- Jul 27, 2013
from the Car and Driver Blog.
In the realm of pickup trucks, determining top honors in power, displacement, and towing capacity is an endeavor as murky as keeping track of current and deposed Middle Eastern heads of state. Even in a downsized market, in which smaller engines are creeping into big trucks as the price of Texas tea shows no sign of falling, the race to build the best pickup is still all about the highest numbers.
The latest gambit comes from Ram, which announced that its newest entry into the pickup melee, the EcoDiesel, has a towing capacity of 9200 pounds with rear-wheel drive and a two-door/long-bed configuration. Ram claims that this figure greatly surpasses that of any of its V-6–engined competitors’ hauling abilities, thanks to the EcoDiesel’s copious 420 lb-ft of torque and modifications made to the gearing of its eight-speed automatic transmission. (Being the only automaker to offer a light-duty truck with a diesel is also useful.) In addition, Ram claims best-in-class fuel efficiency of better than 25 mpg on the highway.
For some perspective, consider that the Ram 1500 with the gasoline-powered 305-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 can haul up to 7450 pounds, some 20 percent less than the EcoDiesel but in line with the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra’s 7200-pound tow rating. By contrast, the base 3.7-liter V-6 in Ford’s F-150 can only muster pulling 6100 pounds.
With the volatile nature of the pickup segment—especially given manufacturers’ insistence on being class leaders in ratings such as torque and towing—it might not be long before the current towing ruler is overthrown in a populist-cum-consumer revolution. And that revolution might not feature spark plugs