The Ram 1500 is making headlines with its new EcoDiesel engine claiming best-in-class fuel economy, but do those numbers stack up in the real world?
As it turns out: yes.
Truck manufacturers are being forced to improve the fuel economy of their products to meet both consumer demand and strict new government standards; none more so than Ram. During AutoGuide’s recent Truck of the Year shootout, we calculated the fuel economy of every half-ton pickup available today using data loggers plugged directly into on-board diagnostic port of each truck.
The trucks were evaluated using five different drivers and each was driven on three separate loops of roughly 70 miles. That 70 miles consisted of dirt and gravel roads along with a paved highway portion, so the number is representative of a mixed mpg number. Each loop featured a different setup for the trucks, one with the trucks empty, another with 1,000 lbs of payload in the bed and finally a towing loop with roughly 6,000 lbs hooked up to the hitch.
The biggest story to come from the data collected is that the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel lives up to its promise of a 27 MPG combined rating. In AutoGuide testing it achieved 25.8 MPG while driving empty, 22.4 MPG with payload and 14.6 MPG with a trailer out back. Those numbers average out for a total of 19 mpg, a full 2 mpg better than the next closest truck, the Ram 1500 V6.
Both the General Motors trucks and the Fords were neck-and-neck, with the EcoBoost V6 narrowly edging out the Chevy’s 5.3-liter V8. The EcoBoost achieved 19.3 MPG while cursing empty, 18.2 MPG with payload and 11.9 MPG with a trailer out back.
The 5.3-equipped Chevy, as mentioned, sucked down a bit more fuel than the Ford, achieving 18.8 MPG empty, 17.8 MPG with payload and 11.8 MPG with a trailer.
Bringing up the rear is Toyota, with its 5.7-liter equipped truck getting 17.2 MPG when empty, 15.2 MPG with payload and just 10.2 MPG with a trailer.
For more details on each truck tested, see all the stats in the chart below.