Should I Buy HemiDiesel or EcoDiesel?


When looking at vehicles, there have been many questions about if the route to go is with a HemiDiesel engine or with an EcoDiesel engine. When it comes down to it, several factors come into play when determining which of the two is the best way to go.

Depending on what factors are most needed for the specific situation, choose the EcoDiesel for better torque, fuel economy, range, towing efficiency, and economic value. The Hemi has the advantage of a higher hauling capacity, lower costs, and more horsepower.

There is a little more to the picture to be able to really understand the pros and cons and evaluate which is the best choice to go with. Here’s a little more of an in-depth analysis of the various factors to consider.

Reasons for the EcoDiesel

Reason #1: More Torque

Torque is the rotation force on the engine when taking a turn. Essentially, the level of torque is the measurement of how much force and how significant of a load the engine can handle. This is an incredibly important feature, especially with towing or hauling, off-roading, and so on.

As a comparison, the general HemiDiesel has 410 pound-feet of torque, and the general EcoDiesel engine has 480 pound-feet of torque (pound-feet is the form of measurement used for torque). For more perspective using specific vehicles, some of the newer vehicles with HemiDiesel engines such as 5.7L reach around 410 pound-feet of torque, and the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with eTorque reaches 296 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the new 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 easily hits 480 pound-feet of torque.

The EcoDiesel certainly has the advantage with torque which is a huge bonus!

Sources: Gear Junkie, Vermilion Chrysler, and Midway Dodge

Reason #2: Better Fuel Economy

For reference, HemiDiesel engines sometimes have a program called eTorque. The program’s purpose is basically to increase the performance and efficiency of the vehicle. Now, in regards to HemiDiesel engines, EcoDiesel engines, and the fuel economy, here’s some numbers to paint the picture: on normal gas, a HemiDiesel with the eTorque program has a combined fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon, a number that would be lower without the eTorque program.

On the other hand, EcoDiesel engines have at least a 30% better rate (if not higher) for fuel economy. They typically range between 26 miles per gallon and 33 miles per gallon which is a huge difference. The 3.0 Ecodiesel V6 has a fuel economy in the city of 12.38 L/100 km, and for off-roading, it is 9.05 L/100 km. Typically, the differences range between 1.6 L/100 km to 2.7 L/km worse in fuel efficiency, and that can really add up over time.

Obviously, EcoDiesels have a significant upper hand with the fuel economy too.

Sources: Gear Junkie, Driving, and Vermillion Chrysler

Reason #3: Better Fuel Range and Consumption

When testing the fuel range of the 2020 Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel, they found that the vehicle has a return of 1/3 of the miles per gallon which is amazing! To put things into context, there is a $3,000 premium when purchasing the 2020 Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel, and from the savings in gas, the cost of the premium breaks even with what it would be to buy a HemiDiesel without the premium as soon as 86,000 miles.

In fact, the better fuel range even applies to when vehicles with an EcoDiesel engine are towing a large, heavy load. The HemiDiesels don’t have as good of a fuel range when they are hauling weight, especially the more the pounds in weight are being hauled.

Sources: Car and Driver, and Driving

Reason #4: Towing Performance and Efficiency

Many have expressed having an easier time and a better experience towing with EcoDiesel than HemiDiesel, even if the HemiDiesel can tow more. Basically, the tow tends to go way smoother with the EcoDiesel. The main reason for this is because the EcoDiesel doesn’t need to maintain nearly as much rpm to tow the same amount of weight.

Sources: Trucktrend, Ram 1500 Diesel, and Driving

Reason #5: The Economy

A big thing pointed out is how the EcoDiesel engine is made in a way that is way better for the economy. To paint the picture, Edward Sanchez mentions, “In two-wheel-drive form, the EcoDiesel has a decisive 5 mpg city and 6 mpg highway advantage and a 4 mpg city and 6 mpg advantage on four-wheel-drive models.” That difference increases when carrying large amounts of weight, and it also adds up very quickly.

Source: Trucktrend

Reasons for the HemiDiesel

Reason #1: Horsepower

The HemiDiesel has an impressive amount of horsepower! It may be 70 pound-feet of torque less than the EcoDiesel engine where it only has 410 pound-feet of torque, but at 395 horsepower, it has 125 ponies more in horsepower than the EcoDiesel engine does.

In fact, one of the newer HemiDiesel engines, specifically the 5.7L Hemi V8 with or without eTorque, can reach 395 HP which can sometimes be 155 ponies higher in horsepower than the EcoDiesel engine, and the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with eTorque reaches 305 in horsepower while the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 merely hits 260 HP.

This newer model of the HemiDiesel can sometimes even be merely 10 pound-feet of torque less than the EcoDiesel engine.

Sources: Gear Junkie, Vermilion Chrysler, Midway Dodge, and Trucktrend

Reason #2: Cost

For an EcoDiesel Engine, it typically costs $4,995 which is roughly $3,000 to $3,300 more than the HemiDiesel engine, even with the eTorque program, on average. In fact, some of the newer EcoDiesel trucks are priced around $39,000, and that is decently less in cost than the average half-ton diesel truck that usually is around $45,000 in price.

Also, even though the difference in initial price can be made up through savings on fuel for the EcoDiesel, it takes some time to reach the point of breaking even.

Sources: Gear Junkie, and Driving

Reason #3: Towing Weight

The HemiDiesel engine can tow more weight than the EcoDiesel engine is able to handle, probably because it has more horsepower. For example, with the 5.7L Hemi, the towing weight capacity is 10,400 pounds with a 1,200-pound edge. In fact, the specific model 5.7L HEMI® V8 (with or without eTorque) can haul 12,750 pounds. One of the smaller models, the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with the eTorque program can haul as much as 7,730 pounds which is incredible!

Sources: Trucktrend, Four Wheeler, Vermilion Chrysler, Midway Dodge, and Driving

Reason #4: Lower Repair Costs

Parts to repair HemiDiesel engines are more accessible since the EcoDiesel engine is newer in use. As a result, it can be quite a bit cheaper for repairs on the HemiDiesel than on the EcoDiesel. Also, getting the oil changed isn’t nearly as expensive with the EcoDiesel. That being said though, the frequency of oil changes isn’t too bad, and repairs don’t occur all that often since both the EcoDiesel and HemiDiesel are pretty durable.

Source: Ram 1500 Diesel

Will Turner

Will has an absolute passion for 4x4s and loves discovering all of the small details about each model. Will joined the Four Wheel Trends team in early 2021 and has been a valuable contributor ever since!

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