2019 Ram 1500 eTorque V-6: Real-World Fuel Economy

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After driving the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque packages (both the V-6 and V-8 options), we thought you might want to know, in more detail, how the standard eTorque V-6 with the eight-speed transmission performs in the real world. Thankfully, Ram allowed us some extra time with a mid-level Big Horn Quad Cab 4x2 (a little less than $44,000) for a leisurely drive from Lexington, Ky., to our offices in downtown Chicago.

The Big Horn came standard with the 3.6-liter Pentastar eTorque V-6 that offers an EPA fuel-economy rating of 20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined for the 4x2 and 19/24/21 mpg for the 4x4.

During our initial 400-mile highway-biased run (with one stop for lunch), we covered the distance in a little less than seven hours and averaged 25.7 mpg — not bad for a 4,900-pound (we weighed it) half-ton pickup. Once delivered to Chicago, other test drivers were able to run the truck through a more suburban- and city-biased drive cycle, gathering even more observations and insights.

To begin, one driver noted that one of the best things about this new powertrain is how it doesn't drive like a normal hybrid vehicle with the normal power and thrust penalties you have to endure. Since eTorque only uses the smallish battery-pack-supplied electric drive system (really just an assist system) on takeoffs and to help smooth out the stop-start modes, it's fairly invisible to detection unless you're really hunting for the assist points. For a vehicle of this size, the eTorque does provide noticeable off-the-line assistance, making it feel stronger than you'd expect.

In fact, several of our test drivers noted they appreciated added "pickup" at stop signs and stoplights, but they didn't appreciate that they couldn't call up some kind of screen or interactive graphic to let them know when the system is helping them. Clearly, Ram is prioritizing the idea of maximizing efficiencies with a more subtle system when providing added thrust at takeoff (about one half of the first tire rotation) or when the transmission upshifts and downshifts between gears, rather than providing some kind of intrusive and dynamic new technology. Our only quirk with the system came on slower-speed neighborhood driving, where the transmission had some trouble with the 1st-to-2nd and 2nd-to-3rd shift points; they were just a touch too harsh, which is likely, we suspect, about fine-tuning the software.

The system is designed to be transparent, and with the exception of a small amount of launch and gear-shifting softness as well as a fairly aggressive stop-start/stop strategy, it is. However, we noted that the truck responded more "traditionally" with the Tow/Haul mode engaged, which also disengages stop-start. Additionally, given that the system is invisible, there is no dedicated screen or icon to let you know when you're benefiting from the added technology (at least for the V-6; the V-8 does offer a microscopic "Eco" light). We think that's a missed opportunity.

From the comments of several of our test drivers, if you're sensitive to throttle feel, you'll notice some subtle launch and shifting benefits. Otherwise, you're likely not to notice any differences from non-light hybrid versions at all. Still, we'd like to see more transmission settings to more fully utilize the benefits of the battery power — some kind of possible sport mode, maybe a more aggressive eco mode and how about something extra (since we're in Chicago) for snow? Surely giving the driver more options and functional control of the benefits would be a good thing.

During four different trips with the Big Horn Quad Cab, we found a pretty good variety of abilities. From loaded with family and gear to long and empty cruises, here's what we recorded.

Trip One:
35-mile trip in rush-hour traffic with an empty pickup in moderate (68-70 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures: 21.7 mpg

Trip Two:
94-mile trip with some suburban traffic getting out of town for a long trip to Indiana in mild (75 degrees F) temperatures. Two adults and child, plus all the overnight gear and toys: 23.0 mpg

Trip Three:
147-mile trip from Indiana, back to Illinois and back to Indiana with hotter temperatures (81-84 degrees F) but a lighter load and heavier throttle foot (but minimal traffic): 21.2 mpg

Trip Four
85-mile trip from Indiana to Illinois with a full load of gear and family, plus the hottest temps (88 degrees F): 24.2 mpg

Manufacturer images

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Comments

Not too shabby. Got to say I am impressed with the performance. Unfortunately the reliability is a big BIG question mark. What does it cost for the e-torque?

Sounds like the etorque is doing it's job pretty good

BIG Question: We're these actual hand calculated numbers or readout from the mpg display? If from the display, doesn't mean much. RAM's display is optimistic in most cases...not as bad as Honda, which can be 2.5 mpg+ to the good.

Just checking because mileage from the truck's computer is really not accurate enough to pass judgement although on the surface the numbers are solid.

Not too shabby.

Not too shabby. Got to say I am impressed with the performance. Unfortunately the reliability is a big BIG question mark. What does it cost for the e-torque?
Posted by: beebe | Sep 14, 2018 1:14:10 PM

On the V6, it's standard equipment. No additional cost.

