What Are the Best Diesel Truck Engines?

Overhead of Diesel Engine

In just a few short years, turbodiesel pickup trucks have become a popular choice on Waterford job sites. We’re also starting to see diesel engines available on medium-duty utility vehicles and carriers, and even making their way to smaller pickups and SUVs. There are two good reasons for the shift: easy maintenance and more power from fuel. The best diesel engines require less fuel than gasoline to generate equal power. That translates to 20% to 35% farther on a gallon of fuel*. The bottom line is that diesel engine fuel costs are lower than gasoline engines over the life of the vehicle—and to top things off, diesel engines tend to last longer than gasoline engines with proper care.

With diesel engine competition starting to heat up, businesses and truck buyers have more than a few diesel options to choose from. Read on to compare specs on five of the best diesel truck engines on the market right now, and then get in touch if you think diesel could be the next step for your business!

1. 3.0L EcoDiesel V6

Diesel goes light-duty. The EcoDiesel V6 can be found on the RAM 1500, where it delivers some seriously impressive power and equally impressive fuel economy:

  • Power — 260 horsepower
  • Torque — 480 lb-ft of torque
  • Valvetrain — DOHC with 4 valves per cylinder
  • Fuel Injection — High-pressure common rail with solenoid injectors
  • Induction — Water-cooled Garrett single variable-geometry turbocharger
  • Compression Ratio — 16.0:1 (as of 2020)

Is the EcoDiesel the best truck engine available in the light-duty marketplace today? It depends, since both gas and diesel trucks have their advantages. But if you’re looking for a light-duty diesel workhorse, you could do far worse than the EcoDiesel V6!

2. Ford 6.7L Power Stroke V8

Are you looking for the best Ford diesel engine? The answer might depend on whether you’re interested in buying new or used—but you can’t afford to overlook the 6.7L Power Stroke® V8 that can be found in today’s Super Duty® models. Ford’s newest diesel makes improvements over the previous version for a big boost in horsepower and torque, making it one of the strongest diesel truck engines available today:

  • Power — 475 horsepower
  • Torque — 1,050 lb-ft of torque
  • Valvetrain — OHV with 4 valves per cylinder
  • Fuel Injection — High-pressure common rail with Bosch CP4.2 injection pump
  • Induction — Garrett single variable-geometry turbocharger
  • Emissions systems — Cooled exhaust gas recirculation, diesel oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction with diesel exhaust fluid

3. High Output 6.7L Cummins® V8

The 6.7L Cummins diesel engine is unquestionably one of the best diesel truck engines around. It’s available on the heavy-duty RAM 2500 and the heavy-duty RAM 3500, where it produces the following output:

  • Power — 400 horsepower
  • Torque — 1000 lb-ft of torque
  • Valvetrain — DOHC with 4 valves per cylinder
  • FuelInjection — High-pressure common rail with Bosch CP4.2 injection pump
  • Induction — Holset M2 two-stage compound turbochargers w/electronic wastegate

With power ratings like these, why doesn’t the Cummins V8 rank above the EcoDiesel? Ultimately, the decision is slightly subjective; the EcoDiesel earns the top spot because it offers a better balance of power and fuel economy, and it’s also helped to popularize diesel truck engines across the light-duty market.

4. Duramax® 6.6L LBZ V8

This new addition to the ½-ton and 3/4-ton pickup segments can tackle real work, and with its impressive fuel efficiency, won’t even waste fuel on the highway before you get to your Racine job site. It’s available on GM trucks, and offers the following output:

  • Power — 445 horsepower
  • Torque — 910 lb-ft of torque
  • Valvetrain — OHV 4-valves per cylinder
  • Fuel Injection — High-pressure common rail with Bosch CP3 injection pump
  • Induction — Garrett variable-geometry turbocharger
  • Emissions systems — Cooled exhaust gas recirculation and diesel oxidation catalytic converter

5. Navistar/Ford 7.3L Power Stroke®

The Navistar/Ford 7.3L Power Stroke® diesel engine isn’t available on the latest Ford trucks, but its legendary reliability has earned it a high-ranking spot on our list all the same. Look for the 7.3L Power Stroke® in models produced between 1994 and 2003:

  • Power — 275 hp @ 2,800 rpm
  • Torque — 525 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
  • Valvetrain — OHV with 2 valves per cylinder
  • FuelInjection — High Pressure Oil Pump with Hydraulic Electronic Unit Injection (HEUI)
  • Induction — Garrett fixed-geometry turbocharger
  • Emissions systems –Exhaust gas recirculation, diesel oxidation catalyst

Find the Best Diesel Truck Engines in Waterford, WI!

At Lynch Truck Center, we’re proud to serve the greater Waterford area with a massive selection of used and new commercial and tow trucks, wreckers, rollbacks, carriers, and more. We can also help you determine whether gas or diesel power is better for your needs, or show you how to identify an Aisin transmission.

Contact our team to learn more about your commercial diesel engine maintenance checklist or schedule service. Equip your Northern Chicago or Milwaukee enterprise with the capability you need to grow!


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