In spite of their declining popularity, diesel powertrains are still a big deal to many, especially pickup truck owners. Those who’ve enjoyed working with GM’s Duramax engine on the Chevrolet Colorado can attest to the benefits of a strong oil burner.

That’s one advantage the Colorado has over its rivals in the mid-size pickup market, a strength that even the top-selling Toyota Tacoma can’t yet match at this point.

And now that the Colorado ZR2 is getting ready to rain on the parade of the Tacoma TRD Pro, there have been reports of Toyota setting up to retaliate by pushing its truck into diesel territory.

The question now is whether the Toyota can lock horns with the 2.8L Duramax block that’s good for 369lb-ft worth of low-end torque. The Toyota Hilux which is the global equivalent of the Tacoma is only good for 252lb-ft torque from its 2.8L turbo-diesel mill.

That’s not all of course, as the Ford Ranger is gearing up to make its long-awaited return to US shores in 2018. And yes, there has also been word of the Blue Oval pickup trying its hand in the shrinking US diesel market.

Its Euro-spec model currently makes use of a 3.2L turbo-diesel engine that generates up to 346lb-ft torque, a respectable figure that would give the Duramax a run for its money.

In all of this, there hasn’t been any confirmation that diesel variants of the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger are headed to US dealerships in the future, so for now it would be best to take such possibilities with a grain of salt.

Staff Reporter

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Robert Ryan · December 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Outside NA, virtually all Pickups are diesel. Gas engines are rarities. On the other hand Pickups are extremely rare in Europe, most Pickup sales are in Asia,Latin America,Middle East, Africa and Australia and New Zealand

Bob · December 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

If diesel is a shrinking market in the US, why would Toyota even bother? Sinking time and money into a shrinking market where you are already in the back of the pack would be a monumentally stupid business decision. The far better strategy would be to invest those resources instead into being the best at the tech that is replacing it.

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