2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Picking a City Truck
October 16, 2014
I spent a week in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500, but unlike Josh who took the Ram on a multi-state road trip, I didn't have anywhere special to go. I took the truck to and from the office, to the grocery store and the beach, all of which are less than 5 miles from home. After seven days and only about 100 miles of driving, I decided I'd rather have our old long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado for this kind of city driving.
For starters, the Silverado is faster. It went from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds during our performance test, while the Ram took 8.7 seconds. The Chevy's V8 is far more responsive at low rpm and even though our Ram was quicker through the slalom, the Silverado is much easier to maneuver through traffic. The Ram feels harder to park and heavier, largely because it is. The Silverado weighs 5,206 lbs while the Ram tips the scales at 5,877 lbs, a difference of nearly 700 pounds that feels significant at city speeds from 25-45 mph.
If I were traversing streams on a daily basis or my commute included dirt and snow, our 4x4 Ram would clearly be the right choice. Fuel economy is much better in the diesel-powered Ram too, so it's easier on the wallet. Even at speed, the Ram is quieter, but not by much (60.2 dB at 70 mph vs. 60.9 dB in the Silverado). On any long journey I'd pick the quiet and comfortable Ram, but in the city, where I do most of my driving, I'd go with the Silverado.
So why buy a truck if I just plan on using it in the city? There are plenty of reasons. If I owned a few dirt-bikes or track-toys that needed hauling on the weekends, but I still had to take my (hypothetical) kids to school during the week, I'd buy a city truck. If I worked for or owned a construction or contracting company and needed something to haul lumber, but I had a second car for weekend-fun, I'd buy a city truck. The fact that I live in sunny southern California makes four-wheel drive mostly unnecessary too, so the two-wheel-drive Ram would definitely be a contender here, but in a made-up battle between the two trucks, as they're equipped, it's the Chevy for me.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor