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May 30, 2016
By Mario Cywinski

In 2013, Ram redesigned the light duty 1500 pick-up truck. It followed a year later by adding an EcoDiesel motor to the 1500 line-up. Since then, the EcoDiesel model has been a two-time winner of the Canadian Truck King Challenge (in 2014 and 2016). The redesigned 1500 also won the Motor Trend Truck of the Year two years in a row.

“To have the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel bring home the Canadian Truck King crown for a second time is truly rewarding,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, FCA Canada. “Faced this time around with a notable pair of new and refreshed competitors, Ram’s mix of power, capability and fuel economy helped it rise to the top spot. With its class-exclusive 3.0-litre EcoDiesel engine, best-in-class 420 lb-ft of torque, best-in-class fuel economy of 8.0 L/100 km and 9,200 lbs. towing capacity, Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has what it takes to stay ahead in a fiercely contested segment.”

The combination of Ram 1500 with an EcoDiesel is a winning one, as in 2015, one in four 1500 models were ordered with a diesel engine. That number jumps to 50 per cent when the higher trim levels (Laramie and Longhorn) are considered. 50 per cent of Ram 1500 EcoDiesel sales are conquest sales, an important pride point for the brand.

The diesel version of the Ram 1500 has had a positive impact on fleet sales for the truck, as it ranks as the number two most sold vehicle into fleet in Canada with 15,114 units in 2015, according to IHS Automotive driven by Polk. That continues the 1500’s steep climb in four short years from 2012 when it was still the Dodge Ram 1500 and sold 5,241 units into fleet.

EcoDiesel engine details reveal its popularity. The 3.0L V-6 engine offers 240 horsepower, 420 foot/pounds of torque and is mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. The fuel economy on 4x2 models is 11.3/8.0 (city/highway) litres per 100 kilometres and on 4x4 models, 12.1/8.8 L/100km.

Traditionally, better fuel economy is associated with smaller displacement engines, while towing capacity and performance is associated with larger displacement engines. In the Ecodiesel’s case, it provides the best of both worlds. The towing capacity on the EcoDiesel model is 4,173 kg (9,200 pounds), supplying great fuel economy as well as capability.

Also available on 2016 Ram 1500 are a 3.5L Pentastar V-6 engine with 305hp and 269 ft/lbs of torque and a 5.7L HEMI V-8 with 395hp and 410 ft/lbs of torque. However, the EcoDiesel is the clear fuel economy leader of the family. The 1500 lineup features a Laramie Limited, which is top of the 10 available trim levels. The majority of trims can be ordered with a diesel engine.

The Laramie Limited model with Ecodiesel has a new grille with RAM lettering as well as 20-inch chrome RAM lettering on the tailgate. Some of the features exclusive to Limited are 20-inch aluminum wheels, stitching accents, pin striping, unique materials and patterns make the model unique. A new console bin has a cell phone and tablet holder and is complimented by a wood door.

“Among Ram Truck’s greatest strengths is our ability to quickly react to customer demand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand, FCA US LLC. “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups. The Laramie Limited trim exceeds the high expectations of affluent truck buyers by combining capability with refinement.”

Other standard features on Limited include leather seating, leather-wrapped steering wheel with real wood accents, berber front and rear floor mats, body colour front and rear bumpers, auto high-beam head lights, keyless entry with proximity entry, rain-sensing wipers and an auto level air suspension.

On the other end of the spectrum and a more typical work truck configuration is the entry-level ST trim. It features standard AC, four-wheel disc brakes, automatic headlights, tire pressure monitoring system, ESC with trailer sway control, vinyl flooring and more. Other trim levels are SXT, SLT, Outdoorsman, Big Horn, Sport, Laramie, Laramie Limited, and Rebel.

“RAM 1500 EcoDiesel, the two-time Canadian Truck King Challenge winner for 2015 and 2016, continues to be the leader in assisting fleets in achieving the lowest operational costs of all half ton pickup trucks," said Ken Tuckey, Senior Manager, National Fleet and Commercial vehicles, FCA Caanada. "With the best fuel economy, strong residual value and unsurpassed durability, RAM 1500 gets the job done without compremise.”

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