Diesel-powered vehicles have gained a lot of U.S. sales momentum in 2013, and the number of available diesel models from automakers is set to double next year. Joining GM’s lineup are all-new mid-size pickups, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, both of which are in line to get small four-cylinder diesel engines a year after their 2014 launch.
This is great news following the disappointment of Nissan’s decision to fit the Titan full-size pickup with a 5.0 liter diesel V8, rather than the 2.8 liter four-banger it was working on with Cummins. While Chrysler will offer a 3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6 in the Ram 1500 pickup, with the death of the Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger, America has lacked a small-truck option.
That leaves the market wide open for GM and its global mid-size pickup architecture, which in every other country is powered by either a 2.5 liter or 2.8 liter Duramax diesel engine. A four-cylinder diesel engine offers buyers better fuel economy and plenty of torque for 99% of jobs the average American DIYer needs to do. The larger 2.8 liter diesel offers 180 horsepower and 346 ft-lbs of torque when mated to a six-speed automatic, and could be good for up to 30 mpg. That’s what I’m talking about.
With executives refusing to bring the global Ford Ranger to the American market, and Chrysler largely ignoring the mid-size truck market, only the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier are left to fight for very few buyers. Ford doesn’t even think Americans will buy diesels. Fewer buyers were fighting for fewer products, and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, and the mid-size truck market is all but dead and buried.
Yet a small diesel engine that offers professional-grade torque with car-like fuel economy would doubtlessly lure full-size truck buyers from other brands into GM showrooms, something GM is banking on. Maybe it will serve as a wakeup call to other automakers too that small diesel pickups are the way to go. It’s definitely on my “do-want” list, and I even have a few years to start saving my pennies.
Source: Automotive News