Fuel Economy Update for February — How'd We Do After 50,000 Miles? - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited June 2017 in Ram
Fuel Economy Update for February — How'd We Do After 50,000 Miles? - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

Our 2014 Ram 1500 is gone, but not before it collected more than 50,000 miles and impressed us by beating its EPA combined fuel economy rating.

Read the full story here


  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisMember Posts: 509
    Par for the course with a diesel engine. Diesel fuel contains more energy potential than gasoline. Add that to the low-end torque and you've got a magic combination.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    It would be interesting if you would get it smog checked. Just to see...
  • banhughbanhugh Member Posts: 315
    ebeaudoin said:

    Par for the course with a diesel engine. Diesel fuel contains more energy potential than gasoline. Add that to the low-end torque and you've got a magic combination.

    So what prevents this magic during the EPA consumption rating?
  • prndlolprndlol Member Posts: 140
    Again, I am impressed that Dodge, without the massive investment Ford had for its current F series actually delivered a truck which is generally considered better all around than the Ford.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    No trouble meeting its EPA ratings, nice. 22 combined for a vehicle of this size and capability is definitively impressive. The diesel is still a very expensive engine option upfront, though, so if I wasn't frequently using it as a tow and long-haul vehicle, I'd probably eat the daily fuel costs and enjoy the impressive acceleration of the F150 Ecoboosts. This Ram is pretty pokey down the onramp.
  • g35bufg35buf Member Posts: 89
    Owning a 2015 Laramie EcoDiesel in this exact config, my mileage is dead on what Edmunds got with approx 19 mpg in my 1,000 miles of towing 5,000 lbs. I 'only' have 12,000 miles on my EcoD overall, however. The best description of driving this powertrain is 'relaxed'. So much torque down low that you rarely do much driving above 2,000 rpm.

    That being said, I had a 2014 Big Horn with the Hemi prior and that was a super reliable and fun truck that got decent mileage for a powerful gas V8 (about 16.5 mpg in mixed driving). With sub-$2 gas, I wouldn't mind having the Hemi at this point from an entertainment standpoint.

    In my opinion, the biggest single advantage of RAM vs the other half tons is the coil rear suspension. The difference is more extreme than most reviewers point out. As a daily driver, having a pickup that rides and handles like a large SUV or even a large sedan is a big deal - especially when empty.
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    edited March 2016
    If I'm not mistaken, the F150 being driven by Edmunds is not even achieving its EPA "city" fuel economy rating overall. That's atrocious. And, it's why I did not buy a Ford truck, ultimately. Instead, I took the plunge on a 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab EcoDiesel, although I paid $9,500 below MSRP -- unlike Edmunds who may have paid sticker?

    Only a few hundred miles so far, but the fuel economy on the first fill-up, after a mix of town (including snowy/muddy dirt roads) and highway driving here (in New Hampshire), and hauling 500+ pounds of stuff on three occasions back from Costco (all highway), was 22.8 MPG. By comparison, my 2006 Xterra, which reliably got 20 MPG in mostly highway California driving, only gets 17 MPG in the driving here (in NH). And it will soon be sold to clear space in the garage. The Ram is a biggun'.

    My truck is the 6'4" bed Big Horn version. Very comfortable, but we bought it for the utility, now that we live on a farm.
  • nagantnagant Member Posts: 176
    Too bad it crapped out on an editor and left him stranded. Sure the ED gets its EPA MPGs......but it costs $6k more than the Hemi......how many years will it take to make up for just that cost?
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    edited March 2016
    nagant said:

    Too bad it crapped out on an editor and left him stranded. Sure the ED gets its EPA MPGs......but it costs $6k more than the Hemi......how many years will it take to make up for just that cost?

    Nothing wrong with being a Ford apologist, or whatever your agenda is. But you're wrong about the extra cost the EcoDiesel option necessitates vs. the Hemi, and to cite an isolated incident that left a single motorist stranded is not statistically significant. Of far more concern IMO is the non-existent fuel savings promised by the 'military grade aluminum' of the F150, the inability of the F150 for most drivers to meet its EPA fuel economy figures, and the inexplicably inconvenient design of the motor oil level-checking procedure (and resulting problems) in the F150 EB. Speaking of Ford, do you happen to be familiar with a Brit known for losing a gig on a car TV show of some repute? His experience with a Ford GT in 2005 (that he actually purchased) was pure lemon. Does that impugn all of the GTs Ford produced as its halo car a decade ago? No. I'm not aware of any other 1500 Ram ED failures as experienced by Edmunds (and yes, I read the forums).

    You may be thinking of the extra cost the awesome Cummins 6.7 liter option requires over the V8 in the Ram 2500. And probably worth it for most who choose it. As is the $3k cost premium, all other things being equal, for the 3 liter ED in the Ram 1500.

