Fans of oil burners will have a lot to be grateful for in 2020, with each of the Big Three American automakers offering several different diesel options in their midsize and fullsize trucks. The latest volley in the game of one-upmanship comes from the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
, which now offers the least expensive entry into the 1/2-ton diesel game: $36,890, or $38,585 with destination.
| 2020 Ram 1500 Limited Ecodiesel Exterior Front Clip
That price represents a 2020 Ram 1500
Tradesman Quad Cab 2WD, the automaker's entry-level fullsize truck. According to Ram
, the EcoDiesel will be a $4,995 option, representing a $3,000 premium over the 5.7L Hemi V-8 with eTorque mild-hybrid technology. Competitors' diesels are several thousand dollars more expensive, with the Ford F-150 XLT Power Stroke
starting at $46,255 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Duramax starting at $45,200.
| 2020 Ram 1500 Rebel Ecodiesel Exterior Front Quarter 01
What's more, the EcoDiesel V-6 will be available across Ram's entire 1500 lineup, including all trim levels, drivetrains, and cab configurations. That includes a tasty, diesel-fired Ram 1500 Rebel, which could become the overland community's domestic darling owing to its impressive off-road performance and what should be impressive range between refueling.
Finally, the revised 3.0L EcoDiesel will also appear in the previous-generation 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, where it will start at $39,140 plus destination for the Crew Cab 4x2. It's not clear if the 1500 Classic will appear for the 2020 model year, although Ram seems to be keen to sell both the Classic and its redesigned successor alongside each other for at least the time being.
| 2020 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel Exterior Engine Bay 02
In addition to its relative-bargain pricing, the EcoDiesel is also the torquiest engine in its class: a stout 480 lb-ft of twist at 1,600 rpm and 260 hp at 3,600 rpm. That's up from the 240 hp and 420 lb-ft the previous version of the EcoDiesel offered. Those numbers compare well to the Ford F-150 Power Stroke (which makes 250 hp and 440 lb-ft) and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax (277 hp and 460 lb-ft).
All that muscle enables the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to tow up to 12,560 pounds, up 1,060 over the F-150 Power Stroke and a whopping 3,260 over the Silverado 1500 Duramax. Aiding the EcoDiesel on its quest for oil-burning supremacy is a new, water-cooled, variable-geometry turbocharger, redesigned intake ports, and a dual high- and low-pressure exhaust-gas recirculation system (a similar feature is found on the Duramax I-6
). A higher compression ratio of 16.5:1 reduces emissions, while a redesigned direct-injection system improves combustion and power.
The engine block is constructed of compacted graphite iron, a robust and relatively lightweight material that helps quell vibrations and adds rigidity. Forged steel makes an appearance on the crankshaft and connecting rods, with oil-cooled aluminum alloy pistons. Aluminum cylinder heads hide chain-driven dual overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder.
| 2020 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel Exterior Engine Bay 01
To Be Continued
| 2020 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel Interior Instrument Cluster
The cost of each specific EcoDiesel model is still a bit of a question mark since we don't know if or how much pricing will change for the 2020 Ram 1500. Also to be determined is official EPA fuel economy, which we expect will improve compared to the previous-generation Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. That truck was EPA-rated at 20 city/27 highway/22 combined mpg in 4x2 guise or 19 city/26 highway/21 combined mpg as a 4x4 (an aero-enhanced HFE package could muster an additional 1 mpg compared to the 4x2). We wouldn't be surprised, therefore, to see the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel hit more than 30 mpg on the highway in its most efficient form, while the Ram Rebel EcoDiesel should still offer at least 25 mpg highway.
Ram promises fuel economy information before the truck goes on sale, which will be early in the fourth quarter of this year. Just in time for those holiday road trips, eh?