2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Update: The daily grind
We're just past the halfway point of its stay with us and the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel continues to impress. With the holidays over and no one requesting the Ram for some weekend moving assistance recently it has been acting as a daily driver. Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has been averaging a commute of just over 60 miles a day with mixed driving conditions and we don't feel worse for the wear after getting out of it.
Full-size trucks stick out in Orange County traffic, and they're made more apparent by the size of the parking spaces at Kelley Blue Book's offices in Irvine. The lot was recently resealed and the lines repainted but fitting anything more than a midsize sedan into one of the spaces is an exercise in finesse. Nevertheless, the Ram can wedge itself into a spot (backwards, preferably) with some help from the backup camera that fills up the 8.4-inch infotainment screen when activated. Open the driver's side door and your feet are guaranteed to touch the parking lines but you're in the spot and that's what counts. In parking lots that are spaced a little more liberally (like in a mall or at a grocery store), the Ram has no trouble fitting into a space either nose-in or out. If you do have to park facing nose-in, Ram's Front Park Assist system is helpful in letting you know when you're running out of real estate.
Handling and braking
Being that the Ram is a full-size truck, it handles as advertised but is still on par with the likes of the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. When compared to the likes of the F-150, which feels jittery at slower speeds, the Ram is sure-handed. The Ram's steering feel lightens up as your speed increases making it easy to get around that person doing 60 mph in the passing lane. Unlike the other two direct competitors, the Ram's steering wheel feels like it belongs in a full-size truck as its diameter fills the palms of your hands similar to that of a motorcycle grip. Braking is on par for the segment as well and is modulated nicely whether you're coming to a controlled stop or making an emergency one.
The story so far
So far, we've spent seven months with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and have enjoyed our time with it. We're beginning to really recognize little things that an owner will appreciate like how much space is needed to make a U-turn or what the biggest thing that can fit in the backseat with the rear seats folded up is. Other things we've already reported on like the infotainment and navigation system continue to work flawlessly while the 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine hits 25 mpg combined regularly. That's 2 mpg higher than originally predicted by the EPA. Check back next month as we look in on the Ram's ability to keep noise, vibration, and harshness to a minimum.