Latest Crop of Diesel Pickups Set to Duke It Out

December 9th, 2015 by admin

The new crop of diesel half-ton pickups are coming to market armed to duke it out with each other with state-of-the-art technologies, redesigns and enhanced safety features. Improved fuel efficiency, payload and torque are among the features consumers focus on to differentiate the diesel brands and models. The Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan both sport Cummins V-8 engines and the Chrysler Ram’s EcoDiesel V6 sets it apart by promising better fuel efficiency in the face of higher prices at the pump for diesel. Here’s a look at the trio of diesels and what each of these trucks is offering.

Diesel Pickups at a Glance:

Model Engine Type Transmission Towing Capacity Torque
2016 Toyota Tundra Diesel Cummins 5.7-liter Turbo V-8 6-paced ECT-i automatic 10,000 lbs+ 500 lb-ft
2016 Nissan Titan XD Cummins 5-liter TurboDiesel V-8 Aisin 6-speed automatic 12,000 lbs+ 555 lb-ft
2016 Chrysler Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 3-liter EcoDiesel V-6 TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic 9,200 lbs+ 420 lb-ft

Toyota Tundra

Emissions regulations stalled out Toyota’s attempts to get into the half ton diesel truck arena, but the 2016 Tundra Diesel should make a considerable splash. Early returns have consumers comparing its design to an F-150 with hints of a Dodge Ram. Because the Tundra is noticeably lighter yet still packs the punch of a 5-liter turbo V-8 using diesel, it’s speedy and capable of moving colossal cargo. Weighing in lighter also notably improves fuel economy and Toyota is projecting near 30 mpg. Following Volkswagen’s recent emissions scandal, questions about emissions still linger, but the Tundra is entering the half ton diesel market with confidence and swagger. Estimates have the Tundra’s price tag between $38-45K.


Nissan Titan

Technically, the Titan XD is slightly over a half ton and it’s targeting the underserved pickup crowd seeking a rig in the sweet spot between heavy-duty and light. Lower positioned spring rates than a standard ¾ ton truck and a coil-sprung independent front suspension give the XD a smoother ride. Riding on General Grabber tires, the Titan combines its light duty design with serious 12,000 lb+ towing power and prodigious 555 lbs-ft of torque at 1600 revs. Fuel economy is expected to be comparable to the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at around 23 mpg with a price tag in the neighborhood of $50K.

Chrysler Ram EcoDiesel

The major differences between the 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and a regular 1500 are in the engine domain. The engine is emissions-compliant in every state, courtesy of a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter and selective catalyst reduction. Despite it being a V-6, the EcoDiesel sports exceptional torque and four-corner air suspension and has been a runaway success for Fiat Chrysler. So much so, that they project to increase its production going forward. Lower maintenance costs over time make the clean EcoDiesel engine an attractive option and mileage is projected to be 29 mpg on the highway. Its $35K price tag makes it less expensive than the Tundra or Titan, but decreased engine power could dampen consumer demand.

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