3.0L EcoDiesel

Return of the 1/2 Ton Diesel, Class Leading 28 mpg

Chrysler's Ram Trucks division became the first automaker in over a decade to bring a diesel engine option to the 1/2 ton pickup category. The 3.0L EcoDiesel became an instant success story for the company, who is having no trouble selling Ram 1500's with the new diesel. With the ability to achieve 29 mpg on the highway (28 for a 4x4 model), this should come at no surprise. The engine manages 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, carrying a max tow rating of 9,200 lbs. While it may not be the workhorse of the lineup, its fuel economy and capacity are perfectly matched for the average truck owner, especially those who need a pickup they can affordably commute in that will also pull their toys on the weekend. Power is controlled by an advanced 8 speed transmission engineered by ZF, which features an impressive 4.71 1st gear ratio and relatively high 0.67 overdrive.

Many of us were hoping for, even expecting the Ram 1500 to be offered with a Cummins considering the long standing relationship that the two companies have shared in the 3/4 and 1 ton market. As it turns out, Ram declined Cummins' offer to provide a 5.0L diesel, stating concerns that the big V-8 would not meet the company's fuel economy requirements. Nissan has since picked up the 5.0L for their Titan XD pickup. The engine Ram chose is an Italian made V-6 manufactured by VM Motori, a company that Chrysler fully acquired in 2013. While the engine does not necessarily come with the same reputation as those built by Cummins, Chrysler has had a lengthy relationship with VM, suggesting that they believe in the quality of their products. Our only criticism here is that we'd prefer production of the engine to move to the States now that Chrysler has the power to make that decision. However, considering that Fiat, Chrysler's parent company, is based in the Netherlands with headquarters in London, they are unlikely to share in our "Made in USA" values.

2016 MY 3.0L EcoDiesel Quick Specs


VM Motori


3.0 liters, 182 cid


60° V-6

Bore x Stroke:

3.27" x 3.60"


Compact graphite iron (CGI) engine block, aluminum cylinder heads

Compression Ratio:

16.5 : 1


High pressure common rail, direct injection


Water cooled VGT, air-to-air intercooler


240 hp @ 3,600 rpm


420 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm


EGR, DPF, DOC, SCR (requires the use of DEF)

Alternative Fuels:

B20 compatible (with shortened maintenance intervals), up to B5 without service schedule adjustment.

Fuel Economy*:

4x2 Models:

21 city, 29 highway

4x4 Models:

20 city, 28 highway

*2016 model year EcoDiesel HFE