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The Ram 1500 is one of the most popular pickups on the road in America and for good reason. Ram trucks are a true testament to automotive engineering. If you’re interested in purchasing a half-ton Ram, you’re no doubt somewhat familiar with Ram’s EcoDiesel engine that was introduced a few years back. But you might not know all of the details surrounding Ram’s engine options. Does the Ram 1500 still come with gasoline options, or is diesel the only option? For your convenience, we brought you the answer.
The 2021 Ram 1500 is available with the following engine options:
- 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar gasoline engine with the eTorque system
- 5.7-liter V8 Hemi gasoline engine (either with or without the eTorque system)
- 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine
If you still have some additional questions about the gasoline vs. diesel options for the 2021 Ram 1500, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll discuss the topic in greater detail. We’ll talk about the nuances of the gasoline and diesel engines available in the Ram 1500, the life expectancy of the EcoDiesel and 5.7-liter Hemi engines, and more. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
2021 Ram 1500 Engine Options
Here we’ll talk in greater detail about Ram’s 2021 engine lineup to give you a better idea of the capabilities of each.
3.6-liter V6 Pentastar Gasoline Engine With The eTorque System
The 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine is the smaller of the two gasoline engines Ram offers for the 1500 line. However, this doesn’t mean that this engine lacks power.
Ram has equipped this engine with eTorque, a 48-volt battery-powered electric motor generator that provides supplemental torque in certain situations. Though not a true hybrid engine, the 3.6-liter V6, as it’s currently offered, utilizes both gasoline and electricity for maximum power generation when you need it most. By equipping this engine with the eTorque system, Ram has essentially closed the gap (at least to a certain extent) between the V6 Pentastar engine and its V8 counterpart in terms of power and capability.
In regard to specifications, this engine produces 269 lb-ft. of torque and 305 horsepower. The engine’s fuel economy split is 19/24 miles per gallon, and its maximum towing capacity is 7,410 lbs.
In sum, being the smaller of the two gasoline engines Ram offers for the 1500 pickup, the 3.6-liter V6 is a more modest engine that still provides plenty of utility. If you’re looking for a fairly simple engine that can tackle plenty of tasks, the V6 Pentastar is a great choice.
5.7-liter V8 Hemi Gasoline Engine (Either With Or Without The eTorque System)
The 5.7-liter V8 gasoline engine is the largest engine Ram offers for the 1500 pickup truck. The 5.7-liter Hemi is undoubtedly one of the most well-known truck engines and for good reason. This engine is known for its tried-and-true reliability and power. The engine has changed slightly throughout its different generations, but the overall bones and concept have remained virtually the same since the Hemi’s inception.
For 2021, this engine is available either with or without the eTorque system. But curiously, both configurations have nearly identical specifications according to Ram’s website.
Both configurations produce 410 lb-ft. of torque and 395 horsepower. The only (minor) differences are in fuel economy and towing. The non-eTorque option has a fuel economy split of 15/21 miles per gallon and a maximum towing capacity of 11,410 lbs. The 5.7-liter Hemi with the eTorque motor generator has a fuel economy split of 17/22 and a maximum towing capacity of 11,320 lbs.
In sum, as the larger of the two gasoline engines Ram offers for the 1500, the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 produces significant power. If you’re looking to purchase a Ram 1500 with a stout gasoline engine, consider the Hemi. If most of your driving is around town without loads, opting for the eTorque system might be the best option. But if you need every pound of towing capacity possible and fuel economy isn’t much of a factor, opting to forgo the eTorque system in favor of the bare-bones Hemi might be the best choice.
3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 Engine
The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine is the only diesel engine available in Ram’s half-ton segment. This engine is primarily marketed toward consumers who want plenty of power, superior fuel economy, and perhaps the experience of driving a diesel vehicle. In addition, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is quite environmentally friendly, producing less C02 emissions than its gasoline counterparts.
In terms of specifications, this engine produces 480 lb-ft. of torque and 260 horsepower. The engine’s fuel economy split is 21/29 miles per gallon, and its maximum towing capacity is 9,860 lbs.
In sum, the EcoDiesel engine really shines in terms of torque output and fuel economy. In Ram’s half-ton segment, these specifications are unrivaled by the two gasoline engine options. However, the towing capacity of the EcoDiesel still falls short of that of the rugged 5.7-liter Hemi.
Is The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel A Good Engine?
On paper, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is a great engine. It provides a lot of torque and great fuel economy. After all, these two areas are what diesel engines are generally known for, and the EcoDiesel engine certainly lives up to its diesel name in that regard.
However, the reliability of this engine seems to be hit or miss based on reports from EcoDiesel owners. Some people claim that they have had little to no issues with their EcoDiesel, and others have dealt with catastrophic issues with fairly low mileage on the engine.
What’s more, Ram recalled over 100,000 units from the 2014-2019 model years due to the possibility of an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler leak causing a spontaneous engine fire. Vehicles get recalled for things all the time, but an issue like this is quite severe.
But to be fair, some of the EcoDiesel’s issues might have just been birth pains associated with the inception of an entirely new engine. Perhaps these problems can simply be chalked up to the fact that the engine is relatively new and just had some kinks that needed to be worked out.
So where does this leave us? We think that, in 2021, the EcoDiesel engine is definitely worth considering. Ram has attended to the past issues in an attempt to help this engine live up to its full potential going forward.
Learn more about the Ram 1500’s towing limitations: How Much Can You Tow With A Ram 1500? [By engine type]
How Many Miles Will A Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Engine Last?
One of the benefits of a diesel engine is the increased longevity (provided the engine is maintained), and the EcoDiesel engine is no different. Provided you properly maintain it, you can expect a Ram EcoDiesel engine to last 250,000 to 300,000 miles or possibly even more.
If you decide to pull the trigger on a Ram 1500 with this engine, you’re in luck — EcoDiesel owners from a forum site have suggested numerous tips for increasing the longevity of the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel. If you implement some of these tips and take good care of your engine, we have no doubt that it will serve you well for hundreds of thousands of miles.
How Many Miles Will A Ram 1500 Hemi Engine Last?
If you’ve decided that the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine is more your speed, you can rest easy knowing that this engine can last anywhere from 200,000 250,000 miles provided it’s properly maintained.
Though diesel engines will likely always outperform their gasoline counterparts in terms of sheer longevity, there’s no denying that, as modern automotive engineering advances, the gap between gasoline and diesel engines continues to narrow.
Speaking of maintaining a 5.7-liter Hemi, check out this guide on the best oil to use: What’s The Best Oil For A Hemi 5.7 Engine?
We hope this post has helped you better understand the different engine options available with the 2021 Ram 1500. Regardless of which engine you opt for, you can’t go wrong. If you own or have owned a Ram 1500, feel free to comment and let us know about your experience!