Towing a Volkswagen eGolf - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited December 2014 in Ram
imageTowing a Volkswagen eGolf - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

Last week we tested a 2015 Volkswagen eGolf, which meant we had to tow it to and from the track using our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

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  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    edited December 2014
    The 7,500 lb tow limit is rather low for a truck in this segment. Ford, GM, and Toyota trucks all have higher payload and towing capacities. This truck is maxed out only 500 lbs more than the Chevy Colorado and when the Colorado gets the 2.8 turbo diesel 4 it may tow more. With 420 lb/ft of torque the engine has the strength to tow more and the air springs should be able to compensate for the additional weight. The engine never feels strained because it isn't really being pushed to it's limit. I think the weak link in the chain is the 8 speed transmission. I don't think it has the durability to handle the stress of heavy payloads and towing. The Ram Heavy Duty uses the older 6 speed transmission.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaMember Posts: 451
    edited December 2014
    You have to be careful when comparing advertised tow ratings. Any truckmaker's advertised number is not the capability of every truck they sell. It's a maximum, and buying the biggest engine isn't all you need to do to get it.

    The max rating they cite almost always goes with a 4x2 standard cab low-level trim with the highest-numeric optional axle ratio (and sometimes an optional payload package). The tow rating is back-calculated from the GCWR (the total combined weight of the truck and trailer that the engine and chassis can handle), and for a given engine/transmission combo the GCWR is generally the same across the board, save for differences based on the axle ratio installed. Such axle ratio differences in GCWR and tow rating are huge, too.

    Therefore, for a given engine the lightest version of the truck with the highest axle ratio tows the most. The high axle ratio pumps up the GCWR, and a light truck leaves more left over towing.

    And that's the number they advertise -- with the disclaimer "when properly equipped." Properly equipped doesn't just mean a hitch. It means NOT a crew cab, NOT 4x4, NOT a high-level trim with lots of standard equipment, but WITH the highest optional axle ratio they sell (which, by the way, will NOT deliver the advertised fuel economy).

    This is all highly misleading for the average truck buyer. The extra weight a Crew Cab (which everyone buys nowadays), "nice" trim level (only fleet customers buy the stripped-out work truck) and 4x4 (common - about 50% buy it) cuts into the amount that a truck can tow. And the standard axle ratio will never achieve the advertised tow rating because lower axle ratios equate to lower GCWRs.

    Mike is citing the ACTUAL tow rating of our particular Ram 1500 Ecodiesel. It is most certainly not "properly equipped" from the standpoint of truck advertising. Instead it is a typically-equipped model, configured they way many folks will buy one. And so it's a Crew Cab. It is dressed in the mid-level Laramie trim. It has 4-wheel drive. And it has the standard 3.55 axle ratio that actually DOES stand a chance of delivering the advertised window sticker fuel economy. That's why our particular truck's tow rating does not match the marquee number.

    The maximum EcoDiesel tow rating of 9,200 pounds is associated with a 4x2 regular cab with the optional 3.92 axle ratio. The maximum Ram 1500 tow rating of 10,650 pounds is the same configuration with the 5.7-liter HEMI.

    If our Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel had the 3.92 axle ratio it would have been rated at 8,560 pounds -- about 1,000 pounds more than what we have. Even that falls short of 9,200 because of the weight of the crew cab, 4x4 system and nicely-equipped Laramie trim level.

    There are plenty of Ford and GM trucks sitting on dealer lots that don't come within 1000 to 2,000 pounds of their advertised maximum/properly equipped tow rating and payloads either because of their particular cab/axle ratio/drive system configurations. Let's stop falling for the advertising hype because oftentimes the trucks everyone actually buys fall short of those numbers. The only tow rating number that matters is the one associated with the individual truck you happen to be looking at -- and you won't find it stamped on the door plate or clearly printed on the window sticker, either.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • grijongrijon Member Posts: 147
    @actualsize, that is hands down the best Edmunds comment I've ever read. Period. Bravo!
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