Is Buying a Diesel Truck Worth It?

When it comes to shopping for a new pickup, you’re going to find that several models are also available with a diesel engine under the hood. But, you may be wondering, is buying a diesel truck actually worth it? Let’s find out.

Chevrolet Silverado Diesel driving on a highway near a mountain
Chevrolet Silverado Diesel | Chevrolet

What are the benefits of buying a diesel truck?

According to TruckTrend, there are plenty of reasons to choose a diesel truck over a gasoline-powered one. TruckTrend reports that with diesel prices rivaling those of gasoline in some areas, the cost of fueling up a diesel pickup truck is a concern for many. Fortunately, TruckTrend reports, most diesel-powered pickup trucks are more fuel-efficient than their gas-motivated siblings.

Diesel trucks are known for lasting longer than gasoline-powered trucks too. According to Hot Shot’s Secret, diesel engines often run well into the 500,000-mile range. Hot Shot’s Secret reports that there are a few reasons for this. But the most important one? Hot Shot’s Secret says has to do with better oil flow and better engine lubrication.

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Are diesel engines better for towing?

Both gasoline-powered and diesel-powered pickup trucks are capable of towing pretty hefty loads. But when it comes down to it, you can expect a diesel truck to do a better job of it. And according to How Stuff Works, it all has to do with torque. 

How Stuff Works explains that diesel engines typically generate more torque because the truck’s piston has to travel a larger distance to compress enough air for ignition. That distance, which is known as the truck’s stroke, means more torque.

How Stuff Works used a Ram pickup with a 350-hp 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine under the hood as an example. With 650 pound-feet of torque to its name, How Stuff Works says that you can expect this particular truck to offer up better towing capabilities than a Ram truck equipped with a 5.7-liter Hemi gasoline V8 engine, which has 383-hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque.

“While the two trucks have very similar towing capacities –15,650 pounds (7098.7 kg) for the gasoline engine and 16,350 pounds (7416.2 kg) for the diesel — all that low-end power means the diesel engine will have an easier time towing things,” How Stuff Works explained.

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There are some downsides to buying a diesel truck

Of course, there are plenty of reasons not to buy a diesel pickup too. First off, diesel trucks tend to be on the more expensive side of things. And it’s not just their base prices that tend to be higher either. Autotrader reports that routine maintenance, oil changes included, tend to cost a bit more when compared to conventional gas engines.

Diesel engines don’t do so hot in the cold, either. In fact, Autotrader reports that diesel engines can have trouble starting during the winter months because they are prone to gelling as temperatures get lower. And while warm-up times have dropped for some diesel trucks, Autotrader says that you might notice it takes a bit longer to start a diesel pickup during a deep freeze.

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What type of pickup is the right choice for you?

There are plenty of reasons to choose a diesel truck. Whether you’re in the market for a more fuel-efficient pickup or want one that has an easier time towing, opting for a diesel-powered model may be worth it for you. But if you don’t plan on towing and would rather not pay extra for a diesel truck? Then you might want to stick with a gasoline-powered truck instead.