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.
by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on January 21, 2016
Want to hyper-focus on the horrible slowness of your daily commute? The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is here to help. Thanks to the onboard drive computer, I know exactly how long it took me to slog through the Southern California freeway traffic.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on January 8, 2016
We're knocking on the door of 50,000 miles in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and fuel economy has pretty much leveled out. With tens of thousands of towing-miles and a good balance of city and highway miles, the Ram's numbers don't change much these days. And aside from the addition of some DEF, these last few months were no different.
Between November 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016, we added 5,200 miles to the Ram's odometer and made 12 trips to the pump. Mileage over those eight weeks averaged out to 23.1 miles per gallon. That brought the overall mileage up from 21.6 to 21.8, just below the combined EPA estimate. And honestly, that's excellent considering all the hard work we've done in this truck.
As the year came to an end, the Ram also chimed in to let us know it needed diesel exhaust fluid too.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on December 9, 2015
Last week, for the second year in a row, I was presented with a choice between our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel or a four-door family sedan for an annual road trip to my father's house in Northern California. This time, I'd have a few passengers. For the second year in a row, I chose the Ram.
Great, but what exactly does that mean?
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on November 10, 2015
We put another 1,883 miles on our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in October. More than 800 of those miles involved towing, which helped drag the Ram's lifetime average fuel economy (21.6 mpg) below the EPA's combined estimate (22 mpg) for the first time in our test.
August 16, 2015
If you want to go from the Edmunds office in Santa Monica to Deals Gap, North Carolina, there are millions of miles of road to choose from. Last week, I hooked up a trailer to our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and chose Interstate 10 for the journey east. I-10 crosses the southern United States and my trip to the Tail of The Dragon meandered a bit.
I stopped to see friends, took long breaks and soaked up the scenery. Once I'd reached my destination in North Carolina, I spent four days exploring local parks, blasting through local highways and eating all the barbecue I could get my hands on. Then I loaded up the trailer, said my goodbyes and headed home. I was weary and ready to sleep in my own bed, so the journey home would be much shorter.
August 5, 2015
July was a big month for our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as it towed a trailer across the United States. The truck did a great job pulling the heavy load, but expectedly, fuel economy suffered.
June 17, 2015
Even after 30,000 miles, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is still a pretty popular pick around here. In May, we added another 1,500 miles to the odometer and averaged 520 miles between trips to the pump.
June 1, 2015
Two acquaintances of mine recently bought 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickups. I was curious what led them to the decision to buy the Ram rather than other vehicles that might suit their needs. So I asked. Their responses follow.
May 19, 2015
If you're driving a 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, your stops for fuel can be rather infrequent. In the year that we've had our truck, we've averaged 436 miles between fill-ups. The furthest we've gone on one tank is 700.2 miles, back in November when Travis Langness drove up to Northern California.
I've been wondering, though: How far can you potentially range in a Ram 1500 with the diesel engine?
May 4, 2015
Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel did some sitting around this month, as we only added about 1,750 miles to the odometer (we're averaging about 2,200 miles a month). I'd argue it was well-deserved rest for one of our favorite workhorses, but we still managed to work in about 400 miles of towing among the light-duty commuting. We also surpassed the 30,000-mile mark.
April 14, 2015
As seems to be the case with trucks around here, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had a busy month. It covered 2,545 miles over the last four weeks with a variety of commuting and hauling responsibilities, using 105.2 gallons of diesel fuel and ticking ever closer to the 30,000-mile milestone.
April 13, 2015
It was that time again. The DEF gauge on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel was buried in the red zone. This time I decided to let it run way down for a couple of reasons.
First, I wanted to make sure it was low enough to accept three 2.5-gallon jugs, which are cheaper on a per-gallon basis than 1-gallon bottles. Last time I pulled the trigger too early and only had the confidence to add 6 gallons. For this go-around I made sure the DEF tank was empty enough to get into the no-restart countdown messages, figuring that would ensure that three 7.5-gallon jugs would fit.
Second, I wanted to see if the no-restart countdown warning was obnoxious and dire enough to trigger an EV-style range anxiety response in the pit of my stomach. Would I be sweating it or would it be no big deal?
March 9, 2015
A significant unexpected event held down the mileage added to our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel this month. It spent nearly two weeks out of commission as the dealer and Ram's corporate engineers tried to understand why it suddenly stalled.
Some 1,171 miles were added during February, but only 511 of them can be added to the fuel log. The truck had well over 400 miles on its trip odometer when it was towed, but during the course of the investigation and repairs the mechanic and field engineer drained the remaining fuel, inspected the tank, added an unknown number of gallons and made several diagnostic and confirmation drives.
