Ram’s Diesel Engines: Light Duty, Heavy Duty + Cargo Vans
These days, the option to opt for a different engine is common, be it an upgrade or a different power source altogether. Some models have been built into different variations, say releasing a Kia Optima Hybrid some time after the Kia Optima. Other times, there’s a different engine option, such as a Ram truck offering an EcoDiesel engine in place of a HEMI. We’ve talked about the debate between gas and diesel before, but we didn’t cover all diesel options by Ram, and there’s more than one would think.
Light Duty Diesel Engine
Ram has a few different truck models, and the Ram 1500 is Ram’s light-duty truck option. The Ram 1500 is available with three engine options. The 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard, but Ram also offers a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine on the Ram 1500 HFE. This makes Ram the only automaker to offer a light-duty diesel truck.
The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine generates 240-horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, and has a DOHC or “Dual Overhead Camshaft”, a design that improves an engine’s performance. The Ram 1500 HFE has a payload capacity of 1,510 pounds and a maximum towing capacity a 8,300 pounds. Though the payload of the EcoDiesel truck is lower than the payload capacity of the 3.6-liter engine (1,900 pounds), the EcoDiesel engine has a huge increase in towing capacity in comparison to the 3.6-liter engine (4,850 pounds).
Additionally, the Ram 1500 HFE has best-in-class in fuel economy, 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. It’s clean diesel technology also releases fewer emissions than gas engines.
Starting MSRP for the Ram 1500 HFE with the EcoDiesel engine is $31,010.
Heavy Duty Diesel Options
Heavy duty trucks are for heavy duty jobs, so it’s no surprise that Ram offers some heavy artillery whether using a gas-powered or diesel-powered engine. Drivers won’t find anything less than a 5.7-liter engine on the Ram 2500 or 3500 lineups, and buyers also have the option of a few different diesel engines. The standard engine for both models is a 5.7-liter V8 HEMI, and it puts out best-in-class 410 horsepower. There is also an impressive diesel engine available, too.
It gets a little confusing but there are three different diesel engine calibrations available on the 2500 and 3500 lineups, and they all are variations of the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. Now, those of you who drive a diesel know Cummins is one of the big names in the auto industry, and they don’t mess around.
The smallest calibration gives the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel 350 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque. This engine is only available with a six-speed manual transmission. This calibration option gives the Ram 2500 a maximum payload capacity of 3,060 pounds and towing capacity of 16,900 pounds. This same set-up gives the Ram 3500 a maximum payload of 4,410 pounds and 16,850 pounds of maximum towing capacity. The starting MSRP for the Ram 2500 Tradesman with a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel with a manual transmission is $40,775, and the MSRP for the same calibration on the Ram 3500 Tradesman model is $41,280.
The second 6.7-liter Cummin turbo diesel callibration is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission and it pushes out 370 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque. The maximum towing capacity of the 6.7-liter Cummins engine on a Ram 2500 with the 6-speed automatic transmission is 18,000 pounds, and the truck has a payload capacity of 3,160 pounds. The MSRP for the Ram 2500 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine with the automatic transmission is $40,775.
Finally there is the 6.7-liter Cummins high output turbo diesel engine and it is only available on the Ram 3500 lineup. The high output calibration is paired to the AISIN 6-speed automatic transmission and it ups horsepower and torque to 385 horsepower and best-in-class 900 lb-ft of torque. This engine gives the Ram 3500 Tradesman a max payload capacity of 4,040 pounds and 17,750 pounds. Starting MSRP for the Ram 3500 with a 6.7-liter Cummins high output turbo diesel engine is $43,875.
Ram Chassis Cab Diesel Engines
There are two 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine calibrations on the Ram 3500/4500/5500 chassis cab trucks. One calibration is paired to a 6-speed manual transmission and it produces 320 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Then there is a 6.7-liter Cummins high output turbo diesel engine option paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission calibration, and it produces 325 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. The Ram 5500 Tradesman chassis cab with the Cummins high output engine has a max payload of 11,450 pounds and a towing capacity of 17,800 pounds. This truck starts at $46,870.
The same option is available on the Ram Chassis Cab 5500, where the payload and towing capacity go up by about 1000 pounds, from 10,760/16,600 to 11,450/17,800 respectively.
Large Cargo Vans
Ram has two cargo van models, the Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City. As it says in the name, the latter is for city jobs, crowded streets, and handling that requires refined movement. The former is made for the big jobs that require impressive towing and hauling capacities. There is not a diesel engine option on the Ram ProMaster City, but there is one on the Ram ProMaster.
The standard engine in a Ram ProMaster is a 3.6-liter V6 engine, with a best-in-class 280-horsepower. The diesel option is a 3.0-liter Turbo EcoDiesel I4 engine, generating up to 174-horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This would be the anomaly in our review, as the payload and maximum towing capacity are relatively the same, with a mere negative 170 pound difference in payload when switching over to the diesel option. Starting MSRP of Ram ProMaster Cargo Van 1500 with a gas engine is $29,945 and $35,110 for the diesel engine.