• RAM 1500 EcoDiesel rated at 28 mpg highway, 23 mpg city
  • Diesel RAM 1500 is now the most fuel-efficient truck on the market
  • EcoDiesel carries a $2,850 price premium over HEMI V8

If you're looking for a full-size pickup with an eye on fuel efficiency, the 2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel might be the truck for you. That's because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently rated the pickup at 28 miles per gallon on the highway, making it the most fuel-efficient full-size truck available today.

In addition to its 28 mpg highway rating, the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel earned an EPA-rated 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The figure isn't an exact average, since the EPA's combined driving cycle puts an extra emphasis on city driving.

The strong fuel economy figures will come as no surprise to truck aficionados, since the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is the only full-size, light-duty truck to use a diesel engine. Most trucks save diesel power for heavy-duty models aimed at commercial shoppers and drivers interested in towing or hauling huge loads.

But the RAM 1500's EcoDiesel engine isn't a heavy-duty powerplant. Instead, it's aimed at shoppers who spend most of their time in normal, everyday driving situations. And that's where the engine shines, thanks to a reasonable 240 horsepower, a muscular 420 lb-ft of torque and a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission.

Unfortunately, the EcoDiesel's excellent torque and gas mileage figures include a sharp price increase over other RAM models. Chrysler says the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel carries a $2,850 price premium over the HEMI V8-powered RAM 1500, which makes 395 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque.

Interestingly, the RAM 1500 offers another option for fuel economy-minded truck shoppers who aren't interested in diesel power. The truck's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 boasts an impressive 305 hp but still returns up to 25 mpg on the highway. That engine slots just behind the EcoDiesel as the second-most efficient powerplant among full-size trucks.

What it means to you: The 2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is the pickup to have for shoppers who are especially interested in fuel economy.

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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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