2014 Diesel Truck and Van Buyer’s Guide

New Fullsize Pickups and Vans with Diesel Power

Dec 11, 2013
Photographers: Courtesy Of The Manufacturers
This year, new truck buyers have the choice of the most powerful diesel engines ever offered—along with the most economical—in a fullsize pickup. For the first time, you’ll be able to buy a ½-ton pickup with a diesel under the hood. Plus, there are diesel vans being offered by six manufacturers, including two brand-new models never before sold in the U.S.
The Big Three automakers are each selling their own versions of ¾- and 1-ton trucks with incredibly powerful, clean, and efficient diesel engines. Ford, GM, and Ram all have their own different take on the heavy-duty diesel pickup. They manage to create more power and torque than ever before, along with having maximum tow ratings that range all the way up to 15 tons. These trucks are also offered in numerous configurations to suit your needs, whether you require a 1-ton regular cab with vinyl floors and manual windows or a shortbed crew cab that has the same features as a luxury sedan but can still pull a fifth-wheel trailer.
After four model years with two of the Big Three not involved in the diesel van game, the fullsize market in the U.S. is blowing up in 2014. This year, in addition to brand-new diesel models from Ford and Ram, there are major updates from Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner. This, along with a new version of the Duramax- powered vans by General Motors, means you’ll have plenty of choices for your next diesel passenger wagon or cargo van. Here’s a look at the fullsize diesels you can find on dealer lots this year.
Ford
The 2014 Ford Super Duty has a 6.7L Power Stroke engine that makes 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque and is backed by the TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission. The Super Duty offers a solid axle with coil springs up front on four-wheel-drive models, and a twin I-beam front suspension setup on the two-wheel drives. The maximum conventional tow rating has been increased to 18,500 pounds, while the maximum fifth-wheel tow rating is 24,700 pounds for the F-450. The maximum payload has been raised to 7,260 pounds, thanks to improvements that include a new parking brake. Also new for 2014 is a redesigned braking system with larger rotors, discs, and improved brake feel, thanks to a re-tuned brake booster, among other changes.
Photo 5/17   |   Ford’s Super Duty is available as an F-250, F-350, or F-450, and for 2014, it includes a redesigned braking system that allows for higher payloads while improving brake feel. Now, the Super Duty is capable of towing up to 18,500 pounds with the conventional hitch and maximum payload capacities of up to 7,260 pounds.
Ford is taking a European approach with the company’s all-new ’14 Transit fullsize van that’s based on the company’s overseas workhorse of the same name. The van uses a Power Stroke 3.2L inline-five engine. Power ratings for this engine have not yet been released, but the European configuration puts out 197 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. The new Transit comes with a six-speed automatic, a MacPherson strut independent front suspension, and a leaf-sprung solid rear axle. The van is available in three lengths, two wheelbases, single or dual rear wheels, and three roof heights, including the high-roof model, which has 81 inches of interior cargo height. The Transit also has LED interior lighting, seats up to 15 people, and was designed to accept numerous types of shelves, bins, racks, and other upfit equipment.
Photo 6/17   |   The all-new 2014 Ford Transit is making its debut in the U.S. with an inline five-cylinder diesel engine that makes 197 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque in its European configuration. The Transit is available in multiple body styles, including a high roof model with enough room for a person who is 6’ 5” to stand upright in the cargo area.
Engine Specifications:
Engine: Ford Power Stroke
Displacement: 6.7L
Configuration: V-8
Power: 400 hp at 2,800 rpm
Torque: 800 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm
Turbocharging: Single two-compressor variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.90 x 4.25 inches
Compression ratio: 16.2:1
Valvetrain: OHV 32 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Photo 7/17   |   The 6.7L Power Stoke V-8 produces 400 hp at 2,800 rpm and 800 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. The head design routes exhaust gas directly into the turbo mounted in the valley. The engine uses a unique Garrett variable-geometry single-sequential turbo that has two compressor wheels.
Engine: Ford Power Stroke
Displacement: 3.2L
Configuration: I-5
Power: 197 hp at 3,000 rpm (European rating)
Torque: 347 lb-ft at 1,500 to 2,750 rpm (European rating)
Turbocharging: Single variable- geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.54 x 3.96 inches
Compression ratio: 15.7:1
Valvetrain: DOHC 20 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Cast iron
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Photo 8/17   |   The all-new 2014 Ford Transit is making its debut in the U.S. with an inline five-cylinder diesel engine that makes 197 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque in its European configuration. The Transit is available in multiple body styles, including a high roof model with enough room for a person who is 6’ 5” to stand upright in the cargo area.
General Motors
The ’14 Chevrolet and GMC 2500HD and 3500HD trucks are powered by the 6.6L Duramax LML V-8 engine that’s rated at 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, while power is routed through an Allison 1000 transmission with six gears. Unlike Ford and Ram, the GM trucks use a torsion bar independent front suspension on both two- and four-wheel-drive models. Even with this road-friendly setup, the 3500s achieve a maximum conventional tow rating of 18,000 pounds, a maximum fifth-wheel tow rating of 23,100 pounds, and a maximum payload of 7,222 pounds. The only new feature available for the ’14 diesels is a factory-installed, spray-in bedliner that covers the entire bed interior below the side rails. All-new Silverados and Sierras will debut later this year as ’15 models, as will new Colorado and Canyon trucks, which will be available with diesel power for the first time.
