• First light-duty diesel pickup in the U.S
  • 3.0-liter turbo V6 diesel paired with 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Ram expects best-in-class fuel economy and torque

Diesel engines are offered in several full-size pickup models, but only in heavy-duty, 3-quarter-ton and 1-ton versions. Ram will be the first to offer a diesel in a light-duty pickup later this year when the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel arrives. It will use a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 mated to Chrysler's TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The automaker expects the diesel pickup to achieve best-in-class fuel economy and torque.

But Ram has not yet provided specifications for the 1500 EcoDiesel, so official fuel economy and output figures are not yet available. However, Ram says that the EcoDiesel will offer better efficiency and range than the gasoline V6-powered 1500 and it already boasts the best-in-class highway fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon.

And if the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 offered in the Ram has similar specifications to the one which is coming soon in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, expect an output of about 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.

For the 2013 model year, Ram introduced the redesigned full-size 1500 pickup to critical acclaim. The addition of a diesel engine option for a light-duty pickup was in response to customer demand, according to Ram Truck Brand President and CEO, Fred Diaz.

"Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel," said Diaz. "The half-ton truck market is incredibly competitive... we must keep pushing."

Until the 1500 EcoDiesel arrives in the third quarter of this year, heavy-duty pickups will remain the only ones offering diesel engines. Some drivers need the diesel power and efficiency but can do without the increased payload, towing capability and price of a heavy-duty model. For these pickup drivers, the upcoming Ram 1500 EcoDiesel may be worth waiting for.

What it means to you: Ram promises best-in-class fuel economy and torque from its upcoming 2014 1500 EcoDiesel. It's the only light-duty pickup with a diesel engine option.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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