2016 Toyota Tacoma V6 Towing vs. Chevy Colorado Diesel Duramax
John Goreham's picture

2016 Toyota Tacoma V6 Towing vs. Chevy Colorado Diesel Duramax

The 2016 Chevy Colorado Diesel and Toyota Tacoma V6 gasoline specifications are in. It’s closer than you think.
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Toyota Tacoma New 2016 V6 Towing Rating
Toyota has officially launched the new 2016 Tacoma. New for 2016 is a 3.5-liter, 278 horsepower V6. That is 42 horsepower more than last year. Torque is basically the same at 265 lb-ft compares to 266 lb-ft last year. Toyota’s V6 is the most powerful engine announced by Toyota and will have the highest towing capability with its tow package. Toyota says the 2016 Tacoma can tow 6,800 pounds, three hundred more than last year.
UPDATE: Check out our full review of the Tacoma when hooked up to a 5,000 horse trailer and when hauling a half-ton of feed in the bed.

Chevy Colorado Gas and Diesel Towing Ratings
Chevy has not yet updated the 2016 Colorado’s towing capabilities when coupled to the 3.6-liter 305 hp gas engine with its 269 lb-ft of torque. However, for 2015 it could tow up to 7,000 pounds when equipped with the towing package. The Chevy Duramax 2.8-liter diesel-equipped Colorado for 2016 will tow 7,700 pounds in 2WD form, and 7,600 pounds in 4X4 models. Except in its top-trim ZR2 diesel, which is rated at 5,000 pounds.

The Colorado is the clear winner in the head-to-head towing contest. However, truck buyers towing this near much weight may want to consider a full-size truck. Even basic Silverado 1500s can tow 6,700 pounds, but with optional equipment can tow dramatically more.

However, the maximum tow rating is not the whole story. One wants a feeling of confidence when towing, and the ability to keep pace with traffic. Scott Yackley, the assistant chief engineer on Colorado, made it a point to mention this, saying “…there are no compromises with the Colorado diesel. It offers exceptional capability delivered with a confident feeling of control.” Fuel economy when towing also matters and there is no real specification for fuel economy when under a full load. We will need to wait for reviews by writers that tow to get a sense of that.

Although every manufacturer wants to have the top towing numbers, one way to look at the mid-size market is that both Toyota and Chevy now offer smaller than full-size trucks with pretty impressive towing capability. Each is capable of towing a race car on a trailer, or a pretty substantial ski boat or bass boat. Each can also match the basic towing capabilities of a full-size truck with no special towing options.

WATCH: Will this Toyota Tacoma's brakes stop it in time? See the result
Related: 2016 Toyota Tacoma Engine Specs and Fuel Economy Numbers


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Comments

I think prospective buyers ought to understand the way each of these power trains achieve performance and know which character they prefer, because there is a big difference between a diesel that will have already reached peak torque well below 2000 RPM and start losing that peak torque well before it reaches its own peak horsepower, and a typical gas engine that continues to increase both power and torque together as RPM rises. The all-out raw performance, i.e. 0-60 and 1/4 mile times of the Tacoma is going to be far superior, whereas the diesel is going to give respectable performance and never act like it's even trying even at near max loads. With regards to a well-designed diesel, the character is an easy-going manner under nearly all conditions, but downshifting to get more performance does not result in more performance, like in a drag racing setting. A diesel will keep moving and maintaining a respectable speed under an extreme load at mid-range RPM. But in general, not counting the newly-designed Cummins for the Nissan Titan that is claimed to keep achieving near peak torque up to over 4000 RPM, diesels start losing torque up the RPM range, and so a Tacoma with 278 hp is going to give alot more flat out performance, especially at higher highway speeds than a diesel with 181 hp. On the other hand, under higher load conditions such as towing, this gas engine is going to need to be at and maintain an RPM range that taps in to both the horsepower and the torque, and so that means it'll have to rev high and keep revving high to perform. This usually means lots of fuss and lots of fuel, but if that's what one likes and prefers, he or she should stay clear of diesels. If one is used to and prefers the way gas engines generate peak performance, that is with a screaming engine, he or she won't like or appreciate a well-designed diesel. On the other hand, those who have become accustomed to and prefer the way diesels never seem to sweat anything, or never need to be driven above 3000 RPM to keep trudging along, it is these folks that will want a diesel. It gives a feeling of refinement but not raw performance. In my VW Jetta TDI, with an increasing posted speed limit coming up in the middle of an uphill grade, I'll get in the passing lane and actually upshift before I reach 3000 RPM to achieve the best performance, while, at the same time, the gas-powered vehicles are downshifting to keep up. They are in a way, opposite characters. I much prefer the diesel, but I don't need a crew cab or a standard tow package, so a little disappointed in the offering.
