2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Performance Testing
July 31, 2014
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.
Driver: Mike Monticello
Drive Type: Front engine, Four-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 8-speed automatic
Engine Type: turbocharged, V6, diesel
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,988 / 182
Redline (rpm): 4,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 240 @ 3,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 420 @ 2,000
Brake Type (front): 13.2-inch one-piece ventilated with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.8-inch one-piece ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type(front): Upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Solid axle, multi-link with track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, twin-tube shock absorbers
Tire Size (front): P275/60R20 114S M+S
Tire Size (rear): P275/60R20 114S M+S
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Wrangler SR-A
Tire Type: All-Season, low rolling resistance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 5,877
Acceleration 0-30 (sec): 2.6 (w/TC on 3.2)
0-45 (sec): 5.2 (w/TC on 5.9)
0-60 (sec): 8.7 (w/TC on 9.5)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 8.4 (w/TC on 9.1)
0-75 (sec): 13.8 (w/TC on 14.5)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.4 @ 81.1 (w/TC on 16.9 @ 81.0)
30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 128
Slalom (mph): 58.2 w/ESC on
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.76 (0.76 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,800
Acceleration comments: The Ecodiesel Ram gets off the line well, with little-to-no lag and then it's just a smooth affair on down the drag strip. Shifts are on the slow side, but nice and supple. Upshifts occur at 4,000 rpm. Overlapping throttle and brake prior to launch to spool up the turbo improves the acceleration time. Our quickest run came using that method, plus the 4WD Auto mode, which gives perfect traction. Manual shifting is possible via tiny buttons on the front of the steering wheel, but doing so proved slower. It will hold gears to the 4,500-rpm rev limiter in manual mode, but it does not blip the throttle on manual downshifts.
Braking comments: As you'd expect there's a decent amount of nosedive with this Ram, but it's not bad and the stops stay well-controlled. Brake pedal travel and feel are moderate, or, just about right. Overall the distances remained consistent, with the first stop the shortest at 128 feet, the third stop the longest at 134 feet and the fifth and final stop at 131 feet. Although there was significant brake odor from the first stop on, we noticed no pedal fade.
Slalom: This is one of the best-handling full-size pickup trucks ever. You can thank the coil-spring rear suspension (versus the traditional leaf spring in the rear) along with reasonably intuitive and precise-for-a-pickup steering. Also helping here is a stability control system that isn't overly intrusive at adding brakes to the equation when the truck gets to its limits. The best slalom run came while using 4WD Auto mode, which helps to keep the rear in line, especially when accelerating around the final cone.
Skidpad: Again, this is a pretty remarkable grip number for a big pickup. Here the stability control was pretty involved, but well-deserved, as we couldn't achieve a better number with traction control turned off. The feedback through the steering wheel that lets you know what the front tires are up to as you drive through a corner is rare, but certainly welcome.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 8,969 miles