By on May 1, 2017

2017 GMC Canyon SLE Diesel - Image: © Timothy Cain

You want a pickup truck.

You want a small pickup truck.

Unfortunately, such a thing no longer exists, at least not north of the Rio Grande. You’ve migrated your desire to the “midsize” sector, a class in which the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Honda Ridgeline, and two General Motors candidates offer a quintet of possibilities.

Yet a major issue crops up when you begin comparison shopping and discover three full-size issues standing in the way: strong incentives on full-size pickups, full-size truck fuel efficiency comparable to midsize trucks, and full-size capability and interior volume far exceeding that of midsize pickups.

No wonder 85 percent of pickup buyers opt for a full-size truck. Still, 2016 was the best year ever for the Toyota Tacoma and the best year since 2001 for the Nissan Frontier. 2017 is on track to be the Honda Ridgeline’s best year since 2007. The Tacoma has a legendary reputation for toughness. The Frontier is the small-truck traditionalist’s pickup of choice. The Ridgeline is unusual in almost every way.

What unique attribute does GM’s duo manifest? This 2017 GMC Canyon SLE Crew Cab 4×4 has diesel. Diesel fuel in a diesel engine with diesel towing capacity, diesel fuel economy, and a diesel sound owners of decade-old Jetta TDIs will love.

NOBODY EVER SAID TORQUE CORRUPTS
Rated to tow up to 7,600 pounds, 600 more than a V6-engined GMC Canyon, this 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax diesel produces only 181 measly horsepower but a very impressive 369 lb-ft of torque.

Those figures are down by 124 and up by 100, respectively, compared with the Canyon’s 3.6-liter V6, with torque peaking at only 2,000 rpm in the diesel, half the revs needed in the not-so-trucky V6.

2017 GMC Canyon SLE Diesel Crew Cab - Image: © Timothy Cain

Only just off-idle in first gear does the 2.8-liter diesel ever feel wanting for more. In most real-world situations where power is actually needed, such as overtaking on a rural two-lane, GM’s four-cylinder diesel is swift — at least once the six-speed automatic has determined how many gears it wants to drop down.

The six-speed is unobtrusive in everyday driving, but it can become confused when you begin to demand quicker progress. “Am I focused on fuel efficiency?” it seems to ask, “or am I responsible for delivering all of this engine’s 369 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels right this very instant?”

Just give me a gear.

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID
Power is only part of the equation. The car-like fuel economy we observed over 840 miles of city, highway, and rural road travels last week is catnip to the GMC Canyon’s target buyer.

After recording 30.2 miles per gallon during the first few days of the 2017 GMC Canyon Diesel’s stay in mostly urban and suburban driving, we completed a 32.7-mpg journey from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island with five aboard.

2017 GMC Canyon Diesel Wilsons Gas Stop - Image: © Timothy Cain

By the end of the week, with plenty of hard driving across great swathes of Prince Edward Island for our house hunting mission and another 190-mile journey back home, the Canyon’s overall performance wasn’t just better than its 20-mpg EPA city rating. It wasn’t merely better than the 23-mpg combined rating.

We topped the Canyon’s official EPA highway figure, too. Despite the hefty passenger load, loads of urban driving, and rapid point-to-point progress in Prince Edward Island, we averaged 28.7 mpg.

Those kinds of fuel savings — we’ve seen 21.4 mpg and 20.1 in a Canyon V6 and Colorado V6 in the past — would buy many a potato; maybe even tickets to Anne & Gilbert or green fees at Crowbush.

2017 GMC Canyon Diesel - Image: © Timothy Cain

IT’S THE MSRP, MORON
Torque matters. Fuel economy matters. So does the initial outlay demanded by General Motors for the removal of a 3.6-liter V6 and the installation of the 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel.