GUTS

GLORY

FUEL EFFICIENT

INNOVATIVE

CLASS LEADING RAM eTORQUE RAM

Sounds like a nice combo. hopefully reliability follows it.

@Jeff
My 2010 RAM 1500 computer is dead on with
calculated MPG. I did it when towing , or empty at least 100 times. Trust it completely for few years already.

I would have thought this system would have returned better city mileage. Most hybrids get better city mileage than highway mileage. I understand this is supposed to be a mild hybrid, however, helping assist the motor. Since the biggest fuel penalties from city driving come from idling and acceleration from a start this system should IMHO have a bigger benefit. If one were to implement some hyper miling techniques such as lighter take offs I’m assuming city mileage would improve?

I have a brand new Laramie w/5.7 e-torque and the dash MPG is actually a little below hand calculated. Had the truck 2 weeks and hit just over a thousand miles today. So far, overall mileage is running 18.3

Scott Kirkpatrick
A true hybrid system would probably have worked better to increase FE. But the Ram’s system isn’t really a hybrid. It’s adding torque along with the engine as opposed to a hybrid that temporarily Work’s independent of the engine. I’m guessing that it probably returns the most value when towing.

Most of the FE to be gained is in the start/stop feature. The small battery pack does not allow much help in getting the truck moving.

The etorque smooths out an all ready smooth truck. Most people hauling live stock will like the starts and stops

Innovative? In what world?
It would just be keeping up with par if they had taken the tranny away and put the electric generator/motor/alternator there and had got rid of the rear end and put electric motors there.
This e-torque vehicle is a place holder to keep the current parts companies happy.
You all are easily fooled.

Thanks for opening our eyes Steve. Those evil parts companies are going to rue the day they thought to swindle us. ::shaking fist::

For the average half ton truck owner RAM has hit a home run with this system.

For a 2wd stripper truck the mileage was ok ..not great. I'd like to see crew 4wd results, clearly they went for a light 2wd version to bloat the numbers. MotorTrend was not very impressed with the performance either, citing how bad through acceleration was compared to the old v6 model.

As per usual, Ram products don't deliver in actual tests.

You all are easily fooled.
Posted by: Steve | Sep 14, 2018

@Steve

How many hybrids have you tested?

For a 2wd stripper truck the mileage was ok ..not great.

@Mike

A half ton truck that's getting better than 20mpg is impressive. If the RAM's mileage is not "great" tell us whose half ton pickup does better.

GUTS - Hmmm, debatable

GLORY - Hmmm, debatable

FUEL EFFICIENT - Yes, but I personally would MUCH prefer the 2.7 ecoboost that is epa rated at BETTER fuel economy, much better towing, much better power and acceleration and would blow this RAM out of the water. Haven't seen the GM 2.7 numbers yet, but I would wager that it will also will get better fuel economy and blow the e-torque V6 out of the water.

INNOVATIVE - Not seeing it. Interior is unquestionably number 1. e-torque is hardly innovative, GM has had a similar system around for years, only nobody knows about it or buys it.

CLASS LEADING RAM eTORQUE RAM - Class leading interior, no doubt. Class leading ride perhaps, or at least close. Class leading anything else, I'm not seeing it.

Most of the FE to be gained is in the start/stop feature. The small battery pack does not allow much help in getting the truck moving.

Posted by: FrankinFlorida | Sep 14, 2018 5:00:36 PM

In actuality, the stop start feature offers very little fuel savings, after all, it takes very little energy to keep an engine at idle. The e-torque feature however is contributing the most to fuel efficiency during stop and go driving. Remember physics 101, a body at rest wants to stay at rest. To move 6000 lbs from a stop requires a lot of energy. The addition of the e-torque removes some of the load requirement from the engine and hence increases fuel efficiency under stop and go conditions.

@ Texas 1836

Bother in law has new 2018 e-assist Silverado. Loves it. Gets over 20 mpgs in city driving!

Not many know about it because GM only released the e-assist in California for 2 years. 2018 is first year sold outside California.

Hard to get much out of this with random road trips as the benchmark.

Would prefer if putc would post some results from other drivetrains from other manufacturers.

I’ve seen a 2018 silverado 5.3/6speed average similar numbers in mixed driving. Real world hand calculated. How do we apples to apples this?

Color me unimpressed when complexity was all that was gained for minimal mileage gains compared to the conpetition.

