A Hotter Truck Than a Ford Raptor? - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Hotter Truck Than a Ford Raptor?

May 1, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We're often in the market to buy cars just as they are hitting dealer lots, or even slightly before. As you might expect, this makes the cars harder to find and harder to get deals, too.

We wanted to get a 2014 Ram 1500 crew cab with an EcoDiesel V6 for our long-term fleet. There are V8-powered Ram 1500s all over the place but the new diesel engine is another story.

The few trucks I found locally were in transit and spoken for. It was time to call in some backup. I contacted our friends at AutoNation Direct who have helped us locate hard-to-find long-termers such as the Chevrolet Volt and Ford Explorer.

Dealers are treating the 2014 Ram 1500 with an EcoDiesel V6 as "hot inventory," much like the Ford Raptor, said our contact at AutoNation "This is not an easy car to find right now," he told us.

He searched the entire AutoNation dealer network, and to his credit, he located a couple of trucks for us. Unfortunately, all of them had light-color interiors. This was a deal-breaker for us. Those interiors don't age well.

My colleague Phil Reed and I ran our own search and eventually found a pair of trucks that met our requirements at Fremont CDJR in Newark, Calif. The sales manager had ordered one for himself. Luckily, the other truck was on its way to the dealership and was unspoken for. Now it was time to talk numbers.

The sticker price on this truck was $53,010. There was a customer cash incentive for $2,500, which brought the price down to $50,510.

We knew this truck was in demand so we asked for a $515 discount, which would get the price to under $50,000. It seemed reasonable enough to us. The dealership said no, however, and didn't counteroffer. Fremont CDJR was holding the line at MSRP and told us we had four days to make a decision.

"Any time after that we will post a MARK UP of $3,490," Roger Jauregi, Internet manager from Fremont CDJR, wrote in an e-mail (emphasis his).

Since we wanted to be one of the first to get this truck, we had no leverage. So we reluctantly agreed to pay sticker price. If this particular engine had been on the market for a few months, we would have been able to get a significantly better deal. But this is the price you pay for being first, and that situation isn't exclusive to vehicle sales. Want one of those new 4K TVs? Expect to pay MSRP on those until months after launch.

We were able to get a $3,300 discount for the Ford Raptor when we bought it way back in 2010. For now, though, it appears that the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a hotter truck than the Raptor.

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 50 miles

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