Should I get a gas or a turbo-diesel pickup truck? We get this question several times per week. Here is the answer for midsize trucks. It’s the 2017 Chevy Colorado with the 3.6L V6 gas engine and the 8-speed automatic transmission versus the 2017 GMC Canyon Denali with the 2.8L I4 Duramax engine with the 6-speed automatic. We put these two pickup trucks through the most extensive round of testing we have ever done. (Check out these two trucks go against each other on the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test).
You may think that the 3.6L gasoline V6 in this Colorado is a carry-over engine from the previous year. No, it’s actually been completely redesigned for a little more power, better response, and also offers cylinder deactivation. This V6 can run in V4 mode, but we never saw this during our highway towing loop at 70 MPH. The V6 is now mated to the 8-speed automatic transmission.
The power specifications on the 2.8L turbo-diesel I4 carry over from the previous year. It’s the same engine as before, and it is still mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. There are rumors that the “baby” Duramax engine will also be mated to an 8-speed automatic soon (perhaps for the 2018 model year), but GM has not confirmed this.
|Year||Make||Model||Power (hp)||Torque (lb-ft)||Towing MPG (Hwy)||0-60 MPH||Ike Score|
|2017||Chevy||Colorado||308 @ 6,800||275 @ 4,000||8.7||7.93 sec||80|
|2017||GMC||Canyon||181 @ 3,400||369 @ 2,000||12.7||10.30 sec||87|
Bottom line is: if you want a fast midsize truck, which is a more affordable (the turbo-diesel is approximately $3,700 more than the V6), the get the 3.6L gas V6. If you want ultimate towing capability, fuel efficiency, and luxury appointments in a midsize truck, then go for the GMC Canyon Denali with the diesel. Although, a fully-loaded Canyon Denali Duramax will cost you around $47,000 (like the truck you see in this test).
Check out all the fun and all the results in the video below.