Greg, Good explanation.
Excellent Mr. Faulkner
Thanks! I currently own a 2001 Toyota Tacoma. I tow trailers for work daily. They weigh with load between 800 and 2000 pounds plus. I also pull a 18 foot 5th wheel that is listed at 2,800 lbs. but when loaded likely weighs 3300 lbs. When I haul the 5th wheel I average 15 mpg with the lowest ever of 12 mpg for the day on a road with a lot of short curves and up and downs. When pulling on highway hills I the have to shit down to 4th or even 3rd. If I have to stop before I start a steep hill I have to pull it in 1st or 2nd gear. I am interested in getting a new smaller pickup. Toyota is out as they have a fiber bed which will not take a 5th wheel hitch and I like to control I get from a 5th wheel over a standard trailer. Because of that I am looking at the Colorado and Canyon. The 3.6-liter gas should handle my needs nicely but I have been looking into the 2.8 L diesel. Noise is one concern I will need to check out. Other is the 6 speed auto transmission. Indications are it does not handle vibration well which leads to early failure. Another is a maximum torch rating of 332 lb-ft, and engine power of 315 of that transmission. The 2.8 diesel is rated at 369 lb-ft at 2000 rpm, and the 3.6 L gas at 305 hp. The 369 torch rating is clearly over the maximum ratting of the transmission, and the 305 horse power pushing its max. Will the transmission hold up? I am not interested in how fast I can get off the line or to the next stop light to just stop again. When on the highway I like to hold a constant speed and at present have little ability to downshift to pass someone and do not see the need to have that ability. But it would be nice to be able to pull grades easier. Any comments?
My best guess is that either engine can handle this load with comfort and ease, however, I see a compromise for each in real world use at the loads you're referring to. I can't speak to the transmission issues or durability or vibration of GM-specific products. The compromise for the V6 gas guzzler is driving refinement while towing and fuel economy. I'd guess you'd continue to get poor mpg due to the torque curve of the Colorado / Canyon with this engine/transmission setup, because when towing, it will continually shift down to get the torque and hp it needs for the load conquering hills and such, because it's only at high RPM that a naturally-aspired gas engine gets power and torque, which you've discovered with regards to your Toyota. The new Colorado/Canyon will handle it with more refinement, but I doubt with much better mpg than what you're seeing right now, but that's just a guess. The diesel, on the other hand, has all the torque it needs at virtually all usable RPM ranges, and therefore, towing with this truck, with this engine, should result in far better mpg than you've been seeing. It will lose mpg with the load of course, but since the power train will find the best power/torque combination at a far lower RPM; and the fact that it's compression ignition with lots of air versus fuel for combustion (a trick a gas engine can't do even if it's turbo charged); it should far exceed the V6 with respect to towing fuel economy. However, the compromise with the diesel is that once you reach peak torque at or about 2000 RPM, the power will continue to come up as you rev just like a gas engine, but well before you reach the peak horsepower of 181, the torque will start disintegrating, and therefore, you don't keep gaining performance up the RPM range. What does this mean? Well, for a 4000 lb+ truck and a 3300 lb trailer, 181 peak horsepower is a little lacking if engine responsiveness and off-the-line performance is important to you. If for instance, you're on a hill, on the highway, with your trailer and load, and you're traveling 65 mph and you're turning 2500 RPM; when you push on the accelerator to get more out of it, it's likely not going to happen; at least not much. Steady speed--yes. Responsiveness and accelerating ability to pass on a hill with your load, is not going to be that good compared to the V 6 which has much more horsepower. However, when the V6 does this passing trick, it'll probably be getting about 4 mpg in the process, whereas the diesel doing its best, in the same situation, won't respond as well, but will be achieving probably three times that mpg, in the same situation.