    In my second fill-up, just a few hours ago, after 514 additional miles of town/highway driving, but unladen except for my wife and our five (yes, 5) dogs aboard this time, my ED-equipped Ram returned 25.37 mpg. So, in its 1059 total miles clocked to date, it has averaged 24 mpg. Not bad for a break-in period, and the ride is superior to any of the other brands I diligently tested, including Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota. I also looked at the new Nissan Titan XD -- which was then only available for viewing, not driving -- several months ago in this area. I thought it was an abomination, and I will be shocked if Nissan meets their sales targets. Less performance and capability, yet costs more than a real "heavy duty" pickup. For example, the only XD available in my area a few weeks back was in their 'SV' trim. MSRP of $55k, and the dealer wasn't moving off that price. Yet the Ram 2500 with Cummins 6.7 and its 880 lb ft of torque (!!) could be had for $51k. And the Titan XD is a full second slower from 0-60 than my Ram 1500 ED. Good luck, Nissan.
  • g35bufg35buf Member Posts: 89
    edited March 2016
    I honestly don't get the buying DEF in the 2.5 gallon containers for several reasons: 1) Cost - DEF at the pump is about $2.90 a gallon or less. 2) Filling accuracy - you should never overfill your DEF tank. At a pump, wait for it to click off and you are accurately topped off with DEF. And you don't have to wait for the "will not start message" to jam in 3 - 2.5 gallon jugs. 3) Simple convenience - Pulling up to a DEF pump if just as easy as normal fueling.

    Edmunds EcoDiesel really ate DEF. My last fill took 6.5 gallons of DEF at the pump at 9,500 miles since the last DEF top off (1,462 miles per gallon of DEF). My driving and towing is similar to the Edmunds profile (and in cooler weather here in Western NY).
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    In case anybody reads these archived reviews and comments... My 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 4WD CrewCab (6'4" bed) with BIg Horn package has now surpassed 3,300 miles. Still just an infant in what's hoped to be a long and useful life, but our overall fuel economy to date is 24.4 MPG, which is calculated based on 3,336 miles of mixed driving and 136.8 gallons of diesel. Diesel at my local 'Irving' fuel station in Tilton, NH was $2.06 per gallon yesterday, and regular unleaded gasoline was a penny higher! Our last tank yielded a driving range of 640 miles, and we still had a bit more than 1.5 gallons based on our fill-up. That tank's MPG was 26.35, with quite a bit of highway driving and typically just two passengers this time.
  • gregsfc1gregsfc1 Member Posts: 29
    There is no bigger diesel engine fan than me as my power of choice for any class vehicle; even more so for a truck. If batteries could ever be developed that provided great range, were durable, and cheap, then I might be persuaded towards electric, since nothing beats an electric motor for simplicity, reliability, durability, and efficiency. Problem is though, we can't plug up our cars and go very far and batteries still suck and cost too much no matter what those with an agenda try to say otherwise.

    But back to diesels. A well designed diesel is great, and this ED is just about right for what I had in mind for a truck. It's about the right power/torque and efficiency. Very refined (as most modern diesels are), and loads of low-end torque, which gives one a feeling of luxury when driving. It's what I wanted in my fantasy world. But that truck doesn't exist.

    The engine and power train is great for what I needed, but the truck is not anything like what I wanted. And the price was out of the range of what I'd be willing to pay even before the diesel cost is added in. I was in the market for a work truck; not a luxury vehicle with a bed. The truck I was going to choose had to fit in my carport; be easy to drive around town; not take half a day to wash and wax it. I wanted a new truck; not someone else's problems. It had to be a compact extra cab or a standard cab, full-size, short bed. It had to be under $30K; maybe up to $31K if it sported my favorite engine type. But that was it. The Ram Ecodiesel doesn't work. I found it available only in a Quad cab; I found it with lots of extra goodies that I didn't want to pay for beyond the price of the diesel. It was too big and too expensive. The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon Duramax was likewise, too much truck (only in a crew cab) and way, way too expensive for a compact truck, It's the only way GM will let you drive one of their trucks with that great, little diesel engine. Too bad!

    So the naysayers were out about the Ecoboost as it relates to the F150 and fuel eonomy. No better than 17 most reviewers stated; maybe more like 15 or 16. I did some thinking...I could choose a Ram with the Penstar or the GM 4.3 V6, but they're pretty weasely by comparison to the diesels, the V8, or the Ecoboosts when it comes to low and midrange torque,, and being used to diesels, I don't think I could handle that. I also couldn't stand the idea of a gas guzzler, and that was my risk with any of the gas engines, and according to reviews, I could not get decent mpg with an F150 and an Ecoboost. But that didn't make complete sense to me. If Ford had developed a standard cab pickup truck with the EB that was less than 4200 pounds and 350 lb-foot of torque from 1900-5000, and it was only a 2.7-liter V6, and therefore one doesn't have to give it much gas or generate much horsepower to make it go, being that light, with a 6-speed tranny, in that small configuration, and get one with 3.31 rear axle ratio; I should do pretty well. And best of all, if the mpg thing works out, I can have it for way under $30K.

