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December 2022 Newsletter

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is efficient, hard working

The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel offers a three-pronged attack on the pickup truck market: it’s efficient, capable, and hard working. As the only diesel option in the half-ton pickup truck segment right now, it’s also the king of its own roost. We tested the most popular working man’s package for the truck and found it wanting for nothing.

The most common tradesman’s and rancher’s package for the Ram 1500 is the Big Horn in its Quad Cab configuration with a rear-wheel drive (4×2) powertrain. The EcoDiesel engine is a bonus that, we feel, many who buy in this segment will want. We spent a week towing, hauling stuff, and carrying the family around to prove out this truck in its most common formats: as a dual-purpose work truck and family hauler.

The EcoDiesel begins with a 2015 Ram 1500 package, a well-made and sturdy half-ton pickup truck. It then adds in a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine that produces 240 horsepower and a phenomenal 420 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and through we drove it in a 4×2 package, four-wheel is optional. Towing is rated at up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped.

The EPA rates the truck as we drove it at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, for a total of 23 mpg combined. The HFE package ups that highway mileage to 29 mpg. We bore that out with very good highway efficiency, despite towing and hauling, with the truck only rarely dipping below 20 mpg, even under load.

For our week, we drove the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel for over five hundred miles. During that, we had passenger loads ranging from a solo driver to five occupants in all. We hauled just over 1,000 pounds of cargo in the bed over highways and dirt roads, pulled a trailer weighing about 3,500 pounds and loaded that trailer with 1,200 pounds of young steers. That dual axle livestock trailer put about 1,300 pounds on the hitch. Whatever the situation, the Ram 1500 was up to getting its hands dirty and getting the job done.

Without a load, the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was still a comfortable drive with what most would consider the best highway ride in the business. It maneuvers well, has a lot of get-up thanks to the low RPM range of the turbo’d diesel, and an included backup camera (not standard).

The interior of the Ram 1500 in its Big Horn package is excellent and made for work while remaining comfortable. No-nonsense and tough fabrics adorn the seats, work-ready carpet covers the floors, and versatile arrangements for seating and storage are everywhere. The rear seat bottoms fold up to create extra storage and special trays can be laid out to create a sort of bench or flat table that’s useful for a myriad of things. Our truck also included the optional third seat in front, with the center armrest folding up to create a bench. That means seating for six in all, if required. We do note that in the Quad Cab, the rear seats are small and suitable only for occasional use by adults – upgrading to the Crew Cab for better rear seats is recommended if you carry more than kids back there on a regular basis.

What we like

Great power and efficiency.

Excellent ergonomics for work and family use.

Source: futurecars.com

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