2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Confident When Wet
December 30, 2014
Alert FEMA and the media. It rained for more than 24 hours in Southern California recently. Couple of times, actually. Yes, it's predictable and boring to discuss the weather, especially rain in the Southland, almost as predictable as the bad behavior of the wet weather drivers who live here. Nice to have the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel on days like this.
I'll never understand it. Roughly half of the current population of Los Angeles County was born elsewhere (or so say the last census findings). This data doesn't parse how much of the population is of driving age, but let's assume it's significant. Let's also assume that they've also come from wetter climates and have, presumably, some experience driving in weather. It's possible that natives, who aren't conditioned to moisture, are mostly responsible for the dependably bad behavior when conditions get slippery around here.
Take the Ram out on a rainy highway and you notice there's a force field around it. The speeding Corolla in the rearview mirror, skating on its 195 tires, gives the Ram a wide berth. It's clear who loses that tangle. Even during a measured pass of a semi, the Ram feels like it belongs. The slick rain-sensing wipers, which performed admirably for us in Oregon and northern California, keep the view clear.
To me, the Ram's real confidence in the wet comes from it brakes. Very progressive, deceleration and control that feels directly linked to pressure and effort. No surprise that the brakes performed pretty well on dry surfaces. In testing, our long-term Ram stopped from 60 mph in 135 feet, a legit distance for a 6,020-pound mass.
Here's what Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton had this to say about the long-term Ram's brakes in testing:
"In normal driving, the pedal has shallow-but-intuitive initial bite and in our emergency stops, it has medium-firm feel (always) and travels only part way to the floor. This isn't typical of most trucks and its better because of it. Good fade resistance without loss of feel or effectiveness."
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor