The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is rated at 28 mpg highway, 23-mpg combined city/highway from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Ram declared it is the best highway-cycle test result ever achieved by a full-size, half-ton pickup, also exceeding the EPA highway rating for the top-ranked small pickup.

This also means Ram is keeping the half-ton fuel-economy lead grabbed last year by the 2013 Ram 1500. Equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine, the truck earned 25 mpg highway, a rating that stands for model-year 2014. The 4×4 models are said to be rated at 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined.

“The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is truly in a class of it’s own with 28 mpg and the ability to tow 9200 pounds,” says Reid Bigland, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand. “To put the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in context, it gets 6 mpg better fuel economy than the best F150 Eco-Boost. Overall, the Ram 1500 Eco-Diesel has outstanding pick-up truck capability with compact-car-like fuel economy.”

Ram added the EcoDiesel is the first and only advanced-technology turbo-diesel offering in the half-ton pickup segment. In addition to superior fuel economy, it delivers peak torque of 420 pound-feet which Ram said is unsurpassed among full-size trucks equipped with V-6 engines.

The all-new engine’s block and bedplate are made from lightweight Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI). Its performance is enhanced by the MultiJet 2 common-rail fuel-injection system, which is exclusive in North America to Chrysler Group.

Ram explained MultiJet 2’s high-dispersion nozzles and advanced-technology servovalve can accommodate up to eight fuel-injection events per cylinder cycle. This mitigates noise and improves low-speed throttle response, while also reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

The all-new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel features Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), high-pressure cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), variable swirl intake ports and a variable-geometry turbocharger. All contribute to 50-state compliance with Tier 2-Bin 5/LEV II emissions regulations.

Named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 2014, Ram said the EcoDiesel V-6 was a significant factor in the Ram 1500’s selection as 2014 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. The Ram 1500 is the first vehicle to win this prestigious award in back to back years.

Chrysler Group’s TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission contributes to improve the Ram 1500’s fuel efficiency. Ram explained while enabling optimal engine speed in a wide range of driving conditions, the advanced-technology gearbox benefits from a thermal-management system that quickly warms transmission oil to reduce pumping losses associated with cold, low-viscosity fluid.

Other fuel saving features include active grille shutters that optimize air flow for improved aerodynamics; Electric Power Steering (EPS), which relieves the engine from constantly turning a hydraulic pump; and material-use strategies that leverage lightweight aluminum for components – such as hoods – that Ram said do not compromise capability.

Pricing for the 2014 Ram 1500 starts at $24,200, plus $1,195 destination. The V-6 EcoDiesel with TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission is priced $2,850 greater than a similarly equipped Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission.

Ordering for EcoDiesel models begins Feb. 7.