2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test - Audio & Technology
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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: City Life Requires Parking Helpers

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

When I parked our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel outside my apartment, the street was clear and there were no other cars to worry about. I just pulled the Ram up curbside, folded in the mirrors and walked away. A few hours later though, I found the Ram gently wedged in between two cars, owners unknown.

The Toyota Corolla behind the Ram is about six inches off the rear bumper while the driver of the Ford Escape was much more generous, leaving at least 14 inches of wiggle room. Clearly, there was some tricky maneuvering in my future.  

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Protecting Our Truck From Hackers

July 24, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

You may have heard of the Jeep Cherokee that was hacked and crashed by two professional computer scientists?

They exposed a flaw in the UConnect infotainment system that allowed them to take control of many of the vehicle's systems, gaining access by hacking into the vehicle's cellular connection used for on-board WiFi and other diagnostic services.

After sharing their findings with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the parent company of Ram, a recall was issued to update the UConnect system to address the vulnerability.

Since our Ram uses the same UConnect system found in the Cherokee, we figured it was a good idea to install the security patch as soon as possible. I went to FCA's website, put in our Ram's vehicle identification number and confirmed it was affected. The website then showed me a step-by-step guide to downloading and installing the update myself. I also had the option to simply take it to the dealer to have them do the update.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Retains Accessory Power For Up To 10 Minutes After Engine Shutdown

June 23, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This week I discovered another of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel's many configurable settings, this time for retained accessory power.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Five Reasons Why UConnect Rocks

May 20, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I really like the optional 8.4-inch touchscreen interface in our 2014 Ram 1500. It's Chrysler's corporate 8.4AN/RA4 system that's used in a variety of other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles, but that commonality doesn't diminish its specialness.

Here are five reasons why the Ram 1500's UConnect system is superior to systems offered in other full-size trucks.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Slow Navigation Traffic Reporting

January 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

I've had a lot of good experiences with our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel's UConnect system. This isn't one of them. I almost always check traffic on the 91 freeway before I jump on to travel a few exits to a place we frequent for dinner. Over the holiday I did just that. Often this check is performed with a smart phone from my driveway, which has proven reliable. This time, however, I only glanced at the Ram's nav screen.

I regretted it.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Navigation Fail

October 20, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We all know that L.A. traffic is no picnic. It's wildly unpredictable and wholly unavoidable. It isn't, however, like this. Ever.

Look closely. What you see here are surface streets in red and freeways in green. That means that the Ram's nav traffic thinks that all major surface streets (displayed in this particular scale) are jammed. Gridlocked. Every one. I've seen all sorts of weirdness on L.A. roads, but never anything like this.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Parksense Foibles

September 15, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 is a Laramie, so it comes standard with a rearview camera, but front and rear parking sensors (Parksense as Ram calls them) are a $395 option.

Since I live in a crowded city and I parallel park quite a bit (yes, I've parallel parked the Ram about a dozen times over the last week) parking sensors are a bumper-saving piece of equipment that I'd opt for, but this particular system has a few issues.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Audio Review

August 26, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The sound system in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is awesome. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display and the 10-speaker stereo are standard on all Laramie's. There's plenty of bass to fill the cabin, and the touchscreen interface is one of the easiest to use on the market today. On top of all of that, this thing catalogs and indexes my music at lightning speed.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Navigation System Nugget

August 5, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

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.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Driving Impressions From the Road

August 1, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Last week I returned from a 3,000-plus-mile road trip in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. The route took us north from southern California through Nevada, through a little corner of Arizona, a large swath of Utah and into Wyoming. We spent a few days in Idaho's Teton Valley on the west side of the Tetons.

It was epic. But the driving conditions weren't ideal. With temps in the 90s — minimum — nearly every day, it wasn't easy going on the Ram's powertrain. We topped out at 8,431 feet on Teton Pass west of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Hundreds of miles were spent pounding across the desert in 100-plus-degree temps. Wyoming was windy and provided 25-mph head and crosswinds.

In other words, I got a good sampling of conditions. Following are a few observations.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Will the iPad Fit?

July 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Because our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a Wi-Fi hotspot and we've activated it for service, I plan to take a Wi-Fi-only iPad on my next road trip. But where should I put it?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Ventilated Seat With a Brain

June 2, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has heated and ventilated front seats. I've never been one to automatically stab at the seat heater or seat ventilator buttons when I sit down, so I was a bit surprised when cool air spontaneously blew up through my seat as soon as I fired the Ram's engine.

Was this some sort of driver preference set up by a previous Edmunds staffer?

It was a particularly hot day, so I didn't mind so much. But was it supposed to do that? And could I keep it from doing that if I wasn't a fan?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot

May 23, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

As we saw in our last episode, the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen system in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel expands to support many additional features by simply registering for an account and enabling Uconnect Access Advantage. It's all free for a one-year trial period ($14.99/mo thereafter) except for one particular item: the Wi-Fi hotspot that provides internet access right there in the truck.

Our Ram is now like a Starbucks without the coffee. I can sit in the cab with my laptop or my low-dollar iPad (the one without 3G) and do useful work or whatever.

Uconnect Wi-Fi costs extra because it's essentially a stand-alone 3G service provided by Sprint. You can buy access by the day ($9.99), week ($19.99) or month ($34.99).

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Enabling Uconnect Functions

May 21, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Everyone around here heaps praise on the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen navigation system in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. They say that Bluetooth pairings for phone and streaming audio are ridiculously easy to establish and manage. And the iPod integration is very polished and easy to control through logical and attractive touchscreen menus.

But we haven't yet scratched the surface. Several advanced Uconnect features have thus far been unavailable because we hadn't yet registered a Uconnect account for our truck.

So I did.

And it was easy. There were two options: Register by phone or register online via computer. I chose the phone option since I was sitting in the truck anyway.

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