The Ram 1500 diesel has been praised by test drivers for its quiet operation, responsiveness, and apparently high fuel mileage. The light diesel was chosen for its economy and easy driveability, replacing earlier plans to use a light-duty Cummins engine (since adopted by Nissan), but it also has surprisingly long maintenance intervals. The same engine is used in the current Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel.
Originally, the Ram 1500 diesel was to arrive for the 2013 model year, but it was quietly pushed back to the 2014 model year. Now, it appears that it will need to wait until the 2014 calendar year as well, with reports coming in that production will not start until mid-January.
The reason for the delay is unknown. The engine has been in production for some time, but demand for the Grand Cherokee might be stronger than expected, and the factory has limited production capacity (though it is expanding). As a matter of pure speculation, Fiat’s agreement to purchase the rest of VM could result in engines also being made in an under-used Fiat plant.