In the Canyon, the diesel is an option only on crew cabs and not in more basic Canyon SL or Canyon trim levels. The addition of the diesel to the SLE trim level, the most basic of the three trims in which the Duramax is available, also necessitates the addition of the $575 SLE Convenience Package (uni-zone auto climate control, sliding rear window, remote start) and the $395 Driver Alert Package (forward collision alert and lane departure warning).

Thus, a 2017 GMC Canyon SLE Crew Cab 4×4 with the diesel engine starts at $41,270, or $4,950 more than a 2017 GMC Canyon SLE Crew Cab 4×4 with the conventional gas-powered V6.

Granted, that $4,950 premium brings with it more than a 7-mpg advantage. The Canyon diesel also tows more. And unlike the rev-needy V6 in other Canyons, the diesel typically pulls with the kind of response you expect from a truck.

On the other hand, the diesel costs forty-nine-hundred-and-fifty dollars and does not sound like the rumbling, construction site, V8 diesels with which the Duramax name has previously been linked. This 2.8 Duramax sounds like an older German four-cylinder diesel.

Fortunately, the Canyon is distinctly more refined than the Tacoma and Frontier, and GM has eliminated the diesel vibration that could have seeped into the cabin. But you do hear the clatter. Often.

2017 GMC Canyon Diesel exhaust brake button - Image: © Timothy Cain

IT’S THE INDIVIDUALISM, IDIOT
As for that full-size pickup truck conundrum, by elevating the MSRP into $40,000+ territory, the GM diesel hasn’t truly resolved the issue. At this price, a GMC Sierra ($44,195 gets a Sierra Crew Cab 4×4 5.3 with appearance, convenience, and trailering packages) offers distinctly better ride quality. Filling five seats for a four-day journey also proved that the Canyon can’t serve as a family car, not in the way a Sierra can. Plus, overall capability is obviously diminished. And power drops off sharply.

But the midsize pickup truck buyer of 2017 isn’t becoming a midsize truck buyer based purely on an objective comparison. The value equation didn’t skew in the Canyon’s direction to begin with. That explains why nearly nine out of every ten pickup truck buyers choose a full-size truck.

Just as the reasons for selecting a generic midsize pickup — downtown maneuverability, garage parking, confidence in one’s manhood — don’t neatly fit into a spreadsheet’s value equation, the GMC Canyon is a left field choice, as well. 92 percent of midsize truck buyers choose something other than the Canyon. Every other truck nameplate generates more sales activity than the midsize GMC.

Selecting a diesel-powered 2017 GMC Canyon, which 89 percent of Canyon buyers neglect, is therefore a third step into the oddball truck market. Step No.1: midsize. Step No.2: Canyon. Step No.3: diesel.

You want a pickup truck. And not just a pickup truck, but a midsize pickup truck. And not just a midsize pickup truck, but a midsize pickup truck other people don’t buy. And not just a midsize pickup truck other people don’t buy, but a midsize pickup truck other people don’t buy with a diesel engine.

The 2017 GMC Canyon Duramax Diesel is your choice. It’s an expensive choice, but not one the midsize diesel truck connoisseur will soon regret.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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78 Comments on “2017 GMC Canyon SLE Diesel Review – Is Duramax The Answer To The Midsize Truck Conundrum?...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Yet a major issue crops up when you begin comparison shopping and discover three full-size issues standing in the way: strong incentives on full-size pickups, full-size truck fuel efficiency comparable to midsize trucks, and full-size capability and interior volume far exceeding that of midsize pickups.”

    on the other hand, if you don’t want a hulking full-size truck, none of that matters. I walked up to a 4×4 F-250 and was amazed that the bedsides were almost as tall as me!

    “Only just off-idle in first gear does the 2.8-liter diesel ever feel wanting for more. ”

    AFAIK that’s just a modern diesel thing. they all “soft-start” from a stop no matter how hard you mash the pedal. Prevents excessive soot generation.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick

      I am not persuaded by the ‘well, may as well get a full size’ argument either. Seems like buying a size 13 shoe when you wear size 9s because they are the same price.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Using the GM 3.6L and Toyota 3.5L in trucks is stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This. Toyota should have stuck the 4Runner 270hp 4.0L with the updated 6A into the Tacoma and called it good. Chevy should have shoehorned the 4.3L OHV into the Colorado. Done deal. Nissan is the only one I’d seriously consider right now, if only for the burly 4.0L motor that can be paired with a stick shift, and availability of a rear diff lock, and most reasonable prices.

