Home » Everyone Freaking Out Over The 2025 Ram 1500’s Gas Mileage Needs To Relax

Everyone Freaking Out Over The 2025 Ram 1500’s Gas Mileage Needs To Relax

Ram Fuel Economy (2)
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“2025 Ram 1500’s New Twin-Turbo Inline-Six Barely Beats Old V8’s Gas Mileage,” writes Jalopnik. “Ram’s New Inline-Six Is Barely More Efficient Than the Old Hemi V-8” quips Motor1. “2025 Ram 1500 High Output I6 Gets Worse MPG Than the Hemi V8” is The Drive‘s headline. It seems the world is appalled by the gas mileage of Ram’s new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six, especially compared to the old 5.7-liter V8. But let’s just put that into context, because it’s actually not bad, especially if you consider that the new engine’s gas mileage is on regular unleaded, not mid-grade.

We’ve seen this happen a few times before. An automaker will ditch their V8 for a smaller, boosted engine, and when the fuel economy figures come back only a mile or two per gallon better, everyone says “Oh my god we gave up a V8 for just an MPG!?”

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Well, let’s talk about what Ram owners gave up. They let go of a 20+ year-old motor that makes 395 horsepower, 410 lb-ft of torque, and comes with an air-cooled Motor Generator Unit, which the company calls an “eTorque” machine (its job is to provide boost to the engine when necessary, smoother engine start-stop events, and regenerative braking). In other words, it’s a mild hybrid version of an old engine design that has been updated throughout the years. I’m a big fan of it.

In the Hemi’s place is a brand-new inline-six making 420 horsepower and 469 lb-ft of torque — that’s up 25 ponies and 59 lb-ft of torque. The torque, by the way, peaks at 3,500 RPM — or 450 RPM sooner than the Hemi, and what’s more, according to Ram, the new motor and its High Output sibling will produce 90 percent of peak torque “at just 2,350 rpm to aid acceleration and towing,” the Detroit Free Press reported back in 2022 when Stellantis first revealed the motors, which are now found in Jeep (Grand)Wagoneers and Ram 1500s.

Ninety percent of 469 lb-ft is 422, meaning the standard-output Hurricane makes more torque at 2,350 RPM than the Hemi makes anywhere. Low-end torque is very useful for towing, off-roading, and just everyday driving.

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I’ve driven the Ram 1500 with both motors, and my headline says what I think: “The 2025 Ram 1500 Is So Good I Don’t Miss The Hemi V8.”

2025 Ram 1500 Rebel
2025 Ram 1500 Rebel

So the new Hurricane engine that replaced the 5.7-liter is more powerful, torquier across the rev range, and it’s not a mild-hybrid. Those don’t bode well for fuel economy, but with twin turbos, and the fact that it’s a new design, maybe it does still eke out better gas mileage than the weaker, 48-volt hybrid Hemi? Indeed, it does just that.

Screen Shot 2024 03 23 At 12.16.25 Pm

As shown in the first two columns above, the new Ram in two-wheel drive guise scores two MPG better on the highway and one MPG better overall than the outgoing Ram 5.7-liter, and the four-wheel drive model (shown in the two rightmost columns) loses an MPG in the city but gains two MPG highway for the same combined rating as the outgoing 5.7-liter mild-hybrid.

According to the EPA, you can expect to save $500 a year on fuel if you buy the new model in two-wheel drive guise, and despite its congruent overall rating, if you buy a four-wheel drive model you’ll save $400 a year, per the EPA’s estimates. (Note: The 5.7 ratings were done on mid-grade fuel, whereas the new 3.0’s ratings apply to standard fuel, hence the 3.0’s savings with the same MPG ratings).

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So you get 25 more horsepower, 59 extra lb-ft of torque (and you gain significant torque down low), plus you save money on gas. That’s a win.