Along the way the tank and fuel were ruled out as potential contributors, but their tinkering means we have no way of determining the number of gallons that were consumed by the engine during this period. All we could do was top-off the tank when we got the truck back in order to put everything back on track for next month.
The 511 miles we can account for came in a single tank that was consumed at a rate of 22.6 mpg, which kept our Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 4x4's lifetime average at 22.3 mpg. Both figures compare favorably to its official 22 mpg EPA combined rating.
February 9, 2015
January wasn't the most eventful month for our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel but we still managed to pile on another 1,400 miles, tow a car, haul a motorcycle and back over our neighbor's flowers.
Numbers are on the other side.
January 9, 2015
We put only about 1,500 miles on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel in December. We didn't tow and there were no road trips. In other words, it was a slow month. Best fill (17.1 mpg), worst fill (27.9 mpg) and best range (700.2 miles) remain the same as last month.
Click through for all the details.
January 6, 2015
The DEF gauge on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel sank into the red zone as I towed Josh's racecar southward towards home. I know what you're thinking: "Didn't they add DEF just a few weeks ago?"
Well yes, and no. Yes, we last filled the tank on October 25. And, yes, the day I added it was November 30.
But you must remember this: We put over 5,000 miles on our Ram in November alone. That's anywhere from three to five months for most people. We had driven 5,335 miles since our last DEF add, and a good percentage of those were towing miles.
Also, the DEF tank wasn't quite empty when I added my 6 gallons. The warning lights had not yet come on. I could have stretched it out another 500 miles or more. But the needle was clearly in the red, and I don't like handing over a vehicle with an impending issue to the next guy or gal.
Besides, I'd never yet added DEF to any vehicle. I was curious.
December 22, 2014
With the Thanksgiving festivities behind us, it was time to prepare for the 1,040-mile drive home. But this wasn't a simple matter of loading ourselves into the cab and sliding our suitcases under a tarp in the bed and waving goodbye. Before we could set out I first had to drive across Bend to pick up a trailer.
One of my co-workers had bought a rally-prepped Subaru RS 2.5 from someone that just happened to live nearby. The transaction had been in the "deposit" stage for some weeks while he made plans to come up and get it, but then we both realized two things: I was going to be in Bend for my own reasons, and I had already signed out the 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel so I could collect the contents of my daughter's dorm room at the University of Oregon.
I stopped for more diesel fuel on the way over to grab the trailer even though I didn't strictly need it yet. A fresh top-up would isolate the non-towing miles from the towing ones in the logbook. So with "just" 372 miles on the clock the attendant added 15.824 gallons.
That works out to 23.5 mpg for a tank that included a fair bit of messing around on dirt roads, sightseeing and driving around town. Taking all three tanks together, the entire 1,513-mile trip to this point had gone down at 24.7 mpg.
December 16, 2014
The second phase of our trip saw us leave the Oregon coast behind in our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel and head inland to Bend. Along the way we stopped in Eugene to pick up our eldest daughter at the University of Oregon. I also refilled it (had it refilled; pump-your-own-gas in not allowed in Oregon) with more diesel before the four of us headed farther east.
This was only our second fuel stop after 1,140 miles on the road. The first had been in Willits, Calif., some 557 miles behind us. Our friendly Eugene station attendant added 21.451 gallons, which works out to 26.0 mpg. Not bad for a tank that was almost exclusively comprised of meandering two-lane roads that hugged the coastline, wound alongside rivers and climbed over more than a few grades and hills, including a handful of trips up Dad's half-mile long 15-percent driveway.
Bend is on the east side of the Cascade Range, and when we arrived there was snow on the ground. It had snowed a few days earlier, and it was fairly cold, but not yet Polar Vortex cold. Still, this gave us the chance to appreciate a couple of cold-weather Ram features.
December 11, 2014
Regular readers of the escapades of our long-term test fleet are well aware of my semi-regular forays north to my parents' place on the stunning Oregon coast. This time our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel got the nod. This choice wasn't much of a choice because I had two additional objectives beyond visiting Mom and Dad and spending Thanksgiving with my wife's family over in Bend, Oregon.
I needed to stop at the University of Oregon in Eugene to load up my eldest daughter's dorm room. The Toyota Highlander could have handled that, but I also volunteered to tow a racecar back to southern California for a co-worker. How could I not? He happened to buy his rally-prepped Subaru Impreza 2.5RS from a guy that lived no more than five miles from where we'd be devouring our turkey.
December 4, 2014
November was a busy month for our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Nearly 5,200 miles were added, and about half of them resulted from a Thanksgiving road trip to Oregon I still haven't told you very much about.