      • 0 avatar
        Landau Calrissian

        I’ve owned my 2.7L 98 4runner long enough to be used to a slow vehicle. According to Toyota’s website, you can still get a 4cyl 5-spd 4×4 Taco for about $25k. That’s where my money would go. Bilsteins, KO2’s and a locker/LSD can be added down the road if need be.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Agreed. My ’13 Tacoma has the 4.0 with the 5-speed auto, and it’s *fast*. They should have stuck with the 1GR-FE, added the 6-speed auto, and skipped the 3.5 minivan engine. There are plenty of gripes from 3rd-gen Taco owners about the lack of power. All that grief, to pick up a measly 1 mpg in the EPA ratings. The engine is the main reason I wouldn’t trade my ’13 on a new Tacoma.

        I do wish that Chevy/GM would offer the Duramax as a standalone option, instead of making customers buy climate control and the other stuff. Right now diesel is almost the same price as regular unleaded, and more people would go Duramax if it was a $2000-$2500 option.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    “But you do hear the clatter. Often.”

    For 4900 bucks, I’d BETTER hear it!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yeah, I thought I was the only one who believed diesels shouldn’t have to be silent. they don’t have to kick up a racket like the 6.0 Powerstroke, but a bit of clatter up front says “‘ey, I’m *workin’* up here!”

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      As someone who’s driven a diesel both loud and gutless, I want *quiet*, not Bro-Dozer.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The mid-sizers have to be $10K cheaper across the board option package to option package to make any kind of economic sense. (For those of you who want one $ be danged – good for you, but for the rest of us…)

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Absolutely. I didn’t want an oversized modern full size truck with the extra bulk. However, driving a Colorado, the only difference you can feel is it being tighter. It seems almost as big and bulky. What you do get is way less bed space, subcompact interior room and week powertrains. Unless you are parking the thing in a downtown parking garage, there is no good reason for the small truck.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        This is a brave new world where a 300+HP V6 in a midzise truck can be regarded as “weak”.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          My SuperDuty has a 300HP engine (with considerably more torque, to be fair), and the Colorado weighs over a ton less.

          I cannot imagine that being “weak”.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          More to do with the provenance of the powerplant and perhaps not enough tuning work done to skew the “meat” of the powerband lower. The Tacoma’s switch to the car-platform associated 3.5L from the truck/SUV 4.0L is a glaring example. Exacerbated by heavier curb weights (400ish lb heavier than predecessor IIRC). Real world MPG has not been significantly better from what I’ve read on forums.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            I’m currently a prospective pickup buyer, and not especially interested in whether or not a given powerplant is a “truck engine”.

            In fact, I’m quite happy with a car style high-HP OHC engine that is willing to rev.

            Given that high revs don’t appear to have any negative impact on the reliability of a properly-designed modern engine and the potential for additional power generation that arises from more RPMs it actually seem silly to me to focus exclusively on down-low torque as the one and only option for powering a truck.

            I’m not very familiar with the 4.0 Tacoma. What specific downsides have arisen from the switch to the 3.5?

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            So you want a “truck” that performs like a car. Vulpine has a new buddy.

            Lol, just buy a Ridgeline and call it a day. Its probably more truck than you’ll ever need (assuming your “needs” are as great as your knowledge of how/why people actually buy and use a truck).

