The Hemi or the EcoDiesel. Which engine is best for you? In the earlier days the decision was easier as consumers had less choice, but today the options are much more varied and include V-8s, turbocharged gas V-6s, and the EcoDiesel. To help make your decision, we’ve separated out some of the pros of each engine, to see which fit is best for you.
Noise, Vibration and Harshness: Draw
Both the EcoDiesel and Hemi are relatively smooth, however, if you are looking for an engine to speak loudly, the Hemi has a multitude of exhaust options. While some may love the diesel’s deep groan, most will find the Hemi’s baritone burble more appealing. The EcoDiesel is quieter at most speeds, so this one comes down to personal preference.
Overall Power: Hemi
The Hemi has a definite edge in horsepower, with 155 more points than the Italian-built diesel. The Hemi has a 1,200 pound edge in maximum towing capacity at 10,400 pounds. In addition, it’s about 2 seconds faster from 0 to 60 than the EcoDiesel.
Towing and Hauling: EcoDiesel
You may be asking yourself how the Hemi can win in power, but the EcoDiesel wins in towing and hauling. While it’s true that the Hemi has a higher overall tow rating than the EcoDiesel, the latter factors better in performance between loaded and unloaded, in addition to the economy difference. The diesel’s efficiency margin widens under each load, making your miles per gallon much higher than the gasoline powered truck.
The EcoDiesel shows significant advantage over the Hemi in this category with a 5 mpg city and 6 mpg highway advantage in two-wheel form, and 4 mpg city and 6 mpg highway advantage on four-wheel drive. That is a huge difference, and gets even wider when towing, as mentioned above.
Maintenance and Cost of Operation: Draw
Traditionally, the cost of operation would fall with the EcoDiesel, but there are more variables to look at on today’s models that were not available years ago. For one, fuel prices vary widely. Diesel can be either cheaper than the 87-octance unleaded, or more expensive than premium. In addition, diesel sees more seasonal variations in price than gasoline.
While diesels do not require spark plugs, the new ones require urea DEF after treatment which costs $10-$20 on top of every oil change. In addition, the diesel holds 10.5 quarts compared to the Hemi’s 7 quart oil capacity, so you are spending more money on oil changes for the EcoDiesel.
The EcoDiesel is turbocharged, which is not an option with the Hemi. While today’s turbochargers are much more reliable than those in the 1980s, it can be a potential expense if you plan on keeping your truck for more than 150,000 miles. The older diesel models in the 80s were effective at burning oil and creating power in the long-term.
Verdict: Personal Preference
Which truck is best for your? It’s a draw that you will have to make for yourself. The Hemi and EcoDiesel have vastly different personalities. The Hemi is the traditional choice with strong, sound V-8 power and truck duty, while the EcoDiesel is almost foreign sounding with steady, efficient power and acceleration.