Most Reliable Diesel Trucks

It’s never too hard to fall for Diesel trucks since they are ideal for daily use, improve fuel economy, and have the capacity to carry large payloads and tow large trailers that entice you to choose them over their petrol-powered counterparts.

However, the tricky part isn’t driving these massive oil burners; it’s the little unordinary mechanics of how the trucks function. An unreliable diesel engine may be the worst driving experience imaginable. On the other hand, the experience of owning a solid diesel truck is unparalleled. Therefore, reliability is key when shopping for diesel trucks.

Not only are new diesel trucks expensive, but they also have no proven track record of dependability. It’s frequently preferable to search back in time and identify vehicles that have a well-established track record of dependability due to the ratings and opinions of their owners.

However, which are the most reliable diesel trucks?

Diesel rigs come in a wide range of years, makes, and models and many of them are reliable. This article discusses our opinions on the all-time most reliable diesel pickup trucks.

Is a diesel pickup truck worth it? 

While we’re talking about the most reliable diesel trucks, we should mention some of the advantages of diesel engines:

More efficient

Diesel engines outperform gasoline engines in terms of efficiency. Because of this, diesel has a 30% to 50% lower fuel cost per kilowatt than gasoline. Additionally, diesel engines deliver more miles per gallon than equivalent gasoline engines.

More reliable

The ability of these engines to perform well even at low engine speeds contributes to their longer lifespan and efficiency. Because of the high speed and severe internal forces, the intensive usage of petrol engines causes premature wear and failure of components. A diesel engine requires more time and money for normal maintenance than a gasoline engine, yet it’s not uncommon for a good diesel car to go well over 400,000 miles.

Higher torque and power figures

Diesel engines have a 20% higher thermal efficiency than gasoline ones. As a result, torque and power ratings are increased. This is why many heavy-duty vehicles use diesel rather than petrol engines.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of diesel engines, you may be wondering whether a car with a diesel engine is a suitable fit for you. If so, proceed to the next section.

Should you buy a diesel pickup truck?

Diesel trucks are not suitable for everybody. However, if you are a person who has to move enormous goods or pull hefty trailers, a diesel will be your greatest buddy. Given the price of petrol, the increased fuel efficiency of diesel engines may even be beneficial to your pocket.

Most Reliable Diesel Trucks

As you may have realized, diesel engines have several advantages. You might be wondering what the greatest and most durable diesel engines are. In such a situation, check out the following:

1994-1998 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 (5.9-Liter, 12-Valve Cummins)

The all-new Ram debuted in 1994 and was a game-changer for Dodge. It was unlike any other product on the market at the time.

Everything about this vintage Dodge Ram 2500/3500 with the 5.9-liter, 12-valve Cummins diesel engine was legendary, from the powerplant to the body style.

The 1994-1998 trucks will always be highly regarded due to the engine’s capacity to provide inexpensive horsepower and its super-durable build. Dodge Rams had a body design modification in 1994. Hundreds of thousands of trucks were sold, which was quite appropriate. These trucks were born to work, with their new, more aerodynamic makeover surrounding an updated 12-valve Cummins engine. A few things spring to mind when it comes to dependability.

The available manual gearbox was a significant factor in the durability of the 1994-1998 Dodge Ram pickups. People regard the NV4500 as one of the strongest and most dependable five-speed gearboxes ever created. The NV4500’s sturdy cast-iron case, “granny-low” gear for low-speed travel and overdrive fifth gear for best highway mileage are just a few of the reasons these vehicles are so popular.

The 5.9L 12V Cummins’ horsepower and torque ratings remained the same in 1994 for vehicles with automatic transmissions, but they increased to 175 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque for trucks with the NV4500 manual gearbox. The Bosch P1700 fuel injection pump succeeded the VE pump for the 1994 year, which was the major modification. Because of its mechanical character, the “P-pump” is extremely dependable.

Even after 25 years, 12V Cumins remain a desirable option for high-performance applications or bespoke swaps. With a few small improvements, it is extremely simple to obtain over 1,000 horsepower, and these motors are more than capable of handling the additional power.

1999-2003 Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty (7.3-Liter Power Stroke)

People still regard the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine, which Ford utilized in late 1999 and early 2000 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks, as one of the most dependable diesel engines ever built. It personifies the term “Ford Tough.”

It may not be as powerful as a new engine, but with 500 pound-feet of torque and 235 horsepower, it can handle practically any task you put at it. 

The Power Stroke engine is an uncomplicated, low-maintenance powertrain. It was also designed for the long run, with an air-to-air intercooler, oil-based fuelling, reduced exhaust gas temperatures, and increased horsepower and torque output over the previous model. Part of the engine’s dependability stems from Ford’s decision to use strong cast iron for the blocks and cylinders.

In addition to being far quieter than previous indirect-injection Power Strokes, the new model featured much-needed split-shot 140cc injectors. These trucks were only available with two transmissions: an automated five-speed and a manual six-speed. Both alternatives received high grades for dependability.

