For decades, the roar of gasoline engines dominated the automotive landscape, from nimble cars to burly semi-trucks. But as time rolled on, diesel fuel emerged as a contender, earning its place in a range of vehicles, including some formidable pickup trucks. However, diesel-powered trucks have often found themselves in the shadow of their gasoline counterparts, facing challenges like skepticism born from the infamous “Dieselgate” scandal. Still, the allure of diesel endures, thanks to the promise of robust torque, impressive towing capacity, and stellar fuel efficiency.
In this guide, we embark on a journey through the diesel truck landscape to discover the best deals that deserve your attention and the ones that should be approached with caution.
1. 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke
The iconic Ford F-150, America’s sweetheart, underwent a significant transformation in 2018. Beyond style and tech enhancements, the real star of the show was the introduction of a 3.0-liter diesel engine option. This engine delivered a substantial 250 horsepower and a torque-heavy 440 lb-ft. Its towing prowess soared to 11,400 pounds, making it a formidable contender in the diesel truck arena.
2. 2018 Ford F-350
The 2018 Ford F-350 Super Duty is a reliable daily driver, impressing with its agility and smooth transmission shifts. It offers both a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 and a potent 6.7-liter turbo-diesel V8. The diesel variant boasts a whopping 450 horsepower and a jaw-dropping 935 lb-ft of torque, ensuring you never fall short on power.
3. 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD
Chevrolet’s 2020 Silverado HD lineup made headlines with its robust diesel engine options. The optional Duramax diesel 6.6-liter V8, coupled with an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission, churned out 445 horsepower and a remarkable 910 lb-ft of torque. These power figures, along with a tow rating of 35,000 pounds, catered to the heavy-load enthusiasts.
4. 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD
The 2017 Sierra 2500HD earned its spot among the best with notable upgrades to its traction control, Allison A1000 automatic transmission, and an integrated exhaust brake system. This heavy-duty truck was equipped with a potent 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8, producing an impressive 445 horsepower and a monstrous 910 lb-ft of torque.
5. 2019 Ram 2500HD
Ram’s 2019 offering brought refinement and luxury to the heavy-duty truck segment. With a standard gasoline 6.4-liter V8 and an optional 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel inline six-cylinder engine, this truck boasted a towing capacity of up to 21,560 pounds. What truly set it apart was its jaw-dropping 850 lb-ft of torque, making it a force to be reckoned with.
1. 2014 Ram 1500
The 2014 Ram 1500 may offer luxury and power with its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine, but it falls short when it comes to reliability. Towing heavy loads in challenging terrains often led to oil cooler failures. Additionally, complaints about leaking exhaust couplers, which caused diesel exhaust odors in the cabin, were prevalent.
2. 2006 Ford F-250 Super Duty
The 2006 F-250 Super Duty, while visually striking, suffered from a problematic 6.0-liter Powerstroke diesel engine. This engine’s issues led to a class-action lawsuit settlement between Navistar and Ford. Mechanical problems, including pump-mounted driver failures, plagued this otherwise promising truck.
3. 1994-2001 Chevy & GMC 6.5L
Diesel enthusiasts often scoff at the 6.5L engine that powered the 1994-2001 Chevy and GMC trucks. Operating with indirect injection, it paled in comparison to competitors. A meager output of 180 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque, coupled with mechanical problems, made it an undesirable choice.
4. 2016 Chevrolet Colorado
The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado may excel in maneuverability, but its 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder engine was far from impressive. Reports of engine misfires and transmission failures raised concerns. Additionally, the Duramax engine contributed to increased curb weight, compromising its overall efficiency.
5. 2016 GMC Canyon
The 2016 GMC Canyon, akin to its Chevrolet counterpart, suffered from engine lag and acceleration issues. Drivers reported that the truck often struggled to accelerate at cruise speeds. Fuel economy also fell short of expectations, leaving some drivers unsatisfied.
In the realm of diesel trucks, the road to excellence can be treacherous. While some shine as beacons of power and reliability, others fall short, plagued by mechanical woes and performance hiccups. As you navigate the world of diesel-powered pickups, tread carefully, for a well-informed choice can transform your drive into a delightful journey, while a misstep may lead to regrets on the open road.