Trucks and diesels go together like salt and margaritas. The two just belong together, but in the United States there’s been a wedge in the relationship. What’s kept the high-torque long-lasting diesel engine from the majority of the truck market here?
Money, of course.
All the big bad-boy trucks here have diesel options. Ford, Chevy, and Ram all offer oil-burners made to handle the biggest of the big truck jobs.
But what about the casual truck guy who just wants to tow his boat to the lake under diesel power, but doesn’t want to buy a massive pickup for the job? That guy has some options now.
But not from Toyota.
Rumors of a Toyota Tacoma diesel have swirled for a while now and heated up when news surfaced that an all-new 2016 model would debut. Would Toyota, finally, bring a diesel to the midsize pickup market?
Toyota’s chief engineer Mark Sweers said,
The difficulty with the diesel is LEV III [emissions standards]. The difficulty is the cost-to-benefit relationship. Everybody loves diesel in trucks. The downside is the after-treatment systems can add $3,000 or more. It starts becoming cost prohibitive, especially in this segment, to pay a premium for both the engine and after-treatment system. That’s the struggle we have. We build a lot of diesel trucks, just not in this country. If I develop a diesel system for our country and I spend a huge amount of money to do that, I won’t see a return on the investment. That’s what we’ve struggled with.
While Toyota fans are out of luck, it looks like Chevrolet and GMC figured out the money side of things and will bring us a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel for the Colorado and Canyon pickups for the 2016 model year. We don’t know a whole lot more than that just yet and can expect the price to be well above the $20,120 starting MSRP.
For the casual truck guy who wants the fuel efficiency of a diesel, this could be the move that swings momentum away from Toyota and back into GM’s corner.
Would you rather buy a gas-powered 2016 Tacoma or a diesel 2016 Colorado?