by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on December 21, 2015
It was time to move some of my motorcycles around on a Friday morning and the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was definitely up to the task. With the U-Haul 5x9 ramped trailer hitched up, the errands began.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 17, 2015
I forget the exact reason. All I know for certain is I was driving the 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel and I wanted/needed to get to the top of this hill. But there wasn't a trail. Not on any map, at least. After a few false starts I worked my way to a likely approach point at the base, passing the usual outer-city desert detritus along the way: random discarded tires, an old couch, a broken child safety seat, bleached-out beer cans.
The somewhat well-defined single-lane dirt road terminated at a clearing where people come to shoot things. Bullet casings, shotgun shells and clay pigeon remnants were strewn everywhere, along with unidentifiable ex-items used as targets. A few impossibly large hunks of glass suggested that at least one had been a television set.
A steep rocky track led off from there to a low-level outcrop. It seemed to be a likely waypoint, so I stabbed the 4WD Lock button and pointed the Ram up the hill.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on December 11, 2015
I'm currently completely remodeling my house. Blowing out bathroom walls and ripping up carpet naturally creates a lot of refuse. We usually store the debris in the covered patio until one of the long-term pickups is available. Then it's time to take a journey to the mystical land of the Orange County Waste and Recycling facility in Brea.
Or if you want to be poetic about it, the dump.
So when the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was available for the weekend, I jumped at the chance to tidy up the patio.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 11, 2015
A year ago, I took our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel on a 1,200-mile road trip that ended at a Tough Mudder event in Temecula, California. Tough Mudder is a global series of obstacle-course events I participate in and as you'd expect from the name, participants get pretty filthy by the finish. Running a 10-mile obstacle course can also be pretty painful, so along with the dirt, I expected a few sore muscles by the end of the day.
So when I signed up for another Tough Mudder this year, I made sure the Ram was available. It was the perfect vehicle for the job the first time around and I knew it wouldn't let me down.
by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on October 30, 2015
Alone on the freeway before sunrise, I quickly realized that, at-speed, our long-term
2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is just a little too much truck for me. Although the Ram offers a comfortable, smooth ride, I'm just not used to managing its size and weight at higher-than-lumbering speeds.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 8, 2015
I recently faced the decision of choosing which truck in our fleet to use to tow more than 700 miles. It was a big job, too — not just towing, but hauling. I would fill the cab with the most precious cargo on earth (my family), the bed with spare parts, tools and fuel, and hook a rally car and trailer behind. I chose our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
I had reasons.
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 12, 2015
When we last left our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, I was using it to tow my Acura Integra across the United States. I drove 2,600 miles for the annual Team-Integra Dragon Run and unhooked the trailer immediately. I expected to spend the majority of the trip zipping through the mountains with my Integra buddies, but it turned out that the unladen Ram got quite a bit of use too.
August 7, 2015
I've spent a lot of time with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel but I hadn't had a chance to tow with it yet. Lucky for me, there's an annual car meet in North Carolina I go to and the boss gave me approval to tow my Acura Integra there. The meet takes place on a road called the Tail of The Dragon, a curvy mountain road that's a bit of a Mecca for gear heads and I'm always up for a good road trip. So I rented a U-Haul trailer and started packing my bags.
The U-Haul car trailer weighs about 2,200 pounds and my Integra is around 2,600 pounds. Add some gear and supplies and you've got 2.5 tons (5,000 lbs) behind the Ram. I'm not the first person on staff to hook a rig up to this truck but this is definitely one of the most daunting tasks it's ever had.
June 26, 2015
We've had our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel for quite a while now. It's racked up more than 32,000 miles, has towed cars, hauled loads and road-tripped across the west. It's been praised for its comfort and criticized for not being very horny.
June 9, 2015
I do not lead an exciting enough life to justify the purchase of a truck like our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I don't own a rally car or have parents living on a beautiful and remote part of the Oregon coast. If I owned our Ram, I'd mostly commute in it and occasionally use it to haul mulch, Christmas trees and Ikea furniture.
But there's no question that I could drive this truck every day and be happy.
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 31, 2015
Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has developed a sporadic "click-click-click-clicking" noise coming from the engine bay.
March 25, 2015
Far too much time had passed since I last drove our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I don't know who to blame for the truck's utter lack of availability on the signup sheet, but as in most cases my index finger points straight at Senior Editor Josh Jacquot. And that damn rally car he's always towing around.