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            For one, the dual-injected 3.5L has been having some unexpected teething issues in the Tacoma. Secondly, I’d argue that smooth low end pulling power is what it’s all about for trucks actually being used for hauling some amount of payload, and useful for churning through poor traction surfaces and hills at low speeds. If you just want to drive on the road and without payload, then indeed a high revving smaller displacement motor might work just fine. Certainly gearing can be taken advantage of to make up for the deficiency. It’s just supremely satisfying for me to have that low end throttle response, again in those “trucky” situations like offroad or loaded up. I’m one of those people that would rather not rev the nuts off of something if I don’t have to. Back when the Tacoma weighed about 3200lb, the old 3.4L 5VZ was considered a powerful enough motor, almost quick when paired with a stick shift. And that motor was actually explicitly a truck motor, developed by Hino (Toyota’s in-house commercial truck wing). Long stroke with a meaty torque curve lower down, and stupendously overbuilt to boot. The 4.0L 1GR is likewise a truck motor, with a focus on low end and midrange, but the 2nd gen Tacoma but on some weight (400ish lb). Now with the third gen it’s put on another 400ish lb, and gone down in displacement (2GR family) with a motor that lives for revs. So a 4300lb truck with a motor that needs to rev hard to really motivate all that mass. Just seems really backwards IMO. To be fair I haven’t driven one, but there’s a lot of unhappy 2nd gen owners on the forums who “upgraded” to gen 3 and don’t like the power delivery.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “I’m not very familiar with the 4.0 Tacoma. What specific downsides have arisen from the switch to the 3.5?”

            Car and Driver’s acceleration stats may be useful here. In their test of a 2005 4.0 Tacoma, 0-60 arrived in 7.1 seconds. It’s 7.9 with a the new 3.5 Tacoma. It gets more interesting when you look at 0-30 times; 2.4seconds in the old 4.0 Tacoma, 3.2 with the new Tacoma. That’s a big difference and demonstrates how the new engine needs to hit higher revs to make power and is likely to feel lethargic in normal use as a result. 30-60mph times are very similar between the 4.0 and 3.5 trucks, so once on boil it seems to scoot well enough. Reviews also point out the harshness of the 3.5 at higher engine speeds, suggesting Toyota didn’t bring their car-NVH controls over with the car engine.

            I have a 4Runner with the 4.0 and wouldn’t personally enjoy having to rev it frequently. It just doesn’t suit the nature of a heavy BOF vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          And a gain of between 0-7 inches makes a truck oversized.

          (The difference between a 2000s F-150 and a 2017).

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Not that I disagree with your numbers, since I was among the first to actually use those numbers here, but yes, the 6″ cab stretch from 2003-2004 is sometimes the difference between fitting in the garage and parking it outside.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “Unless you are parking the thing in a downtown parking garage, there is no good reason for the small truck.”

        And if you are parking in the city it’s still two feet longer than the spaces were laid out for – a foot longer than a Tahoe! – with all of the three point turns, back-in parking, and general pain in the ass that that entails.

        Body on frame with two rows of seats and a bed takes a certain size to work. Cutting out the knee room and a couple inches off of the bed gives you a bad truck a lot faster than it gives you a good car.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Unless you are parking the thing in a downtown parking garage, there is no good reason for the small truck.”

        But there is good reason for a small truck, a mid-sized truck is NOT a small truck, it’s only barely smaller than full sized. Try a Fiat Strada to see a true small truck.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    I often hear that anyone who buys a smaller pickup, a smaller sedan, or a smaller CUV is ‘spending more to get less’.

    That’s not always the case. You sometimes spend more to get WHAT YOU WANT, even if what you want is measurably less.

    Whether the extra cost is worth it is ultimately up to the consumer. A good deal isn’t a good deal if you end up with something you didn’t want.

    That being said…this truck is not a great deal!

