By on September 29, 2015

2016-Chevrolet-Colorado-Duramax-TurboDiesel-059

The diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon will be the first to undergo increased scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency after the recent Volkswagen scandal turned emissions reporting on its head.

According to Automotive News, a spokesman for GM said the testing could slightly delay the truck’s fourth-quarter release.

“The EPA and CARB told us they are going to do on-road testing,” Chevrolet Trucks assistant chief engineer Scott Yackley told Automotive News.

The diesel trucks in the U.S. will use Selective Catalyst Reduction (urea) systems to scrub emissions of nitrogen oxides.

The XLD28 engine (aka “baby Duramax”) doesn’t use diesel exhaust fluid systems in other parts of the world, but U.S. trucks will be the first to get that application.

According to a Chevrolet spokesman, the diesels will comply with all emissions standards in its on-road testing.

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52 Comments on “Diesel GM Canyon/Colorado Twins First to Feel EPA’s Wrath...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “According to a Chevrolet spokesman, the diesels will comply with all emissions standards in its on-road testing.”

    They’d better, or at least sixteen people will be disappointed. Then they’ll buy a diesel Silverado instead for nearly the same money. :)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Its a 4-cyl diesel and probably gets decent mileage, if it was priced right more than 16 people would be interested (maybe 32).

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Too many $s required!

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I think one of the lessons learned is why it can’t be “priced right.”

        Because priced right + meeting emissions requirements = probably not possible

        Of course, this is GM, so we’ll see. Interesting they aren’t going after the diesel Cruze first (all 32 of them sold). Isn’t the GM pickup truck twin diesels not even out in the wild yet?

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          It surprises you that they would test them before allowing them to be sold? Just how do you think these compliance tests work? Car companies build a car, sell it for a while, THEN get it certified?

          What the hell kind of sense does that make?!

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Because if the idea is to catch cheating, wouldn’t it seem oh I don’t know, more likely, that cheating would be going on in the vehicle in the wild already?

            Announcing that their going to take a closer look at a model not even available yet is close to, “guess what, we’re going to actually do our job this time!”

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I wonder if real world results will ever show up as regards Gas Direct Injection Engines. They have some of the worst emissions for Nox record ed

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          I wonder if the prices on diesel Cruzes have gone down after the VW thing. That could be one hell of a used buy if so…

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        @28 – They had one of these at the MN State Fair in August. The hood was closed on purpose but a nice lady from GM opened it for me so I could take a look. She said it will be a $3700 option, but I’m not sure what else that will include besides the diesel. They’ll sell everyone they build at full MSRP at least for a little while.

        • 0 avatar
          Lack Thereof

          If I recall correctly, that includes the full towing package, usually a massively overpriced option in it’s own right.

          But for $3700 extra, you better be planning on owning that truck for a long time.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            If these things follow suit like their diesel powered HD big brothers you’ll get a lot of that back when it comes time to sell/trade. So the reality is it doesn’t cost you all of $3700.

            But I’m not gonna argue that the diesel will save you money, because for most/all it won’t. The big plus for me with a diesel over the gas engine in this truck is that it would tow so much better. The V6 gas offered in the twins isn’t much of towing motor. The 4.3 push-rod roller cam V6 in the FS trucks would be killer in the midsize twins.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            You only get that money back if the desirability of diesels remains intact. If this VW fiasco kills any interest in diesels, like happened back in the ’80s, then you won’t get squat for it if you try to sell.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            “If this VW fiasco kills any interest in diesels, like happened back in the ’80s, then you won’t get squat for it if you try to sell.”

            Buyers of VW diesel cars and diesel trucks might as well be on two different planets. This whole VW thing won’t affect the re-sale values of current diesel HD PU’s in the least and I wouldn’t expect that to be any different with this truck

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            “You only get that money back if the desirability of diesels remains intact”

            You can’t compare passenger diesels to LD/HD diesel sales. Diesel pick ups will be around as long as the internal combustion engine is. Theyve weathered the storm and are now on par with SI engines. They aren’t going anywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            “Buyers of VW diesel cars and diesel trucks might as well be on two different planets.”

