• 2014 RAM 1500 Diesel brings diesel power to light-duty segment
  • RAM says to expect best-in-class gas mileage
  • RAM 2500/3500 HD models also updated for 2014

Chrysler is making several changes to the RAM pickup line for the 2014 model year. Among them are new engines, including an all-new diesel variant on the light-duty RAM 1500 line.

According to Chrysler, that model will be dubbed the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel. Due out later this year, it will be the only diesel-powered, light-duty pickup on the market. Diesel is typically reserved for full-size, heavy-duty pickups such as the Ford F-250 Super Duty and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD.

The RAM 1500 EcoDiesel's engine is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. Offered at a $2,850 premium over a gas-powered model, the EcoDiesel puts out 240 horsepower and a whopping 420 lb-ft of torque. That will make the pickup a great choice for shoppers looking to tow.

Of course, the truck also will be perfect for shoppers interested in fuel economy. Chrysler says the RAM EcoDiesel will offer best-in-class gas mileage, topping even its own RAM 1500 V6. The RAM 1500 is today's fuel economy leader, returning 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

Beyond the RAM 1500's new diesel engine, Chrysler also announced updates to the full-size RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 Heavy Duty models for the 2014 model year. The biggest news is that those trucks will add a new powerplant for 2014: a 6.4-liter Hemi V8.

Replacing today's 5.7-liter engine, the new 6.4-liter powerplant churns out 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Those are big numbers -- and they add nearly 30 hp and 30 lb-ft to the Hemi's power and torque figures. The pickups' diesel engine remains unchanged.

Beyond the new engines, RAM 2500 and 3500 models also add new suspension. Designed to improve ride quality, the latest suspension system is based on the more compliant RAM 1500's hardware. The RAM 2500 also adds newly available, class-exclusive air suspension for an even better ride.

Chrysler says its updated RAM trucks will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013.

What it means to you: The 2014 RAM 1500 Diesel and the updated RAM 2500 and 3500 models make the already-enticing RAM even more alluring for the new model year.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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