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The number of diesel trucks available is decreasing, and every pickup truck’s MSRP jumped for 2023. But you still have a couple of options for diesel trucks under $60k. All of the Detroit Three will sell you a heavy-duty truck upgraded with a diesel engine for between $55k and $60k. But you’ll have to pay more if you want common features such as a crew cab or 4WD. The only automaker still offering a diesel half-ton is General Motors (the GMC Sierra 1500/Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at $52k+). And the only automaker still offering a diesel midsize is Jeep (the Gladiator at $50k+). Here’s how the 2023 diesel trucks stack up.

How much is a diesel truck engine upgrade?

All of the Detroit Three offer a heavy-duty diesel truck engine. The upcharge for this option is about $10k across the board. Only General Motors still offers a diesel in its half-ton trucks (the $2,340 Duramax 3.0 in the Silverado and Sierra). You can only get the Ram 1500’s old 3.0 diesel in the 2023 Jeep Gladiator (a $4,150 option).

Closeup of the Cummins Turbo Diesel badge on the fender of a Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup truck.
Diesel Ram 3500 | Stellantis

For several years, all the American half-ton pickup trucks offered turbocharged diesel engines. These engine options were more expensive than comparable V8s, but justified their cost based on fuel savings. But in recent years, most automakers have canceled their light-duty diesels. The reason is likely a combination of high research and development costs, tightening emissions regulations, and the low number of buyers springing for the option.

Buyers interested in heavy-duty trucks for heavy-duty hauling are likelier to pony up for a diesel. Every heavy-duty truck is available with an industrial-grade diesel engine. General Motors charges $9,490 for its 6.6-liter Duramax V8. A 6.7-liter Cummins I6 in the Ram will run you $9,695. Finally, the Ford 6.7-liter PowerStroke V8 will add $9,995 to the Ford Super Duty‘s total. So with these high engine costs, how much heavy-duty diesel pickup truck can you actually get for $60k?

How much is a heavy-duty diesel pickup truck?

Heavy-duty pickup prices can seem low because automakers offer stripped-down two-door configurations targeted at fleet buyers. But adding a diesel engine will add at least $10k. So while most heavy-duty trucks start at $45k, a diesel version will run you between $55k and $60k. And that’s for a two-door, 2WD.

Closeup of the Duramax 3.0-liter diesel badge on the fender of a half-ton GMC pickup truck.
GMC Duramax | General Motors

A Ford Super Duty F-250 XL has an MSRP of $43,970. With the regular output PowerStroke V8 the net price (with destination charge, but not dealer fees or registration) is $55,960. This engine makes 475 horsepower and 1050 lb-ft of torque.

The Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 WT starts at $45,295. But add a 6.6-liter Duramax V8, and you’re looking at $55,910 plus destination charges. This engine makes 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque.

The 2023 Ram HD 2500 Tradesman’s MSRP is $46,050. This truck’s diesel option is an industrial-grade I6 built by Cummins. Its $9,695 base tune makes 420 horsepower and 1,075 lb-ft of torque. This engine drives the truck’s total to $57,740.

Why are all these trucks’ prices and outputs so similar? One reason may be that fleet owners are a major market. And if you are operating a fleet, your bottom line is much more important than any brand loyalty. The smaller diesel trucks, however, couldn’t be any more different.

Are light-duty diesel trucks worth the cost?

Light-duty diesel pickup trucks are much more fuel efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. But their engine options are very expensive, and exceedingly rare. Few buyers found them worth springing for.

A red Jeep Gladiator pickup truck shows off the Stellantis 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine's towing capacity by pulling a boat along a lakeshore.
Jeep Gladiator | Stellantis

In 2023, your only option for a half-ton diesel truck is the GMC Sierra 1500/Chevrolet Silverado 1500. General Motors builds a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbodiesel engine. For the Chevrolet Silverado, this engine is not available on either the WT or Custom trim. On LT and higher trims, it is a $2,340 option. But the LT and higher trims only come in four-door configurations. So you are looking at at least $52,235 for a diesel GM. The GMC Sierra versions are over a grand more expensive.

Until recently, Ram offered a 3.0-liter “EcoBoost” turbo V6 in its Ram 1500. But with low sales and tightening emissions, it’s unsurprising that the automaker has discontinued the option. But you can still get the engine in a Jeep Gladiator. One interesting thing about the midsize Gladiator is that every truck comes with 4WD and four doors. For this reason, the midsize starts at $38,990. The lowest Gladiator trim available with a diesel engine option is the Willys Sport. The engine option is $4,150, so your total will be at least $50,240.