• (Reader’s Rigs) 2017 Ram Power Wagon: Real World Highway MPG

    2017 ram power wagon
    2017 Ram Power Wagon (Photo: Jeremy Turner)

    What kind of mileage are you getting in your truck? How does the beastly 2017 Ram Power Wagon do on fuel economy after nearly 1,800 miles on the highway? Jeremy Turner sends us a real world mpg report after a long highway road trip. Jeremy writes…

    I recently went on a road trip, taking my family to the beach in Port Aransas, TX from Clovis, New Mexico. It was an 1,800 mile round trip. I averaged 14.4 MPG on this trip [according to the trip computer]. This included idling (hot Texas days) and driving speed limits of 65, 75, 80 (I10), and 85 (toll road). I upgraded from a 2013 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Laramie 4×4 with the 5.7 HEMI. The best mileage I ever got out of my 1500 was 21 on flat terrain and no wind (rare in Eastern NM and West Texas). Normally I’d average around 16-17 (65-75 MPH). I didn’t buy the Power Wagon for mpg, but I am pleasantly surprised that I averaged 14.4. I will be making a trip to the mountains in northern NM in September. I will be pulling our UTV. With my old truck I’d average around 9 MPG, so I’m definitely hoping I get a little more out of the wagon due to more power.

    We are impressed with the 14.4 MPG on the highway from the big Power Wagon with its 6.4L HEMI V8 (410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque) and a 6-speed automatic. The HEMI does offer cylinder deactivation when full power is not required.

    Here is the result we got on our new 50-mile combined city/highway MPG loop. We mashed up the new Power Wagon against a 4-cylinder Nissan Frontier.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    31 thoughts on “(Reader’s Rigs) 2017 Ram Power Wagon: Real World Highway MPG

    1. I always wonder how much of a difference climate makes for mpg, averaged out for a year. Where I live, we get a little snow just about every single day from December to early March. It’s the great lakes effect. Every morning the trucks need to idle to help get ice off the windows. Rolling resistance over the roads is worse.

      Anyway, for comparison, my Tundra averaged 16.2 mpg over the course of a year. The F-450 diesel that my cleanup guys use averages around 12.2 according to the computer. Of course that heavy truck carries around huge weight in scrap drywall and is left idling for extended periods of time. It also almost never sees the highway.

      1. I estimate a PowerWagon made of aluminum and carbon fiber with a cummins eninge connected to a generator powering electric motors would get about 35 mpg and the Cummins engine would last a million miles. It would be a better off-roader and tow machine and could even be cheaper, excepting the carbon fiber. You would have to go easy and be judicious on how an where you used the carbon fiber.

      2. Temperature makes a huge difference particularly in 4x4s. I’ve averaged 18mpg on a couple long summer road trips in my 16 Power Wagon. In winter I average maybe 13 on shorter road trips. That thick oil in the axles and transfer case sap a lot of power (and fuel) when they’re cold and it takes a long time (if ever) to warm them up when it’s cold out.

    2. My fully loaded 2010 Ford F-150 FX4 with 20″ rims and tow package with the 5.4L and 6 speed trans. It has been 13.0 mpg for most of the year. This is pure city driving. My trip to work is 3 miles with 4 stop lights. I am building my new home right now so I make frequent trips to the store for materials and that is also close with a lot of stop lights. I have taken trips with it and Hwy is 18.5 mpg. Towing was 16.5. So not the greatest but I don’t care about mileage even though I like to know that data. It tows well and has everything I want in it, minus the moonroof. That will be my next truck though.

    3. I can’t see the PowerWagon achieving better mileage than the 1500 / 5.7L ever. The 6.4L may have more power, but it has to move a taller, heavier truck with blockier tires. The PW is cool, but not something you buy for economy.

      1. I didn’t but it for economy. I think it will do better pulling my utv for this reason. When I pulled it on my 1500 I’d get 9-10 mpg. I’ve seen numerous people stating they are pulling campers and getting 9-10 with their power wagon. I’ll be at a third of the weight they are are. I cannot wait to check it out. It’s worth noting my 1500 had the crappy 3.21 gear ratio.

    4. Drove the same model/setup Ram for a few days, got 14 mpg in mixed driving with no heavy throttle. The real hit came pulling a 3500 lb boat, mileage dropped to about 8mpg. My current F150 with a 6.2L gets 12-13 MPG pulling the same load.

      1. I knew someone a few years ago with a tundra. The engine sounded fantastic and had plenty of power.

      2. My 07 regular cab 2wd Tundra rock and rolls. I drive 40 miles one way to work mostly freeway driving. Has 148000 miles. Still runs and drives like a champ. Best mpg is around 17.5 with ac off.

    5. I like this test. Use it for trailer towing also.
      It appears there is some grade climbing and two lane roads in the test.
      Use it for towing tests also. You can check all the same things such as brake applications also.

      Two suggestions:

      Because traffic is involved do two loops. In the results show individual loop mpg and total mpg. This will help show how traffic contributed to the results.

      Also always use the same pump for all vehicles tested. I know pumps are certified for accuracy but using the same pump is a simple way to take a argument of fairness out of the equation.