They do make a 5th wheel hitch for the current Tacoma. The hitch doesn't mount to the bed, it mounts to the frame.
I have a 5th wheel in my 2001 which bolts to the frame. They tell me they can not put a 5th wheel onto the Toyota composite bed. Two Toyota dealers check into it with their hitch specialist and two of the best hitch dealers in my area were checked with. I am told it has to do with punching holes in the composite bed and with the pressure applied when the hitch rails are tightened down to the bed. The new Toyota has a bit more power than my current one so would pull even better.
I don't think I would bolt anything to a Toyota frame. RUST!
I have also been wondering about the torque match between the 2.8L Duramax and the 6L50 6-speed so I started bugging a GM contact I found on another blog and eventually got this: Greetings Eric – SO… Upon further review, I owe you a thank you. The GM Powertrain website has not been updated. The 332 lb-ft is in error. The updated max engine torque is the referenced 369 lb-ft at 2000 RPM for the 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel. My apologies….. Otie McKinley Chevrolet Truck Communications 100 Renaissance Drive Detroit, Michigan 48265 Mobile: 313.378.6657
what about Chevy COLORADO 2016 WITH 3.6 V 6 305HP TRAILER TOWING PACKAGE? I HAVE ONE ITS GREAT AND AMERICAN! SICK OF HEARING ABOUT TOYOTA
“…there are no compromises with the Colorado diesel. It offers exceptional capability delivered with a confident feeling of control.” This is an utterly, B.S. statement. The motor (gas or diesel) offers nothing in the way of a feeling of control. A diesel may get the load moving quicker/better but neither motor will offer anything when it comes to controlling the load once it is moving. I'd be afraid of pulling 6,000 pounds with either of these trucks, let alone anything close to their respective max specs.
You bumpkins need to go to the community college and take a Freshman class in Physics to learn the relationship between Horsepower and Torque. Acceleration is determined by torque at the wheel. The more torque at the wheel the more acceleration. The Colorado has 1/3rd more torque at peak than the Tacoma. However, this is at 2K RPM. At what RPM does the Tacoma create peak torque? Looking at Toyota's website - 4,600 RPM. So, it is correct to conclude the Tacoma will be at a lower gear ratio when operating at peak torque. Not having the torque curves of both engines it is impossible to answer with certainty which will accelerate more quickly in a "passing situation". Also depends what speed you are operating at. If both vehicles are in either first or second gear I know who I would put my money on, and it isn't the gasser. At higher speeds the Tacoma will more than likely have the advantage, but do you really want to be operating at 4,600+ RPM when you could be operating at 2K?
MIT Grad. You are forgetting the fact that you are comparing 278hp to 181hp There is no advantage to low hp. Torque will not make you get up into the speed of traffic or allow you to accelerate like a gas motor will. If you want torque you can also turbo the gas motor. Fords 2.7 ECO BOOST makes more torque and way more hp at similar fuel mileages at low rpm in a heavier truck. Since diesel is turbocharged, lets talk turbo charged gas motors. If you want to talk Tacoma then realize there is 278hp available vs only 181hp. The only advantage to the diesel is that its slow acceleration wont be much slower under load. It will still be slow but under load it wont get much slower, but it is still slow, did I say slow, how about gutless, doesn't matter where the gas pedal is, just like stepping on paper, cant get any flatter
You can talk theory all you want. But, go tow all day with a Toyota or a Chevy V6 gas motor. Then go out an tow with the 2.8 Colorado diesel. do this for few weeks look at your gas bills, and how you feel after dealing with the gas motors each day....You will pick the diesel....There is a reason why all the big trucks use diesel motors for hauling trailers....Diesels are better Truck motors for towing and hauling weight. You may not get some of the fast acceleration by winding up the motors like the V6s. But, most driving does not require that type of approach. My 2.8 diesel has no problem passing comfortably....