And to be very clear: A single MPG on a pickup truck is a huge deal when you’re talking about absurdly high Vehicle Demand Energies (the energy needed to move a vehicle down the road, accounting for aero drag, rolling resistance, bearing drag, inertial factors, etc.) and the thermodynamic limitations of internal combustion. To gain two MPG highway, and one MPG overall (for the two-wheel drive) is no joke — we’re talking about a 9 percent highway fuel economy for both trucks, and a 5 percent overall fuel economy gain for the two-wheel drive truck. The four-wheel drive truck lost about 6 percent in the city, but remember, the new engine hasn’t yet been hybridized like the 5.7-liter was, and Stellantis has plans for that. From The Detroit Free Press:

[The new 3.0 engines] will rival the output of bigger engines but use as much as 15% less fuel, Bly said. They are compatible with electric boosting to further increase power and reduce emissions, but none of the first engines going on sale will be hybridized, like Stellantis’s current eTorque V8 and V6 models, Bly said.

How much a small mild hybrid system will improve fuel economy, I don’t know for sure, but the 5.7-liter saw a 2 MPG combined hike when it added eTorque:

Screen Shot 2024 03 23 At 12.35.18 Pm

So I don’t really think it makes a ton of sense to freak out over a new engine that offers more output and hundreds of dollars of annual fuel savings, all on regular unleaded fuel and all without hybridization.

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Of course, what’s really going to matter is real-world fuel economy, because though the EPA test is decent, it’s really just a guideline, and what the average person sees in the field can sometimes be significantly different than what’s on the Monroney (And for the record, I’m dubious about real-world benefits of the eTorque mild hybrid system). You can see TFL car doing a short test of the new truck; at 40-something miles per hour on average over a short 40-something mile trip, they got just under 20 MPG. That’s not enough data, of course, but it’s fun to look at. Also fun to look at is the outgoing Ram 1500 eTorque’s real-world fuel economy. Here’s an excerpt from Motor Trend‘s “It’s Time to Talk About Our Long-Term 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie’s Fuel Economy”:

We track every fill-up, and our truck is averaging just shy of 14.6 mpg, nearly 2.5 mpg less than the lowest estimate from either test. Long-term fuel logs can’t account for every variable, so they lack the scientific objectivity of EPA or Real MPG tests, but it’s the only way an owner has to check fuel economy and a pretty reliable indicator of your real-world efficiency. Many owners do it themselves, and seeing their truck averaging 4.5 to 5.0 mpg less than advertised is going to be disappointing at the very least.

[…]

In the first 2,500 miles of driving, our truck averaged 13.9 mpg. Over the most recent 2,500 miles, it’s averaged 16.3 mpg, substantially better but still below the lowest tested rating.

What’s more, it’s never hit its EPA-estimated combined figure, much less its highway figure, outside of Real MPG testing. The best single observed tank rang in at 18.0 mpg, with the next best at 16.9 mpg. Single-tank observed fuel economy, we should note, is much less reliable than long-term fuel tracking, but it’s notable that no single tank has ever reached the EPA’s combined figure.

Whether the new, more complex twin-turbo inline-six engine is better overall than the 5.7-liter will shake out in due time. I understand why, on the face of it, just a bit more power and torque and fuel economy may not seem worth what seems like a more complex motor with more potential failure modes, but ultimately reliability (an area in which the 5.7-liter was hardly perfect — see Hemi Tick and valvetrain issues) and real-world fuel economy will be the deciding factors. Still, at least on paper, the 3.0-liter standard-output engine seems decent. Not amazing, but certainly not as horrible as current media reports would have you think.

 

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I didn’t really discuss the high-output engine yet, but at 540 horsepower and 521 lb-ft of torque, it’s almost exactly right between the 395 horsepower 5.7-liter and the 702 horsepower 6.2-liter Hellcat. Here’s a look at those three motors compared to one another:

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Screen Shot 2024 03 23 At 12.47.55 Pm

Hot damn that 6.2-liter Supercharged Hemi is thirsty. Obviously, it’s making 162 more ponies than the High Output 3.0-liter in the 2025 model, but I mean damn. Five MPG down? Probably worth it for the incredible sound it makes; probably.

 

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Clubwagon Chateau
Clubwagon Chateau
17 days ago

Thanks for the engineer’s perspective on this change, David!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
19 days ago

But let’s just put that into context, because it’s actually not bad, especially if you consider that the new engine’s gas mileage is on regular unleaded, not mid-grade.”

