2021 Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel Brings Even Higher MPG to the Lineup

Ram’s attempts to eke out as much fuel efficiency from its full-size 1500 pickup (perhaps as penance for the not-efficient, 702-hp 1500 TRX) continue with the reveal of the rear-drive 1500 HFE EcoDiesel. With a starting price of $43,935, the HFE—or High Fuel Efficiency—Ram EcoDiesel costs $7,795 more than its gas-powered HFE counterpart. 

Besides replacing the standard HFE model’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine that makes 305-hp and 269 lb-ft of torque with a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 that pumps out 260 horses and 480 lb-ft of twist, the HFE EcoDiesel also trades the gas model’s Quad Cab body and 76.3-inch-long bed for the roomier Crew Cab layout, albeit with a stubbier 67.4-inch bed.

While the HFE EcoDiesel may not fit as much junk in its cargo box as the regular HFE, it does offer a more comfortable rear-seating space and can travel further on a gallon of fuel. Credit EPA fuel economy ratings of 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. These figures top those of the run-of-the-mill HFE by a massive 3 mpg in the city, 7 mpg on the highway, and 3 mpg combined. The HFE EcoDiesel’s city and highway fuel economy figures also better those of other rear-drive Ram 1500 EcoDiesel models by 1 mpg each. Its EPA figures are nearly identical to those of the rear-drive Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel (which bests the Ram’s combined figure by 1 mpg), and fairly crush those of the F-150 diesel and hybrid models. 

Of course, the additional cost of diesel fuel all but eliminates any financial incentives for picking the HFE EcoDiesel over the plain-old HFE, as the EPA estimates both trucks’ annual fuel costs at $1,600. In other words, you’re better off sticking to the gas-sipping HFE if you don’t need the EcoDiesel’s Crew Cab body style or brag-worthy mpg figures.

Given it’s based on the lowly Tradesman model, the 2021 Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel is generally devoid of frills, as evidenced by its cloth seating surfaces, 5.0-inch infotainment screen, and black grille and bumper trim. Nevertheless, the model does include a set of 20-inch aluminum wheels, a tonneau cover, and side steps. Opt for a 2021 Ram 1500 Tradesman Crew Cab with the diesel engine, 18-inch aluminum wheels (the only option available), a tonneau cover, and side steps, and you’re looking at a $45,725 bill—or $1,790 more than the HFE EcoDiesel with its 20-inch wheels and slightly better fuel efficiency.

In other words, the Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel is a hell of a deal relative to a similarly equipped Ram 1500 Tradesman. Look for the 2021 Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel to go on sale before the middle of the year.

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