Picking between a diesel and a gas truck is a big deal as it affects how your truck works, how much fuel it uses, and what it costs.

Let’s compare diesel vs. gas trucks. I’ll help you understand which might suit you better based on your needs. Whether you plan to haul heavy loads or drive in town, there are important things to think about.

I aim to make this simple for you. From power to maintenance costs, every part counts when you’re choosing a truck. So, let’s break down the diesel vs. gas truck debate to help you decide what’s best for you.

The Difference Between Diesel and Gas Trucks

Knowing about gas vs diesel trucks helps you pick the right one for what you need, be it for work or play. Understanding these differences means getting a truck that fits just right for what you want it to do. [1]

1. Characteristic Comparison

Diesel trucks use thick fuel called diesel, great for tough jobs. They’re strong and handle heavy loads well. They last a long time and are tough.

On the other hand, gas trucks use lighter gasoline. They’re more about speed and quick trips. They’re simpler and might cost less.

So, if you need a tough truck for heavy work, go diesel. But for quick, everyday driving, go gas. It all depends on what you need most!

2. Fuel Efficiency And Mileage

Diesel trucks use fuel more efficiently than gas trucks because diesel fuel holds more energy per gallon. This means diesel engines get more power from each bit of fuel. They’re great for long trips or hauling stuff.

Gas trucks aren’t as good with fuel as diesel ones, but newer models are doing better. They work well for lighter loads and everyday driving when you don’t need a lot of power.

Lots of things can change how much fuel your truck uses. Heavy trucks or ones that aren’t very aerodynamic use up more fuel. Smooth driving saves fuel, while driving fast or idling burns more.

Carrying too much weight strains the engine and uses more fuel. Regular maintenance, like tuning the engine and using the right oil, helps save fuel. Picking the right tires and keeping them inflated well can also save fuel.

3. Engine Performance

Diesel trucks are strong for hauling heavy stuff and handling tough roads. They’re great for big jobs like moving trailers or carrying heavy loads. People who need serious power prefer diesel trucks.

Gas trucks, on the other hand, are better for going fast and quick acceleration. They’re good for everyday driving and situations where speed matters. People who like a smooth, speedy ride often go for gas trucks.

Diesel engines use heat to start, while gas engines use spark plugs. Diesel engines give more power for tough jobs, and gas engines are better for quick speed.

Technology has made both types better. But choosing between diesel and gas trucks depends on what you need. Diesel trucks are best for big tasks, while gas trucks are good for regular driving.

4. Cost Considerations

Comparing the expenses of owning a diesel truck versus a gas truck is essential. Diesel trucks usually cost more initially due to their fancy tech and sturdy parts. On the other hand, gas trucks are cheaper to buy upfront, which suits tighter budgets.

Diesel trucks go further on less fuel, making them great for long trips or heavy loads. But diesel fuel is usually pricier, so the fuel savings might not be as big as you’d expect.

When it comes to repairs, diesel trucks need fewer fixes, so maintenance costs less. Gas trucks, being simpler, might have lower upkeep expenses, depending on the model and how you use them.

Thinking ahead, if you plan to sell, diesel trucks keep their value better because they’re durable and in demand. This can balance out their higher starting cost, making the cost of owning a diesel truck vs gas more reasonable in the long run.

5. Towing And Power Capabilities

Diesel trucks are great for pulling heavy things because they’re super strong and can handle tough terrain easily. They’re perfect if you need to tow trailers or haul heavy loads for work.

Gas trucks can tow too, but they’re not as powerful as diesel trucks. They’re better for regular driving and lighter loads because they focus more on speed and acceleration.

Deciding between diesel and gas trucks depends on what you need. Diesel trucks are awesome for heavy-duty hauling and jobs where towing power is super important. Gas trucks aren’t as strong for towing, but they’re more versatile and offer a smoother ride, which is cool for everyday driving.