Photo 9/17   |   The 2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD is the highest trim level available for Duramax trucks. It can be ordered with single- or dual-rear-wheels and includes standard features such as heated and cooled leather seats, a heated steering wheel, OnStar, a rearview camera, and a remote start system.
The 2014 Chevy Express and GMC Savanna fullsize vans are powered by the Duramax LGH with 260 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque and are backed by a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission. The vans have a maximum tow rating of 10,000 pounds, a maximum payload of 4,145 pounds, and an optional limited-slip rear differential. For 2014, there are new paint colors, standard power door locks and windows for the passenger van, and an all-new “Crew Van” model that has a three-passenger bench seat in the second row, with a bulkhead behind the seats to separate the cargo area from the passengers. This new configuration combines multiple features of a cargo van and a passenger wagon by offering standard head and side curtain airbags, optional full body-length windows, a full-length rubber floor covering, a swing-out side door, and rear air conditioning and lighting on the extended-length vans.
Engine Specifications:
Engine: Chevrolet/GMC Duramax
Displacement: 6.6L
Configuration: V-8
Power: 397 hp at 3,000 rpm (LML – pickups)
Torque: 765 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm (LML – pickups)
Power: 260 hp at 3,100 rpm (LGH – vans)
Torque: 525 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm (LGH – vans)
Turbocharging: Single variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 4.05 x 3.89 inches
Compression ratio: 16.8:1
Valvetrain: OHV 32 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Cast iron
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Ram
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the first ½-ton pickup with a modern clean-diesel engine. It utilizes a 3.0L VM Motori V-6 engine that’s rated at 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. The EcoDiesel is also the first diesel pickup to be sold with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it’s capable of towing up to 9,200 pounds. Fuel economy figures for the diesel haven’t yet been released, but Ram is confident the EcoDiesel will produce the best fuel economy in the light-duty pickup class, which means the number will be better than the 25-mpg rating of the Ram’s gasoline V-6. The diesel engine and eight-speed combination is available on trim levels ranging from the Tradesman work truck all the way up to the luxury Laramie Longhorn models. All Ram 1500 pickups have a five-link rear suspension, and some models can be ordered from the factory with an active air suspension.
Photo 13/17   |   Ram currently holds the title of best-in-class torque with a version of the 6.7L Cummins rated at 385 hp at 2,800 rpm and 850 lb-ft of torque at 1,700 rpm. The Ram 3500 with the High Output Cummins is capable of towing up to 30,000 pounds and can be spec’d with a GCWR of up to 37,600 pounds.
The ’14 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups use the 6.7L Cummins engine that’s rated at up to 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, depending on which transmission is ordered. The Ram is the only fullsize pickup still being sold with a manual transmission, and when the G56 is ordered, the engine is tuned to make 350 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque. There are two different six-speed automatic transmissions to choose from, with a Chrysler 68RFE that distributes 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque, or an Aisin AS69RC, which handles the highest-output version of the Cummins for the 1-ton models. The multi-link coil rear suspension on the 2500 is unlike the traditional leaf spring setups on the 3500, GM, and Ford trucks, and an active air suspension is available from the factory. Air is also available on the Ram 3500, in the form of rear self-leveling load-assist bags. The High Output Cummins and chassis setup on the 3500 provide a maximum fifth-wheel tow rating of 30,010 pounds and a maximum payload rating of 7,320 pounds. New features for 2014 include two new paint colors, a dual alternator system that creates 440 amps, 18-inch and 20-inch wheel options, a factory gooseneck, and fifth-wheel setup for the 2500.
The all-new ’14 Ram ProMaster is the first fullsize diesel van sold by Chrysler since the Dodge version of the Sprinter was retired in 2010. This new diesel is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been sold in Europe for 30 years and features a combination unibody/ladder frame design and front-wheel-drive setup, unlike any of the other diesel vans sold in the U.S. The four-cylinder, 3.0L EcoDiesel engine makes 174 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is hooked to a unique M40 automated manual that maximizes efficiency since there is no torque converter to slip. The transmission can be shifted like a manual or put into automatic mode and has features such as grade sensing and curve sensing, which will hold a gear until after a turn is complete. This drivetrain allows a payload rating of 5,145 pounds and a tow rating of 5,100 pounds. The ProMaster is available in two roof heights (90 or 101 inches), three wheelbases, and four body lengths. The ProMaster will debut with best-in-class fuel economy.
