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Despite the VW fiasco, Diesel Engines are Still a Good Bet

March 18th, 2018 9:25 pm

Despite the VW fiasco, Diesel Engines are Still a Good  Bet

From PUGET SOUND BIZTALK

"Although Volkswagen single-handedly tried to torpedo the diesel engine market with its recent emissions scandal, diesel engines aren't going anywhere any time soon." - Ben Miller contributor / Denver Business Journal

Although Volkswagen single-handedly tried to torpedo the diesel engine market with its recent emissions scandal, diesel engines aren't going anywhere any time soon.

American truck makers still offer diesel engines in their trucks and for good reason: They deliver oodles of powerful torque for pulling trailers and for pulling trees out of the ground.

Ram, Ford, Chevy and GMC all have diesel truck engine options and although you probably won't need a diesel-powered truck in Seattle for its stump-pulling torque power, the diesel's better-than-gas fuel economy makes it worth looking into.

I recently tested a midsize GMC Canyon crew cab four-wheel drive pickup that was powered by an optional 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine.

If you haven't driven (or listened to) a diesel engine in the past few years, you may be surprised. The days of waiting for a diesel to warm up are long gone. And they no longer sound like a semi-truck under hard acceleration.

The Canyon's diesel engine sounded hardly any different than a gas-powered engine. When you let off the accelerator on the highway you could hear some "diesel-like" sounds, but not the rest of the time.

The Canyon's horsepower is rated at 181, but the truck's strength is in its torque: Its pulling power (in case you do have to pull tree stumps out of the ground) is 369-lb-feet of torque.

But what impressed me the most was the Canyon's mileage. With the diesel engine, I averaged about 27 miles per gallon in a test of combined driving. The official EPA mileage is 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, or an official combined EPA rating of 23 mpg.

For heavy-footed me to obtain 27 miles per gallon in a truck with four-wheel-drive was pretty impressive.

And this was no small, cut-down truck; it had a crew cab with a back seat where full-sized people could feel comfortable, and a long cargo box.

Inside (just like my full-sized pickup truck comparison last month), the interior was ready to work, with four USB ports, and a self-contained wi-fi hotspot that's free for the first three months.
All this room and good mileage doesn't come cheap, though. The base price of the 2016 GMC Canyon four-wheel drive SLE crew cab, with a long cargo box and diesel engine, is $35,585. The test model came equipped with these options: the diesel engine package ($3,730), an all-terrain package that included heated seats, an off-road suspension and other items ($3,585), a Bose audio system ($500), navigation system ($495), "cyber-gray" metallic paint ($395) and a trailering package ($250). The additions brought the final price to $43,790.

It's not just me. Friends of mine with diesel-powered trucks and cars swear by their vehicles' mileage, which will be especially important if gasoline prices begin climbing into the stratosphere again.

At less than $44,000, a diesel-powered midsized pickup truck that delivers 27 miles per gallon in combined driving (and totally devoid of any emissions scandal!) seems like a pretty good deal.

(View this press release online here.)

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