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GREEN | 6 out of 10
Ram 1500: 20/28 mpg - 13/19 mpg
The 2013 Hemi eight-speed rating will likely gain a point or two over the 14 city/20 highway mpg earned by the current six-speed, and beyond that there's a Hemi HFE model with start-stop that'll go one better.
Chrysler has met the challenge, the same one that's facing all truck makers, to find a way to maintain the capabilities that full-size truck buyers want while meeting ever-tougher fuel economy requirements mandated by the U.S. government.
the HFE (high fuel economy) model will have the best half-ton gas-mileage numbers of any full-size pickup, ripping the title away from the 3.7-liter V-6 Ford F-150.
the Ram is equipped with a new electric rack-and-pinion power steering system, a trend driven by fuel economy.
Chrysler's Ram 1500 pickups now offer some of the highest fuel-economy ratings in the full-size truck segment, with a new turbodiesel rated at 20/28 mpg, or 23 mpg combined.
This year's base Ram 1500--the one with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic (and rear-wheel drive)--carries over its gas-mileage ratings of 17 miles per gallon city, 25 miles per gallon highway, and 20 mpg combined. The GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado V-6 are rated at 18/24 mpg, or 20 mpg combined; we'll call that a draw. The Ford F-150 with the 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic checks in at 16/22 mpg or 18 mpg combined. Chalk up that as a win--for Ram.
The gas-powered Ram can equal the GMC's city numbers, in HFE trim. That's where it adds active air shutters and stop/start, to boost city gas mileage to 18 mpg. However, once you option up to four-wheel drive, those numbers drop to 16/23 mpg.
The Ram's mid-line 4.7-liter V-8 has been deleted for this model year, so the next step up the ladder is the HEMI V-8, now with either the eight-speed automatic or the older six-speed automatic, depending on the model. The 5.7-liter engine earned an EPA rating of 15/22 mpg or 17 mpg combined when outfitted with rear-wheel drive and the new gearbox; it's carryover 14/20/16 mpg numbers with the six-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive pulls the eight-speed model down to 15/21/17 mpg--not much worse than the V-6 F-150--and the six-speed, to 13/19/15 mpg.
Chrysler already leads the full-size fuel-economy race--even before the EcoDiesel's ratings are factored in.