2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for February — How'd We Do After 50,000 Miles?
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on March 4, 2016
I miss it already. I would have bought our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Crew Cab 4x4 to have for my very own if I wasn't knee-deep in college tuition payments. It's always something, but that turns out to be a very big something.
The Ram remained a popular choice until the very end, which came when its odometer rolled past 50,000 miles. There were many things to like about it, but the torque and drivability of its 3.0-liter diesel engine, its range, and the fuel economy it delivered were right up near the top of the list.
Even with its standard 26-gallon tank — the only one offered with the EcoDiesel — this truck could be a real kidney-buster if the driver wasn't inclined to make a pit stop. Our staffers drove it more than 400 miles on a tank of fuel 68 times; 500 miles or more 32 times; and at least 600 miles on eight occasions. We even squeezed 700.2 miles out of it once.
Being a modern clean diesel, the Ram needs a constant supply of diesel exhaust fluid. We added 46.3 gallons of the stuff at a total cost of $246.99 over the course of what would be three years for most owners.
Some truck-stop stations sell DEF at the pump and that's indeed the cheapest way to go. But for us it was more convenient to buy it in 2.5-gallon jugs and pour it at home. The best and cheapest way we found to do that was buying online, where each jug sold for about $11.50, including shipping. We'd have paid a total of about $213 for all of our DEF if we'd bought it that way every time.
We found that the Ram's good-sized DEF tank could accept three 2.5-gallon jugs of the stuff in one go, but only if we waited until the DEF gauge's needle was buried in the red and the 250-mile was threatening to come on. Those 7.5 gallons typically made us good to go for another 7,500 miles. Assuming there were a few gallons in the DEF tank when we bought our truck, the math works out to an average DEF consumption of 998 mpg. Call it a thousand.
Towing was a big deal for us, and the logbook entries associated with towing amount to 9,307 miles. Our Ram was pulling a trailer 19 percent of the time it was moving, and quite possibly more if the logbook didn't get the proper notation every time.
The trailer in question was typically a car hauler hauling a car, not a blunt-faced camper, so the fuel economy didn't sag as much as it might have. Still, 6,000 pounds is 6,000 pounds. Those 9,307 towing miles came and went at an average of 18.1 mpg.
Here is a summary of the usual stats:
EPA MPG Rating: 22 Combined (19 City/27 Highway)
Average Lifetime MPG, all miles: 21.8 (4.6 gallons per 100 miles)
Lifetime MPG, towing excluded: 22.9 (4.4 gallons per 100 miles)
Lifetime MPG, towing only: 18.1 (5.5 gallons per 100 miles)
Best Fill MPG: 27.9 (20.7 when towing)
Worst Fill MPG: 17.4 (15.1 when towing)
Best Range: 700.2 miles
Final Odometer: 50,084 miles
These numbers are worth picking apart for a moment.
The same drivers that have been driving our 2015 Ford F-150 4x4 2.7-liter EcoBoost crew cab also drove this truck, and they used both of them in much the same way. The F-150 currently lags behind its EPA rating by three full mpg, but the Ram matched its EPA combined rating after a full 50,000 miles even while towing something during almost 20 percent of those miles. Ignore the towing miles and the Ram beat its EPA rating by one mpg.
That almost never happens. Color me impressed.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 50,084 miles