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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instead of the tired old 3.7-liter V6 that has soldiered on as the base engine in the Ram 1500 for far too long, it has been replaced by Chrysler's corporate V6: the 3.6-liter Pentastar.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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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
quote:
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.


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