There are any number of reasons for owning a pickup truck; you’re a farmer, a builder, you tow a travel-trailer/boat or you simply have piles of stuff you wish to move around on a regular basis. However, we can now add family road trips to this list as the 2015 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is just about perfect for the task. I know, as I’ve just returned from totting up nearly 1,000 kilometres sampling the delights of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia -- and without once ever stopping to refuel.
Yes, with the RAM 1500 boasting best-in-class fuel economy of 8L/100km, together with an unrivalled (estimated) range of 1,225 km per tank, plus unmatched ride quality and a tow rating up to 9,200lbs (depending on model), why wouldn’t you take the family pickup on a road trip?
Perfect for the job!
To be honest, I wasn’t totally convinced when the company proposed the idea of a bunch of us journalists trekking around three of the prettiest provinces this country has to offer in pickup trucks. Surely a Grand Caravan would work better or even one of those classy new Chrysler 300 Platinum models. Style and luxury is what I want on a road trip, not cargo-carrying capacity for a mountain of garbage bags. After all, I wasn’t planning on making many trips to the local dump during my 3-day mini vacation!
Boy was I ever wrong! Not only did a number of fellow journalists beat the company’s 8L/100km fuel economy figure (not me, but then I was somewhat preoccupied playing with the incredible torque on offer - 420 lbs/ft), but the ride quality of the RAM 1500 was simply unbelievable. Air suspension on a pickup truck! The idea would’ve sounded ludicrous a few years back, but it certainly changes the way I view pickup trucks today.
Yes, while the scenery is beautiful down the East Coast, the same word doesn’t quite describe the road conditions; there are so many repaired potholes in places, certain roads compare to those patchwork quilts the locals are famous for making. Yet the available air suspension soaked these up with ease. Not only does the air suspension transform the vehicle into a car-like cruiser (the system lowers the vehicle at highway speeds for greater fuel economy), but the sideways bounce/shudder often associated with unladen pickup trucks on rough roads totally disappears. Basically, it transforms a capable workhorse into a luxurious riding SUV that’s simply perfect for a family road trip.
Power smart, power plenty!
The 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 is a marvellous feat of engineering, and for those who worry about new-fangled ideas, you can forget all that as this unit has been available in Europe for many years now. It is well tried and tested, and when coupled to the new TorqueFlite® 8-speed transmission, it is the perfect marriage of stump-pulling torque and gear-shifting smoothness.
Naturally, it’s a diesel, so you’ll notice a slightly different sound on start-up. However, once you’re underway in the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel, it is difficult to tell from a gas-powered unit. In fact, I found myself complaining mostly about the slight wind noise emanating from the side mirrors at highway speeds. Then again, it’s probably difficult to design large/useful truck mirrors while making them aerodynamically quiet at the same time.
Let’s be honest, if I had described any Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep interior as “wonderful” a decade back, you would have called me a big fat liar or perhaps suggested I was somewhat blind. In truth, it was the one area that truly let their products down. The company acknowledged this a few years back and told us that they would “Completely alter our viewpoint on interiors.” They certainly did! Check out any Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep product today and tell that me that I’m wrong, and the 2015 RAM range is no exception to this rule.
I like this product, and it appears I’m not alone!
RAM truck is the second bestselling vehicle in the Canadian market, and the company’s top-selling model.
2014 was a record year for RAM sales, with 86,590 units sold.
80% of all RAM pickups sold in the past 27 years are still on the road today; more than Ford, Chevy and GMC.
The RAM 1500 is the only full-size, light-duty pickup to offer a diesel powertrain option.
In 2015(To date), 1 in 4 Ram 1500 trucks sold in Canada came equipped with an EcoDiesel.
Almost half of EcoDiesel sales are conquest sales (buyers switching from other manufacturers products).
MSRP for EcoDiesel engine option is - $4,700
The RAM 1500 EcoDiesel models start from $39,295
Backed by a five-year/100,000km Powertrain limited warranty.
If you need a pickup truck in your life, you owe it to yourself to check out an EcoDiesel RAM. With the fabulous (and I do mean that) diesel powerplant available on all trim levels (even the base model), you’d be somewhat foolish not to at least take one for a test spin. I’d also urge you to check out a unit fitted with the optional air suspension, as it truly transforms the ride quality of a product not traditionally known for its comfortable suspension.
Luxury SUV ride, car-like fuel consumption, plus carrying capacity and a 9,200 lb tow rating: When you think about it, what’s not to like about the 2015 RAM EcoDiesel?