Ram 1500: HEMI or EcoDiesel?


Since it's introduction into the light-duty pickup segment, the Ram EcoDiesel engine option has given consumers an option they have never had. The Diesel engine has always been associated as a work-duty truck, with a high price tag to go along with it. Now consumers must ask themselves what they are looking for in a truck? Especially since the Ram EcoDiesel has won many awards since it's debut.

We at Menzies Chrysler want to make it easier on you, giving you a great comparison between the new EcoDiesel and the legendary HEMI so you can make an educated decision. We will be looking at Power, Noise, Economy, Cost of Ownership, and Towing. So lets begin!

Power: HEMI

Although the EcoDiesel does put out 10 more pound-feet of torque than the Hemi, the Hemi edges out the EcoDiesel in Horsepower, delivering 155 more horses. It also has a slightly high maximum towing capacity, a total of 1,200 lbs to be exact. The Hemi is also faster off the line compared to the EcoDiesel, running about 2 seconds faster in the 0-100 km/h test. 

Noise: Draw

It was difficult to pick a clear winner in this category. Who doesn't love the growl that the Hemi produces, and with so many aftermarket exhaust options, their are many different levels of loud you can get. There are also lovers of the Diesels whistle from the turbo. No matter what Ram I get into, the soundtrack of the engine is all I need. In terms of driving at higher speeds, the EcoDiesel seemed to be more quiet. It all comes down to your personal taste.

Economy: EcoDiesel

There wasn't much of a contest when it came to fuel efficiency. In Two-Wheel Drive, the EcoDiesel edged the Hemi by 5 MPG city, and 6 MPG Highway. In Four-Wheel Drive, the EcoDiesel was able to achieve 4 MPG city and 6 MPG highway more than the Hemi. In Motor Trend's Truck of the Year contest, the Ram EcoDiesel average MPG was in some cases double that of its Gasoline counterparts. If towing is large part of your trucks job, the EcoDiesel should be a serious contender.

Cost of Ownership: EcoDiesel

In the past, cost of operation and maintenance would fall in the Diesel's favour. However, today's fuel prices have fluctuated like never before, bringing the price of Gas and Diesel fuel closer. As of now, Diesel is still approximately 10 cents cheaper compared to Gasoline, but that could change in the future. Diesel also burns slower than Gasoline, increasing fuel economy. When comparing engine maintenance costs, Diesel engines have the advantage of not having spark plugs, but the EcoDiesel does require urea DEF aftertreatment, a $10-$20 cost at every oil-change. The EcoDiesel also takes a higher amount of oil, needing 10.5 quarts compared to the Hemi's 7 quarts. Diesel engines are also known to last longer than the gasoline engine, due to the way the fuel burns and they way the parts lubricate. 

Towing: EcoDiesel

Yes, it is true the Hemi has a higher overall tow rating than the EcoDiesel, but when you factor in the performance variable between loaded and unloaded, as well as the fuel economy difference, the EcoDiesel starts to look like the better option. The Hemi is more than capable of towing large loads, but since fuel economy is a growing concern among Canadian truck buyers, the EcoDiesel is the winner.

Verdict: Your Personal Choice

This is no easy answer for which truck is best suited for you. My advice would be to rank what you need in a truck. If fuel economy is the first thing that comes to mind, then you should test out the EcoDiesel. If you long for the growl off the line, then the Hemi is the answer to your prayers. At the end of the day, both engines are more than capable for what you need your truck to do on a daily basis. I am personally a fan of the new EcoDiesel, and urge new truck buyers to give it a shot.

Categories: New Inventory

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