On the contrary, there is an advantage to lower, peak power outputs, with relatively higher peak torque levels that diesels provide drivers. That advantages are called "efficiency", "fuel economy", "superior refinement" and "reduced engine wear" under heavy loads. I absolutely agree with what Thomas has asserted but it's missing an element or two. It is true that equally-modern and well-designed gas versus diesel engine will produce a gas engine with more all out performance, as in a better racer and more likely to accelerate up a hill even under a load, because, just as Thomas described with respect to the gas engine, the hp continues to rise with RPM along with torque. In other words, the rise in both performance measures more or less move together or linear all the way up to at least 4,000 RPM where the torque will start to peak, while the hp will continue to rise up to near redline. Conversely, a comparable diesel will not have the same level of peak performance, because it's basically got all the toque right from the get go where the horsepower is very low, and then as the RPM rises above 2500 (the point at which the horsepower starts to really build), the torque starts to drop. So someone may ask what is the advantage to this? It's simple, when an engine is putting out a lot of power output (horsepower) it is using a lot of energy and using energy means that it's burning fuel, but a gas engine can't get torque at a low power output level, so when it's under a load or trying to maintain or accelerate up a hill, it's got to get to a higher RPM and build horsepower to get that torque. But a diesel doesn't need to drop gears or gain horsepower to get that torque; it's already got it. And therefore, if one is max towing up a hill in a diesel at or about 3000 RPM at just under peak torque; and another equally loaded vehicle with a gas engine is doing the same thing at 5200 RPM (even if there is a little power left in reserve to accelerate), the diesel driver is getting much better mpg, and the diesel driver is having a much improved, refined, driving experience than the gas-powered driver behind the wheel of a screaming engine. Another aspect of this is usable power. Yes the gas engine has much more horsepower, but how often is the driver going to be driving in the RPM range to tap this power? If he or she is going to be at or above 4000 RPM often, then he or she is going to wish he or she was driving the diesel where he or she could do the same work with much less horsepower putting less wear on the engine, having a superior driving experience, and spending less at the fuel pump. If another driver doesn't need the horsepower very often, then he or she is going to wish for the diesel just because it get better mpg under lighter loads as well. So, there are two valid arguments that those who prefer gas power will make: the cost argument, which is absolutely valid due to the EPA's fuel neutral policy, which makes an already-more-expensive-to-build diesel engine cost thousands more to market to the public; and then there is this all-out performance argument, which is also valid but only to those who want and prefer to drive vehicles that are "fast", as in racing fast, and do not care how much fuel they have to buy to go fast, even in high utility situations. It can be argued that diesels are slow versus race-inspired, gas engines; but "slow" is a relative term and most Americans are plenty satisfied with diesels from a performance standpoint, and most prefer them once they drive them due to the fact that diesel drivers can reach peak torque without dealing with a screaming engine. So what this all comes down to for most Americans is the cost to drive the little Duramax versus the V6. If someone is in the market for a crew cab, with lots of bells and whistles, and most every active safety and towing option, then the Duramax makes sense, because then it's only $3730 more. But if all you wanted was a $25K extra cab truck, as you can get with the V6, and was hoping to spend no more than an extra $4K for a little Duramax; the you're out of luck, because GM won't let you have such a truck. You must pay at least $34K and take a highly-featured, towing version of the truck with lots of bells and whistles. Then there are a few out there that want a truck that is ready for the racetrack. The Duramax is not for you either.
First I am reading all comments here and am learning a lot since my first post. I am having some problems believing some are running there Toyota's at 4000 RPM and above. I am still looking at the Chey Colorado with the Durmax and it looking like a good fit for me. Yes the price is high, but I do not want a big truck. My concerns are going away the more I learn about the truck. Milage looks good both towing and not. Sounds like my noise concerns are also a non issue. One of you concerns that I have not yet answered is the torque rating of the transmission they are using. The peak torque of the engine is greater then the maximum torque for the transmission. That may not be an issue for me because I am not heavy on the gas petal and will never go over about 5,000 lbs towing weight. If I do it would not be a long haul or at high speeds. Anyone have any comments on the 2000 RPM engine torque exceeding the transmission.
