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The Ram 1500 gets a much needed heart transplant

Ford isn't the only company that can dish out full-size pickups with relatively decent fuel economy these days. Ford made headlines two year ago (and saw sales of V6 engines skyrocket) when it introduced an all-new 3.7-liter V6 engine and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 for its best-selling F-150.
Not one to let Ford sit around and bask in the media and sales spotlight, Chrysler is giving its 2013 Ram 1500 a heart transplant as well. In this case, instead of the tired old 3.7-liter V6 that has soldiered on as the base engine in the Ram 1500 for far too long, it has been replaced by Chrysler's corporate V6: the 3.6-liter Pentastar.
Whereas the old 3.7-liter engine produced 215hp and 235 lb-ft of torque, the Pentastar V6 blows those numbers out of the water with 305hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, Ford's based 3.7-liter V6 engine in the F-150 generates 300hp and 275 lb-ft of torque.

3.6-liter Pentastar V6
Despite the massive increase in power and torque, fuel economy has also gone up significantly with the new Pentastar V6. Fuel economy numbers increase from 14/20 (city/highway) with the old 3.7 to 18/25 with the new 3.6 in 4x2 trim (these figures are also ahead of the 3.7-liter V6 in the Ford F-150 which is rated at 17/23).
It also helps that the '13 Ram 1500 makes use of a new 8-speed automatic transmission to help boost fuel efficiency.
Even though the V6 doesn't have as much "grunt" as the Hemi V8 option, Inside Line says that the Ram 1500's new base engine is enough to propel the pickup to 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds.

2013 Dodge Ram 1500
All of this newfangled technology doesn't come for free, however. The '13 Ram 1500 with the Pentastar V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission starts at $23,585 compared to $22,420 for the '12 Ram 1500 with the 3.7-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic transmission.
With both Ford and Chrysler stepping up to the plate with power and efficiency for the full-size pickups, all eyes should now be on General Motors and its Silverado 1500/Sierra 1500.

Sources: Chrysler, Inside Line

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The Pentastar V-6 is good, but...
By Beenthere on 8/24/2012 12:27:39 PM , Rating: 1's a U.S. disgrace to not be selling all trucks with clean, fuel efficient turbo Diesel engines - as the rest of the world uses. These 1/2 ton pick-ups could be getting 25 mpg city and 40 mpg highway with a nice, clean turbo four or six cylinder Diesel.

Thank Bama and the EPA for doing all that they can to punish those who use clean Diesels instead of buying a EV. It's amazing that so many people in the U.S. tolerate this abuse. You have a vote and it's your voice. Use it!

RE: The Pentastar V-6 is good, but...
By kamiller422 on 8/24/2012 12:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for diesel, but it's currently higher priced than unleaded. And, that would seem to offset any savings in mileage.

RE: The Pentastar V-6 is good, but...
By Spuke on 8/24/2012 2:02:49 PM , Rating: 1
The price of fuel doesn't negate the savings but the cost of a diesel option sure does. Don't know about cars but it's typically $7000+ for the diesel option in 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. Also, you pay more in maintenance costs also. I know, I own one. I did it because it makes more power and gets better fuel economy while towing (I can tow longer before refueling AND I can use truck stops which are easier to navigate with a trailer). The V10 would've been cheaper overall to operate.

RE: The Pentastar V-6 is good, but...
By Lord 666 on 8/24/2012 6:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
About $2500 difference between the gasser and TDI for both the Jetta and Passat. My wife and I test drove a TDI Passat last month and liked it, but I thought it was little under-powered even coming from our TDI Jetta.

Having a tough time justifying buying a car that has the same motor as the Jetta when it should really get the 3.0.

RE: The Pentastar V-6 is good, but...
By Spuke on 8/24/2012 6:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
About $2500 difference between the gasser and TDI for both the Jetta and Passat.
Thanks for that. How long would it take to recoup costs? Also, unless I was getting a TDI, VW wouldn't be on my list. IMO, if you're gonna go gas, there are much better cars to choose from.

By Lord 666 on 8/24/2012 11:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
Trick question; for our family coming from the 1.9 TDI Jetta, the recouping of costs will never happen. We need a bigger car with the two little ones growing up. By going TDI, it is reducing the "mileage bleed" but still getting a larger car. Now only if there was a diesel minivan. Considering dumping the other vehicle for a used Q7 or R350 CDI.