The all-new ’14 Ram ProMaster is the first fullsize diesel van sold by Chrysler since the Dodge version of the Sprinter was retired in 2010. This new diesel is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been sold in Europe for 30 years and features a combination unibody/ladder frame design and front-wheel-drive setup, unlike any of the other diesel vans sold in the U.S. The four-cylinder, 3.0L EcoDiesel engine makes 174 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is hooked to a unique M40 automated manual that maximizes efficiency since there is no torque converter to slip. The transmission can be shifted like a manual or put into automatic mode and has features such as grade sensing and curve sensing, which will hold a gear until after a turn is complete. This drivetrain allows a payload rating of 5,145 pounds and a tow rating of 5,100 pounds. The ProMaster is available in two roof heights (90 or 101 inches), three wheelbases, and four body lengths. The ProMaster will debut with best-in-class fuel economy.
Photo 14/17   |   The all-new Ram ProMaster is unlike other fullsize vans, with its front-wheel-drive chassis that allows for the lowest step-in and load floor heights. The 3.0L inline four-cylinder EcoDiesel engine is rated at 174 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and uses the M40 transmission, which is the only automated- manual available in a fullsize van or truck.
Engine Specifications:
Engine: Ram Cummins
Displacement: 6.7L
Configuration: I-6
Power: 385 hp at 2,800 rpm (AS69RC auto transmission)
Torque: 850 lb-ft at 1,700 rpm (AS69RC auto transmission)
Power: 370 hp at 2,800 rpm (68RFE auto transmission)
Torque: 800 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm (68RFE auto transmission)
Power: 350 hp at 2,800 rpm (G56 manual transmission)
Torque: 660 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm (G56 manual transmission)
Turbocharging: Single variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 4.21 x 4.88 inches
Compression ratio: 17.3:1
Valvetrain: OHV 24 valves
Head Material: Cast iron
Block Material: Cast iron
Transmission: Six-speed G56 manual, 68RFE or AS69RC automatics
Engine: EcoDiesel V-6
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: V-6
Power: 240 hp at 3,600 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm
Turbocharging: Single variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.60 inches
Compression ratio: 15.5:1
Valvetrain: DOHC 24 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Engine: EcoDiesel I-4
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 174 hp at 3,600 rpm
Torque: 295 lb-ft at 1,400 rpm
Turbocharging: Single variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.78 x 4.09 inches
Compression ratio: 17.5:1
Valvetrain: DOHC 16 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Cast Iron
Transmission: Six-speed automated-manual
Photo 15/17   |   The 3.0L V-6 used to power the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is made by VM Motori and puts out 240 hp at 3,600 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.
Mercedes-Benz/Freightliner
The ’14 Sprinter by Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner has been redesigned inside and out. It now comes standard with a drivetrain that mates a two-turbo 2.1L four-cylinder engine with 161 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque to the first seven-speed automatic transmission offered in class, and a steering pump that’s only activated when power assistance is needed. The redesigned exterior includes changes to the hood, grille, and bumpers, and the new interior includes upgrades such as new radios and navigation systems, a thicker steering wheel, a new shifter, and new upholstery. Four safety systems, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Highbeam Assist, have been added to help prevent accidents, and they work alongside the rollover protection, automatic brake disc drying, and other standard advanced safety features.
Photo 16/17   |   Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner Sprinters have a new exterior, interior, and a diesel drivetrain for 2014. The van now comes standard with a 2.1L, two-turbo, four-cylinder engine rated at 161 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque paired with a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The 188hp and 325-lb-ft-of-torque 3.0L V-6 diesel is still available.
Engine Specifications:
Engine: Mercedes-Benz OM642
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: V-6
Power: 188 hp at 3,800 rpm
Torque: 325 lb-ft at 1,400 to 2,400 rpm
Turbocharging: Single variable-geometry turbo
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.62 inches
Compression ratio: 18.0:1
Valvetrain: DOHC 24 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Aluminum alloy/compacted graphite iron sleeves
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Engine: Mercedes-Benz OM651
Displacement: 2.1L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 161 hp at 3,800 rpm
Torque: 265 lb-ft at 1,400 to 2,400 rpm
Turbocharging: Two sequential turbos
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.90 inches
Compression ratio: 16.2:1
Valvetrain: DOHC 16 valves
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Cast iron
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Photo 17/17   |   Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner Sprinters have a new exterior, interior, and a diesel drivetrain for 2014. The van now comes standard with a 2.1L, two-turbo, four-cylinder engine rated at 161 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque paired with a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The 188hp and 325-lb-ft-of-torque 3.0L V-6 diesel is still available.
Coming Soon
Nissan will be the next manufacturer to offer a ½-ton pickup with a diesel engine. The company has announced the next generation of Titan will be sold with a new Cummins 5.0L V-8 engine. It’s possible this engine, once slated for the Ram 1500, could also end up in the company’s line of NV vans, or even rival Toyota’s Tundra line of ½-ton trucks.

Sources

Ford Motor Company
Dearborn, MI 48126
800-392-3673
www.ford.com
Mercedes-Benz
Montvale, NJ 07645
800-367-6372
www.mbusa.com
Chevrolet
Detroit, MI 48323
www.chevrolet.com
Ram Trucks
Aubum Hills, MI 48321
800-726-4636
www.ramtrucks.com
GMC
888-988-7267
http://www.gmc.com
Freightliner Sprinter
877-762-8267
www.freightlinersprinterusa.com

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