second group is critical, as they’re the ones who are producing the margin that makes these things so profitable.)

        And this motor appeals to neither of those groups. For the first group, it costs extra for no particular reason. For the latter group, the status comes in part from having the big motor, and this ain’t it.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “For the latter group, the status comes in part from having the big motor, and this ain’t it.”

          A big part factor in truck status is “DIESEL NOISES BRBRBRRRBRB”. Look for some of those customers to hop on the LD diesel band wagon. Though, they might be disappointed with amount of coal this thing will roll, even with a DPF delete.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The 3.0L Ram sounds nothing like the HD diesels, so if Chrysler thinks this was a selling point they screwed up.

      • 0 avatar
        walker42

        “But… the holy grail of trucks is an HD with a diesel engine. Why don’t more people buy them?”

        I’m not as familiar with Ford and Chevy HD pen rates for diesel but over at Chrysler it is 85% for the Cummins. Your post was loaded with inaccuracies and cliches like “Americans buy by the pound” but it was fun to read, thanks. You are no doubt one of those people who thought the Passat would do well.

        As for PCH let’s wait and see how the Fiat diesel does on the RAM 1500. I’m sure you were saying the same things about EVs before Tesla came along and hate the company for proving you wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          @walker, I think you misread my entire point. I was asking a rhetorical question, as @PCH figured that the diesel market was already well supplied by the HD diesels. I said they were too expensive or they would sell more of them. I am in favor of the diesel trucks, I want one myself, I want them to succeed. I just don’t have as much faith as you do in the American public.

          I am not sure what you mean by pen rates, but I know for sure 85% of the trucks Dodge sells are not diesel HDs. They sell half tons, lots of them, amd most of those are the Express model with a hemi. Go to a dealer lot and see what they have the most of. It will be the same at Ford and Chevy lots… most people buy the biggest truck they can get for the best deal, which is an extended or crew cab with a V8. Ford has seen a lot of success with the Ecoboost, so the tide might be turning towards the more fuel efficient model… we will see. But the Ecoboost is cheap, an HD/diesel is expensive, hence why more people do not buy them. A light duty diesel will not be too expensive, which is why I have some hope that they WILL sell.

          But if you know any truck guys, hang out with any truck guys, spend any time with guys in flyover states, you would know that my statement might be a cliche but it certainly isn’t innaccurate. Truck guys like the big trucks, they make fun of the compact trucks, they make fun of the small engine trucks, they think its more manly to drive a truck with a 400+hp V8, they want to talk about how they can tow 10k pounds even if they never will, they like to jack their trucks up and put huge wheels on them, etc, etc. The majority of the current truck market buys by the pound or buys their favorite brand, and price matters.

          Oh and I never expected the new crappy Passat to succeed, I have a GTI but IMO thats the only VW worth buying and I wouldn’t buy another one. And I like EVs, I think Tesla has a great car there and if I could afford one I would have a Roadster in my garage next to a Leaf for my commute. And a diesel pickup and a Mustang GT too.

          • 0 avatar
            walker42

            I mean 85% of the RAM heavy duty trucks are sold with the Cummins diesel, see USA Today article yesterday. I thought you were saying the penetration rate was close to zero if you were I was correcting that to 85%.

            The Fiat diesel is not for the hardcore truck guys. They tend to buy HDs which the RAM 1500 is not. The 1500 buyers are different and looking at their needs (outlined above) they will love the baby diesel offer.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          A big part of the significant take rate of the diesel in the Ram HDs was the lack of a suitable HD gas engine. That’s been addressed with the introduction of the 6.4L, look for the Cummins take rate to fall somewhat.

  • avatar
    daver277

    Here in Canada, every Dodge Pickup truck ad somewhere says ’36 miles per gallon’ due to 20% bigger imp. gallons and the Canadian Government’s total BS testing spec. which was undoubtedly designed by the manufacturers.
    Now our intelligence will be assaulted by ’4x MPG’ ads.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Tradesman, 4×4, snow plow prep pkg? Seems like it could move some snow.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I am totally bummed. Was set for a regular cab, short bed, 4X4 with Ram Box option in a Tradesman or SLT level trim. Brown with the blacked out grille.
    Would be my perfect truck for very light duty…I am a “gentleman” worker these days…drive around, drop-off minor supplies, give directions to site managers, then go have coffee. The truck is my prop to keep my chops!


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