Truck owners are never short on friends. When you own a truck, suddenly you double as a moving company, a plow driver when it snows, and even a tailgating hub before a sporting event. When you're not helping to move your friend's couch or clearing your mother-in-law's driveway of snow, a full-size truck is the ideal ride to eat up miles on a long road trip out to a favorite fishing spot. With all of that said, we welcome to our long-term fleet a 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X2.

Also: The Class of 2015 -- New Vehicles Ready to Roll

Before we go any further, we should clarify that this isn't just any old Ram 1500. Our long-termer comes equipped with Chrysler Group's new 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine and 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Diesel engines are known for robust torque and this EcoDiesel is no different. Output on our diesel-powered Ram is 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The other thing diesel engines tout is fuel efficiency and, once again, the EcoDiesel hits that target with an EPA rating of 20 city/28 highway/23 mpg combined.  

Loaded Laramie

As it sits, our 2014 Ram 1500 rings in at $49,545, which includes a $1,195 destination charge and $2,850 for the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine. A Laramie Crew Cab 4X2 without all the options we checked off starts at $42,380 and includes features like a remote keyless entry, a 7-pin wiring harness, and a Class IV receiver hitch. Optional features on our diesel Ram include Customer Preferred Package 28H ($495) which brings along automatic high beams, keyless entry, and rain sensitive windshield wipers. We also opted for wheel-to-wheel side steps ($600), a 3.92 rear axle ratio ($50), Uconnect and its 8-inch touchscreen with navigation ($500), P275/60R20 all-season tires ($175), front/rear park assist ($395), a remote starter ($200), a trailer brake control ($230), and a spray-in bedliner ($475). 

Buyer's Guide: 2014 Pickup Trucks

The full-size light-duty truck segment is as crowded as ever with redesigned models coming not just from Ram, but from Chevrolet and Toyota as well. Ford is also bringing an all-new version of the industry's best-selling vehicle in the F-150 to market for 2015, too. As it stands now, we expect the new F-150 to make some noise but the Ram and its available diesel engine are its closest competition. Now, all that's left to do is put our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel through its paces over the next year. Be sure to check back every month for an update on Kelley Blue Book's resident diesel powered workhorse. 

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