Trucks & SUVs

The Best Used Diesel Pickup Trucks Are Worth Hunting For

If you are thinking about buying a used diesel pickup truck, there are some models with a better reputation than others. Buying a used model can definitely save some cash. It makes sense why so many people turn to the used market for trucks, and the best used diesel pickup trucks are worth hunting for.

A red 2008 Dodge Ram diesel pickup with a manual transmission
2008 Dodge Ram 2500 | Stellantis

Best used diesel Ram truck models

Car and Driver and TruckTrend agree that the Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models from 2003-2008 are good finds. While C/D highlights the 2002-2003 model years, TruckTrend notes that the third generation Ram HD pickup received a facelift in 2006, gaining extra cargo and cabin capacity.

These trucks are powered by the “high output” 5.9-liter Cummins diesel engine. The 2002 vintage offers 305 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. In 2004, the Ram HD received upgrades that gave it 325 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque. The entire generation can tow up to 12,000 pounds.

If you are looking for a newer model among the best used diesel pickup trucks, the 2010-2013 Ram 2500 and the 2014 Ram 1500 are both recommended. Finding one of these that’s been well taken care of can give you a great truck for a bargain used price. It’s worth the effort to look at several used trucks for sale to hunt down the one that’s been maintained best by its previous owners.

These used Ford diesel trucks are worth the hunt

Cross-referencing data from both TruckTrend and C/D, you’ll find that the 1999-2003 Ford Super Duty trucks are an epic buy if you find a good used one. These models were the last of the of 7.3-liter Power Stroke V8-powered F-250s and F-350s.

A white Ford F-350 super duty pickup truck towing a camper
Ford F-350 Towing a Camper | Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Highly regarded in the pickup truck world, this engine generates 235 horsepower with 500 lb-ft of torque. These are without a doubt some of the best used diesel pickup trucks. If you are buying a used diesel truck and you don’t let a throwback model year scare you. These should be on your list of trucks to check out.

There are also some newer Ford diesels that are worth looking at. The 2008-2010 Ford Super Duty pickup trucks are also a good find. These are powered by the 350 horsepower 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 engine that give up to 650 lb-ft of torque for heavy jobs. In addition, Autobytel commends the 2010-2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty. These models that employ the 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 “that has been tuned to provide a whopping 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque.”

The best used GM diesel trucks

If you prefer GMC or Chevrolet pickups, both C/D and TruckTrend recommend going after the 2006-2007 HD models. These 2500 and 3500 trucks employ the well-loved 6.6-liter V8 Duramax engine. These are well worth the hunt.

Autobytel also recommends GMC and Chevrolet 2500 and 3500 models up to the 2014 model year. These Heavy Duty Sierra and Silverado trucks get power from the same Duramax diesel engine. They are known to last a long time. Plus, they are ready for hard work.

The advantages of buying a used diesel

Buying a used diesel has a list of advantages. Dodge, Ram, and GM have been rolling out the production of strong diesel-powered trucks for decades. C/D reports that diesel pickup trucks often tick past 250,000 miles.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado|Fabrizio Costantini/Bloomberg via Getty Images

With proper maintenance, this is achieved with very few issues along the way. Searching until you find a well-maintained used diesel truck model is worth the time spent. These trucks offer loads of strength. In fact, even buying a truck with over 100,000 miles on it will leave you with a pickup that’s still got plenty of life left. Not every used diesel pickup truck is worth it. However, it’s worth the hunt to find one that’s been well maintained.