Agreed that the TDIs are the only VWs worth looking at.

By Bad-Karma on 8/25/2012 2:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but most diesel engines are just getting broken in at the 150K-250K mile mark. By that point most gassers are ready for the scrap heap. But treat them right and our diesel engines will push 500K or better. A lot of trucks with oil bypass filters are seeing more than double that before even needing a tear-down. So your savings is through longevity.

Not too many gassers that can even approach those numbers.

For trucks, that actually do any real work, a big heavy engine running comfortably at lower RPMs is preferable to a smaller strung out one whose RPMs are all over the place.

Besides, with a diesel you can flood out the rice burners and music thumpers with a cloud of soot, and that is a lot more fun than any V10! Keeps the grin-meter pegged on max.

RE: The Pentastar V-6 is good, but...
By Marlin1975 on 8/24/2012 2:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
Dodge has a 6cyl diesel, and it does not get anywhere near 40mpg in their trucks.
You do know we use different measurement for gallon in the USD vs Europe right?
Let alone the higher cost of the motor, higher fuel cost, etc…

But yea it Obama’s fault /rolleyes

RE: The Pentastar V-6 is good, but...
By Beenthere on 8/24/2012 7:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
This ain't my first day on the job and yes I know the difference between a U.S. gallon and Imperial gallon and the farce that is the U.S. EPA and how they don't want U.S. consumers to buy clean turbo Diesels.

VW, BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Cummins all have small four and/or six cylinder clean Diesel engines that can deliver 25/40 in a 1/2 ton pick-up truck even with the bogus U.S. EPA emissions requirements and tainted mpg calculations.

VW's engines actually get BETTER than the EPA advertised mpg because the EPA has altered the test to produce LOWER results for Diesel engines. When you know the FACTS you'll be mad-as-Hell at the criminals in DC.

Hell my brothers 3500 Dodge duallie with the Cummins 6.7L gets 20 mpg mixed city/country - with no highway and it weights 7,000 lbs. empty! VW gets 30+ city and 42+ mpg highway in the Golf/Jetta which weighs less than the 1/2 Dodge trucks but only has a six speed trans. This ain't rocket science folks but Bama and the EPA don't want folks in the U.S. to buy clean turbo Diesels so you don't hear about these engines much. They want you to buy impractical EVs...

By Reclaimer77 on 8/26/2012 12:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's not so much the EPA as it is taxes and market forces. Europe used to export diesel fuel to the US. But now with nearly 50% of all European vehicles being diesel powered, they no longer have excess capacity to export to us. Combined with our already strained refining capability just to keep up with demand on gasoline, diesel just takes a back seat.

Taxes are the other big one. We've all seen the price disparity at the gas stations between diesel and gasoline. 'Nuff said on that.

However where the EPA has screwed up (well, one of many screw ups) was in making it impossible for manufactures to produce cheap small displacement diesel engines for passenger cars.

I don't see the situation in Europe OR American as being optimal, however. In my opinion necessities like fuel should not be seen as cash cows for Governments, or worst, tools to advance political agendas. In both countries it's the consumer who has suffered. Lack of choice here, outrageous prices there. Which is preferable? Neither imo.

We need less Government in automobiles, and more Capitalism.

By knutjb on 8/26/2012 3:51:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:'s a U.S. disgrace to not be selling all trucks with clean, fuel efficient turbo Diesel engines - as the rest of the world uses.
is an ignorant argument. The fuel market in the US is very different than in the rest of the world. Passenger vehicles with diesel engines are fighting with aircraft, jet fuel is from the same part of refining as diesel. Then you have trains which are the single largest consumer of diesel in the US which are followed by semi-trucks. You do not have that combination of demand on jet/diesel anywhere else. So in the US there is room for only a few diesel powered passenger vehicles before the ROR goes south.

One problem we have right now with gasoline is US demand is down relative to diesel. Instead of lower gas prices refiners are shipping it overseas.

The other major problem is the incredible difficulty to build or expand refining capacity. Hence, the Richmond Ca plant breaks because it operates near max capacity 24-7. All the other plants are experiencing similar loads. So there is no domestic production capacity left to cover Richmond's hole. Gas prices went up over 20 cents in just over a week.

Look at the problems not the symptoms.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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