Move over Dodge Ram EcoDiesel, Chevrolet has just landed the lead in the pickup fuel-economy shootout, its new 2016 Colorado Duramax Diesel getting an EPA rating of as much as 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
That’s two mpg better than the Ram “oil burner” – though there is an asterisk: the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a full-size pickup, while the2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax falls into the midsize truck category.
Nonetheless, “The Colorado Duramax diesel is in a league of its own,” boasted Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Truck Marketing. “Colorado’s gas models already led the segment in fuel efficiency, and the new diesel…gives customers even greater freedom to go where they want with fewer fill-ups.”
The Chevrolet Colorado is one of only two midsize diesel pickup models offered in the U.S. – the other being its near-twin, the 2016 GMC Canyon.
(Click Here for a review of the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel.)
Gaining fuel economy leadership could bode well for the two models, noted Mark Reuss, General Motors’ global product development director. GM scrapped the two trucks earlier in the decade but then decided to bring them back in an entirely new design, a move that drew plenty of skepticism, Reuss noted. However, since their launch last year, GM has had trouble keeping up with demand.
The 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel joins two other gasoline options offered for the two vehicles. The diesel maker 181-horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a six-speed automatic it delivers 31 mpg Highway in the two-wheel-drive version, 29 mpg in the four-wheel-drive configuration.
The diesel engine is capable of running on B20, a blend of 80% conventional petro-diesel and 20% bio-diesel.
Among the features on the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax and the 2016 GMC Canyon Diesel: exhaust braking – which helps reduce wear on brakes while driving on downgrades – and an integrated brake controller.
Available only with a Crew Cab body, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado diesel carries a $3,730 premium over the truck’s 3.6-liter V-6 option – which works out to a base price of $29,255 plus destination charges.
(GM bullish on diesel despite VW scandal. Click Here for more.)
The timing of the announcement comes as diesel technology comes under a cloud in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. The German maker has been accused of using a so-called “defeat device” to pass U.S. emissions tests even though its 2.0-liter turbodiesel models produce significantly more emissions in real-world driving.
“That’s not a good reflection on the industry,” said GM product chief Reuss. But he said he does not expect the VW scandal to impact sales of the new Colorado Duramax or GMC Canyon diesels.
(VW giving $1,000 in gift cards, vouchers, to its diesel owners. Click Here for the latest.)