            “You can’t compare passenger diesels to LD/HD diesel sales.”

            Let’s not pretend that buyers of smaller pickups and full-on work trucks are the same. The only reason a diesel is in the works for these trucks is because of the increased interest in diesel overall, including cars. If that increased interest dies, so does the raison detre of this truck/engine combo.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          @Carlson Fan

          Thanks, doesn’t sound cheap to me.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Corey, the reasons one would buy a 4 cylinder diesel pickup are not the same reasons one would buy an HD model with a V-8 diesel. If the purchase price were even close, the savings in fuel would be significant and if youre only using the truck for light hauling/towing but mostly commuting, the smaller truck is obviously the better choice.

      I drove my cousin’s 2500 Duramax ex-cab today to haul some useless tires to a facility in town. The average MPG according to the on board computer was 14.1. Im quite certain a 4 cylinder diesel in a smaller truck would exceed that, it would probably double it or more. Those tires wouldve easily fit in the bed of a Colorado/Canyon and Id have used much less fuel to do the same job. Unless youre doing heavy towing or hauling, there is no reason to choose the bigger truck even if the prices were close (and they wont be).

      Comparing a full size heavy duty truck with a V-8 diesel to a midsize truck with a 4 cylinder diesel isnt logical.

      • 0 avatar
        klossfam

        You are correct – A comparison to a RAM 1500 EcoDiesel (which I own) is a little bit more in line…but still a different level truck. I drove a Colorado just for a platform/ride/handling test and quickly parked it and got back in my RAM. These GM twins are highly overrated media darlings. My 2010 Ridgeline was nearly as capable in terms of specs and a far better daily ‘midsize’ truck (other than mpg). The GM twins are small inside, yet still pretty big overside, have an unsophisticated 6 speed and simply aren’t what gets portrayed by most reviewers…All I know is this diesel scandal better not have them coming after my EcoDiesel – I enjoy 24 mpg too much.

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          I saw a new Colorado for the first time the other day while walking into a local restaurant for lunch. Ironically it was parked next to a Silverado 1500. I had to do a double take, they looked quite comparable in size from the distance I was at. Definitely bigger than the previous generation.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            When I first saw one at an auto show, I would not have known is wasn’t a full-size truck if it didn’t have the Colorado badge.

            I drove one at the next auto show, and honestly, nothing about it struck me as desirable. I was in the market for a smaller truck, but the CO did nothing for me.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s fair enough.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          Let’s be realistic, the diesel on these things is a novelty option. Even with slightly higher MPG it will probably take like 25 years to break even with the gas version.

          Anyone who buys on does it because they WANT a small diesel truck, not because its a good value.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Buying a Colorado is a novelty option when you consider the price vs the size and payload/towing capacity.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Mandalorian,
            75% of all pickups sold are a novelty item.

            Most don’t require on, but they spends a considerable amount on them.

            So, if someone pays an extra few grand or so for a diesel, that isn’t much different than buying a fully blinged pickup.

            I’d rather have a midspec pickup with a diesel than a fully blinged pickup, that will more or less do the same or even more in some instances.

            These are a viable alterantive to a full size if you are going to tow 7 000lbs.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – 75% is a little high. Ridiculous in fact. About 40% of F-150 sales are “Fleet Sales”. That doesn’t count the sales to businesses, farms, ranches, etc, that don’t qualify for “Fleet Sales”, which is most.

            So around 10%, probably less, are novelty trucks, with no tow hitch, no bed-liner, and not a scratch on the bed, in the bed, or down the sides from deep off-road.

            Except that number has to be even lower for HD pickup trucks. Considerably lower. And it’s these *mint condition* aging pickups than get all the attention from haters, while the workhorses fade into the background.

