2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel nets best-ever EPA full-size pickup marks

Although it won't arrive in dealers until early March, official EPA figures for the new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel have just been published and they show the industry's first full-size light-duty diesel pickup also ranks as the segment's most fuel-efficient. Pairing a 240-horsepower/3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 that makes a stout 420 lb-ft of torque with the industry's first and only 8-speed automatic transmission, this 50-state hauler boasts a precedent-setting 28-mpg highway rating in rear-drive configuration. That gives the new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel a 3-mpg edge over its closest full-size challenger -- the rear-drive Ram 1500 HFE, which gets its motivation from a 305-horse Pentastar V6 that's also linked to an 8-speed TorqueFlite autoshifter. Capable of towing 9,200 pounds, this new diesel-powered Ram also holds an identical advantage in highway mileage over the best-selling compact pickup, a 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma. 

Also: 2014 Compact SUVs at a glance 

If that's not enough, coupling its benchmark highway stat with a stellar 20-mpg city mark earns the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel another EPA best-ever honor in the form of a 23-mpg combined figure. By way of comparison, the most frugal 2014 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500s and Ford F-150 models powered by gasoline their standard V6 engines are rated at 20 mpg and 19 mpg, respectively, in that collective category. 

Also: 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000

The EcoDiesel V6 is available on any 2014 Ram 1500 model save for a 2-door/shortbed variant or the Ram Sport that comes standard with the Hemi V8. Pricing for the EcoDiesel starts at $30,465 when fitted to the entry-level  rear-drive/2-door Tradesman, which represents a $4,885 bump over its base sticker price. The division has yet to release pricing or EPA numbers on any 4-wheel drive versions of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

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