Not sure how they mapped the tranny to the torque, they might have a performance selection, not sure, but here is a list of problems that come with the diesel purchase. I find the exhaust stinks worse than gas, that's my opinion. The fuel pumps are usually oily and stink your hands up and this further gets into the vehicle and on your clothes every fill up. If you enjoy this smell than all the power to you. Diesel costs more The maintenance has proven to be more expensive You have to add def fluid Diesels don't heat up the cab in the colder climates or defrost your windows as well as a gas motor will The motor costs more so you never get your fuel savings back from the pump They have poor acceleration in comparison to a gas motor so even in emergencies your truck is flat footed in comparison to a gas motor There are less fuel stations that actually carry diesel, this can be an inconvenience They pollute the air with N0x which is a soot, hence the smell and this is not regulated since diesels have never become popular for good reasons They are suited for commercial/industrial use as a profitable prospective vehicle proven not to suit residential use by consumer support since they make up only 1% of the vehicle population.
As for DI, turbo-charged gas engines, I own one. I paid only $495 more for an Ecoboost in an F150 versus the base engine, versus the $13,000 more it would have cost me for a little Duramax in a Colorado/Canyon versus that base truck and base engine. The DI/turbo-charged, gas engines do have some merit, but the promise of this technology to save fuel is way over stated and requires very careful driving to get any advantage whatsoever. I can make this assertion from first-hand experience. I'm averaging 23 mpg in a full-size truck but have rarely put my foot on the pedal with much pressure and rarely downshift to accelerate at a faster pace. The few times that I have put my foot on the gas, the mpg began to drop immediately, and so most folks with the F150 and the 2.7 Ecoboost are getting 17-20 mpg as indicated on fuelly.com. Pretty good, but still very truck like. But for my situation, for what I need a truck for, and the configuration and gearing that I've got, and knowing what I know about getting the most efficiency out of this type of engine, It's doing pretty good for me; especially for the price. This technology does equalize things a lot from a performance standpoint. Although they don't quite come up to the level of peak torque for any given horsepower as a diesel engine, they are much closer on the low end of the RPM range (example Ford's 2.7 Ecoboost--375 peak lbs foot of torque @ 3000 RPM, versus Ram's 3.0 V6 Ecodiesel @ 420 peak lbs foot torque @ 2000 RPM), yet, unlike a diesel, they also have the advantage of naturally-aspired gas-power as they continue to maintain that torque up the RPM range, and so, except for the new Cummins 5.0 diesel which seems to maintain torque above 4000 RPM (some how), most diesels will lose torque up the RPM range; whereas the gas turbos do not. This means that the engines like the Ecoboost have power and torque on tap just about all the time, in any situation. But herein lies the problem with the DI turbo gas-powered technologies. This does not solve the problem that a spark-ignition engine must maintain a fairly-rich by comparison air-to-fuel ratio, and so when one stomps on the accelerator to spool up the turbo to suck in air, the fuel comes in fast and furious as well (contrary to compression-ignition), and so when I need performance, just like with a naturally-aspired, gas engine (or even worse), I get horrible mpg. The advantage to the DI turbo-charged gas engine for me is the enhanced low end torque under light loads, and the small premium in price; particularly the latter. My 2.7 Ecoboost in a 4200 lb F150 drives and performs just like a V8 for daily driving, because those added components give it a little more drive around torque, meaning less downshifting, a more pleasurable driving experience, and better mpg. But if I put my foot on the gas, any advantage that I might have had with regular driving goes away and may actually be worse than a V8. When driving around easily and conservatively, the metered fueling of the direct injection and the slight boost of the turbo gives me a "big engine" feel except for the lack of engine braking due to the small displacement, but if I need or want to access all the power available with this truck, it's going to suck fuel as bad as a 6.2-liter V8.
