Ram dealers have the industry’s only light-duty diesel truck sitting on their lots. Why? Because, Ram has always been about guts and glory. Thanks to their famous slogan, it’s no surprise they are the only ones offering a light-duty diesel truck — and that all of the 1500 trims (with the exception of the Sport, Express, and Rebel) offer this engine as an option, giving the 2016 Ram 1500 a best-in-class fuel economy rating of any full-size pickup truck. The best part is, because it’s a diesel, it still get’s exceptional torque. The horsepower might be lowered, but leave that for the performance cars. The torque is what’s needed for towing and this engine packs plenty.
Ram is labeling their V6 diesel engine as one of the most advanced light-duty truck engines they’ve ever built. Once you learn about it, you can’t help but agree.
3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 Engine Overview
As far as V6 engines go, there isn’t a single one on the market that can touch Ram’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine in terms of balancing power and efficiency. Not only that, but it’s also one of the cleanest and environmentally friendliest engines currently on the market. The diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalyst reduction ensure that the truck is emissions-compliant in all 50 states. More than that, it’s beneficial to the environment, thanks to all of this technology working together to reduce any harmful gases that might be released from the exhaust.
Horsepower and Torque
As far as specs go, it gets 240 horsepower, which is modest for a full-size pickup, considering Chevy’s Silverado base V6 gets 285 horsepower, and Ford’s F150 base V6 gets 282 horsepower. Even if the horsepower is considered modest, the high torque output is where this motor really shines. Thanks to the diesel technology, this engine boasts inherently higher torque than any other base gas engine in the full-size truck market. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 comes in at 420 lb-ft of torque, with Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 (really the only other comparable engine on the market) putting out 375 lb-ft torque. Even the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 offered by Ford is only able to tie Ram’s diesel in torque output.
Naturally, the low horsepower-high torque ratio means better fuel economy and powerful towing capability in the lower gears. Equipping a Ram 1500 with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 and proper towing equipment gives it a maximum towing capacity of 9,210 pounds, with a payload of 1,600 pounds. Chevy can’t even touch that towing capacity, and their V6 can only pull a max of 7,600 pounds.
Ford comes in a little closer with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, sitting at 8,500 pounds for a maximum towing capacity and beats it with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with a 12,200 pound maximum tow rating. However, the 3.5-liter is a much larger engine than the 3.0-liter, and the 2.7 EcoBoost is a much more comparable to the size of Ram’s Ecodiesel. Regardless, it’s still a V6 engine, which is why Ford lands best-in-class towing for the V6 full-size truck segment, with Ram at a close second.
But, the one thing Ford and Chevy can’t match is the fuel economy generated by this 2.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. Keep in mind, the towing capacity is only 3,000 pounds less than Ford’s best-in-class V6 towing, and the Ram features much better fuel economy. It’s nice to see a truck company finally dethroning Ford’s EcoBoost engines, while simultaneously offering a diesel variant in order to make sure the performance doesn’t suffer.
The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine comes in at a best-in-class (for any full size pickup) fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. Ford’s two EcoBoost engines mentioned previously — the 2.7-liter V6 and 3.5-liter V6 — only get 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway, and 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway (respectively), which is close, but not close enough. Chevy is in even worse shape, and only comes in at 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway with their base (and only) V6 engine.
With 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, a 9,210 pound maximum towing capacity, and 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, it’s no surprise that Ram’s EcoDiesel is able to beat — or at least match — the other gas-powered engines offered in full-size pickup trucks. Equipping the 2016 Ram 1500 gives it a blend of power and efficiency ratio that is clearly unsurpassed, and the bane and envy of many trucks on the 2016 market.
But, the engine can’t do it alone, and there is one other key element that’s often overlooked when it comes to a vehicle’s capabilities.
TorqueFlite 8 Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
A truck’s engine is only as good as it’s transmission. If the transmission is poorly built or prone to funky functionality, then the power and efficiency of the engine suffers. Without a good transmission, the engine can’t properly deliver power to the wheels, which results in the engine working harder to compensate for the transmission’s incompetent nature, in turn, reducing the fuel economy.
Therefore, Ram made sure the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine was paired to the best transmission ever offered in a Ram truck: the TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed automatic transmission. No, that wasn’t a typo. The numerical “8” is part of the title, illustrating that there have been seven previously used TorqueFlite transmissions, which means the TorqueFlite 8 is built upon years of testing and tweaking, and provides Ram’s 2016 models with their best transmission to date.
The TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed automatic transmission allows superior acceleration in lower gears — which works perfectly in tandem with the EcoDiesels high torque output — while an electronic shifter provides silky smooth and effortless shifting. That way, the power and efficiency from the engine won’t be bogged down by the transmission. A thermal management system helps to optimize the ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) temperature for long-lasting fluid durability and fuel economy. The longer the ATF lasts and effectively protects the internal workings of the transmission, the longer it can perform properly.
It’s always amazing how often a transmission can be ignored while the engine steals the main focus . After all, the transmission is the middle-man between the engine and the wheels. Without it, a vehicle couldn’t move.
Unsurpassed Diesel Powertrain Warranty
Ram is so confident about the transmission and 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine working together, they are offering a limited diesel powertrain warranty for peace of mind. The trucks powered by a diesel engine get a 5-year/100,000 mile limited warranty. This warranty is unsurpassed in the diesel truck market and is a sign of just how confident Ram is about their diesel engine.
This warranty, like most powertrain warranties, is there to cover you if something erroneous or out of your control happens to the powertrain. But, Ram really isn’t worried about the powertrain failing within 100,000 miles, especially since diesel engines have a much longer life-expectancy than gas engines.
Diesel Cash Incentive
As if things couldn’t get any better, Ram is also offering a $1,000 diesel engine bonus cash incentive. Not only will you be saving money at the pump by grabbing the full-size truck with best-in-class fuel economy at 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, but you’ll also be saving some money on the initial purchase, too.
This cash incentive makes the wallet-conscious 2016 Ram 1500 light-duty diesel truck even more appealing, especially since you don’t need to sacrifice power or performance to benefit from this competitive fuel economy.