If you are considering purchasing a new or used pickup truck, you may be wondering whether to choose gas or diesel. Is diesel worth the price? Does diesel perform better? There are many pros and cons to a diesel engine in your pickup. Overall, the right decision may depend on how much you drive, and what you need to use your pickup truck for. Gasoline trucks may have the edge with around town drivers, while diesel engines are better for long distance towing.
Read below to decide which is right for you.
Gasoline vs. Diesel: Initial Price
Diesel pickups tend to be more expensive than their gasoline counterparts. The engine block is heavier, required to handle higher combustion pressures. These models have more premium transmissions that can handle higher torque output. And, diesel trucks come with additional emissions control equipment plus a turbocharger. Expect to pay $5,000 – 11,000 more for a diesel than a gasoline counterpart.
Gasoline vs. Diesel: Maintenance Cost
Diesel trucks cost more to maintain than their gasoline counterparts. Some may claim that the lack of a spark ignition make diesel engines cheaper to maintain, but this is only one factor. Diesel engines have parts that gasoline engines don’t have, and require more regular servicing. In addition, they have higher overall parts costs. In addition, a shortage of qualified technicians may mean you need to go a little further from home to find a qualified mechanic to make repairs.
Gasoline vs. Diesel: Fuel Efficiency
While the gap is narrowing, diesel trucks are still more fuel efficient than their gas counterparts. This means you’ll go farther per tank of gas. But, with fluctuating fuel prices, you may not be saving that much at the pump. Diesel prices are currently about $0.60 higher per gallon than standard gasoline. Another strike against diesel, not all stations have diesel pumps. So, you may have to spend extra time trying to find a place to fill up.
Gasoline vs. Diesel: Emissions
While many pickup truck owners don’t factor emissions into their buy decision, it’s still an important consideration point. Gasoline vehicles produce more CO and HC than diesel vehicles. But, the diesel trucks will produce more NOx and particulate matter. In general, gasoline is traditionally less polluting than diesel, especially in older vehicles. But, newer diesel vehicles are closing the gap. However, part of closing that gap means manufacturers have introduced sometimes cumbersome emissions control systems. These systems need to be refilled with Diesel Exhaust Fluid regularly to avoid the pickup truck acting sluggish or shutting down.
Gasoline vs. Diesel: Towing Capacity
Because gasoline vehicles are lighter than those with diesel engines, the gas pickups generally have higher payload capacity. However, diesel engines offer a higher torque, which gives them the edge in horsepower and towing. If you intend to tow an RV, boat, or any kind of trailer long distances, the diesel will prove it’s worth.
Gasoline vs. Diesel: Longevity
No question about it, when well maintained, a diesel engine will last longer. Diesel engines require sturdier engine parts to handle higher combustion pressures. In addition, diesel engines achieve higher torque at lower speeds. This means that some engine operations, such as pistons going up and down, happen fewer times over the lifespan of the truck than in a gasoline vehicle. It all adds up over time. For example, the expected life expectancy for a gasoline Isuzu NPR cab-forward is 200,000. The diesel engine version? 310,000 miles.
Gasoline vs. Diesel: Resale Value
It may not be a surprise, but because diesel vehicles have better longevity, they also command a higher resale price. This higher resale value may also be useful if you are planning on leasing a truck. Leasing pays off the depreciation of a vehicle. And, since diesel trucks don’t depreciate as much as gasoline trucks, they may offer a better deal.
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