We have a predisposition when it comes to the term “used.” Often, the term is associated with objects that have outlived their usefulness or novelty. This outlook speaks to the conditioning that anything new or recent is best or at still possesses a novelty that hasn’t yet lost its shine. This is most apparent when it comes to vehicles like used diesel trucks. Perhaps it’s because so much work is placed upon advertising the newest offerings and marketing them to consumers. The taste in trends is one that’s inconsistent, and a model that’s shot to the highest positions of popularity can be considered nothing more than yesterday’s news in a very short time.
However, there’s something to be said for the frugal car shopper who looks past trends and owning the “latest and greatest” in favor of being practical and having a vehicle that’s reliable, efficient, and will go that necessary extra mile. Buying a used chevy pickup could very well be one of the best choices you make. Buying one equipped with one of GM’s Duramax diesel engines can afford you some advantages you might not have known about before. To help you find the perfect truck, we’re going to look at some of the best Chevy diesel trucks to keep an eye out for on the used lot.
Great, but What Exactly Is a Duramax?
A very good question from a mind focused on the existential. To give you a proper and well-informed answer, we’ll have to go back to 1998. With the tumultuous 1990s coming to an inevitable conclusion and a new millennium within sight upon the horizon, Isuzu and GM joined forces to write a bold new chapter in the history of the diesel engine. As some of you might remember, the late 1990s was a time of strange trends and enough postmodern irony to make a gaggle of hipsters salivate at the mouth. Looking back, it almost seems a little too perfect that this period would see a blast from the past.
The partnership between Isuzu and GM would result in a company called Duramax. Whom, since their inception, have manufactured over 1.5 million high-powered diesel engines. The first Duramax made quite an impact when it debuted for the 2001 model year. 300 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque was a debut worthy of the epic partnership between the two companies. Duramax diesel engines are known for performing extremely well at low RPMs and have only gotten better as the years have gone on. Duramax engines also have incredibly long life spans, with some lasting into the 300,000-mile range. Now that you know a little bit of the history, we can continue with some of the ideal models that feature this heart-stopping technology.
2019 Chevy Silverado 1500
The difference between 2019 and 2020 might not seem like a lot, but the events that separate the two years are discussed with utter disdain. The year before the world faced a global pandemic was one of peak efficiency for Chevrolet. Competition is as American as apple pie, and this year would belong to Chevy as it outclassed its rivals. A 3.0L inline-six turbocharged diesel produced some impressive numbers. Most notably, 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. More impressive still was that both were reached at relatively low RPMs. A towing capacity of up to 9,700 lbs proved that Duramax could do more with less. For the driver who prefers going to the gas station for hot dogs instead of fill-ups, a fuel economy of around 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway was news that proved too good to ignore.
2012 Chevy Silverado 2500
2012 was a year where a lot of anticipation and wonder filled the air. Much like Y2K, premonitions of the world coming to an end were just about everywhere. Thankfully, the year would be another one that had 365 days, four seasons, and a Chevy truck with an earth rattling diesel engine under its hood. If you’re in the market for a truck that’s capable of handling a larger-than-average workload and has the type of power that Duramax diesel engines are known for, a 2012 Chevy Silverado 2500 will be more than fitting.
The engine that was large and in charge for this particular year was the 6.6L diesel V8. Armed with four valves per cylinder, it proved to be one of the most formidable weapons on the open road that year. While the engine only produced half as many RPMs as Chevy’s 6.0L gas-powered V8, it didn’t want for high performance. 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque were generated at 3000 and 1600 RPMs. With the ability to tow up to 23,000 lbs, it didn’t matter if you were carrying a workload or going on a lengthy road trip with a trailer; this was one truck that put the “heavy” in “heavy-duty.” If you can find one, don’t judge it by its age—it will still deliver the goods for you, no matter what they might be.
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500
2020 is certainly a year that we would all like to forget. Life was unpredictable, and this year certainly proved that point by turning everything upside down and casting us into the throngs of a global pandemic. That’s not to say this year isn’t without its fair share of high points. As we embraced a world full of social distancing, zoom meetings, and self-imposed quarantine, Chevy did what they do best—providing the very best for their loyal customers.
The 2020 Silverado 1500 introduced a new pairing that’s since become more iconic than peanut butter and jelly. The 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel, which had already established itself as a force to be reckoned with, found itself attached to a 10-speed automatic transmission, allowing for capabilities not seen before. Ten gears meant that the Silverado ran smoother than ever, yet it didn’t compromise its power and performance for the sake of comfort.
A diesel-equipped 2020 Silverado breaks down barriers and sets new standards for what a pickup truck could attain. Achieving a healthy fuel economy of 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, the Duramax once again established itself as an engine that could take the Silverado to distances previously uncharted. This Duramax engine manages to pull off efficiency both at the pump and the job site. A rare feat, we must say.
Sweeter Than Wine, Better With Age
As we approach the third decade of Duramax diesel engines, we should take a few moments and enjoy a short pause. The world can change at the drop of a hat; the past few years have done an all too well job at illustrating that fact. The fact that Duramax engines have changed very little since their introduction shows just how seamless their design is. They allow trucks to go farther on less fuel, do more work with less RPMs, and, most importantly, exceed the expectations of drivers everywhere with very little effort. Should you be fortunate enough to track down a used Chevy truck equipped with a Duramax diesel engine, it won’t matter if it was manufactured two years ago or ten; you’ll be making an investment that will be sure to pay off in full.