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      To make a tortured analogy, I don’t buy XXXL shirts just because it’s more material and more spacious for the same money.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Thumbs up, phila_. Nobody can speak for everybody, so claiming things like, “… knowledge of how/why people actually buy and use a truck.” While SOME people may fit that stereotype, by no means does everybody. So while SOME people may actually want and need a large truck, there are others that don’t want or need that large of a truck. It’s just that simple.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    For me there’s some kind of psychological barrier when a midsized/smaller truck gets into more than the low $30k-mid $30k range. $40k+ is simply unpalatable. I’d say the same applies in my mind to half-ton fullsize trucks, with the bar set at $45k or so.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      $62K for a Silverado 2500 diesel LT and LTZ steps up to $66K.
      Pickup trucks bring the big bucks.

      Can’t believe Lexus, BMW and Mercedes are going to leave the pickup truck market to the domestics for too long.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        And that’s MSRP. $10-15K off MSRP for a full-size truck (half-ton or HD)) is not unheard of in flyover country.

        The thing with luxury pickups, though, is that they’re only successful with a non-luxury badge on the front. How well did the F-150 Platinum sell when it was the Lincoln Mark LT?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Perhaps Lexus could (Toyota already builds a full size truck they could adapt), but I don’t think BMW/Benz have what it takes to touch this market, just like Cadillac or Lincoln couldn’t build something like the SL.

        Plus, as Zhivago is saying, pickups are “an American thing.”

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Agreed on the midsize trucks. I welcome the new Ranger, but if I can have a 2.7L F-150 4×4 crew cab for similar money, that’s what I’d get.

      Back when you used to compare small trucks to smaller/cheaper cars price wise, it was easy to justify buying a Ranger XL over an Escort or something. If they cost as much as a “nice” (larger, more comfortable, more capable) vehicle, I doubt they’ll make much of an impact on full size truck sales.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “I welcome the new Ranger, but if I can have a 2.7L F-150 4×4 crew cab for similar money, that’s what I’d get.”

        And even the Ranger built as you describe is bigger than I want. Lose another 15% overall size and I might be interested.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Midsize pickups AND diesels? Triple-digit comment count, here we come!

    (Of course, I may have jinxed it just by saying that.)

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    The problem – in 2008 i went shopping for a 4wd or awd truck with a tacoma or ridgeline in mind. wound up with a full size 380 HP crew cab tundra which was $10,000 dollars cheaper than the tacoma or ridgeline. i get dirty looks from sierra club people, which is a problem, since i am a member of the sierra club. other than that, happy with my purchase.
    gas mileage is fairly close to a mid size, is actually better than a frontier. have close to 90K miles on it now. only repairs are water pump leaked, a belt, some recall stuff with gas pedal.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “[G]as mileage is fairly close to a mid size, is actually better than a frontier.”

      What engine is in your Tundra?

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        By the “380hp” I’d say the 5.7. I recall reading some early 5.7 (and early 4.6L) trucks having water pump issues as the miles crept up to 100k. Depending on use, I could see a careful driver eking out close to 18mpg in slower highway/suburban driving from a 5.7 Tundra. I coaxed out 20mpg indicated out of a 5.7L on a test drive, driving quite sedately, basically matching my 3.4L 4Runner driven in a similar manner. Pre-redacted EPA MPG estimate on my 4Runner is 16/19, more or less matching what a current-methodology 5.7 Tundra gets (13c/17h).

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Over $40,000 for a “mini” truck.

    Jesus wept.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      surely you’re not shocked that adding options to a vehicle makes its price go up. Did you know that loading up a Focus Titanium makes it more expensive than a base Fusion S?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Who said it was mini? Certainly not the marketers. Come to think of it, the only vehicles that can properly be called “minitrucks” are ’70s compacts, which were only available as RCSB with a long (7′) bed optional. The first crop of domestic compacts in the early ’80s (Ranger, S-10/S-15) and their subsequent import competitors were a half-size above, going by vehicle width.

    • 0 avatar
      Click REPLY to reload page

      What did the custodian do before he mopped the floor?

      Jesus swept!

  • avatar
    zip89123

    It’s too damn expensive. No reason to buy this when I can fill a Hemi with a larger bed for decades and purchase it for $15K less.

