2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Rowher Flats Off-Roading

September 19, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Earlier this week, I took the side rails off our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I knew I'd be doing some light off-roading over the weekend and the side rails were a minor liability. At approximately 9:42 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I headed north of Los Angeles to the closest OHV (off-highway vehicle) area, a place called Rowher Flats.

Rowher Flats has lots of staging areas and smaller courses (with varying degrees of difficulty) for dirt bikes, ATVs and short-wheelbase Jeeps, but the big, bulky Ram is better suited for the wide trail up the mountain. The Ram also has a low hanging front bumper which greatly impacts its angle of approach, so I made sure to avoid steep inclines and pointy obstacles in the center of the road. So how did the full-size pickup do?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Removing the Step Bars

September 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

A while back, Dan Edmunds asked if you, the readers, thought we should lose the step bars on our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Like many of you, my response was, "Yes."

So this weekend, to prepare for a bit of light off-roading, I removed the rails. It would give me more clearance along dirt roads. And I think they make our truck look a bit clunky. Plus, I'm always looking for an excuse to get my hands dirty. Cue the workshop music.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Parksense Foibles

September 15, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 is a Laramie, so it comes standard with a rearview camera, but front and rear parking sensors (Parksense as Ram calls them) are a $395 option.

Since I live in a crowded city and I parallel park quite a bit (yes, I've parallel parked the Ram about a dozen times over the last week) parking sensors are a bumper-saving piece of equipment that I'd opt for, but this particular system has a few issues.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Plug-In Power

September 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This simple outlet in our 2014 Ram 1500 is often one of its most useful features, at least for people who need to randomly fire up a laptop on the road.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 5, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

During the month of August, we put 2,272 miles on the odometer of our long-term 2014 Ram 1500, which required just over 100 gallons of diesel fuel. Those miles included the tail end of a road trip where the Ram was busy hauling lots of people and gear, as well as plenty of city miles in stop-and-go traffic.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Broken Interior Light. Still Broken

September 2, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Possibly you remember the broken interior light in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Last month when I took the truck in for its first service the dealer ordered the part. A few weeks later I received a notice that the part, a small bezel to locate the lamp in the seat bottom, had arrived and that it would be held until this week.

What? Held until this week? What if we couldn't get the truck there by then?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Good-Looking Gauges

August 29, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Of the Big Truck Trio, the Silverado gauges have a cool and techy design touch, with the large speedometer and tach buttressing a bridge of four octagonal secondary gauges. Nice modern theme, with a splash of Corvette. The new F-150 forgoes analog secondary gauges altogether for a full-blown customizable 8-inch digital display anchoring speedo and tach and lightsaber-like needles.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Audio Review

August 26, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The sound system in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is awesome. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display and the 10-speaker stereo are standard on all Laramie's. There's plenty of bass to fill the cabin, and the touchscreen interface is one of the easiest to use on the market today. On top of all of that, this thing catalogs and indexes my music at lightning speed.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Short-Bed Problems

August 25, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Look, I'm with you guys. I don't get short-bed pickup trucks. But when I needed to transport a motorcycle and our 2014 Ram EcoDiesel was the only thing available, I wasn't going to complain. Until now.

Weird proportions of a crew cab, short-bed truck aside, not being able to close the tailgate of a full-sized pickup truck behind a normal-sized motorcycle is kind of...sad. It's also a little nerve wracking, especially when you're bombing down one of L.A.'s dismal freeways only to look in the mirror and see nothing more than four ratchet straps keeping your motorcycle from sitting in the passenger seat of the Prius behind you.

But I digress.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Cupholders. Big Ones.

August 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If there's one thing our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel does well it's cupholders. Seriously, check it out. I bet there's room for 800 calories there if you're drinking Mountain Dew. I love trucks.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: More Road Trip Fuel Economy

August 15, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

In case you missed the July fuel economy update on our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, here's the latest on its fuel consumption.

