2016 Toyota Tacoma Gas Engine vs. Chevy Colorado Diesel - Fuel Costs Comparison
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2016 Toyota Tacoma Gas Engine vs. Chevy Colorado Diesel - Fuel Costs Comparison

We analyze the fuel costs of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma compared to the 2016 Chevy Colorado. Which do you think costs less over 100,000 miles?

This week the 2016 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon’s Duramax Diesel fuel economy numbers were approved by the EPA after a very close analysis and revealed by GM. Yes, the diesels were tested on-road to ensure that their emissions were in full compliance with the law. The results are impressive in terms of efficiency. However, we wondered which would be more cost effective to actually buy and run over 100,000 miles. It required some simple math, but what we found was surprising.

2016 Mid-Size Trucks Fuel Efficiency
Colorado and Canyon Models:Here are the fuel efficiency number for the GM trucks with the Duramax Diesel engine. All numbers shown for all trucks are automatic transmission models:

  • 4WD Canyon and Colorado Models: 20 MPG City / 29 MPG Highway / 23 MPG combined
  • 2WD Canyon and Colorado Models: 22 MPG City / 31 MPG Highway / 25 MPG combined

Here are the numbers for the 2016 V6 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 (Gasoline, Automatic):

  • 4WD Tacoma: 18 MPG City / 23 MPG Highway / 20 MPG combined
  • 2WD Tacoma: 19 MPG City / 24 MPG Highway / 21 MPG combined

100K Mile Fuel Cost Calculations
Using the combined MPG rating of the trucks we come to this result using today's AAA national average price per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline ($2.19) and diesel fuel ($2.479).

  • Tacoma V6 Gasoline 4x4 = $10,950
  • GM Colorado or Canyon Diesel 4x4 = $10,778
  • Using highway mileage we get this result over 100,000 miles:
  • Tacoma V6 Gasoline 4x4 = $9,521
  • GM Colorado or Canyon Diesel 4x4 = $8,548

Conclusion:

The fuel economy of the GM Duramax diesel-equipped Canyon and Colorado is slightly better than the 2016 Toyota Tacoma’s with the V6 gasoline engine. However, GM adds $3730 to the V6 price tag of all its diesel models. If one factors that in, the Tacoma is way ahead. Of course, fuel costs are not the only important consideration when comparing a diesel truck to a gasoline-powered truck. Towing capacity is also important. For a comparison of the towing capability of the Tacoma vs. the Colorado and Canyon, please see our prior story. We will give you this hint. The difference is not as big as you might guess.

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Comments

What I think that the writer of this story, fails or refuses to comprehend, is that American truck buyers WANT a diesel engine under the hood of their pickup. Period! The same goes for large and small SUV's. Ford (and others) builds and sells both cars and trucks for the European markets that get 55 to 65 miles per gallon. U.S. citizens both want and deserve to have the same.
First I test drove the Colorado v6 than the diesel The v6 is Smooth, quiet yada yada yada The diesel Is a whole different animal, torque, grunt great 78mph turning 2000rpm with max torque a dream I'm not a do the numbers guy I want my partner and truck to be what I want Sure save some money if you want and buy a truck that drives like s car Not for ruitski, I want a truckl I luv every day Meanwhile I'm noticing diesel fuel price is dropping
"Of course, fuel costs are not the only important consideration when comparing a diesel truck to a gasoline-powered truck. Towing capacity is also important. For a comparison of the towing capability of the Tacoma vs. the Colorado and Canyon, please see our prior story. We will give you this hint. The difference is not as big as you might guess." So when you're hauling 4,000 lbs in the Tacoma, and the automatic transmission is shifting like crazy to find the right gear and the engine is wailing, well that be a problem for the author of this article. Oh yes, plus the gas mileage for the Tacoma will drop drastically while towing. But these points don't appear to be a factor in this story. The torgue of the Colorado diesel will easily tow 4,000 lbs without the wailing engine and beaten transmission. Plus the gas mileage will be far higher than the Tacoma.
Hi Todd, great comment. Not sure if you saw our recent story in which our editor towed with the new Tacoma at its max ratings. He also loaded the bed with a half-ton payload. Not arguing against your general point that the Duramax Colorado/Canyon are great trucks - they are, and diesels are great for towing. Here is the address for the tow-test story. You will have to cut and paste our comments do not support direct links: http://www.torquenews.com/106/2016-toyota-tacoma-trd-road-works-half-ton
How is the average of 20 city and 29 highway 23mpg? Shouldnt it be 24.5?
The simple answer is no. The complicated one is that EPA does not weigh City and Highway numbers and then divide evenly to calculate the combined number. Interestingly, the vast majority of cars we test at TN end up doing just a little better than the combined number after a week of testing. Almost every one does better on the highway, regardless of the fuel it uses. Despite the occasional exception, EPA's numbers are now conservative and a good predictor of real-world mileage results. Most people do a little better. One thing to keep in mind about the highway number is that it is not a steady-state test of highway mileage at the perfect sweet spot (55 MPG). If it was, and that is closer to what other countries use, the EPA number would be way higher. Cut and paste this link if you like to learn more: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml
I have a BMW 335 Diesel that gets over 36 mpg. Many times I get over 40mpg. It's a bigger engine and a heavier vehicle. The colorado gets 29? What's up with that??...