  • avatar
    TCragg

    I could have written this article myself, having taken delivery of a 2017 Colorado crew cab, short-box, Z71 diesel three weeks ago. I looked at the Canyon, but liked the styling of the Chev better. As a first-time truck buyer, I wanted something that would fit in my garage, tow my 4,000 lb hybrid travel trailer, fit four people in at least reasonable comfort, and not be a beast to drive for the 90% of the time when I am not towing (and get fuel economy comparable to a small car to boot). As a former VW diesel owner, I was comfortable with the diesel option, and frankly the only reason I chose the GM truck over the Ridgeline was the availability of the diesel and the higher tow rating. As one of the posters mentioned, it had better sound like a diesel for what I paid for it, and on that note, it delivers. I have just over 1000 km on it, and I am impressed so far. I had not owned a GM vehicle since I ditched my ’87 Celebrity (I have no A-car love). The truck is refined where it should be and trucky where it should be. My purchase clearly puts me in the truck-buying minority, but I’m OK with that.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    The trick for GM here is to change the order of the three steps. They are in a position where when Step 1 is “midsize” and Step 2 is “diesel” then Step 3 has to be “Canyon.” Not a bad position to be in if you can convince buyers that the first two steps make sense. To me, they only make sense if they can get the value proposition right and pricing here is a problem. They can help this a lot if they can get the diesel available on some lower trim Canyons.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Oddly, while Chevy and GMC offer this truck in a “Work Truck” trim, you can’t get the “work engine” i.e. Diesel, in that trim.

    I’m sure that makes sense to someone in the Marketing Department.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Because they’re trying to expand the perception of diesels as being solely “work engines,” as you put it. But I think they went a little too far. Offer every powertrain in every config and trim, like an HD model does, and let the buyers decide.

      But then again, maybe they ran the numbers and figured out that for how few extended cab WT diesels they sold, it wouldn’t be worth the “hassle.”

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        as above, I’m pretty sure they restricted it to the higher trims so they could hide some of the cost of the diesel hardware. Something they couldn’t do on a low-margin stripped work truck. they’d either have to charge more for the option (causing buyers to say WTF) or just raise the price of the diesel option across the board.

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Plus, I thought they don’t have too many of these engines to go around anyway. Limited supply. Yeah, I am sure they can ramp up production but the take rate isn’t that high. Chicken and egg situation. I think GM would have some people be disappointed that the dealer doesn’t have a diesel in stock rather than flood the dealers with too many 2.8 diesels. Win-win for them. People just buy the gasser and the “false demand” keeps prices high.
          Of course adding the diesel in the single cab 19,995 Colorado would jack it up to 23,995. Who wants a small $ 24 000 single cab truck? Probably less than people that want a 40,000 loaded diesel crew cab.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “Plus, I thought they don’t have too many of these engines to go around anyway. Limited supply.”

            That could also be an issue. I didn’t even consider the idea that something like the engine could be a limited quantity. My knowledge of manufacturing logistics is mainly limited to ag equipment, where everything is either…

            1. unpowered, so the whole machine is built on-site,

            2. powered, but with a dirt-common Sisu, Cummins, Cat, etc. powerplant that’s never in short supply, or

            3. powered with an in-house engine, but the engine works and foundry are _right_there_, either on-site or just across the river.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Oddly, while Chevy and GMC offer this truck in a “Work Truck” trim, you can’t get the “work engine” i.e. Diesel, in that trim.
      “I’m sure that makes sense to someone in the Marketing Department.”

      Diesel is for status, not for work, as far as they’re concerned.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Just 2 days ago I went looking for reviews of this car. Thanks TTAC!

    Doesn’t the V6 version now have an 8 speed automatic? why is the diesel stuck with 6?

    And what is the incentive situation here? Trucks are notorious for MSRP at one level, ATP at a far lower one. Is this more of a 35k and under actual truck?

    As usual, I also wonder about resale. The VWs had insane resale. I think old diesel Excursions also. That could soften the initial cash hit a bit too.

