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CR: Ram 1500 EcoDiesel tops among half-ton pickups

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(Chrysler Group L.L.C. photo) The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel full-sized pickup got 27 mpg in Consumer Reports' testing of half-ton pickups.

By Larry P. Vellequette, Crain News Service

DETROIT (Aug. 27, 2014) — Consumer Reports said the hot-selling Ram 1500 EcoDiesel outscored competitors from Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. to claim the magazine’s top spot among full-size light-duty pickups.

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel earned high marks for fuel economy and its “whisper quiet” interior. The influential magazine said that, in testing, the diesel-powered half-ton achieved average fuel economy of 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, far above competitors.

“These are about the same fuel-economy numbers that we typically see in a midsized SUV,” Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports (CR), said in a statement. “Ram is currently the only truck to offer turbo-diesel technology. It will be interesting to see what impact it will have on the half-ton truck market.”

Powered by a 3-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel went on sale earlier this year and was met with great demand from consumers. This summer, Chrysler Group L.L.C. executives said EcoDiesel Ram 1500s were sitting on dealer lots an average of 13 days before they were sold, about six times faster than gasoline-powered Ram 1500s.

CR’s vehicle opinions are broadly used by consumers as they make their vehicle purchasing decisions in part because the magazine purchases its test vehicles directly from dealerships instead of having them supplied by manufacturers.

The EcoDiesel pickup scored 82 in road testing, a point higher than the gasoline-powered Ram 1500 that CR had tested earlier. It is the second consecutive year that the publication had advised consumers to purchase the Ram 1500 over other half-ton competitors.

In a statement to Automotive News, Doug Betts, Chrysler’s senior vice president for quality, said the back-to-back selection by CR “is evidence the Ram Truck team is not going to stand still. We’re committed to continuous improvement in all aspects of quality and performance in our products and the Ram is no exception.”

This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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