In the Mid-size Truck segment, the Chevrolet Colorado (2.5L) gasoline powered truck leads the vehicle segment, outperforming the new and highly anticipated diesel configuration for the Colorado and GMC Canyon, along with the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. With the GM 2.8L diesel gaining only 2 MPG over the 2.5L gasoline engine, while adding 440 pounds to its curb weight, the diesel fuel economy gains are not sufficient to offset the higher emission factor for diesel fuel, with the diesel option producing 4% more CO2-equivalent emissions over the truck’s life-cycle.
Further, ASG found that the cost premium diesel demands at the pump cancels out the fuel economy gains from an economic view, with diesel fuel costs over the first 5-years coming in slightly higher than the gasoline option. The diesel variant also costs $5,250 more at purchase than the comparably equipped 2.5L, leading to a combined 14% cost premium for the diesel option when assessed over the first 5-years of ownership.
With these facts in mind, the diesel does have advanced utility for truck buyers that require greater towing capabilities beyond the limits of the 2.5L. In this respect, buyers are wise to consider the 2.8L diesel over the 3.6L V6 engine, with the diesel delivering a 4% life-cycle CO2-e benefit. The diesel will also save over $500 in fuel costs over the V6 in the first 60-months of ownership, however the diesel still costs 9% more than the V6 variant given the $3,730 price premium paid at purchase.
In 2016, it’s the Chevrolet Colorado (2.5L) that provides the BEST ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE and BEST ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE in the Mid-size Truck category, according to ASG’s assessment.