The notion of diesel engines being used solely, or even primarily, for big rigs is long gone. More and more these days, we are seeing diesel trucks for sale in the everyday commuter vehicle market. Each one of the major American automakers offers several diesel engine options on their pickup trucks. Whether you are a Ford man, a Chevy guy or a Ram driver, you have a diesel engine option.
As any diesel truck buyer can attest, the diesel engine option on any one of these trucks will run you a bit more financially at the onset. However, fuel costs are significantly less expensive due to the fuel efficiency. This will save you a pretty chunk of change in the long run. Diesel engines also typically have better longevity than gasoline engines. Not only does that mean you will have longer times between significant repairs or replacements, but you also spend longer on the road away from the pump, meaning the truck will last for years longer than you would a gasoline engine. Those factors combine to help offset the initial disparity between a diesel engine and a gasoline engine.
Take a look below at some of the diesel engines from the major American automakers and see if one of them best fits your particular needs.
For the first time in its storied history, the 2019 Ford F-150 will feature a diesel engine option. Other Ford trucks have featured them in the past, but those were the larger heavy duty trucks, used primarily by workers who needed a lot of truck to tow and haul work materials. The F-150, though, is joining the diesel world for the first time this year.
The 2019 Ford F-150 will have an available 3.0 liter Power Stroke V6 diesel engine capable of 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. This diesel engine is available on the XL and XLT trim levels, making it ideal for work and fleet trucks. It will also be able to get an astounding 11,400 pounds of towing capacity, which is significantly more than comparable diesel engines on Ford’s competitors.
If you are one of the growing crowd of people out there looking for a greener option in your truck engine, the 2019 Ford F-150 diesel engine emits only 412 grams of carbon dioxide per mile driven. That is right in line with the average gasoline-based engine for any vehicle, but considering the size and strength of the Ford F-150, only 412 grams per mile is pretty good. Additionally, this engine gets a combined 25 miles to the gallon, which is significantly better than the average mpg of the other F-150 gasoline engines, or gasoline engines of other automakers, for that matter.
If you are looking for the EcoDiesel option in the 2019 Ram lineup, you will be looking in vain. Even though Ram was the first to offer a diesel engine in a half-ton pickup truck, way back in 2017, the diesel option is not in the cards for 2019.
The 2017 Ram 1500 had a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that got 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. That engine is roughly the same size and muscle of the Ford F-150, but tops out at only 9,290 pounds of towing capacity. It does, however, have a respectable 1,640-pound payload capacity. This engine gets 29 miles to the gallon on the highway and can go over 700 miles between fill ups. Both of these statistics were best-in-class for that model year, which is not difficult to pull off, considering there were no other diesel engines in this class at the time.
Even though Ram is not offering the EcoDiesel engine for 2019, this engine is still relatively new and is one of the last models of Ram’s fourth generation. If you are a Ram loyalist and are still interested in this truck, buying the 2017 or 2018 Ram 1500 as a used or certified pre-owned vehicle could be a great option. You can likely get a hard-working, reliable truck with few miles on it and relatively little wear and tear, all for a considerable discount. Ram is also known for paying special attention to its interiors, so the 2017 or 2018 model year Ram will have some of the best infotainment and safety features on the market, combined with that diesel engine.
Chevy Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500
The wonder twins of the General Motors family are both getting the same diesel engine for 2019. The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 both get a 3.0-liter Duramax inline 6-cylinder with 282 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. Both of these are more powerful than either Ford or Dodge’s diesel engines. Unfortunately, this diesel engine can only tow up to 7,700 pounds (and only 7,600 in 4WD). So, we are not really sure where all that extra muscle is going.
It will, however, get an estimated 28 miles to the gallon, which is right in line with the other diesel engines in its class. Because this particular engine is not going to be available until later in the 2019 calendar year (as opposed to late 2018 like the other GM powertrains), some of the specifics are still being held close to the vest. We can expect pricing, full specifications and release date coming from GM any day now.
Of course, all of these automakers make larger work trucks with diesel engines. Ford F-450, Chevy Silverado 2500 and GMC Sierra 3500 and their kin have had large, powerful diesel engines in them for years. Toyota and Nissan also have diesel engines available, but their trucks only command a fraction of the market that is dominated by Ford and General Motors. Other smaller trucks, such as the Chevy Colorado also have diesel engine options.
A Smaller Footprint
The recent resurgence and interest in diesel engines in America has led to Ford and General Motors to offer these engines in their most popular trucks. This is partially to do with the ecological movement of leaving a smaller carbon footprint and partially that American drivers have figured out that diesel engines will save money in the long run. If you plan on having a diesel engine truck for years to come, the savings in fuel will offset the higher cost of the diesel engine within less than five years, depending on how much you drive it.
Virtually every European automaker has been implementing diesel engines in their vehicles for years, even some sedans and coupes. The major players in Europe, such as BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Range Rover see about half of their overall sales come from diesel engine vehicles.
Now that this movement has finally hit the American light-truck market, which is the largest pickup truck market by far, expect to see the diesel engine options become more and more prevalent, and sooner rather than later. Diesel engines are much more environmentally friendly, and that has become a huge marketing point for many American businesses, including auto manufacturers. It is a bit premature to suggest that diesel will overtake the gasoline-powered engines that America has run on for so long, but it is a conceivable thought. Major oil providers might be getting a little nervous, but that’s a story for another day.