            Sh!t some work pickups are well kept, so when you spot them at the walmart, costco, mall, etc, those owners are being extra efficient in their use by not having to own a Camry also, to run need errands. So stops are made while they’re out or on their way home. Except your DUMB A$$ brain only sees the WASTE in a *Lyfestile* pickup doing what a midsize sedan could.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            BTW, it takes 10 to 15 vehicles currently registered/insured to your business, org, co, llc, etc, to qualify as a “Fleet” buyer.

            I could believe up to 20% of Colorado/Canyon sales are “novelty”, except GM is really pushing hard-loaded examples of these and suppressing Fleet Sales.

            This won’t last for the duration of the Colorado/Canyon run though.

            Except Colorado/Canyons as well as the other midsize pickups are more likely the choice of lifestyle buyers.

            The upcoming diesel option the Colorado/Canyon is mostly a novelty in this segment too. Take away or silence the very distinctive diesel rattle/clatter, and most of the reason for owning one is gone!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Too many qualifiers, DM; I agree with Big Al on this one. I see more Status Symbol pickups than I do working pickups even where I live, which is more rural than urban.

            *Working pickups tend NOT to have a bed liner in them.
            *Working pickups tend NOT to have a tonneau cover of any type.
            *Working pickups tend to have visible damage in the beds and on the tailgate.
            *Working pickups tend to show dents and dings all around the bed.
            *Working pickups (not including fleet for pest control) tend not to have a ‘topper’ by Lear or any other brand on them.
            *Working pickups tend NOT to have an exhaust stack up through the bed floor and extending above the roof.

            In fact, for being in the OTHER “Bluegrass Country” of horse raising, only about 25% of the pickups I see on the roads around me are ever ‘worked’ at all beyond pulling the weekend camper or boat and almost nothing else.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            When it comes down to what you *SEE*, then yeah. But of course you have to ignore the about 40%, in the case of the F-150, that go directly to official “Fleet Sales”… alone!

            Never mind all the small operators of 10 (Retail purchased) trucks or less. That’s most of America and the backbone of the US economy.

            Btw, my garage-kept ’04 get’s hammered on and abused (on and off road) on a semi frequent basis but looks “showroom” after a good detailing and 30 feet away. Yes it was bought for work, and obviously “Retail”, not “Fleet”

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “They’d better, or at least sixteen people will be disappointed.”

      I’m one of those 16 people.

      I used to own a Ranger and a Jetta TDI. I’ve been giving a diesel powered Colorado or GMC Canyonero some thought. My minivan perfect for my needs, but I miss having a truck.

      I work from home now, so a jack of all trades / master of none actually makes some sense. But I still care about efficiency, biofuels compatibility, and, yes, emissions. I’ll probably buy an EV before a buy one of these trucks. But it’s a solid competitor in the “vehicle for everything the EV can’t do” category.

      The Canfon/Colorado doesn’t feel as oversized as the F-150 that I used to own, or as big as the Diesel-powered Ram 1500 that I sat in to compare with the Colorado.

      I’m also interested to see what the Jeep truck will look like. I’m betting on it being a Dakota in Jeep’s clothing which, honestly, would be just about what I’d be looking for. Assuming it’s powered by diesel and/or a hybrid powertrain.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    ““The EPA and CARB told us they are going to do on-road testing,””

    Why the hell were they not testing this way to begin with ..

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Because they didn’t know they needed to, and it’s stupidly expensive and time consuming?

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      The EPA and CARB don’t have the resources to get the time and technical expertise to test every model consistently, and normally, they don’t have to.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ….The EPA and CARB don’t have the resources to get the time and technical expertise to test every model consistently, and normally, they don’t have to….

        That’s basically it. It is far more cost effective to test the way they do now, but in order for the manufactures to comply, you have to make the risk not worth the reward. As you can get away with gaming the system for quite awhile, the penalty needs to be crippling for willful noncompliance. Hopefully that is exactly what will happen to VW. Otherwise, costly testing will be needed to ensure compliance. And that cost will be passed on to consumers. Better to do the big-stick approach.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          No regulatory body has the ability or budget to test every product from every manufacturer before it goes to market. Not only would it cost them (and vicariously, us) too much, it would also prohibit companies from releasing new products as they’d sit around waiting for approval to launch.