The above photograph hints at what was going on, for half the time, at least. Yes, I towed a trailer containing a rally car all the way back. You can't see from here, but the bed and cab are all loaded with tires and the contents of my eldest daughter's dorm room. And the wooden splash panel on the nose of the trailer is concealing a massive steel Jobox tool box filled with a few hundred pounds of spare car parts. The car itself is packed with more tires, three packed suitcases and trash bags full of clothes and bedding.
So it should come as no surprise that I reset the Ram's worst tank this month. After all, I towed the lot from Bend, Oregon over Santiam Pass to Eugene and then south along Interstate 5 over numerous other passes until we crested the Siskiyou Summit and rolled down into Yreka, California for a stretch and some more diesel fuel.
But that new "worst" tank was still a respectable 17.1 mpg. Not bad for towing in the mountains with what I figure is about 6,000 pounds of added weight, possibly more. And the subsequent all-towing tanks that finished the 1,040-mile trip home were 19.4 and 20.5 mpg.
It would seem that diesel pays its biggest dividends to those that tow.
November 24, 2014
When we left off Laguna Seca Track Day, Part 1, I had arrived in my typical late fashion to the hotel the night before the two-day car/motorcycle track weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had performed well on the drive to Monterey, hauling my sportbike in the bed while towing my turbo Miata on a trailer.
Early the next morning it was a quick drive to the track, and that's when things got interesting.
November 7, 2014
Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had a busy month, setting two new records for range and fuel economy, and adding 2,456 miles to the odometer. The two new records were achieved in consecutive fill-ups, where the Ram went 700 miles on one tank of fuel and averaged 27.9 miles per gallon on the next tank.
November 6, 2014
By day four of my road trip in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, I'd gone 1,200 miles and I was in a bit of pain. The truck didn't cause this discomfort, though. On day three, I had run an 8-mile Spartan Race in northern California then driven 500 miles to participate in an obstacle course called Tough Mudder the very next day.
If anything, the truck's excellent ride quality (combined with the ability to plug in a massage pillow) made the Ram a much better friend to me than I was to myself. So far, the truck had performed flawlessly.
November 4, 2014
The first leg of my road trip in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was easy. I went 450 miles in eight hours without any discomfort. Day two in Nevada City, I ran errands and drove over the rolling hills near Tahoe National Forest. At this point, I was about 600 miles into my trip and things were going very well, but the most painful miles were yet to come.
October 2, 2014
In the month of September, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel added 2,400 miles onto its odometer and drank nearly 120 gallons of diesel fuel. That equates to 20 miles per gallon for the month.
September 30, 2014
Hit the jump.
September 5, 2014
During the month of August, we put 2,272 miles on the odometer of our long-term 2014 Ram 1500, which required just over 100 gallons of diesel fuel. Those miles included the tail end of a road trip where the Ram was busy hauling lots of people and gear, as well as plenty of city miles in stop-and-go traffic.
August 15, 2014
Shortly after the Wyoming road trip I took the Ram to Northern California. Though the driving conditions weren't ideal, they were better than what we experienced on our way to the Tetons.
August 7, 2014
Thanks to a long road trip our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel racked up 3,795 miles in July and consumed almost 173 gallons of diesel fuel. That works out to 22.2 mpg, slightly below the truck's 23 mpg combined rating. We also added diesel exhaust fluid on multiple occasions.
We made incremental improvements by increasing the Ram's best range from 600 to 607 miles and improving its best fill from 25.4 mpg to 25.5 mpg. Small gains, which is surprising given the 3,000-mile road trip the truck endured last month.
July 03, 2014
In the month of June, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel spun an additional near-1,200 miles onto its odometer and consumed 56 gallons of diesel fuel. That equates to 20.8 miles per gallon for the month.
June 10, 2014
In May we clocked about 2,000 miles on our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. At the 4,000-mile mark the Ram's lifetime mpg was sitting dead-on the EPA combined estimate of 23 mpg despite many highway miles. We're currently at about 4,411 miles but haven't filled the truck in June.
May 28, 2014
Our new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has a capless fuel filler, but you'd never know it from the picture above. The little green insert may look like the worlds lamest fuel cap, but in reality it's a throwaway piece the dealer was supposed to remove and toss aside as part of the pre-delivery inspection.
What's it for? It's part of the fuel tank sub-assembly, which arrives at the assembly plant with the filler neck in place. This little cap is there to prevent material from going down the neck and into the tank during shipping, handling and final assembly at the plant.
May 7, 2014
Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel promises to deliver stout fuel economy without compromising on trucky capability. We've only got a hair over 2,000 miles on our brand-new steed (sheep?), so it's too early to deliver any kind of verdict on the fuel economy front, natch.