What Is the Only Automaker That Still Offers a Half-Ton Diesel Pickup Truck?

Ram will end production of the EcoDiesel versions of the half-ton Ram 1500 in January. This will leave GM as the only automaker with a half-ton diesel pickup truck going into the 2023 model year. Is this change a response to new regulations, or was it simply time to drop the diesel with the EV Ram 1500 coming up in 2024?

What brands offer half-ton diesel pickup trucks for 2023?

A blue Chevy Silverado 1500 with the 3.0-lite Duramax diesel engine driving down the highway.
Chevrolet Silverado with 3.0L Duramax diesel engine | Chevrolet

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If you still want the low-end torque and incredible fuel economy of a diesel-powered light-duty truck, you’ll have to choose a Chevy or GMC model. Both the Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 still have the benefits of the Duramax turbocharged diesel engine and are the only diesel trucks in this category going into 2023.

Can you still get a Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel engine?

Promo photo of several Ram 1500 pickup trucks with the EcoDiesel V6, a sunset over a pond visible in the background.
2022 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel trucks | Stellantis

Car and Driver tells us the diesel-powered Ram half-ton ends production in January. If you want this engine in your truck, you’ve got to order it now. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbocharged V6 engine is rated at 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. The special HFE trim is rated at 33 mpg combined, which is impressive.

This engine is a $4995 upgrade and is still offered for the Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Laramie, Limited Longhorn, and Limited trim levels. After production ends, this engine won’t be offered, leaving only the GM pair with diesel engines in this truck class.

Did GM bring more power to their half-ton diesel pickup truck models?

Red GMC Sierra 1500 Duramax Diesel is one of the last half-ton diesel pickup trucks in the market.
GMC Sierra 1500 Duramax Diesel | GMC

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Yes, for 2023, the 3.0-liter Duramax turbocharged diesel V6 engine is more powerful than ever before. This new LZ0 model brings 305 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque. This is an increase over the previous version, which offered 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The new Duramax engine mates to a 10-speed automatic transmission for smooth shifting.

We don’t have the tow rating or fuel economy numbers for this new LZ0 diesel engine yet.

Do you need a diesel pickup truck to tow the most weight?

Ford F-150 Towing in the Snow
Ford F-150 Towing in the Snow | Ford

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No, you don’t. Until we know the specs for the new LZ0 engine, the Ford F-150 has the highest towing capacity at 14,000 pounds. The powertrain used to pull this load is the high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. This engine produces 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque.

The previous LM2 version of the Duramax turbocharged engine was rated to pull up to 13,300 pounds in the Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra trucks. Could the increase in power for the LZ0 model give the GM pair higher towing numbers than the F-150? Maybe.

Is the era of diesel coming to an end?

A 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck driving on snow with its headlights on as the sun sets in Alaska
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | The Ford Motor Company

Even though the LZ0 Duramax engine is new for GM trucks, the days are numbered for half-ton diesel pickup trucks. Many new regulations regarding hybrid and EV sales include cars, SUVs, and light-duty trucks. We’ll likely see diesel engines continue for several years in the heavy-duty truck market, but don’t be surprised if half-ton diesel trucks are gone from the auto market in just a few years.

Next, check out this Tundra vs. Ram 1500 comparison, or watch the video below about the new Duramax LZ0 engine.

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