Yup… exactly what I was thinking. Not requiring mid-grade fuel will be a meaningful savings at the pump. And if you take it easy and stay out of the boost, anyone is likely to see noticeably better fuel economy.

david kenney II
david kenney II
19 days ago

This reminds me of when the 3.5l ecoboost was first introduced. Several people I’ve known bought the truck for the mileage and only got 13 to 16 mpg. Of couse when I saw them pass me on the freeway and later asked how fast they drove, it was usually 85 to 100 mph! Made me laugh back then like so many complaining about the hurricane engine now.

Steven Moor
Steven Moor
19 days ago

Yeah, well, despite your thoughtful article:
“But MUH v8?!?!”

Ben
Ben
19 days ago

I have to say the Hemi’s mileage seems to be pretty disappointing, so it’s doubtful the new engine will be worse. My Dad traded his 2.7 F-150 for a 5.7 Ram and I thought for sure he’d get better mileage towing. Turns out it’s actually worse, even though in theory the big V8 should be less stressed. Pretty disappointing, although the V8 rumble might make up for it. 😉

Rich Cassel
Rich Cassel
3 days ago
Reply to  Ben

Lower stress does not necessarily mean better BSFC (sometimes the opposite), which is typically the most meaningful way to compare towing MPG outside of real-world testing. Unfortunately, it’s very rarely provided.

Ben
Ben
3 days ago
Reply to  Rich Cassel

Yeah, I was just surprised because anecdotally it seems most people get better towing mileage with a V8 than a V6, but in this case that doesn’t seem to be true.

American Locomotive
American Locomotive
19 days ago

IMO, if the EPA numbers are already this bad, the “real-world” numbers are going to be abysmal.

I think the real indicator that this engine will get abysmal fuel economy is the fact that this 3.0L engine gets worse city economy than the 3.6L N/A engine.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
19 days ago

As pointed out below, EPA MPG ratings don’t reflect real world driving, which, is unique to each individual. The EPA test cycle simply establishes comparability between vehicles. If one car is rated as giving better MPG than another, I can expect that it will give me better efficiency than the other car, if I drive them both the same way. I wish the EPA would call them efficiency ratings and give a grade on a scale like energy star ratings do, instead of quantifying the efficiency in MPG. Then I could tell at a glance whether the particular vehicle was more or less efficient than others in its class.

Mike B
Mike B
19 days ago

The specs of that motor sound great, it’s just sad it doesn’t make the correct noises.

It’s like this in the Toyota community as well. People are freaking out about the move away from the V8 and V6. Apparently, most are terrified of turbos and do not understand how low-end torque works. I belive I can say with great certainty that anyone who is lamenting the loss of the Tacoma 3.5 V6 has never experienced a vehicle with good low end tq.

In literally ever new Tacoma review I’ve seen; the reviewers have commented how much better the 2.4T feels compared to the old 3.5.

I’m looking forward to this drivetrain in the next 4Runner. I own a 17-year-old 2.5T Volvo with 233k and counting on the OE turbo. I’m not scared of turbo motors.

Swedish Jeep
Swedish Jeep
19 days ago
Reply to  Mike B

Turbo and Super on my 8 year old 2.0 Volvo 4banger – 23mpg combined on a 5800lb vehicle. 150k and going great with 316 ponies. These high output engines have been around for years and have proven reliability. I’m not saying it’ll be perfect (because Stellantis), but I’m tired of hearing about V8s….

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
19 days ago

My issue here is that sure- I get why they did this. It was to meet EPA guidelines over emissions. But in order to do so the engine they have delivered is a overly-complicated mess. The sheer volume of hoses and pipes coming out of that thing is insane. All of the little things they did to eek out a few more MPG are in turn going to cause long term reliability problems. Its becoming clear that direct injection engines clog their intakes since the valves don’t get washed with gasoline.

The bottom line? The time for ICE are probably drawing to a close. Making an unreliable engine just because you need to meet a requirements is not a benefit.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
19 days ago

In the tuck, fine.
Where it’s dumb is in the charger. The car exists to make big V-8 noises, it’s not supposed to be fuel efficient.

