SAN ANTONIO – The RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is the first half-ton pickup on the market with a diesel engine in decades. It gets 20 miles per gallon overall in Consumer Reports' tests. That's the best fuel economy Consumer Reports has ever recorded in a full-sized truck.
Compare it with the Chevrolet Silverado's 16 mpg and the current Ford F-150's 15. And the gas-powered RAM 1500 with a Hemi V8 also gets just 15 mpg.
Diesel fuel does average 20 cents more per gallon. And RAM charges a premium for the diesel engine, about $2,800 more than the RAM with a Hemi V8. But if you drive the average 12,000 miles per year, you'll save about 200 gallons per year with the EcoDiesel engine.
Consumer Reports says that it will take you about four years to recoup your initial investment of the diesel engine, but in general, diesel vehicles hold their value better than gas ones do. And the diesel gives you more torque for towing a trailer.
Plus, the RAM 1500 rates very high in Consumer Reports' performance tests. Its unique coil-spring rear suspension delivers a smooth ride, and the interior is quiet, with a very easy-to-use infotainment system.
The RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is now Consumer Reports' top-rated pickup.
Be aware, there is a little additional maintenance with a diesel vehicle. You have to refill the emissions fluid around the same time you change your oil, but you can do that yourself for around $40.