    So now I've got the truck that I want...A standard cab, short bed, 2wd with pwr glass and cruise control and a few other features that I didn't want but had to take in order to get the first two; I've got a truck that's definitely got near diesel-like torque. It's got more horses than I need, but I dare not use them until which time I need them. After 19 fill ups, I'm averaging 24; carefully measured and calculated. A low tank at 21.4 and a high of 25.3.

    The diesel would be better. I'd absolutely love it, except that I'd have to drive a luxury, monster truck to drive it. No thanks!
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    Another update in case anybody is reading these archived reviews. My 2016 RAM 4WD Crew Cab 'Big Horn' with EcoDiesel engine now has about 5,500 miles on it. In my last fill-up, albeit still having half a tank (per the gauge) after 446 miles, it took 15.442 gallons before the pump clicked off. About half that mileage was highway driving, but not always at the speed limit because of traffic between NH and MA. However, if you do the math, that 'tank' yielded 28.88 MPG. WIth just two passengers aboard, and little in the way of cargo except for the amazing amount of stuff it's possible to carry in the rear passenger compartment and still have room for our 'perimeter security team' (i.e. our miniature dachshunds).

    Overall fuel economy in 5.5k miles of driving since I bought the truck new on January 29 this year is 24.6 MPG. Per the truck's computer, my average speed in that time is about 38 MPH. I bet if we did an extended highway road trip that 'Ray Ray Rambo' would get 27 MPG. If you need/want a big vehicle that gets such fuel economy, this RAM EcoDiesel is a good choice. My buddy in Juneau, AK who drives a 2014 F150 'EcoBoost' gets about 17 MPG overall, and his best tank fuel economy ever was 21 MPG in virtually all highway driving. Your mileage may vary. :)
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    Another update on my RAM ED, which as of yesterday had 9,224 miles, and underwent its first oil change. Rather than pay a dealer (whose quotes ranged from $99 -- which I doubted due to this dealer's poor reputation for integrity -- to $199), I bought the materials myself. Per recommendations on the RAM EcoDiesel forum, I purchased an EcoGuard oil filter (identical seemingly to the overpriced OEM version which costs about $40 or more) for $10.57 from Amazon, and 3 gallons of Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 full synthetic for $21.36 per gallon from Walmart. I contemplated a Fumoto oil plug valve as a replacement for the factory plug, but decided it wasn't much of a convenience. So, about $75 for my DIY oil change, and it took me about 45 minutes, with most of that time spent waiting for the 10.5 quarts of original oil to drain out. I parked the RAM on ramps to enable my 4 gallon bucket to sit under the oil pan plug; even without the ramps, there's plenty of room for me to shinny under this truck, but I'm built like Abe Lincoln rather than William Howard Taft. The oil drain plug is easily accessed. Ditto the oil filter, albeit from above -- via the engine bay -- and as a result doesn't make nearly the mess that under engine filters have (at least for me, e.g. in my 2006 Xterra) a tendency to do.

    I also added 5 gallons of DEF, purchased at Walmart for $7.88 per 2.5 gallon bottle. There are no truck stops convenient to our town, nor within a reasonable drive, so I opted for this solution rather than making a 45-minute trip each way to "save" a few dollars at a truck stop with DEF at the pump. My DEF gauge indicated that I had just under 1/4 tank remaining. After adding 5 gallons, my DEF gauge now reads about 7/8 full.

    Having tracked every fuel fill-up since new, I can confidently state that my cumulative fuel economy to date is 25.1 MPG. Better than I expected, and apparently the result of our particular combination of town/highway driving here in NH being a sweet spot for this truck's fuel consumption.
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    Surpassed 12k miles a week ago, and now averaging -- over the lifetime of this 2016 RAM 1500 ED 4WD CrewCab w/6'4" bed -- 24.6 MPG. (Winter driving, with 4WD necessitated at times, esp. when crawling up the muddy road to our farmhouse, brings reduced fuel economy...)

    Total DEF added to date is just 7.5 gallons, and the DEF gauge reads almost 100%; I added the 3rd 2.5 gallon jug just last week.

    We'll be donning a truck 'cap' as they call them here in New England, in a couple of weeks, in preparation for our move to TX and needing cover to haul our pet chickens (I kid you not), while our utility trailer will be laden with our Kawasaki Mule during the 2,100 mile trip to the "HIll Country". Will be interested to see the fuel economy as a result over such protracted highway driving.
  • mgmartinmgmartin Member Posts: 1
    Just thought I'd say a big thanks for all of the input on the Ram Truck models and the fuel efficiency. It's always great to hear the aftermarket feedback.
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