I agree it sucks up fuel but accelerate as slow as a diesel and it wont suck as much, might not be as good as the diesel but it is an advantage to have that optional power on tap especially if you are not concerned about fuel and your bigger concern is safety in an emergency to move fast or to get up to the speed of traffic at a much greater rate which is an advantage that the diesel does not have on tap. Seems everyone wants to talk fuel saving advantage but leave out the other advantages that by majority is more important. More people want performance over saving fuel. If we could have both then great but it doesn't work that way. The diesel by majority is at a disadvantage in performance during acceleration unless under a very heavy load then things start to balance and shift to an advantage for the diesel. Hence, transports do well with diesel, light trucks, not so much an advantage unless you care less about performance and just want to save fuel, but then that is an oxymoron since you pay more for the motor and never see a return.
Yeah I sort of get what you're saying, but it depends on your perspective. Maximum acceleration ability of a given vehicle beyond a certain point is of no importance to some drivers and is not always the performance parameter that some drivers are looking at with a work vehicle. I'm one of those drivers. I prefer the easy-going manner of a diesel and it's ability to maintain a speed, rather than to continue to accelerate in all situations. I prefer, as was the case in my diesel car, that I would actually manually upshift while accelerating up a hill, rather than downshift. In my current F150 with peak torque coming @ 3000 RPM and knowing how calling on the power train to perform (being a DI-turbo gas engine) will cause it to really suck the fuel, I'm very careful to slowly accelerate, so that it upshifts at or below 1800 RPM, which it will do since it's not a naturally-aspired gas engine and has the torque to keeping it accelerating (albeit slowly) and upshifting while keeping mpg respectable. But since this power train has much more available power on tap than what I usually need, I have to be careful not to call on it or otherwise pay for it. The good news is that I know how to get respectable mpg and I can keep the RPM low when commuting and not working it hard, yet have the performance available when I need it, and I didn't have to pay a $6K minimum premium required for a diesel to get some of that low-end torque I like. But since this low-revving, high-low-end torque style of driving is my preference due to the refined driving dynamics it produces, all else being equal including price (which is not the case in the real world), a diesel would be much, much better than this advanced, spark-ignition engine, and that's because, if this truck were powered by an equally-torquey diesel engine, i.e. 3.2 I5 Duratorq @ 350 peak @ 1500-2500 RPM, mpg would not be nearly as sensitive to accelerator pedal pressure or adding load as is the gasser. This is because a compression-ignition engine can take all the air that the chamber can withstand, while the spark-ignition combustion chamber that is turbo-charged must maintain a fuel-to-air ratio that is comparatively much richer, and if I call on the turbo to spool fast and force air in, the fuel comes in just as plentiful. Also an advantage to the diesel is that, while my truck can reach peak torque @ 3000 RPM, the ability of a diesel to reach peak torque at only 1500 RPM means that it does not need to produce the same horsepower level to maintain the same speed, meaning its putting out less power and taking in less fuel to do the same work. But like I said, everything is not equal and diesels are way, way to expensive for the benefit they provide, even though I do much prefer the driving dynamics of one if we lived in a different world.
A couple things if the width of a full size isnt an issue. You go full sized for payload capability, stability etc. If parking is an issue ie your a city person then the narrower mid sized rigs are an option. The reason the midsized market is heating up? Simple the SUV is no longer a truck. Its a car based platform and lacks load capability and in some cases rough road ability. The efficient light duty pick ups with sedan like interiors are great alternatives to the Highlanders, Subarus, even in some cases Mini van. ^ all those vehicles are pushing 40k today. So when I see people complain that a 4dr Canyon, with 30mpg capability and nice executive level interior is a 40k machine, my first thought is that truck is not ment to target that audience. The work truck F150 or Dodge are actually targeting the working guy/gal using the truck for truck work. Not weekend hobbies which is why we call the midsized rigs Life style trucks. Not work trucks.
