The word on the digital grapevine is that big changes are coming to the Ram 1500 lineup. It's already been confirmed that the popular and torquey V6 EcoDiesel is getting the boot to make room on the assembly line for the upcoming all-electric Ram pickup truck. There is also word of a new inline-six engine dubbed the Hurricane coming to put the truck's Hemi V8 option out to pasture. More details are on the brink, but until then, we get to enjoy the current 2023 Ram 1500 in its glory, which recently earned the title of Texas Full-Size Truck of the Year by the Texas Motor Press Association.
The award-winning truck that won over the auto journalists of TxMPA was the Ram 1500 Limited powered by the now-discontinued turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. Moreover, the model tested came equipped with the 10th Anniversary limited edition package.
The EcoDiesel V6
The EcoDiesel underwent three generations during its development from when Ram first unveiled it in 2014. The gen three turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel boasts a rated 260 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft of torque. In addition, if optioned in the Ram Tradesman HFE trim with 2WD, the V6 diesel truck carried a brag-worthy rating of 32 mpg. More importantly, it offered a competitive max-towing capacity of 12,560 pounds.
The first thing you notice when driving a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is how quiet it is, which is a stark contrast to the rumble and brimstone of the 5.7-liter, 6.4-liter, and Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8. Pressing the ignition button and the only reminder that you're driving a diesel truck is a faint clatter before dying down to a smooth hum. The sound of the turbocharger spooling is more audible than the engine itself. As a result, the EcoDiesel is a torquey wolf in sheep's clothing. A working truck's grunt is hushed to a church whisper.
On the road and off, the Ram 1500 Limited glides thanks to its four-wheel air suspension. This suspension can be raised or lowered for varying terrain with a button push. Although the Ram 1500 does feel bulbous when driving on narrow off-road trails, one cannot ignore how comfortable it is to drive. Moreover, the EcoDiesel's 480 lb.-ft of torque is only a throttle input away from getting you out of any sticky terrain.
Ram 1500 Limited 10th Anniversary Limited Edition
Inside, the $2,145 cost for the 10th anniversary limited edition package gets you premium quilted stitch leather upholstery, a jeweled rotary dial, a suede headliner, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. In addition, there is a 10th anniversary limited edition emblem stamped in the center console positioned so that resting your forearm won't cover it.
As with all Ram Trucks of this generation, stepping inside the Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel is like putting on a premium leather glove. You're greeted by a warm and inviting cabin shielding you from the outside elements. The plush seats and spacious interior further remind you that this is not your grandfather's vinyl bench seat old Dodge.
New Tech in the 2023 Ram 1500
As part of an update for the current generation, the Ram 1500 received a host of new tech for 2023. Newly available equipment includes a 12-inch digital instrument cluster with the option to project full-screen navigation. The new digital dash offers full-color 3D graphics and color customization. In addition, the 2023 Ram 1500 will feature a reconfigurable digital head-up display showing the driver information like MPH, notify of incoming calls, and providing turn-by-turn navigation.
Another technical feature available on 2023 Ram trucks is a digital rearview mirror with an LCD monitor that can be switched off. When on, the digital rearview mirror provides the driver with a real-time video stream from the rear-facing camera. Other new features include the Ram App, powered by Ram Connect, allowing the owner to send destinations to the GPS with the Send & Go feature. In addition, people can use the Ram App for remote vehicle start, vehicle finder, and lock or unlock the doors instead of using the key fob.
The EcoDiesel Ends on a High Note
The EcoDiesel engine certainly left an impression on the truck market. It balanced torque and fuel economy and set a bar that current electric pickup trucks can't reach.
No "new" EcoDiesel V6-powered Ram 1500 trucks will be rolling off the line in 2023. However, these trucks will live on in the pre-owned and used truck lots across the country. These 1000-mile range diesel engines will become a snapshot of the era's technology and performance. Future automotive bloggers will be able to add the EcoDiesel to their top 10 lists for throwback Thursday alongside the first-gen Ram 1500 TRX and the "OG '' 1979 Dodge Ram Li’l Red Express.