    6. 14.4 is not very good. I just returned from a 3600 mile roundtrip to Yellowstone. 9 different states. Some highways, some 80 mile speed limits and a lot of mountains. My 2015 F150 SuperCrew FX4 4×4 with 5.0 averaged 20.8 MPG over the entire trip. Some portions over 22 mpg. Lots of power and very comfortable.

      1. Yeah but you’re comparing a smaller lighter half-ton to a 3/4-ton gasser with a solid front axle, big heavy tires, and a heavy duty frame.

      2. What engine do you have? Unless it’s the turbo 3.5 the power output isn’t anywhere compatible.

        Not to mention the dedicated serious off road setup (tires, lifted ride height, lower gearing etc)

        And of course a half ton to HD body with all the added weight.

      3. I have a’16 Platinum, FX4, 5.0, 3:31 gears my average is at BEST 17 MPG. I live in the Deep South and I do drive it pretty hard, but I never have been able to get the claimed MPG’s as other folks with basically the same truck. Anyway, for a truck such as the PW, (+/-) 7,000#’s with the aerodynamic properties of a brick to get 14+ MPG is impressive, especially because it’s tricked out as a 4X4 animal with a gas burner.

    7. Just got back from a 2.5 week trip in a 2014 Ram 2500 with the Cummins diesel. Over 3500 miles I averaged 13.0 mpg with a 2800lb truck camper attached. Empty I’m averaging right around 18 here in Colorado. Had a newer F-150 before this and averaged 19-20 empty so I’m pretty happy that the 3/4 ton is even close!

    8. Older Ram 5.7 4 speed, 35″ tires. 10 mpg towing, 10 city, 10 highway, 10 summer heat, 10 winter heat…

      It’s consistently just bad…

    9. I live in central NM and have a 2015 2500 6.4 Ram,I put around 7,000 miles a yr on it, best I have gotten is 10 miles a gallon on highway or city, its a gas guzzler for sure!!!

      1. That sounds about right, my 2015 Power Wagon gets 9 mpg city – 10 highway. 6k miles per year. Elevation of use is about 6000 feet in Colorado. The PW is has a Laramie package so it is quite posh inside and it is great to drive. I towed a dual axel dump trailer with a few tons of gravel and it really struggled. Maybe it was the crappy hydraulic brake on the trailer. I miss my 2008 Dodge 2500 standard cab, manual transmission with the 6.7 Cummins. That thing was a towing monster. I’ve looked at aftermarket turbochargers for the PW – tempting because I really like the truck. It is just hard to drop $10k plus on a turbo.

    10. Regardless of the Mileage, do you ALWAYS have to show the “Suckerfish” grill of the Power Wagon when you show it? It does have a tailgate, and while it may not be anything special, at least it doesn’t cause an extreme case of nausea every time you look at it like the grill. I have considered choosing a PW, but will probably get a Tradesman with the “power wagon equipment package” just to avoid having to look at that grill. Is it possible to have an earlier Pw grill like the one you used to show with the chrome crosshairs and red background? Maybe I’ll get the tradesman and paint the background red.

      1. It was my picture that he used. Some of us like the grill some do not. I’m glad I passed on a 16 model.

      2. You can swap the grille in 10 minutes. I’ve had three different ones on my powerwagon. It’s easy to swap the grille to another or aftermarket one.

    11. That tradesmen with the power wagon package is 8 grand cheaper than the power wagon. And that’s with all the performance package plus the winch.

    12. 14.4 at them speeds he was running is alright. If I keep my v-10 below that 70 mph I believe I would get the same or better than that.

    13. My GMC Denali 1500 with the 6.2L regularly gets 21mpg and sounds fantastic when you romp on the go pedal. Even in the mountains I average 19 or more. Towing a 28ft RV i get 11-14mpg. No substitute for a Corvette powered pickup.

    14. My beat up old 1980 f150 with 400m and 4 speed manual, can hit 17mpg driving steady at 55mph while pulling a 1300lbs low profile trailer. (No overhead camper). If you keep your foot out of a two barrel you can get decent mpg.

      As I said before in the mountains on a whindy, steep 2 lane road, nothing gets better than 5mpg at 7000 foot elevation.
      So if your purpose is high altitude camping, mpg isn’t much of a factor if you live at the base of the mountains as I do.

      I would guess if you averaged a 100 trucks on the mountain roads I travel. They would average 3mpg or less.
      Pulling a trailer, there are hairpin turns where it’s wise to go to a granny gear. And straightaways are short enough that 3rd out of 5 gears is all the higher you will go.

      3rd gear is terrible for fuel mileage. :>)

      I guess I’m am not impressed with Gold Mine hill etc. because for me those types of roads are typical for dispersed camping.
      Of course I wouldn’t tackle those steep sections in my 2wd. But the quality of the road is typical for dispersed camping.

      The one hairpin on goldmine hill is typical, (imagine it paved), on the way toward off high way sections were I camp.
      If you have enough gears very few have problems on the way up. Except over heating because of the automatic transmissions.

      But if towing, (I have a overhead camper and utility trailer with a shell), those hair pins would be unnerving driving an automatic transmission.

      Remember you lose all tow haul and exhaust breaking by 15mph. And those are 5mph turns even not towing.

      I’m old fashioned and old. Be careful helped me reach old. Lol

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