          The method of random audits generally works well enough so long as the regulators don’t get too lax.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      Because the portable test equipment was not available for any kind of reasonable price until very recently, because on-road testing is impossible to consistently reproduce, and because until very recently it was assumed that $38,000 per-vehicle fines were an effective deterrent against evading the dyno-test.

  • avatar
    SKEETER

    I think many of you will be surprised how many of these diesel col/can gm sells. There has been quite a demand for these without the oil burner opt.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So stupid question… Are trucks under separate regulations from cars? Or to put it another way, can trucks be dirtier than cars in emissions?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I don’t know about emissions, but I do know that trucks over 8500 GVWR are exempt from MPG requirements.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Trucks with a GVWR of under 10,000 lbs are subject to the same pollution regulations as cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      Yes. There are separate standards for passenger cars, light-duty trucks (which includes SUV’s and minivans), medium-duty trucks (which includes all the “2500” and bigger pickups), and heavy-duty trucks (semis, long trucks, etc).

      Off-road equipment is nearly entirely unregulated – which includes pretty much everything that rides a trailer to a construction site.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Not so much anymore. Farm equipment, diesel generators and the like now have fairly rigorous standards for compliance. And construction equipment may also be subject to local law regulations. Which makes sense – a bulldozer in a open field makes no difference to air quality, but that same equipment operating in a congested area (like the Big Dig in Boston) can have a significant local impact.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Off-road equipment has a lot of regulations, but the difference is that stuff beyond a certain age (tractors especially) doesn’t have to meet any standards to stay legal. Our 45-year-old JD 3020 blows blue smoke under no load at all, and we’re the only ones who care (and only because it means we’re losing potential HP).

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        “Off-road equipment is nearly entirely unregulated”

        They’ve been regulated for many years now. It took aittle longer for them to catch up to the onroad market but any new equipment is now built to Tier IV. 175 HP and up since 2011 and everything under since 2013.

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      It’s a carryover from decades ago. Back when trucks were used as trucks, not a fashion/lifestyle statement. They made up a relatively small number of registered vehicles so greater emissions weren’t seen as much of a problem.

  • avatar
    jrmason

    They are tested to the same standard, in g/bhp-hr.

  • avatar
    Ion

    There’s no reason given for the delay. It raises the question: are they being held back because GM can’t sell them until after they pass the test? Or is it because now GM has to actually make them pass?

  • avatar
    RHD

    Now is a market opportunity for an automaker, any one at all, to put out a diesel vehicle that passes all emission tests through good engineering instead of cheating, and still performs well. Price it right, and promote it with a long guarantee. Sort of a “Hey, VW, it can be done, we’re doing it, and we’re taking your customers!”.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      Cuz its just that easy.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Is it though? Has VW so poisoned the well that they’ve destroyed the market for other diesel makers?

      It’s a common phenomenon, and I genuinely look forward to reports about the public’s change in perception of diesels as a result of VW. I have no doubt that it will drop, sales will be hurt across the board, but I don’t know how severe the drop will be. I would not be surprised if it’s enough to outright kill diesels in cars completely. (They are too valuable in trucks, so that niche will remain.)

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Volkswagen basically owned the diesel car market. Chevrolet, Mercedes and BMW each sell a handful of diesel cars per year, but only VW and Audi had any volume.
        That means the diesel car market is essentially gone until VW starts selling again.

        The diesel SUV and truck market will be minimally affected. Those customers aren’t buying diesels for the same reasons that car customers buy diesels.

  • avatar
    wsn

    It doesn’t make sense.

    Why not just pass them the old way and start doing the on road testing while they are on sale? That way, the cars/trucks can be tested longer, i.e. full year, to more accurately simulate a real driving experience.

    The purpose of the testing should not be to catch offenders before the release. That will be an unnecessary delay. But instead, should serve as a deterrent. Like, we will be doing it sooner or later, so don’t push your luck.

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