How to Compare the Best Diesel Trucks

by Charles Green

General Motors, the Ford Motor Company and Chrysler each sell diesel-powered pickup trucks, vehicles known for their excellent horsepower, torque, towing capacity and very good fuel economy. Only select models of their respective full-sized trucks offer diesel engines, limiting your choices to just four brands.

Identification

The Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram offer turbo-charged diesel engines. Two other full-sized trucks, the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan, offer gas engines only. At present, smaller segment trucks do not offer a diesel option.

Power

Three diesel engines power four brands of trucks. GMC and Chevrolet offer the same engine. The Dodge diesel is supplied by Cummins and is an inline-6 engine producing 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The Ford Power Stroke diesel is built in-house and is a V8 engine producing 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. The GM models use a Duramax V-8 engine that produces 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque.

Towing

Diesel engines offer significant towing-capacity standard. The GM models can pull 15,800 pounds, Dodge 12,000 pounds, and the Ford diesel can pull 14,000 pounds.

Fuel Economy

Because these diesel models are considered heavy-duty with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 8,500 pounds, they do not have to comply with federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards; thus, no official fuel economy numbers are recorded. Diesel vehicles average 30 to 35 percent better fuel economy versus comparable gas engines, according to FuelEconomy.gov.

About the Author

Charles Green is a freelance writer in North Carolina who has been writing since 1992 and freelancing since 2002. His work appears in "435 South Magazine," "Wisconsin Golfer" and for various websites. Green earned a Bacheler of Science in business administration from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images