So, if you need to haul really heavy things, go for a diesel truck. But if you want a truck that’s good for everyday use and lighter hauling, a gas truck might be your best pick!

6. Reliability And Longevity

Diesel engines are known for being tough and lasting a long time, especially when used for heavy jobs. If you take good care of them, they can outlive gas engines.

Their toughness comes from handling heavy work without straining the engine much, which helps them last longer. Also, they have fewer moving parts, which means they’re less likely to break down.

Gas trucks are reliable too and can last awhile, but they’re not as durable as diesel. However, modern gas engines have gotten better in reliability. They’re simpler and need less maintenance compared to diesel engines.

With proper maintenance, gas trucks can work well for many years. But in really tough jobs that strain the engine a lot, diesel trucks might last a bit longer than gas ones.

7. Environmental Impact And Emissions

Trucks affect nature by what they release. Diesel trucks used to make more harmful stuff like PM and NOx, which made the air dirty and caused health problems. But tech has changed things.

Modern diesel trucks now have cool stuff like DPFs and SCR systems. These things cut emissions a lot, making new diesel trucks much cleaner.

Gas trucks don’t release as much bad stuff like PM and NOx. But they make more CO2, which affects the Earth’s climate. But tech helps here too.

New tech in gas trucks, like direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, makes them better for fuel and cleaner. Also, there are other fuels like CNG and propane that are even better for emissions than regular gas.

Both diesel and gas trucks use cool tech to reduce their bad stuff. They use things like DPFs, SCR systems, and EGR to follow strict rules about emissions.

Now, people are excited about electric and hybrid trucks. These trucks don’t release any bad stuff from their tailpipes, which is great for nature. Even though not many are around yet, new technology and more places to charge them could make electric trucks very popular soon.

Which Pickup Trucks Run On Diesel And Which Run On Gas?

1. Mid-size Trucks

Some mid-size trucks only use gas, while others let you choose between gas and diesel. Here’s a simple look at popular pickup trucks and their engines.

  • Honda Ridgeline: This truck runs on a 280-HP, 3.5-Liter V-6 gas engine. It’s good for everyday driving and carrying lighter stuff.
  • Chevrolet Colorado: Now, this truck gives you choices! It has a regular 3.6L V6 VVT gas engine that’s pretty strong for different driving needs. But, if you need more towing power, there’s a 2.8L Duramax® Turbo-diesel engine available. It’s got more pulling power and uses fuel better.
  • Toyota Tacoma: This truck has a 3.5-Liter V6 gas engine. It’s a mix of power and not using too much gas. People really like it for being dependable and good for going off-road.

2. Half-Ton Trucks Class

  • Ford F-150: the Ford F-150 gives you lots of engine options—five gas choices, each for different needs. But here’s the cool part: they’ve also got a diesel engine called the New 3.0L Power Stroke® Turbo Diesel. It’s super strong and saves gas, perfect for towing heavy stuff!
  • Chevy Silverado 1500: The Chevy Silverado 1500 mainly runs on a 5.3L V8 gas engine, balancing power and efficiency. If you’re into diesel, some higher trims have it for better towing and saving fuel.
  • RAM 1500: Dodge RAM 1500 has V6 and V8 gas engines, offering various power levels. They don’t do diesel in this class but handle tasks really well.
  • GMC Sierra 1500: The GMC Sierra 1500 rocks a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 gas engine, balancing power and gas savings. You can pick V6 or V8 engines too. Like Chevy, higher trims have a diesel option, perfect for towing and gas efficiency.

