If you look at the size, capabilities such as towing and payload, and total output from their respective diesel engines, half-ton pickup trucks on the market closely resemble what we once knew as 3/4-ton and full-ton trucks just 15 years ago. We suppose this is the natural course of evolution, as market demands for what a full-size pickup needs to be keeps pushing the segment to be bigger, stronger, faster and smarter… all while offering increased efficiency. It’s no easy task, but now we’ve reached a new zenith where each half-ton truck offering from General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a diesel variant capable of achieving 30 mpg or better on the highway, according to the EPA. This is because the numbers are finally in for one last holdout – the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
A 2020 Ram 1500 fitted with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 is officially rated at 32 mpg highway, and 22 mpg city for 4×2 models – putting it ahead of the Ford F-150 Powerstroke 4×2 (30 mpg highway/22 mpg city) and just behind GM’s 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax and 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Duramax (33 mpg highway/23 mpg city). However, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel ties GM for the winning stat when it comes to highway fuel economy on 4×4 models, which make up more than 80 percent of the market, according to FCA. Here, the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel achieves 29 mpg highway and 21 mpg city.
Additionally, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel comes with a best-in-class 480 lb-ft of torque, and is rated to an incredible 12,560 pounds. That beats Ford by nearly 2,500 pounds, and is ahead of GM by a full 3,260 pounds (basically a family sedan’s worth of weight). The GM trucks have the leading fuel economy on paper, but come in a distant third when it comes to the business end of things, while Ford (which was first to market) offers second-place diesel capabilities with third-place fuel economy. Fuel economy under towing and payload is not a EPA-required test, so automakers don’t disclose these numbers, but we’re sure a soon-to-come independent test will tell the story here.
That towing figure from the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is almost exactly the same as a 2004 Ram 2500 HD single cab with a Cummins I6 and 4.10 axle ratio. See what we mean?
Lastly, 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel also leads all trucks total range thanks to its massive 33-gallon optional fuel tank. Based on EPA estimates, theoretical driving range can exceed 1,000 miles. But your bladder probably won’t.
So if 4×4 highway fuel economy, torque, range, and/or towing capabilities are important to you, the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the truck that delivers on paper.