It sure didn't take long for me to remember just how much I love the big old lug (the Ram, not Josh). My ample commute home highlighted the Ram's smooth ride and superb interior.
But I'm also quite fond of the EcoDiesel engine. You see, it has a calming influence on me.
March 16, 2015
Twenty-six thousand miles had gone by since we added the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to our long-term fleet, and I still hadn't driven our truck. Actually, I hadn't driven any Ram 1500 since the significant round of updates for the 2013 model year. So I signed out our diesel pickup for the weekend and drove it home. As others have written, this truck is easy and enjoyable to drive.
Its relaxed character reminds me a lot of our departed long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, though with a few key differences.
March 13, 2015
We've had our 20-degree RTI ramp much longer than we've owned our 2014 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel. On more than one occasion they've been in the same room at the same time but, for one reason or another, the latter was never driven up the former.
That changed last week. I finally pointed the Ram at the ramp and crept up the slope until the big 4x4 just barely began teetering. The point at which the tiniest sliver of light is visible beneath the left rear tire is where Ramp Travel Index is measured.
On the way up, the Ram passed its first test by clearing the ramp with its underhanging aero flap, a feat the Colorado didn't come close to managing.
January 16, 2015
I'm not Dan Edmunds. The dude is a towing expert, all concerned with tongue weight and balance, brake gain and hitch drop. Nope. I'm not that guy. In fact, I've hardly towed at all. But I'm here to tell you that our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel makes towing easy.
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 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.
December 24, 2014
Recently we tested a 2015 Volkswagen eGolf. We test all electric vehicles with a full charge, and oftentimes, they are so depleted by the end of testing that they don't have range to get home. To get around this, we tow them to and from the track. This time we used our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as chauffer...
Before towing we had to do some quick math:
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 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 17, 2014
You may recall earlier this year when we headed to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for what some guy termed "The Greatest Event in Track Day History."
Well, this past weekend we headed up to the Monterey area for another one of these Friends of Mazda two-day car/motorcycle track weekends. But this time instead of using the Silverado as bike hauler and our long-term Vette as track car, we loaded my Honda CBR600RR into the bed of our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, while towing my turbo Miata on a U-Haul trailer.
Much adventure ensued.
November 11, 2014
A buddy and I loaded our Honda CBR600RRs into the bed of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel last weekend and headed to Buttonwillow Raceway Park for a moto track day. Fellow Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi joined us, finally unleashing his beast of a Yamaha R1 on the track, too.
And wouldn't you know it, we got some of the rain we've so desperately needed here in southern California.
Of all the days Mother Nature chooses to drop the watery stuff, of course it's when we're trying to ride motorcycles around a race track.
While the track day wasn't the biggest success ever for us, thanks to constantly changing conditions (it eventually started pouring in the afternoon, and we packed it in for the day), the Ram was another story.
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.
September 30, 2014
Hit the jump.
September 23, 2014
I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've towed with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I'm usually the guy around here using our long-term trucks for towing, and if I haven't used the Ram for towing yet then its likely nobody has. Dan, maybe.
This time I towed a motorcycle engine-swapped Toyota MR2 on a steel trailer from Los Angeles to Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California, and back. It was, roughly, a 1,000-mile round trip.
How'd it go? Hit the jump.
September 19, 2014
Earlier this week, I took the side rails off our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I knew I'd be doing some light off-roading over the weekend and the side rails were a minor liability. At approximately 9:42 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I headed north of Los Angeles to the closest OHV (off-highway vehicle) area, a place called Rowher Flats.
Rowher Flats has lots of staging areas and smaller courses (with varying degrees of difficulty) for dirt bikes, ATVs and short-wheelbase Jeeps, but the big, bulky Ram is better suited for the wide trail up the mountain. The Ram also has a low hanging front bumper which greatly impacts its angle of approach, so I made sure to avoid steep inclines and pointy obstacles in the center of the road. So how did the full-size pickup do?
August 5, 2014
Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is fraught with tech features. Among those is this little nugget I discovered in the truck's navigation system last week. This road trip had us crossing the Continental Divide at relatively low altitude several times in Wyoming. This isn't one of those times, but it is at some significant altitude along I-80 in Southwestern Wyoming.
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.
May 5, 2014
What can I say, I absolutely love our 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel.
Three main reasons: