Last June the Ram brand released details on the eagerly awaited third-generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. Heavily revised with about 80% new parts compared to previous EcoDiesels, the new engine is rated at an impressive 260 horsepower and 480lb-ft. of torque. While it isn’t the half-ton diesel horsepower champion (that honor goes to the new 277 horsepower 3.0-liter Duramax straight six in the Silverado and Sierra), the new EcoDiesel does have class-leading torque and towing capabilities at 12,560lbs.
We were invited to the EcoDiesel media launch back in August where co-editor Robert Miller had the chance to get behind the wheel for the first time. Robert came away impressed overall with the refinement and performance of the new powertrain which had me eager for the chance to finally drive one of the new 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesels.
Just a few weeks ago, thanks to Ram Canada, I was given a 2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel for a week. This particular truck was a beautiful Limited Black edition with the RamBoxes and new multifunction tailgate. You will have to wait until later in the week for my full review, but one of the first things I did was get the truck out on our highway MPG loop. This is the same route that we previously used in the 2019 Ram Rebel 5.7-liter HEMI V8 highway MPG test and the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6-powered 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn MPG test. I knew going in that the EcoDiesel was going to be the efficiency champion over this 172km (106 miles) route, but I was not expecting the result to be quite as good as it was.
With only 1500km (938 miles) on the odometer, I filled the truck up with diesel and headed straight for the highway. With the adaptive cruise control set at 70 miles an hour, I spent the next hour and forty-one minutes out on the road. At the conclusion of the loop, I returned to the same pump that I originally filled up at, filled the truck until the nozzle clicked, waited 30 seconds and topped off again until the nozzle clicked. According to the thin-film transistor (TFT) display, we had averaged 8-liters per 100km (29.3 MPG) which is impressive in its own right, but after hand calculations, we had actually beat that number. The final hand calculated result? 7.8-liters per 100km or 30.3 US MPG, handily beating the 5.7-liter HEMI V8-powered 2019 Ram Rebel, and even beat the Pentastar V6-powered 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn over the same loop.
Overall I was very impressed with the result put out by the little EcoDiesel, not only is it efficient but it is extremely quiet, smooth and after a little initial turbo lag feels very torquey. Stay tuned to 5thGenRams for a full review of the 2020 Ram 1500 Limited Black EcoDiesel soon.