By Patrick Rall
For the first time ever, Motor Trend has named a back to back champion in their Truck of the Year balloting and that truck is the Ram 1500. The 2014 Ram half ton pickup beat out 8 other vehicles including the Ram Heavy Duty, the Ram ProMaster, the Chevrolet Silverado, the GMC Sierra, the Toyota Tundra, the Ford Transit Connect, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Nissan NV200.
“Half-ton truck customers have been asking for a diesel engine and Ram is the only truck manufacturer to answer the bell and deliver not only best-in-class fuel economy but also 9,200 pounds of towing capability,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “In a brutally competitive truck industry, the Ram 1500 is the only vehicle to ever win the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award two years in a row, reaffirming the fact that we have the best truck on the road.”
All of these vehicles were evaluated in a long list of categories through four basic types of testing at the Continental Tire Automotive Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas. Those testing procedures as are follows:
1. Standard testing (without load): 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip.
2. Limit handling (without load): closed-course cornering, braking and acceleration.
3. Tow/payload testing: 0-60 acceleration repeated with trailers attached (pickups) or payload secured (vans), loaded to 75 percent of each truck’s maximum rating (as equipped)
4. Road looping: Highway and real-world replication
Where the 2013 Motor Trend Truck of the Year award was decided mainly on the excellence of the 5.7L Hemi V8, this year it was the diminutive 3.0LEcoDiesel V6. In addition to packing enough power to tow 9,200 pounds, the EcoDiesel ram slaughtered the competition in terms of fuel economy with a recorded 15mpg during the torture testing. More importantly, the Ram EcoDiesel was the best of the best in real world fuel economy with a 4×4 model with 3.92 gears offering up 19mpg in the city, 26 on the highway and 21mpg combined while a 4×2 model with 3.55 gears achieved 18 in the city, 28 on the highway and 22mpg combined.
“For 2014 we had a large and highly competitive field of contenders for Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year,” said Edward Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. “At the end of the day, though, the Ram 1500 quickly rose to the top. Not only did it withstand our rigorous testing, it thoroughly impressed our judges with its vast array of standard and optional equipment, and, most notable, its fuel-efficient, segment-exclusive EcoDiesel V-6. With 420 lb-ft of torque and up to 28 ‘Real MPG’ highway, the EcoDiesel is a true game-changer. In fact it helped make Ram 1500 the Motor Trend 2014 Truck of the Year – and the only consecutive winner in the history of the award.”