Shortly after the Wyoming road trip I took the Ram to Northern California. Though the driving conditions weren't ideal, they were better than what we experienced on our way to the Tetons.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Busy First Service

August 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I took our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in early for its first service. With the odometer reading approximately 9,000, the service came about 1,000 miles before Chrysler recommends, but I was about to leave on a 1,000-plus mile trip and there were other more pressing reasons to see the dealer.

Including a check-engine light.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for July

August 7, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Thanks to a long road trip our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel racked up 3,795 miles in July and consumed almost 173 gallons of diesel fuel. That works out to 22.2 mpg, slightly below the truck's 23 mpg combined rating. We also added diesel exhaust fluid on multiple occasions.

We made incremental improvements by increasing the Ram's best range from 600 to 607 miles and improving its best fill from 25.4 mpg to 25.5 mpg. Small gains, which is surprising given the 3,000-mile road trip the truck endured last month.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Photos From the Road Part 2

August 6, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I'm still sitting on a few decent shots of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel from last week's trip. There's no point in letting these rot in my digital archive when they can flourish here on the web. So, without further ado, here you go.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Navigation System Nugget

August 5, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is fraught with tech features. Among those is this little nugget I discovered in the truck's navigation system last week. This road trip had us crossing the Continental Divide at relatively low altitude several times in Wyoming. This isn't one of those times, but it is at some significant altitude along I-80 in Southwestern Wyoming.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Photos From the Road

August 04, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Last week our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. We were appreciating the great vastness and stunning beauty of the American West. We rode bikes, fished and rafted.

Here are a few shots of the Ram along the way. And other good stuff.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Driving Impressions From the Road

August 1, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Last week I returned from a 3,000-plus-mile road trip in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. The route took us north from southern California through Nevada, through a little corner of Arizona, a large swath of Utah and into Wyoming. We spent a few days in Idaho's Teton Valley on the west side of the Tetons.

It was epic. But the driving conditions weren't ideal. With temps in the 90s — minimum — nearly every day, it wasn't easy going on the Ram's powertrain. We topped out at 8,431 feet on Teton Pass west of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Hundreds of miles were spent pounding across the desert in 100-plus-degree temps. Wyoming was windy and provided 25-mph head and crosswinds.

In other words, I got a good sampling of conditions. Following are a few observations.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Performance Testing

July 31, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Since we took delivery of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel back in April, it's hauled the typical cargo, a variety of two-wheeled vehicles, and made a summer vacation trek to and from Wyoming (posts forthcoming). In that time, The Ram has also secured its place as our favorite pickup for its styling, features and compliant suspension.

This diesel truck is also no slouch when it comes to performance, so we ran it through our usual battery of tests to confirm this.

The following performance numbers were obtained shortly after the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel joined our long-term fleet.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Two Glove Boxes

July 21, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has two glove boxes.

Because one glove box absolutely, positively won't do.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Will the iPad Fit?

July 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Because our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a Wi-Fi hotspot and we've activated it for service, I plan to take a Wi-Fi-only iPad on my next road trip. But where should I put it?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Makeshift Bike Rack

July 17, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

It's possible you remember the makeshift bike rack I built for our 2014 Chevy Silverado a few months back.

Because I'm driving the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to Wyoming next week and taking bikes I needed something similar. Problem is, the Ram's 5.5-foot bed isn't long enough to accommodate bikes using the one slot it offers for holding a 2x6 board vertically. That slot is between the wheel wells and the tailgate so the bikes would need to face backwards, and they're too long for that.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Needs a Bumper Step

July 16, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

What's missing in this shot of our Ram's bumper?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Well-Lit Entry

July 15, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This is a shot of the courtesy lights on our 2014 Ram 1500. They come on when you unlock the doors and as you can see they do a pretty nice job of lighting up the area around the truck.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Adjustable Pedals

July 14, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has adjustable pedals. They can be moved fore and aft using this switch on the side of the steering column.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Tire Rub

July 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel's tires rub the wheel wells. It only happens in certain situations, at full steering lock when passing over a bump. In other words, it happens every time I pull out of my driveway, which doesn't have an aggressive transition.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Ram 1500 in VA is:

$134 per month*
* Explanation
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