I have to chime in on this one after reading these comments. As far as all the statements Thomas wrote negative about a diesel is not all true. The modern diesel vehicles do NOT smell. NOX is not soot, but soot is a by product of burning a diesel fuel but the DPF in the exhaust captures the soot. NOX can not be seen and is hardly detected in modern diesels do to the DEF fluid they run. I currently have the Canyon diesel and love it. One thing he stated is the the maint is higher which is somewhat true but not by much. Every 5000 miles you need to add $7 worth of DEF fluid. And fuel filter needs changed about every 15000 miles. Other then that the maintenance is the same between gas and diesel. Oil changes have longer intervals with the diesel so that is not really a factor. Yes the pumps are messy but just grab a paper towel at pump before you grab the handle and your good. I have no problems finding diesel pumps just when you find a diesel pump a gasser is parked there because the pumps usually have both. The reason the pump is always blocked by gassers is because its the easiest pump to pull up to for a reason. People with diesels usually are pulling trailers and need a straight shot in to the pumps. And yes the diesel option costs $3000 more when purchasing but you will get that back if you sell or trade it later. The mpg of the diesel is great. :) The best I have seen is 34.6mpg and worse I've seen pulling 5000lbs is 16 mpg. Average back and forth to work during summer is 26 and winter it drops to 23. Another myth is the diesel can not pass cars going down the interstate. Thats BS, I have no problem passing by cars going 70 down the road. The only difference is the diesel will stay in 6th gear when passing at 70mph. Never have a problem accelerating thru a intersection. I guess I'm saying to potential buyers, don't believe all of the negative comments about these diesels. Most of the comments come from people that probably never have owned or driven a modern diesel since 2008. This is my second diesel and don't regret the Canyon purchase.
Exactly Tom on many points... Diesel fuel is no worse smelling than gasoline; it's just that most Americans are more used to smelling nasty gasoline than nasty diesel. The only thing that may make diesel slightly worse is that it does not evaporate, but that's a positive thing as it relates to pollution... NOx has nothing to do with black smoke or soot, the latter has been totally eliminated from modern diesels. NOx is a class of gasses created by lean combustion. Gas engines don't create them, because they run rich by comparison and must do so in order that gasoline ignites via a spark. NOx is not a harmful substance like soot. NOx is a precursor to smog and in order for smog to be created by NOx it has to combine with other man-made compounds in the air like VOCs. VOCs come from plastics; from the tailpipes of gas cars; and from manufacturing processes. Back in the late 90s, the EPA and the California ARB conspired on a plan to make the trucking industry pay for reducing smog by cracking down on NOx from diesel exhaust; thereby keeping it easy on the auto industry and from manufacturing for reducing smog. This is how we ended up with limits on NOx down to near nothing for light-duty vehicles and it's also how we ended up with very expensive and very complicated and complex and sophisticated diesel engines under the hoods of everything diesel. The modern, soot-free diesel engine can be designed to be at least as powerful as a naturally-aspired gas engine of equal displacement nowadays. Those that think otherwise are thinking of the "good ole days". The limits on NOx that are only applied in North America puts slight limits on their performance and limits how marketable they are here, because it makes them so hard to build and so expensive to certify for 50-state emissions. Modern diesel engines are amazing. Almost everything about the technologies have surpassed that of spark-ignition except that power and torque are not quite as linear. But if you think about it, horsepower is the enemy of fuel economy. The more work you can get out of an engine at the lowest possible horsepower being generated, the less fuel you're going to burn everything else being equal; so if a torquey little diesel is moving a pickup and its load at 70 mph and generating only 90 horsepower; it's going to get better mpg than an equally-displaced gas engine doing the same thing generating 130 horsepower.
I own a 2016 Colorado Diesel for business. I am in the piano repair business and haul a 8 x 10 box trailer that I can fit up to 3 grands and I upright in. Thus far the diesel is more than you could hope for. I average 26.7 miles gallon per tank on service calls with typically 1 day of towing. The Diesel, is quite, and pulls the trailer with pianos effortlessly. My last vehicle was a 98 Chevy Tahoe. This Diesel, struggles less, tows more and gets double the gas mileage. In addition, it has no issue passing or moving along down the road. Why anyone would prefer a gas motor in a truck required to tow or carry loads and be economical is beyond me. I can use this truck for regular service calls or when towing and have the best of both worlds. Much of the rest of the world relies on small diesel trucks to get the job done. Not sure why America is not on board. However, electric motors at some point may be the thing as torque is available immediately....