2017 Red Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Diesel Trucks, Late To The Party?

Toyota trucks globally are famous for twos things; something found in virtually every Toyota, unrelenting reliability, and Toyota’s diesel motors. Any Toyota enthusiast in the US will gripe about the how the Hilux in not available in the US market. Now I’m not so sure the Hilux is that much better a light truck than the Tacoma here in the US but it does have that one thing the Tacoma never seems like it will, a diesel engine, namely Toyotas own DT4, 2.8L diesel motor.

If you want to read more about the Tacoma specifically and why it doesn’t have a diesel yet, click here, for another article we’ve written on that subject. In this article, we’re going to look at the competition, examining what Toyota is up against, in hopes that as competitors keep stepping up to the light duty diesel plate so too will Toyota.

Chevy Diesel

GM launched their Colorado/Canyon back into the light truck market with a new turbocharged 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel. At 181 horsepower it is less than the 200 from the 2.5-liter gasoline four but, its impressive 369 pound-feet of torque is really what makes up for it. An important note, the diesel motors, GM’s heavy-duty trucks are built by Duramax. The project made Chevy the first US car manufacturer to offer a light duty diesel in the domestic market and sales have reflected this, paying off Chevy’s gamble of being the first. There are impressive off-road packages for the Colorado as well which do compete with Toyotas TRD lineup.

Nissan Diesel

With their newly formed partnership with Cummins the future for a Nissan frontier diesel seems bright. Nissan currently sells the titan in a medium duty diesel configuration something Toyota doesn’t have in its Tundra. On top of the fact that Cummins is finalizing their new 2.8-liter four-cylinder engine for production as drop in crate motors and potential factory equipped applications. It seems logical that these two would be married especially since Nissan has had a 2014 frontier outfitted with one for years running and driving at shows and testing. Sporting 200 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque it’s a pretty even competitor to Duramax/GM’s current offering.

Ford Diesel

It’s been all, but confirmed the new Ford Ranger will be available with a diesel engine. Much like the Toyota Hilux, Ford’s Ranger has looked very different overseas than it has at home, aside from the fact that it’s been absent for a few years, going on seven to be exact. It looks as though 2019 is when we will see the return of the Ranger to domestic soil. The Ranger concepts have been very closely resembling the overseas model unlike the Tacoma vs Hilux. Typically when vehicles go on such a hiatus the come back with a show, and a diesel motor in the US would be a great way to do that. It is also worth noting that the Ranger will come with a Ford power plant, something semi-unique to this category.

With the competition mounting will Toyota be the last to get into the light duty diesel market? What do you think? Which diesel offering are you liking and looking forward to the most?

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I'm a loyal toyota owner but but would strongly consider switching to nissan if there's a frontier diesel. There's some definite advantages to diesel over gas in my state even if it does cost thousands of dollars more.
I'm in the market for a new truck and have been considering one of the Gm mid size twins with the diesel but Gm reliability has me praying Toyota or Nissan will bring a reliable diesel to the mid size truck market. These modern full size trucks are like driving a school bus. Totally unnecessary! Dream truck is a Toyota Tacoma with a diesel and a dam manual. I guess I could move overseas. Why can't we get what we want. For Toyota it should be a no brainer.
I want the exact same truck from Toyota! I am willing to wait for it!!!
I want the 2.8L Diesel too. Make it soon Toyota I don't have forever, I am 66.
the land cruiser needs the 4.5 V8 CRD would be good for the Tundra and Sequoya as well