The 2015 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel might not be the newest truck on the market, but the fact that it was voted the Autobytel Truck of the Year for 2015 says a lot about just how amazing this pickup truly is. With its gobs of torque, excellent fuel mileage, and uncompromised capability when it comes to towing and hauling, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel demonstrates just how much pent-up demand there was for a turbodiesel engine in a light truck. It also happens to offer one of the nicest passenger compartments available, and features a suspension system that has yet to be matched by its rivals.
Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the 2015 Autobytel Truck of the Year.
01. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Is Plenty Powerful
The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel features a 3.0-liter, turbodiesel V-6 that offers up more torque than several of its eight-cylinder rivals. In addition to its 240 horsepower, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel produces 420 lb-ft of twist, which makes for serious acceleration when already moving at highway speeds. In our opinion, that more than compensates for its less-than-V-8 performance off of the line, which is really the only area where the truck’s turbodiesel engine doesn’t feel as virile as some of its competitors.
02. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Can Be Had In Almost Everything
Unlike other special pickup truck drivetrains, the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel makes its turbodiesel goodness available across almost the entire product line-up. That means if you are looking for a basic single cab, Tradesmen entry-level trim with the EcoDiesel engine or if you prefer a fully decked-out Ram 1500 Laramie Limited EcoDiesel, you are in luck – the engine is available in single, quad, and crew cab body styles along with the Tradesman, SLT, Lone Star, Big Horn, Outdoorsman, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Laramie Limited editions of the pickup.
03. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Offers Exceptional Efficiency
The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s excellent torque is one of its primary selling points, but that’s not the only bonus that comes with the pickup’s turbodiesel V-6. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s mighty engine also happens to be quite frugal, to the tune of 20-mpg in stop and go driving and 28-mpg on the highway. That latter figure is phenomenal for a full-size truck, and it’s between three and eight miles per gallon better than other trucks from Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC outfitted with comparably powerful engines. Ram claims a 728 mile range on a single tank of fuel at highway speeds in the 1500 EcoDiesel.
04. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Comes With An Eight-Speed Automatic
A big part of what helps the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel walk the line between fuel-sipper and full-on workhorse is its eight-speed automatic transmission. With two more forward gears than any other autobox available with a full-size pickup (shifted via a rotary dial that frees up significant space on the truck’s center console), the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is capable of selecting the precise ratio required for hauling, accelerating, or conserving fuel while cruising at a steady rate of speed. The transmission itself is sourced from ZF, and is used in a number of applications across the Ram, Chrysler, and Dodge line-up with equally-impressive results.
05. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Features Optional Four-Wheel Drive
Let’s say you want to take advantage of the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s impressive single-tank range to explore areas where roads might be few and far between. No problem: the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s available four-wheel drive system offers a low-range transfer case that is designed to make short work of mud, rocks, and even streams. The EcoDiesel can also be equipped with off-road-ready gear such as skid plates, tow hooks, and a proper trail-going suspension system when you’re ready to get serious about the path less traveled.
06. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Hauls And Hauls
With so much torque on tap, you would be right to think that the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a towing champion. In fact, when properly configured the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can pull up to 9,200 lbs of trailer weight, which puts it near the top of the light-duty pickup truck class. There’s also more than 1,500 lbs of cargo hauling capability waiting to be unlocked in the EcoDiesel, which is available with a variety of bed lengths ranging up to eight feet.
07. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Offers A Sophisticated Suspension System
Unlike any other full-size truck currently available, the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel forgoes a traditional rear leaf spring setup and instead swaps in a pair of coil springs to create a coils-at-each-corner suspension system. The end result is handling and comfort that are a cut above the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and GMC Sierra, especially when driving over rough pavement (or no pavement at all). The best part? The coil system doesn’t sacrifice any of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s practicality, and it can be aided and abetted by an optional self-leveling air suspension system.
08. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Features One Of The Best Cabins In The Business
It may have the largest overall cabin, but it’s hard to deny that the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s top trim levels – the Laramie Longhorn and Laramie Limited – set the standard for interior comfort, fit, and finish in the full-size pickup segment. With reams of leather on the seats, door panels, and trim, combined with the class-best Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system and significant interior storage compartments (including an ultra-deep center console), the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can be equipped to the point where it’s probably nicer inside than your first apartment.
09. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Looks The Business
Complementing its exceptional interior style is sheet metal that continues to set the template for modern pickup design. The culmination of the ‘big rig’ look that Dodge first unveiled in the 1990s, the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel offers the over-sized crosshair front grille, muscular flanks, and huge hood that together come across as both classy and aggressive from almost every angle. Some might find the EcoDiesel’s extroverted personality a little overwhelming, but we feel that’s simply part of the truck’s charm.
10. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Is Reasonably Affordable
How much do you have to pay for the privilege of plunking an EcoDiesel engine under the hood of a brand new 2015 Ram 1500? Not as much as you’d think. Swapping out the base 3.6-liter V-6 (which generates 269 lb-ft of torque) from the entry-level Ram 1500 Tradesman in favor of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel’s 420 lb-ft of twist will set you back an extra $4,000 – or roughly $2,850 more than opting for the almost-as-robust, but not-quite-as-efficient 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. At the upper limits of the Ram 1500 universe, the cost to upgrade to the EcoDiesel drivetrain drops to $3,120. Either way, we feel that the turbodiesel’s benefits are well worth the price of admission.