Gasoline-powered trucks have been a mainstay in the market for quite some time, with diesel trucks all too often forgotten. However, diesel trucks are fast becoming more popular by the day because of the numerous advantages they offer. For one, diesel trucks are more efficient than their gasoline counterparts, as diesel is more combustible than petrol. Diesel pickups are also about 20 percent more thermally efficient than gasoline, so they tend to have higher power and torque figures.
Updated December 2022: This list has been refreshed to provide you with the most updated information and help guide you as you search for a reliable used diesel-run pickup truck.
It’s also worth mentioning that Diesel pickups are typically more reliable and longer-lasting than gasoline. Since diesel engines are traditionally gear-driven, the possibility of components failing is relatively low. The fact that diesel engines are often built using heavy-duty materials that can withstand wear and strain also adds to their dependability. So, if you are in the market for a diesel truck that’s built like a tank, you will find this article very helpful.
10/10 2007 Dodge Ram 2500
Purpose-built and designed for demanding applications, the heavy-duty Dodge Ram 2500 is available with a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine producing 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
The powertrain is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive options are available. This truck can tow up to 16,400 pounds and carry a payload of 5,020 pounds.
If you’re after something less robust, you can seek an early-build 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 with a 325-hp 5.9-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine.
9/10 2000 Ford F-250 Super Duty
Tough-as-nail, the Ford F-250 Super Duty is a legendary utilitarian workhorse that’s designed for both work and play. Under the hood, Ford offers an available 7.3-liter diesel V8 making 235 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. With the right maintenance culture, the F-250 Super Duty can serve you for up to half a million miles.
A major reason behind the longevity of the 7.3-liter Powerstroke boils down to the fact that the engine relies on its computer calibration and a catalytic converter in the exhaust system to meet emissions standards. Thanks to this arrangement, the 7.3-liter Powerstroke is not susceptible to problems like engine oil contamination and cracking of the EGR cooler, which the 6.0-liter Powerstroke suffered from.
8/10 2007 Chevrolet 3500HD
The 2007 Chevrolet 3500HD is guaranteed to conquer any job when it comes to towing and hauling capabilities. More than just a work truck, however, it is a luxuriously appointed vehicle with loads of eye-catching cues, including a unique dash and door panel design with wood grain and metallic accents.
Behind its confident grille is a 6.6-liter Duramax LBZ that makes up to 360 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain can run for 300,000 miles before requiring any serious repairs.
7/10 1993 Dodge W250
The Dodge W250 trucks produced from 1991 to 1993 are fast becoming collector’s items, mainly because of their reliability and vintage looks. Choose the 1993 Dodge W250, and you get a 5.9-liter Cummins engine that pumps out over 160 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, nearly twice more torque than Dodge’s V8 gas engines.
In terms of its design, the 5.9L Cummins engine was quite ahead of its time, as it featured a direct fuel injection system and turbocharger that hugely impacted drivability and towing capability.
6/10 2018 Dodge Ram 3500
If you’re in the market for a modern diesel-powered truck that combines excellent towing and hauling capacity with remarkable ride quality, the 2018 Dodge Ram 3500 is a compelling option.
It features a Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six diesel engine with 350 horses and 930 lb-ft of torque. This engine is rated to tow up to 31,210 pounds and haul 6,720 pounds of stuff.
5/10 2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty
While GM and Ram introduced all-new HD trucks in 2020, Ford focused on improving its Super Duty lineup’s power and towing capacity. Of course, the 2020 Super Duty still comes with many desirable configurations for buyers to choose from.
Its mighty 6.7-liter Powerstroke V8 puts out 475 hp and a class-leading 1050 lb-ft of torque. In terms of reliability, you can expect the Ford F-350 Super Duty to last well over 300,000 miles.
4/10 2017 Nissan Titan XD
The introduction of the Nissan Titan XD redefined the classification system of trucks and placed Nissan’s Extra Duty pickup in a class of its own. The Nissan Titan XD lies between the three-quarter-ton and half-ton truck, and for the 2017 iteration, customers get the option of a diesel engine.
The equipped 5.0-liter Cummins diesel engine puts out 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. The Titan XD’s diesel engine is strong, with its life expectancy estimated to be around 300,000 miles.
3/10 2020 GMC Sierra 1500
The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 diesel pickup is designed with durability, efficiency, and power in mind. GMC’s design team outfitted the truck with a “no excuses” 3.0-liter Duramax diesel inline-six engine that can tow up to 9,000 pounds. It puts out 277 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
To ensure that the Sierra 1500 is highly durable, GMC took on the harshest terrain and weather conditions for testing. The truck was tested at Death Valley in Eastern California at the hottest times of the year and in one of the coldest regions in Canada and performed exceptionally. iSeeCars scores the GMC Sierra 1500 8.4 out of 10 for reliability.
2/10 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its cousin, the GMC Sierra 1500, are well-engineered trucks with good performance and competent driving characteristics. They both share the same 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engines with enough power and towing capability to meet the needs of light-duty customers.
Light, large, and efficient, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is as reliable as it gets for a full-size pickup truck, as evidenced by its 8.5 out of 10 scores for reliability from iSeeCars.
1/10 2018 Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 has been doing healthy numbers for decades, and with the introduction of diesel power, things just got a lot better for the Blue Oval automaker. The 2018 F-150 comes with no fewer than six engines, including a 325-hp 2.7-liter EcoBoost and a 250-hp 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V6. This engine links to a 10-speed transmission.
The Ford F-150 engine should deliver over 20 years or 300,000 miles of reliable service before needing rebuilding.
Sources: Ford, Chevrolet, GMC