I don’t get it. I can go out and buy a little Prius, carry four people around in it along with some groceries and blow every pickup truck out of the water when it comes to FE. The trade off? I can’t haul and tow anywhere near in the same galaxy as a pickup. Yet while pickups are certainly more fuel efficient than ever (and capable), people are complaining about how some are by a few measly miles, not as fuel efficient as others. I’m all for better economy but we have to accept that IC powered pickups are not fuel misers. You can’t ride two horses with one @$$.

You all are fools.
Put a generator/alternator where the tranny is, get rid of the tranny. Put electric motors where the rear end is. Use the current diesel engines, and what do you get??????
I bet you have no idea.
40 mpg plus, easy.
not to mention all the other benefits beside efficiency.
Do you have any idea the entrenched interest in the auto industry to keep parts associated with transmissions and rear ends and the like selling?
No, no you don't.

Wow....impressive thread...good comments and remarks...nice to read.

Do you have any idea the entrenched interest in the auto industry to keep parts associated with transmissions and rear ends and the like selling? No, no you don't....Posted by: Steve | Sep 15, 2018

@ Steve

It's a huge conspiracy. Ford, GM and FCA are all secretly owned by the SAME Nigerian prince that used to send me emails on my Google account asking me to wire him 500 bucks and he will send me a 1000 bucks.

That's how I was able to retire young! Now I own companies that sell outdated differentials and ring gears to unsuspecting folks for huge mark-ups.

That doesn't make me a bad guy does it?

@steve

Here's the best part: ANYBODY can do it.

Me and my buddy in Nigeria (the prince's oldest son) are buying up all of the old run-down foundries and boarded-up tool & die shops in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and we're gonna start trade schools for kids who stay up late at night watching old re-runs of Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke.

We're gonna print millions of match-books that say STEP UP TO BIG PAY starting oil-change franchises and muffler shops.

The money's gonna start rolling in any day now.

Its not a conspiracy, you fool.
Its called "control" of a market.
It costs billions to develop just one transmission.
Just look at the GM/Ford 10 speed.
They make a lot of money in complex systems that only they know how to supply best.
They are dragging their feet to go electric drive rather than mechanical drive, and you all are going along with them.
Electric drive, with combustion generators(range extenders), is the way to go--especially for trucks.
Far more powerful, reliable and far less maintenance and cost.
Can you imagine a drive system with electric motors that needs no differential because it can independently power each wheel.
Can you imagine towing with all that torque of an electric drive like a locomotive?
And then can you imagine having a super modern efficient diesel engine supplying the power for that electric drive?
No, you cannot, because you all(most of you anyway) are fools.

@Steve

You seem to like the f-word (f-o-o-l). You are smart enough to read and write, so you're right at home on this comments section.

You were born, however, with a tragic lack of persuasive skills. You won't change many folk's minds by calling them fools. I've tried, I know.

You're trying to make a case for alternative propulsion that will demand some persuasion skills.

Why? Because you're proposing that huge companies make colossal investments based on your vision alone, unless you've already done all this I just don't realize it.

Well... first its fun to compare "Steve" to Plankton on SpongeBob with all the "you FOOLS" stuff he throws out there....

Next , this new eTorq system seems to really be well sorted out according to all the tests and reviews I have read . Its smooth compact seemless for the most part. It delivers adding to city and highway driving .....Motor Trend got FOUR more city mpg in their Real gas test for the Hemi (with and without eTorq). That's same day same conditions apples to apples .....pretty good if you ask me.....18.7mpg CITY with an eTorq loaded Limited Hemi Ram.Their test of the V6 had an obvious issue however , with it getting poor mileage and poor acceleration times uncharacteristic for these trucks.

@ Texas 1836

GUTS - Hmmm, it takes guts to recall 2 million trucks!

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/06/us/ford-f-150-recall/index.html

GLORY - Hmmm, glory be they burn nice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkLw-sCQEFM

FUEL EFFICIENT - Yes, but I personally would MUCH prefer the ecoboost....they are great on gas...they won't start!

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ford-faces-engine-failure-claims-dz2wrv0s2

INNOVATIVE - Trucks that won't stay in Park! Unintended movement now that's military grade innovation!

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/ford-recalls-30000-new-f-150-pickups-for-three-issues/

CLASS LEADING - Ford leads in CLASS action suits!

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/16/ford-ecoboost-engine-problems/2168865/

https://www.auto123.com/en/news/Ford-recalls-12000-ford-lincoln-vehicles/64795/

One of the key points commenters (and others) seem to forget, the RAM 1500 with etorque features a 48 volt generator powered system that is MUCH more heavy duty and the way of the future for automotive charging systems.

Read about it. It's what all pickups will have in a few years. RAM was bold in being first. Tip your hat.

One of the key points commenters (and others) seem to forget, the RAM 1500 with etorque features a 48 volt generator powered system that is MUCH more heavy duty and the way of the future for automotive charging systems.

