(WXYZ) - A new Ram truck hasn't even hit the showrooms yet, but it's getting a lot of buzz and may be the first back-to-back Motor Trend Truck of the Year winner for the Chrysler brand.
7 Action News' Jeff Vaughn sits down with Ram CEO and president Reid Bigland for an exclusive look at the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
This truck is becoming so popular, Bigland says he thinks it will steal loyal customers from Ford and GM. But what's really surprising is this truck is also grabbing the attention of soccer moms and dads who once would only consider an SUV.
Walking with Bigland at Chrysler's museum, you can see the strong truck heritage here. Ram has won Truck of the Year four times in twenty years and is the current champ, but today the company's focus is on the future, where in the corner of the museum sits a new truck for 2015.
"The appeal of pickup trucks has expanded over the past few years."
Bigland says Ram truck sales are up 25% year to date, which is outpacing the industry average of 18%. But that success hasn't stopped the company from creating something new, appealing to a new driver that wants a truck with the gas mileage of a car.
"I think fuel economy is key."
A look inside the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and you can see it has all the appeal of a luxury car.
"Pickup trucks are largely doubling as the family sedan. We have amenities in our trucks… you really wouldn't expect."
Depending on the package, a Ram truck offers DVD player, heated seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive air suspension to lower and raise the truck allowing shorter family members to step in and out of, and there's WiFi and a lot of storage - and that's not all:
"One of the largest back seats of any vehicle you're going to find on the road."
And car-like fuel economy, because this is the only light duty with a diesel engine, meaning it gets good gas mileage. Bigland predicts an EPA estimated rating of around 27 miles per gallon.
"The buzz is certainly starting to spread and we couldn't be more proud of it."
The 2014 Ram EcoDiesel is expected at dealers in the first quarter of 2014 and is expected to have a base price of just under $30,000.
The truck has already won Truck of Texas and Canada's Truck King Challenge and is nominated as 2014 Truck of the Year by Motor Trend.
The EcoDiesel option will add $2850 over the Hemi V-8 option, but the company projects, depending on the mileage, a return on the investment in 12 to 18 months in fuel savings.
Here's a look at Ram 1500 EcoDiesel's numbers:
Horsepower/Torque: 240 hp/420 pound-feet
Ram Trucks webpage featuring the 1500 EcoDiesel: http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/ecodiesel/