Although long suspected, Ram's official announcement that a diesel option would be offered in the Ram 1500 further underscored the company's commitment to diesel engines as the truck powertrain of choice to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy targets, while still providing the performance and capability buyers expect.

This makes Ram the only full-size truck line to offer a diesel option in both its half-ton as well as HD model lineups, something General Motors has not offered for more than 20 years. Ford has always limited its diesel offerings to the F-250 and higher models, with the exception of the Ranger diesel offered in the 1980s.

Although GM is showing growing interest in light diesels with the introduction of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan with a diesel option, it's unknown if there are plans to proliferate diesel engines beyond that limited scope at the moment. The global Chevrolet Colorado, a version of which will go on sale in the U.S. as a 2014 model, is sold exclusively with diesel power in some markets. The U.S.-spec model will certainly offer at least one or two gasoline engines, but the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder diesel offered internationally could find its way under the hood of the U.S. model, especially if GM's reported claims of 20 percent better fuel economy than the Silverado are to be believed.

The dark horse in this whole race is Ford. The announcement of the 3.2-liter Power Stroke in the new Transit van opened the door to diesels in models other than the Super Duty, which raises the question of whether it will appear in other models. Ford seems steadfastly committed to its EcoBoost strategy for most of its car and truck lineup, and the unveiling of the 2015 Atlas pickup concept at the 2013 Detroit show referenced EcoBoost, although specific displacement and power figures were not disclosed. But some think the Transit is not the last place we'll see the 3.2 I-5 diesel. Could it be an option under the hood of the 2015 F-150? Should it be? How do you feel about light-duty diesels?

Should GM and Ford Offer Light-Duty Truck Diesels?

  • Absolutely! The more, the better!
  • No, they're too expensive, and so is the fuel.
  • Maybe, if the Ram 1500 Diesel sells well.
  • If you need a diesel, get an HD model.
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