Read about it. It's what all pickups will have in a few years. RAM was bold in being first. Tip your hat.


Posted by: papajim | Sep 15, 2018 9:36:00 PM

I'm no so sure Ram was the first.

http://www.motorwayamerica.com/review/chevy-silverado-hybrid-—-more-generator-gas-saver

does that article say the Silverado was a 48 volt system?

Papajim are you saying the etorgue system replaces the alternator? I thought it was a stand alone system.

@papajim,

You prove my point perfectly that you are a fool.

I don't have to persuade anyone. All the auto companies have already changed over to range extenders. You just don't know about it because you are extremely ignorant and don't know what is on the market now and what will soon be on the market.
Honda has many range extenders. Ever heard of the Accord? What planet do you live on? Ever heard of a Clarity? an Insight?
Chevrolet has a car called the Volt. Ever heard of it?
BMW already sells very popular range extenders, and has many more coming soon.
Infinity has announced almost a year ago that all their vehicles will be range extenders(and by the way, that means all Nissans will soon follow).
Workhorse(a huge maker of trucks), has put all their money on range extenders(not other kinds of hybridization).
Mitsubishi has a fantastic mainstream range extender SUV on sale that is incredibly efficient and powerful as a mobile power station.
Why is all this news to you?
Because you are ignorant.
Now, it is not necessarily bad to be ignorant.
But you assert that you are not ignorant, while proving that you are, all in the same post. And you also fight one bringing you into the light.
Now, that IS bad.

@Steve

Go to the National Institute of Health website for more information about your condition.

You don't have to be uncomfortable about it because millions of Americans do it every year. Help is available.

@just the truth

Frankly I don't remember. What I read says the common 12 volt stuff has its own system. Whether that means it has its own charging system or if it simply uses some kind of transformer, I am not clear on that point.

Here's what I do know. Glass mesh batteries and 48 volt systems are the future. They withstand vibration better, and the generator should be more trouble free than alternators. They are simpler.

When I was young the average shade tree mechanic could work on an old Chevrolet generator. Unless the machined surfaces were really trashed, you could give new life to a generator with a cheap fix.

Alternators required a more experienced hand to fix, (and specific parts).

The alternator was well received because it could supply full amps to the battery with the engine idling. Police cars, ambulances and firetrucks really liked that I bet. But they cost more to fix (and buy).

Steve seems... angry.

does that article say the Silverado was a 48 volt system?

Posted by: papajim | Sep 16, 2018 1:38:10 AM

I assume you didn't read it. The article states it is a 42 volt system. With the increase in electrical demand in today's cars, raising the system voltage to 48 volts is a natural evolutional step. The Ram etorque is in no way a bold step in hybrid applications.

I saw the reference to 42 volts which is why I asked the question.

Does the old Silverado hybrid use an alternator or a generator?

@ "Steve seems... angry."
Posted by: Don | Sep 16, 2018 11:03:52 AM

Not to worry Don....if laughter is the best medicine, Steve's face must be curing the world.

I saw the reference to 42 volts which is why I asked the question.

Does the old Silverado hybrid use an alternator or a generator?


Posted by: papajim | Sep 16, 2018 1:17:38 PM

It's in the article I supplied the link to.

Wow Steve. So while your posting on the internet, who’s out on the corner holding your “The end is near!” Sandwich board?

I see that the big block Corvettes are really sticking it to the wee engine Ford GTs in the weathertech sports car Championship. GO CORVETTE!

The Ram etorque is in no way a bold step in hybrid applications.
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Sep 16, 2018

Ok, so please remind me. Besides RAM who is building mild hybrid half-ton pickups with 48 volt charging systems. Although I remember seeing some back in 2008, I have never seen a recent Silverado with the hybrid package in my area.

Some say they're only being sold in California but I can't vouch for that. What i can say with confidence is the RAM offers an package that I can't get at any local Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda or (maybe) GM dealer. That's what I call bold leadership on RAM's part.

The etorque is not a true hybrid as the system is not capable of powering the truck. It works a lot like a gas golf cart to start the engine turning. Only last for a half turn of the rear wheel or less than a half second.

The battery is located inside the cab on the wall behind the seat. Likely a recall waiting to happen.

RAM was bold in being first. Tip your hat.

Posted by: papajim | Sep 15, 2018 9:36:00 PM

http://www.motorwayamerica.com/review/chevy-silverado-hybrid-—-more-generator-gas-saver

As I mentioned previously, going from 42 to 48 volt is a result of responding to increasing electrical demands. Offering a hybrid truck first was not Ram. That was my point of posting the link.



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