3. 1-Ton Trucks Engine Types

  • Ford F-350: Let’s start with the Ford F-350. It uses a 6.2L Flex Fuel V8 gas engine, which gives it power for heavy tasks. If you need more towing power, there’s an optional V8 Turbo Diesel engine. This diesel engine is great for pulling heavy loads and saving fuel.
  • Chevrolet’s Silverado 3500HD and 2500HD: The Chevrolet’s Silverado 3500HD and 2500HD have choices too. You can go for the VortecTM 6.0L V8 gas engine or the Duramax® 6.6L V8 turbo diesel engine. The gas engine is good for tough jobs, while the Duramax® turbo diesel engine is awesome for towing and saving fuel. Truck fans love it because it’s durable and reliable.
  • RAM 3500: The RAM 3500 has a 5.7-Liter V8 HEMI® gas engine that gives it power for heavy work. It doesn’t have a diesel option, but this gas engine does the job for towing and hauling.
  • GMC Sierra 3500: The GMC’s Sierra 3500 has a Vortec® 6.0L Variable Valve Timing V8 SFI gas engine. It’s a good mix of power and efficiency, handling heavy tasks well. Even though it doesn’t have a diesel version here, this gas engine gets the job done for towing and hauling.

Advantages of Diesel Trucks

  • Powerful Towing: Diesel trucks are great for towing heavy stuff because they have lots of power. That means they can haul big loads, tow trailers, and handle steep roads really well. They’re super strong and make tough jobs easier.
  • Fuel-Saving Engines: These trucks are good at saving fuel, especially when carrying heavy loads. Diesel engines use fuel more efficiently than gas engines. This can save you money in the long run, especially if you’re often towing or carrying heavy things.
  • Long-Lasting: Diesel engines are tough and built to last. They stick around longer than gas engines if you take care of them. They’re strong and designed to keep going, making them a smart choice for truck owners who want a reliable ride for a long time.

Advantages of Gas Trucks

  • Affordable Purchase: Gas trucks cost less when you’re buying them. They’re cheaper upfront compared to diesel trucks because making gas engines is less expensive. This makes them a good choice if you’re on a tight budget or don’t need a lot of towing power.
  • Easy Fuel Availability: Gasoline is easy to find! You’ll get it at almost any gas station, unlike diesel, which can be harder to find. With gas trucks, you won’t worry about where to refuel. More pumps and shorter lines make filling up quick and easy.
  • Smooth Driving: Gas trucks are smooth on the road. They handle city driving and stop-and-go traffic well because they accelerate smoothly at higher speeds. If you’re using your truck for everyday driving or lighter hauling, a gas truck might be your best choice.

Disadvantages of Diesel Trucks

  • They Cost More at First: Diesel trucks are pricier upfront because they’re harder to make. If you’re on a tight budget or don’t need extra power for towing, this might not be the best choice.
  • Maintenance Can Be Costly: These trucks need special care and parts, making oil changes and repairs more expensive. Plus, finding good mechanics might be tough, costing you even more.
  • Rules Are Stricter: Diesel trucks emit more and have to follow stricter rules. Meeting these rules means spending more on things like special filters or cleaner fuels.

Disadvantages of Gas Trucks

  • They Tow Less: Gas trucks can’t pull as much weight as diesel ones. If you need to haul heavy stuff often, this could be a problem.
  • Fuel Costs Can Vary: Gas prices can change a lot and sometimes be higher than diesel. Even though they’re cheaper at first, you might spend more in the long run, especially if you drive a lot.
  • Not Great for Long Trips: Gas trucks use more fuel, especially on long drives. If you take lots of long trips or haul things far, this could mean more pit stops and higher costs.


Diesel trucks are great for heavy jobs because they’re strong, use fuel well, and are reliable. They’re best for tasks needing lots of power, like towing big stuff.

Gas trucks, on the other hand, are faster and quicker. They’re good for lighter jobs and daily driving. They usually cost less at the start, are easy to find fuel for, and give a smoother ride.

Deciding which one to pick relies on your specific requirements. If you’re doing tough jobs or long trips, go for a diesel truck. But if you want a truck for everyday driving and don’t need lots of pulling power, a gas truck might be better.

Think about how you’ll use it, how much power you need, your budget, and the environment. Test-driving both types can help you decide. Just pick the one that fits your needs best!