Nico
Nico
19 days ago

This are similar freak outs in the comment sections of any articles about the new Tundra and even the new Lexus GX. With a lot more consumers moving to trucks, many of them are coming from crossovers or smaller trucks like Tacoma, Ranger, etc. Those consumers tend to think full-size vehicles get terrible gas mileage. If you want a vehicle that can tow, has 4WD/AWD, and is large enough to carry a small family then the trade off is fuel economy. Ideally, it would be great to have all these things and some electric vehicles like Rivian/Ford are getting there but range and charging infrastructure will continue to be a problem for at least the next 6 years.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
19 days ago

More often than other brands Ram seems to sit with the crowd that worries about the size of the bulge in their pants. So I can totally understand why they would get in a tizzy over the replacement of a HEMI (Yeah HEMI baby) with a 6 that is just incrementally better (on paper at least). Objectively there is little reason to get bent but people aren’t objective.

I’m assuming they will pair this new motor with some hybridization in the future to get more significant gain. Or at least that seems to be an option.

Scorp Mcgorp
Scorp Mcgorp
19 days ago

I think it’s really important to appreciate the difficulty of engineering a motor that’s both powerful, reliable, and efficient. Typically an engineer only gets to choose two side of that triangle, especially given packaging constraints and hitting a price point.

This new design appears to have bumped the power ( and torque especially where it counts) quite a bit, and has maintained the efficiency or bettered it. The real question that can’t be answered yet is reliability , or in lieu of that, reparability (as long as it’s not time consuming or wildly expensive). time will tell on this, and Stellantis is betting big on it being a hit, considering that they’ll have a lot of these Hurricanes going out across 3 different brand nameplates here in the states.

While the new motor may only be a few mpg more efficient, that’s gonna make a lot of difference for fleet owners and small businesses, even more if they can utilize hybridization in the future to bump that figure a little bit more.

Shinynugget
Shinynugget
19 days ago

If what the writer states is true and the 5.7 V8 has it’s own reliability issues, do I really want to trust a more complicated motor from the same OEM? V8’s have been around for 120 years now! If you can’t get that one motor down pat can you really make a more complex motor reliable?
But hey, it’s got more power!

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
19 days ago
Reply to  Shinynugget

V8’s have been around for 120 years now! 

A quick google tells me the V8 was first produced in 1904, while the first I6 was produced in 1903. They are actually going back to a more traditional engine layout

Shinynugget
Shinynugget
18 days ago
Reply to  Ecsta C3PO

Yep and the first turbo engine (a diesel) was produced in 1915. So we’ll see if Dodge/Ram/Stellantis or whoever can make a reliable Twin-turbo.
All things being equal, the simpler the machine the more reliable.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
19 days ago

I come from the diesel world, so my perennial viewpoint is that turbos solve everything, I6 is the best engine configuration, and V configurations suck to work on.

IM(very biased)O, people need to accept our boosted overlords and give up those two cylinders.

American Locomotive
American Locomotive
19 days ago

Yeah, except just about every I6 in a modern vehicle is a complete and total nightmare to work on because of the length and height. Even the “legendary” Jeep 4.0 is a hassle in the XJ Cherokee.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
19 days ago

I owned 2 of those, and I’ll take any I6 over a V configuration for maintenance. Doubly so in transverse configuration.

In my experience, V engines hide everything in the valley and it’s a nightmare for access on almost everything.

American Locomotive
American Locomotive
18 days ago

Like what? The majority of American V8s have the injectors, spark plugs, etc… all accessible from the outside. Toyota buried a starter in the valley on some V8s, but that’s about it.

Pretty much every modern American I6 (diesel or gas) has the intake manifold and a myriad of other components wrap over the valve cover – meaning basic maintenance like spark plugs or other service a major endeavor. Look at something like a new Supra, and that engine is absolutely packed in there.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
18 days ago

Work on a diesel V8 or any V8 with factory forced induction and compare it to an inline forced induction unit. the Packaging is WAY nicer to work on.

John Fischer
John Fischer
19 days ago

I am assuming that you are hand-calculating the mileage too on your tests? Every vehicle I’ve owned comes up short when calculating actual mileage vs the on-board MPG display. It’s consistently about 10% lower than what the car says. Jeep says 22, actual is 20. Another highway run the Jeep says 27, actual is 24. F-150 says 20, actual is 18.

This accounts for one-off short fills too as I track every single tank on Fuelly. I’ve only owned one vehicle where the on-board MPG was almost always spot on, a 2014 BMW 320i.

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