2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Update: Enjoying the Ride
Going into our year with the long-term EcoDiesel Ram, we anticipated this half-ton truck would have a different list of pluses than others in its segment. Ram has done a commendable job of differentiating itself from rivals Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan. It's the only one of the group offered with a diesel, standard 8-speed automatic, coil-spring rear suspension and available air suspension. That combination offers excellent fuel economy and an enjoyable daily drive, somewhat at the expense of hard-core truck capability.
We knew before acquiring our long-term Ram the coil-spring suspension should make it the nicest riding truck on the market. Add to that the long range the 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel provides--as much as 736 miles on a single tank--makes the Ram an ideal candidate for long stretches on the road. It was time to get the keys and go somewhere--but first, we had to get some things done at the office.
The freeway test
Sitting in traffic on the way to work isn't exactly a headline-grabbing way to evaluate a vehicle. It's about as far as you can get from the romantic notion of a vast horizon ahead, no specific destination and nothing but time on your hands. But the freeway is a great place to find out how the Ram feels. Whether driving over uneven pavement through construction areas, cruising at the speed limit when things open up or just puttering around town, the Ram is everything we hoped it would be. The suspension is comfortable and compliant but still feels precise. It doesn't roll and wallow. That ride comfort holds up on long weekend drives too, where miles pass effortlessly between diesel fill-ups, and potholes are nothing to worry about.
The Ram has cushy seats and plenty of amenities, to the point where this isn't just the best-riding truck on the market; it's starting to feel like a competitor to a sedan, albeit one that rides higher and can tow around 9,000 pounds. We know that several members of the KBB editorial team are starting to ask for the Ram for upcoming road trips. One dyed-in-the-wool car guy even said, "The Ram may make a truck guy out of me yet." The Ram folks may have discovered just the right formula to get people to switch over from cars and crossovers to pickup trucks.
See Past Reports on our Long-Term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel...
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