Chrysler 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel Engine Wins Wards Best Engine of 2015, image courtesy of Ward's

Chrysler’s 3.0 Liter EcoDiesel is Ward Automotive’s Best Engine for 2015

You may not be closely familiar with Ward’s.  In fact the last time you may have heard of it, the word “Montgomery” came before it.  This particular “Wards” is a very old and respected automotive publication.  Each year, they put out a series of “Top 10” lists about vehicles, engines and other technology.  It carries much more weight than the average automotive-related hype.

We looked at the Ram EcoDiesel here a few months ago.  But when Ward’s recently announced that the 3.0 liter V-6 EcoDiesel found in the 2015 Dodge Ram was their Engine of the Year, it was a very, very, very big thing.

I could start to opine on the benefits of turbo diesel in regular pickup truck applications; but after reading the award writeup at Ward’s, I figured it best to let them do the talking:

The 3.0L diesel V-6 in the Ram 1500 returns to the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for 2015 by methodically edging out its direct competition. Let’s ponder the list…

 

…Chrysler’s 3.0L, which comes across the pond from Fiat’s VM Motori, gets the nod for performing about as well as one of Bavaria’s finest at a fraction of the price. A Ram diesel can be had for $31,000, compared with the X5 diesel’s starting price of $57,000.

 

The Ram also wins for being the first modern light-duty diesel in a fullsize pickup, whose work cycle is well suited for torque-rich combustion ignition. Filling this gaping hole in the segment clearly has paid off for Chrysler. Even with a $4,700 premium over the base V-6, the diesel take-rate among Ram buyers is about 20%, outpacing expectations.

 

Finally, Ford’s all-new F-150 presented the Ram with a considerable challenge for its excellent NVH and drivability. The Ram and F-150 were the only two pickups in this year’s competition.

 

Ford’s new 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 is quiet and moves the truck well, but the F-150’s real-world fuel economy was disappointing, lagging the Ram diesel by a wide margin, even with the new stop/start system working often.

 

True, modern diesel technology is not cheap. Urea-dosing selective catalytic reduction, high-pressure fuel injection and sound encapsulation can add thousands of dollars to the sticker, but the benefits are worth it.

 

Among them: high resale value, confidence on freeway entrance ramps and the unexpected joy of consuming fuel at a rate that routinely surpasses the EPA estimates…

 

…Finally, a compact, efficient, powerful diesel just seems so right in a fullsize pickup. They go together like sweat and equity….

 

 

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Sebastian James

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