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We took two half-ton trucks with powerful engines out for a spin: the 2020 Ram that runs on 1500 EcoDiesel and the Ram 1500 Rebel with the Hemi V-8.

We aimed to find out how they fare on the road. We set out to test the all-wheel drive and off-road half-tons with similar tires, bed configuration, tires, and final-drive ratios.

Here’s how the two vehicles fared:

Fuel Economy

While out and about, we realized that the EcoDiesel is far more economical in its fuel consumption on runarounds than on longer trips, thanks in part to an 8-speed automatic transmission. RAM promises a ten percent improvement on the 3.0-liter V-6.

A full-size pickup like the Rebel goes for twenty miles on a gallon, while a gas-powered counterpart gulps a gallon every fourteen miles. You may have to rack up 86,000 miles before you start saving on fuel costs. To swap the Hemi-V8 for the EcoDiesel, however, you will also have to part with $3000.

Performance

The EcoDiesel is more potent than its predecessors. It uses a turbocharger, so output and torque go from 240 horsepower and 420 lbs./ft to 260 hp and 480 lbs./ft respectively.

The engine has undergone a significant facelift and comes with an iron block that’s lighter by fifteen pounds. It retains the 3.0-liter V-6 configuration (60 degrees).

Like other low-performance truck engines, the EcoDiesel is reticent. You won’t discern that it’s a diesel-powered engine when cruising or idling. You may hear some noise when you hit certain speeds or at higher load combinations, however.

On the crew-cab Rebel, the EcoDiesel managed to hit 60 mph in just 8.1 seconds. So, it’s 0.9 seconds faster than its predecessor, the 2015 Ram 1500 crew cab, that we took out for a ride. It’s still slower than the gas-powered Hemi V-8, however, which only requires 6.4 seconds to cross the 60-mph mark.

Towing

While Rams that use EcoDiesel are touted to pull 12,500+ pounds, based on settings, our trial shows the engine manages 9,500 pounds at best. That’s just half story. It also turns out that the fuel penalty is high, and the throttle response is much slower.

Surprisingly, the cheaper Hemi-equipped Rebel managed to tow 11,300 pounds.

Which Dodge is Best?

Shifting gears, the Ram, remains a top choice for drivers who’re looking for a drivable half-ton trucks with an immaculate interior. Even at different trim levels, the fuel economy remains competitive, whether you go for the Tradesman or the pricier Opulent.

Chrysler says it will start selling EcoDiesel towards the end of 2019 if they acquire federal certification on time. We only hope the EPA this time around will be in tandem with the automaker regarding the rollout. 

Here’s the caveat, fuel economy becomes noticeable once you rack up serious miles.

The pricier EcoDiesel on the 2020 Dodge Ram facilitates better fuel economy and a smoother, quieter ride. You will have to contend with the fact that you’re going to tow less than the Hemi V-8-powered counterpart, however, which also happens to be somewhat cheaper.

Feel free to contact any Taylor Diesel branch for more information on your diesel-related queries.

CategoryBlog, Diesel Trucks

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