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Ram EcoDiesel Makes Wards List of 10 Best Engines, Again

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list makes Wards bes EcoDiesel

Ram EcoDiesel Makes Wards List of 10 Best Engines, Again

Posted by Mark Williams | December 20, 2015


Making the prestigious Wards 10 Best Engines list for the third consecutive year — 2014-16 — the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V-6 was the only pickup engine on the 2016 list. The VM Motori-sourced engine from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles produces more than 400 pounds-feet of torque and has an EPA highway rating of 29 mpg, one of the highest of any pickup truck sold in the U.S.

According to Wardsauto.com, two other pickup diesel engines were considered: the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon Duramax 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder (a Thailand-sourced turbo-diesel) and the Cummins 32-valve 5.0-liter V-8 turbo-diesel found in the all-new 2016 Nissan Titan XD. Even with those contenders, Wards editors remained convinced that the FCA engine still leads in the pickup segment for refinement and fuel efficiency.

Other winning engines included on the 10 Best list are the BMW turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, the Camaro (fundamentally the same engine, with a different tune, as in the Colorado/Canyon) direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6, the 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder Chevy Volt hybrid powertrain, the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang 5.2-liter V-8, the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder Hyundai Sonata hybrid, Nissan's 3.5-liter V-6, the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder boxer from Subaru, the Toyota Prius 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder hybrid and Volvo's supercharged, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears


in Diesels, Ram Brand


The ecodiesel equipped Ram has turned out to be an impressive engine, particularly with a GDE tune. Its achilles heel is poor heat management under load, since the intercooler obstructs most of the radiator. The Garrett turbo they chose to use also has very little headroom in terms of handling EGTs. I suspect Chrysler will address those shortcomings whenever they provide the next Ram 1500 update.

Even with those limitations if you yank the DPF, and particularly if you add a water/methanol injection system this engine will easily run up right to the torque limits of the 8HP70 transmission (maybe in an update Chrysler will have to move to an 8HP90 for ecodiesel applications?). To be clear that would put the ecodiesel right on par with the Cummins ISV in power/torque production (though at slightly higher rpms).

Its a shame more people don't have a chance to tow with an ecodiesel and a hemi, despite the paper ratings the ecodiesel is an improved towing experience than a hemi (and shockingly more efficient).

I am still hoping that Ford will update their ecoboost with their "bobcat" technology they previewed many years ago. Probably the closest thing to a diesel experience one can get (diesel emissions stuff can be a huge hassle). I suspect that will never happen though.

Posted by: Mileage Man | Dec 20, 2015 9:36:27 AM

There's been too many low mileage ecodiesel engine failures, head recalls, and other issues for my risk tolerance.

Gotta wonder why VM's smaller 2.8L engine didn't garner as much interest.

Cummins 5.0L was been let down with Nissan's lackluster effort.

Posted by: ken | Dec 20, 2015 9:52:22 AM

Two of my relatives have one. One in a jeep, one in a ram. Both get great mpg, but both have already spent time in the shop on multiple occasions. My dad decided to pass on the ecodiesel after hearing about those problems saying "it's definitely not a cummins." I don't think either of my relatives regret their purchase though. Reading on the ram forums seems there are a lot of different issues. Oil in the coolant. Exhaust system leaking into the cab. Injection pump failures.

Posted by: Beebe | Dec 20, 2015 10:07:18 AM


It's unfortunate, but thing like this happen. The oil cooler is outsourced and it's just poor solder job and coolant attacking joints. The engine is still the best.
Exhaust system leaking to the cab has been fixed a year ago.
I would probably replace this oil cooler with aftermarket one as soon as I would get the key from dealer, but even that could be defective. Nissan Titan had similar problem with Transmission fluid leak in the radiator.

Congrats for best diesel engine to FIAT again, like many of you like to say.

Posted by: zvier@ | Dec 20, 2015 10:35:14 AM

Ford has the only v8 on the list. No Hemi's, no hellcats, no lt's from gm.

Posted by: scott | Dec 20, 2015 10:52:45 AM

GM has 3 engines on the list. Another example of GM leading. Don't worry FORD fans, by chasing GM, ford advances it's products.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Dec 20, 2015 11:18:08 AM

My point is ford is the only one with a v8 on the list..... Duh

Posted by: scott | Dec 20, 2015 11:38:43 AM

So what. All magazines like that motor. But it's on a list with a motor you blue oval boys think is junk so really how good can it be

Posted by: roadram | Dec 20, 2015 12:04:19 PM

Obviously engines aren't put on this list with durability/longetivity/quality in mind.

Posted by: Scott K | Dec 20, 2015 12:05:43 PM

FCA recalls 55,687 more Jeep Cherokees

December 18, 2015 - 11:08 am ET

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