GM’s Truck Twins Could Save the Diesel Name

2016 GMC Canyon

For as long as I have been a car guy, I remember people begging automakers for a diesel-powered midsize pickup.

We watched the likes of the diesel Toyota Hilux power through Europe and trudge through the Arctic and then looked at our comparatively lame gas-powered Tacoma trucks in disgust. We lusted after diesels here for years, and finally, an unlikely carmaker has delivered.

It wasn’t Toyota, as we might have expected, but General Motors. And that was after, mind you, the company cancelled and then brought back its midsize trucks.

The Colorado diesel just won Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award and now also has the title for most fuel efficient truck in the United States.

Could this be the vehicle that saves diesel’s name here?

The Detroit News says,

General Motors Co. said Monday its new 2016 GMC Canyon and 2016 Chevrolet Colorado diesel pickups will be rated a top-of-the segment 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg highway for two-wheel drive versions of the pickups.
The 31 mpg figure is tops for any U.S. truck — gasoline or diesel.
The automaker, citing recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ratings, said the midsize diesel trucks will get 25 mpg combined for two-wheel drive versions. Four-wheel drive diesel Canyons and Colorados are rated at 23 mpg combined, or 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Americans are a little gun shy on the whole diesel thing, thanks to Volkswagen and the revelation that its TDI “clean” diesels are actually mobile global warming stations.

The GM diesel in these trucks is a 2.8-liter I4 Duramax that makes 181 horsepower and 369-pound-feet of torque. The 4-wheel-drive trucks can tow up to 7,600 pounds.

Assuming the GM trucks pass emission tests legally, and get the fuel economy that’s advertised, these could be the trucks that make us forget that diesels ever had a bad name. If, that is, buyers can stomach an asking price that can eclipse $40,000.

Is there a new Colorado or Canyon diesel on your wish list?

-tgriffith

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