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A Look at What Makes the 2016 Ram HFE Such a Fuel-Efficient Truck

If you’re looking for a Ram Truck in Miami, FL for cruising around the beachfront, then the 2016 Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel model is the one for you. It’s a 4×2 model, so it’s perfect if you want that look and feel without the extra weight and hassle of a 4×4 system. Plus, it provides the best fuel economy out of the entire Ram truck lineup. Actually, it provides the best fuel economy out of any full-size truck (or larger) on the market. That’s because everything on Ram’s High-Fuel Efficiency (HFE) diesel model is geared towards getting the best fuel economy possible. And with a wind-tunnel tested design, fuel-saving features, and the EcoDiesel engine onboard, it’s able to return some stellar mpg.

On the downside, the inside is sparse, and you won’t find that many add-on options or features for this model. Why? Because, they would only add extra weight and use up more fuel. But for the type of fuel savings you’ll experience, sacrificing those fun features is definitely worth it.

Wind-Tunnel Tested Design

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Ram trucks have multiple cab and box configurations. They have quad-cabs, regular cabs, regular cabs with an extended bed, etc. Therefore, you can imagine there was a lot of testing involved when it came to figuring out the most aerodynamic cab configuration in the 2016 lineup.

Ram discovered the most aerodynamic configuration was actually the middle choice: a Quad Cab with front-hinged short rear doors. As opposed to a Crew Cab, I can see how the shorter space in the rear cab would prove to be optimal. The cab itself is shorter than a living-room-on-wheels Crew Cab, which means less material for the wind to move over. Less material also translates to less weight, which is the true bane of fuel economy. Combine this with the fact that the design sits strictly on a rear-wheel drive system — since the increased weight of 4×4 capability would lower fuel economy — and you have a truck that’s relatively light and aerodynamic. Plus, the 4×2 system causes the Ram HFE to sit lower to the ground than a 4×4 model.

Ram also discovered that the one-piece plastic-covered front fascia from the lower trim-level Ram Express was able to cut through the air better than any other bumper setup, which also plays a big role when the wind first hits the truck.

It’s Not Just the Design…

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It’s not just the design and wind-tunnel testing that’s responsible for the HFE’s superior fuel-saving capability. There are plenty of other features that come into play when you take a closer look at the finer details.

On the front, Ram made sure to incorporate its innovative Active Air Grille Shutters. These grille shutters are a key player in the aerodynamic technology found on Ram trucks, and they come standard on all models. These shutters are able to open when driving at low speeds in order to provide the engine with increased air flow to better cool the engine. At highway speeds, these shutters automatically close to reduce the drag of the vehicle.

For the rear-end of the truck, a ducktail spoiler is integrated into the top of the tailgate. Much like the Active Air Grille Shutters, this part of the design also helps manipulate the airflow the Ram HFE experiences. As the air moves towards the back and hits this spoiler, it helps the air depart more efficiently.

With this truck, even the little details were taken into account. A tonneau cover provides a huge increase to the aerodynamics of the HFE. With this added on, the wind can’t flow over the roof and then get trapped in the truck bed, which would create a lot of drag. The chrome running boards might look like they are for show, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even though they add a little extra weight, they actually help push the air out and around the sides of the vehicle. This was only discovered after Ram played with multiple add ons in order to get the proper amount of efficiency for the sides of the vehicles.

So not only was the 2016 Ram HFE designed and tested in the wind-tunnel, but it was also built with the weight of the vehicle in mind. Together, the lighter-than-average weight for a full-size truck and maximum aerodynamics provide the market with a pickup that’s able to attain an unbelievable mpg rating.

Inside is Sparse, but that’s Okay

Like I stated before: the inside is sparse, but that’s okay. Why? Because, without the additional weight of unnecessary niceties, the Ram HFE is able to save a lot of fuel. The only factory option available on the 1500 HFE is the cold weather-kit that includes a block heater for the diesel engine. Other than that, it’s as bare-bones as can be.

Vinyl seating, a basic AM/FM radio, and a standard key-in-door lock (no remote fob) will take you back to the good ole’ days. The most you’ll get for technology out of this prehistoric fuel-saving wonder is power windows. There isn’t even a vanity mirror in the visor, a backup camera, or a height-adjustable seat.

This is a truck that was built for one purpose: save as much fuel as possible. Therefore, those who truly care about their wallets, but still wish to have the utility of a truck, won’t miss those irrelevant features.

The Star of the Show: The Engine

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You’ll especially appreciate this engine when you find out that it’s able to put out 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, which comes together for 24 mpg combined. This is way above the 20 mpg combined average that’s found in full-size pickup trucks in the U.S., and it’s all thanks to a great design with attention to detail, and diesel technology.

The engine is a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that puts out 240 horsepower and a surprisingly larger 420 lb-ft of torque. Not only is the truck able to save fuel, but it can also work if you need it to. Will it be able to tow a house? No, but it has no issue towing 7,950 pounds, which is almost enough (about 50-100 pounds under) for towing a mini-Bobcat machine on an equipment trailer. While you might not be getting that 24 mpg combined while towing something that size, the point is that it gets the best fuel economy out of any full-size truck on the market, and is still able to work.

An aerodynamic, weight-saving, and fuel-friendly design, combined with an engine that lands the 2016 Ram HFE EcoDiesel model a best-in-class fuel-efficiency title, without sacrificing the capability and utility provided by a full-size pickup truck. What more could you ask for?

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