We were obviously delighted when we first heard that the 2014 Ram 1500 was to be offered with a 3.0L VM Motori EcoDiesel engine. Such a “cool” idea just seemed too risky, and, well, too cool for any manufacturer to actually bring to fruition. Now, the EcoDiesel is admittedly no Cummins, but it never attempted to “steal” you away from your Cummins, so we won’t compare horsepower and torque and towing capacity. And regarding a Cummins in a ½-ton? That doesn’t really make sense for Ram. If having a Cummins is understandably important to you for any variety of reasons, buy a 2500. If fuel economy and occasional recreational towing are important to you, then listen up, because EPA fuel economy numbers have just now been released for the EcoDiesel. As expected, they certainly do not disappoint: 20mpg city/28mpg highway/23mpg combined and 19mpg city/27mpg highway/22mpg combined for the 4x4. Unsurprisingly, this is the best highway-cycle test result ever attained by a fullsize, 1/2-ton pickup, pushing the gasoline 3.6L Pentastar into the second spot for ½-ton pickup 2014 EPA highway fuel economy rankings. In fact, the EcoDiesel exceeds manual midsize pickups in highway economy (25mpg for the Toyota Tacoma and 23mpg for the Nissan Frontier.) Is the EcoDiesel highway mpg figure accurate? Yeah, it’s believable. In fact, our moderately conservative highway test of a four-wheel-drive EcoDiesel easily achieved an honest calculated 30mpg.

The EcoDiesel will be priced $2,850 greater than a similarly equipped 5.7L Hemi with a TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission, and ordering begins February 7.

Weekend towing and weekday commuting, comfortably achieved with the same truck? It’s a phenomenal time for 1/2-ton pickup trucks.