    Me…if shopping, I’d have to try both. I know there is a difference in diesel vs gas than just numbers on paper, but that is a big cash jump, and towing capability is not much different either.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Yes, this truck will command superior resale over its gas counterpart. As for deals? I guess it depends where you live. In my area, dealers don’t even have them. Waiting lists and all that good stuff. Good luck getting one for anywhere under 40k. Also, no negotiation power whatsoever. GM needs competition. Until then, get ready to pay.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Local anecdote in the Midwest: local high volume Chevy dealer had a pair of CC 4wd Z71 Diesel Colorados sitting out front and center, MSRP of about $43kish(?), reduced down to $41k and they had been sitting for a week or two. The value proposition around here is just a bit dubious when gas is cheap, space isn’t at a premium, and the same dealer will gladly cut a smoking deal on a Silverado.

        EDIT: they have at least 5 diesel Z71s now, listed for about $39-40k ($41k MSRPs). Not seeing how long the ads have been up to see if they’re getting bought up or not. Makes me wonder how much wiggle room there might be on price. If it’s down in the $35k range, that’d actually be kind of tempting!

        Edit of an Edit: within a 500 mile radius there’s a few dealers listing Z71 Diesels for right around $35k, well now this is intriguing!

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Yes Gtemnykh 35,000 is a decent price for that kind of truck in diesel. I have to start reading the forums to see if there are any systematic problems.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I’m tempted to test drive one in the next few days, just for kicks. I watched a video online where they take the front bumper off to remove that stupid lower lip (the screwheads holding the lip on are installed facing towards the ground, making removal a pain). Just the frail plastic and how it’s all attached was incredibly offputting to watch, very un-trucklike IMO. But atleast with that lip removed the truck looks much better and finally gains the approach angle it deserves. I’d also much rather have a selectable locking rear diff, but the “slip then grip” G80 is better than nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      You’re correct about the actual transaction price. My Colorado was $47,000 CAD before incentives and discounts. ATP was just over $42,000. That’s about $31,500 USD, and my truck is fully loaded.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Now Tcragg that’s a crazy price 31,500 USD to pay for a loaded diesel.

        • 0 avatar
          TCragg

          That price for my truck in USD was the Canadian $ transaction price converted at an exchange rate of $0.75. Since prices are set for each individual market, the same truck in the USA might be cheaper or more expensive. An equivalent full-sized crew-cab Z71 4×4 Silverado with a similar option load as my Colorado (with the 5.3L V8 and the tow package) was around $53,000 CAN after all of the “Truck Month” incentives. So the roughly $10,000 I saved over a full-sizer was not insignificant, in addition to the fuel-economy benefit. Diesel is currently about 15% cheaper than regular in my area (SW Ontario), and while the diesel price advantage may not last forever (although over the past 20 years, I have observed that diesel is cheaper than gasoline more often than not) it’s another reason (in addition to the towing capacity) I opted for the diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I can’t speak to the Diesels, but I’m shopping gas Canyonados now and haven’t seen much in the way of incentives at all.

      I’m just going to wait until demand is satisfied, sales drop, and GM decides to go buy some market share at their own expense.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “I can’t speak to the Diesels, but I’m shopping gas Canyonados now and haven’t seen much in the way of incentives at all.”

        You have to remember that the Can$5K only adds up to about US$3K, not all that much.

  • avatar
    JMII

    When my ’02 Dakota Quad Cab V8 is finally used up one of these twins will likely be my next truck. My requirements are: fits in the garage, can tow my boat (and maybe a track car) with ease, gets good mileage and seats 3+ Bed size is not important but I don’t want an SUV with no bed at all. I only use my truck on weekends so I’m happy with a used example to bring the price down to reasonable levels (sub $25K). I know someone who has the GMC version for moving their track car around and so far they are satisfied with this mini oil burner. FYI – the only problem with my current Dakota is the 12 mpg while towing and rusted upper rear wheel wells.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    When you include incentives, a Dodge Ram Diesel is about the same price as well. Ironically, available in “diesel grey”. The work truck trim is available with the Diesel option also.

