We Live In A World Where Non-Hybrid Full Size Trucks Are EPA Rated For 30+ MPG Highway

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

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.

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

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.

2020 ram 1500

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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