Diesel engines are known for their horsepower and towing capacity, but they are also incredibly fuel efficient thanks to the latest technology, which helps the engine produce as much energy as possible from each drop of fuel. Thanks to new emissions requirements, auto manufacturers are trying to make their vehicles more fuel efficient to help diesel owners save money at the pump, including hybrid-diesel options. If you want the reliability and towing capabilities of a diesel engine without spending a fortune on fuel, these are some of the best options on the market today:
A note of fuel efficiency: Each make/model comes with a headline mile per gallon (MPG) rating, but this doesn’t take into account the weight of the load you’re hauling. The heavier the vehicle, the less efficient it will be. Every additional 100 pounds will reduce the mpg by up to 2 percent. The rating will also vary based on the trim and style of vehicle. Springing for a more powerful engine or four wheel drive means sacrificing efficiency, so only opt for these features if you really need them.
Failing to maintain your vehicle will also cause the engine to burn through more fuel than necessary. The fuel injector pump sends the fuel from the injectors into the combustion chamber, where it mixes with oxygen to create mechanical energy. The fuel is pressurized before entering the chamber as a fine mist, but it won’t burn all the way through if the fuel pressure is too low or the air-fuel mixture fails to reach the proper temperature, reducing power.
A broken fuel injector pump or a lack of oil will reduce fuel injector pressure. Replace the fuel injector pump if the pressure remains lower than the recommended PSI. Unburnt fuel will also spread particles through the engine until it eventually clogs the exhaust system, which gets recycled through the engine as part of the emissions reduction system. Shop for replacement exhaust system parts to increase airflow. Repairing and maintaining your diesel engine is always less expensive than letting your fuel system degrade. Every problem will end up reducing your fuel efficiency. Find the diesel truck parts you need online to help your vehicle reach its full potential.
2023 Jeep Wrangler
Mileage Rating: 14 – 23 MPG
Jeep is taking the lead when it comes to the electrification of diesel engines. The last Wrangler comes with an electric range of 22 miles, perfect for short trips and local businesses. It’s tough enough to handle dirt, mud and rocky terrain with a spacious cabin to fit all your equipment. Expect to get 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway.
2022 GMC Canyon
Mileage Rating: 19 – 23 MPG
While powerful, last year’s Canyon leaves something to be desired when it comes to safety. It lacks some of the features you might expect from a modern truck with lower test crash ratings, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It comes in three versions for additional horsepower, towing capacity and turbo diesel options, but it is slightly more expensive than its competitors. If you maintain the engine and find your sweet spot on the highway, you can get up to 25 MPG.
2023 GMC Sierra 1500
Mileage Rating: 15 – 26 MPG
The latest Sierra 1500 from GMC gives you a range of customization options, and each features the company’s signature sense of style and attention to detail. It’s packed with modern amenities, including a dazzling info entertainment system and all the safety features you can ask for. With a 5.3L V8 engine, the Denali Crew Cab Short Bed 4WD is the most powerful of the lot with a steep price tag of $70,895 and a reduced fuel rating of 6 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway.
2022 Chevrolet Colorado
Mileage Rating: 17 – 23 MPG
If you’re not one for style and don’t need the latest tech, the Chevy Colorado will help you get the job done on a budget. The interior is lined with inexpensive plastic, but you’re not here for the aesthetics. You can get the seats and dashboard dirty without breaking a sweat. With a 3.6L V6 engine, the Z71 Crew Cab Short Box 4WD is great for handling the outdoors, and it starts as low as $40,495. Even with the four-wheel drive, it gets an impressive 17 MPG in the city and 24 MPG
2023 Ram 1500
Mileage Rating: 12 – 23 MPG
The newest mid-size truck from Ram sits somewhere in between the Colorado and Sierra. It hauls up to 2,300 pounds and tows up to 12,750 pounds with a coil suspension for a smoother ride than some of its competitors. If you need four-wheel drive, the Big Horn Crew Cab 5’7″ Box 4WD gets 19 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. However, the efficiency drops off pretty fast when you start to pack on the weight, so consider upgrading to either the 2500 or 3500 if you’re towing near capacity.
Diesel trucks have come a long way over the past few decades. Take one of these make/models for a test drive to see how efficient diesel can be.