    Not trying to start a “Ram vs GM truck” thing here (although it probably will). Just following the idea of the article about why you might buy a midsize truck when it’s almost the same price.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Because, as some of the very first comments pointed out, for some buyers, the lesser physical size is worth paying more for. In flyover country, space is not at a premium, so sometimes we “flyoverians” can’t comprehend why anyone would pay more for “less”.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Ok, Ford … your turn. You going to put the 3.2L inline five Power Stroke in the Ranger, or are you going to go for gold with the 3.0 Lion? Pair the 3.0 with the 10-speed, and I’ll consider a pickup for the first time in 20 years. Better yet, put that combo in the Bronco. Truck yeah!

  • avatar
    phreshone

    The Hummer Tax Loophole has been greatly reduced, but these economics really maintain the narrow market.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    I normally don’t consider a new vehicle unless I can park it in the garage. If it doesn’t fit, then it isn’t for me. I had a first generation Ridgeline because it served my needs AND fit in my garage. I like the Colorado a lot but only in the diesel version. Not a big fan of the 3.6 V6. What GM needs to calm the prices down a little is a Tacoma diesel and a Frontier diesel. Until then, they are the only player in the mid-size diesel world and they will remind consumers of that each time they want a deal on them.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’d rather have the gasser. I’m not afraid of a few revs when necessary, and those revs get you a lot more power, no annoying clatter, and less PM2.5.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Timothy Cain
    That VMotori and transmission combination is the most unrefined you can get in Australia. The Series 2 Colorado is better, but nowhere as good as the others. Even the small diesel in the Triton does a lot better.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Yet a major issue crops up when you begin comparison shopping and discover three full-size issues standing in the way: strong incentives on full-size pickups, full-size truck fuel efficiency comparable to midsize trucks, and full-size capability and interior volume far exceeding that of midsize pickups.”

    Well, y’all got to second base and got thrown out on a pop fly; “full-size capability and volume far exceeding that of midsize pickups” is exactly WHY someone wanting a smaller truck wouldn’t even look at a bigger one. That full-sized cab is wasted space if you don’t intend on ever carrying 5 people in the cab and they’re certainly not interested in full-sized capability if the most they ever carry is 500-800 pounds. Even with the incentives the full-sized truck is simply too expensive for someone wanting a true “small truck.”

    Then you throw in a diesel engine and I’m saying, “What?” Why? A small truck simply doesn’t NEED a diesel and we’ve seen what diesels tend to do to the pocketbook if they ever need repair. A small truck is a combination of pure utility with pure sport and to be quite honest, I don’t equate diesel with sport. Add to that diesel fuel, at least where I live, is priced between mid-grade and premium gasoline and you see absolutely no savings in the pocketbook for fuel despite the better fuel economy. What good is better fuel economy when your cost per mile comes out almost identical with the cost per mile of regular gas?

  • avatar
    inspector

    I recently picked up a 2016 Z71 4WD Diesel with an MSRP of 42670 , I ended up paying 33900 which included a 1000 discount with my GM Card, yes , I could have gotten a full size truck but did not want the bulk as it would not fit in my garage , I do not tow and was going to get the gasser but couldn’t pass this deal up, I do drive about 35 k per year and diesel in my area is approx 14 cents a gallon more , I am more than happy getting 25 on the highway at 75-80 mph, my best was at 30 cruising at 60, would I have paid 42k for this truck , no way but the deal on this was similar in pricing to a 2WD gas with hopefully better resale value.

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      Congratulations on the purchase! Mine is parked in the garage right now, and I still have lots of room to open the door on the beer fridge!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @inspector – that is an impressive discount. The best I’ve seen from the factory in Canada is 2,500. $10-12k off is routine for full sized trucks here.


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