• 2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel can tow up to 9,200 pounds
  • Far better than gas V6, and just behind Hemi V8
  • Fuel economy will top out around 25 mpg highway

Chrysler has officially announced tow ratings for its new-for-2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel. The automaker says the new V6-powered diesel pickup can tow a whopping 9,200 pounds, which puts it just shy of RAM pickups equipped with the muscular Hemi V8.

While a 9,200-lb tow rating won't lead the full-size pickup segment, it's still a very impressive feat. That's because the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is only powered by a V6 engine, while nearly all competitors with similar tow ratings use V8s. Even the RAM's gas-powered Pentastar V6 -- rated at 305 horsepower -- can only tow up to 7,450 pounds.

So how does the EcoDiesel do it? Torque. While the 3-liter turbodiesel engine only makes 240 hp, its pulling power is rated at a brawny 420 lb-ft of torque. That allows the engine to pull heavy loads that normal, gasoline-powered V6 engines can't match.

The strong tow rating only increases the appeal of the highly anticipated EcoDiesel engine, which is launching in the RAM lineup for the 2014 model year. While diesel power is common on heavy-duty pickups such as the RAM 2500 or the Ford F-Series Super Duty, the RAM EcoDiesel is the first light-duty truck in years to offer a diesel engine.

And the diesel has benefits beyond just towing capacity. While official fuel economy ratings haven't been announced, Chrysler says the 2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel will return a whopping 25 miles per gallon in highway driving. That's 5 mpg better than the Hemi V8.

While RAM hasn't announced official pricing for its 2014 model yet, we do know what diesel power will cost. Drivers who want the EcoDiesel will have to spend an extra $2,850 over the V6. For some, the diesel engine won't be worth the cost, but for shoppers who want to combine towing capacity and fuel economy, there won't be another truck like it.

What it means to you: The RAM 1500 EcoDiesel offers V8 towing capacity and V6 fuel economy.

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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