When properly maintained, the 1999-2003 Super Duty may travel much over 500,000 miles. If you want to acquire a used 7.3L Powerstroke with 150,000 to 250,000 kilometers, you may do it with confidence. It’s like saying, “Buy it once, use it forever.” There is no sophisticated emissions control system, and there are a plethora of readily available Powerstroke components.

2001 – 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD (LB7 Duramax)

Around the turn of the century, General Motors collaborated with Isuzu to develop a breakthrough new powertrain developed exclusively for use in pickup trucks. The joint venture and the accompanying engine received the name Duramax, and the LB7 was the first of many variants to follow.

It’s a 6.6-liter, 32-valve common-rail injected V8 turbodiesel that produced 235hp and 500 pounds of torque in its initial year before increasing to 300hp and 520 pounds of torque in 2004. This torque rating may appear tiny compared to the current 2017 truck’s 900+ lb-ft, but it was quite respectable at the time. An Allison 5-speed automatic gearbox pairs with this engine.

Critics blew away by how quiet the common rail injection system was in comparison to the mechanical diesel of the day and impressed with the power and responsiveness as well as the fuel economy reviewed the Duramax-powered HD trucks at the time.

The LB7 ‘s one weakness is injector failure. The injectors will eventually require replacement. But when the injector problem is fixed, the LB7 is incredibly dependable. The LB7 Duramax also did not have any EGR, DPF, or SCR emissions control systems.

As of right now, if you want a beater, you can get a Chevy or GMC powered by the LB7 for as little as a couple of thousand dollars. However, even clean, medium-mileage trucks can be purchased for approximately twelve thousand dollars. Your aged truck will serve you for many hundreds of thousands of miles with a little attentive maintenance and repair.

2006-2007 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra (6.6-Liter Duramax LBZ)

Evaluators typically mention this popular engine in their evaluations of the best diesel trucks, which is available in the GMC Sierra HD, Chevrolet Silverado, and a variety of other GM models. The combination of automatic and manual gearboxes, as well as the Bosch common-rail injection system, results in one of the most trustworthy powertrains available today. In fact, from 2001 to the present, the 6.6L Duramax LBZ has been regarded as one of the greatest in the Duramax lineup.

For 2006, the 6.6-liter Duramax LBZ V8 received significant updates. GM found out how to overcome the problems in previous diesel engines and produced one that still runs brilliantly today. The modifications included a thicker webbing block, stronger main-bearing caps, bores with 4mm greater depth, , and forged-steel connecting rods. These changes not only resulted in an engine with 360 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, but they also made the engine more robust. If this isn’t a win-win situation, we are not sure what is.

Finally, for better or worse, these vehicles arrived before contemporary pollution regulations, adding another degree of dependability.

Another reason these model-range diesel pickup trucks are so popular is that their ECUs are highly configurable. If there’s one thing we know about diesel enthusiasts, it’s that they love to modify their vehicles. This diesel engine’s cast-iron block makes it easy for tuners to improve its performance. These trucks are well-known for being dependable workhorses that may be configured to produce up to 450 horsepower.

Because of the independent front suspension, the ride quality is exceptional for the time, which helps explain the comparatively expensive price. These trucks now rule the market. The LBZ and ’06-’07 Heavy Duty trucks are standouts in GM’s legacy of greatness.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2020 GMC Sierra 1500

If you want something newer but don’t want to compromise on reliability, these pickup trucks should be on your list.

Engineers have well-engineered the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its sibling, the GMC Sierra 1500, with strong performance and capable handling. They have powered both pickups with identical 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engines that provide ample power and towing capacity for light-duty customers.

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its sibling, might offer the family sedan-typical highway fuel efficiency, and with proper maintenance, they ought to last for more than 20 years or 300,000 miles. The Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra have an 8.5 out of 10 dependability rating from iSeeCars. They are designed for strength, durability, and efficiency.

Final Thoughts

Even if you limit your search to engines only, there are an almost limitless number of engine and vehicle combinations available for used pickup trucks.

The legendary 5.9L Cummins engine found in the 1994-98 Dodge Ram commands eternal adoration as it continues to slap mud on the tires.

While hauling your spacecraft on a trailer, Ford’s 7.3L Power Stroke V8 could still bring you to the moon and back. GM’s heavy-duty vehicles from 2006 to 2007 used the 6.6L Duramax LBZ engine, an example of a diesel engine that is as reliable, robust, and adaptable as it is highly configurable.

As a result, proclaiming one diesel engine to be “the greatest” is pointless. Nonetheless, whether you prioritize reliability, affordability, efficiency, raw power, or a feeling of history and nostalgia, these used trucks with strong diesel engines may meet all of your requirements.

After all, diesel vehicles are focused on long-term reliability rather than the latest frills and advances. At the heart of their message is a heritage and an engine that never dies.