If you’ve ever struggled with the gas vs. diesel predicament, you’re not alone. While the two aren’t necessarily night and day comparison, there are definite differences that you should consider if you’re looking to purchase a truck.
There are three primary areas where gas and diesel trucks differ widely: Fuel Economy, Torque, and Price. Let’s take a deeper look at the breakdown between Gas and Diesel trucks.
Regardless of what vehicle you’re looking to purchase, you’re probably factoring in fuel economy. This aspect of truck ownership can be especially important if you plan on frequent (long-distance) hauling or daily driving your truck.
Diesel and regular 93 octane gasoline are two very different creatures. Compared to gasoline, diesel burns more steadily and is more calorie-dense. That means that you’ll be using less diesel to get you where you need to be – theoretically.
That’s provided that you’re not hauling a huge trailer, loaded down with all sorts of stuff.
It’s true that diesel trucks get better fuel economy because of their design, but it takes a long time for the fuel savings to offset the higher cost of diesel fuel (and diesel trucks).
Power & Towing Utility
In terms of torque capabilities, diesel trucks win this battle by a mile. For you hauling novices, torque can make or break your hauling game.
But why is this? Great question! Here’s the low down:
Unlike gasoline trucks, diesel trucks rely on compressing the diesel fuel to ignite it and spark the combustion process. Gas trucks rely on spark plugs to get this job done. Because diesel trucks have to compress the fuel to the point of ignition, the piston stroke length has to be longer for diesel engines.
Longer stroke, more torque.
Like the kids say these days, there’s no replacement for displacement.
Of course, there is the obvious benefit that the pressure on the pistons will be much greater in a diesel truck due to the nature of the diesel engine. This increased pressure on the piston results in higher torque, especially as RPM increases – which you can see in the chart below.
The Total Cost of Smiles Per Mile
Unless you’re brand new to the truck scene, you’re probably already well-aware that diesel trucks cost a pretty penny. Like the prettiest, most expensive penny you’ve ever had.
The average cost for a new diesel truck is an extra $5,000 to $10,000 more than its gasoline counterpart.
While it is true that gasoline trucks will be a cheaper up-front investment, you will probably have to replace your gas truck before your diesel truck bites the dust.
Diesel trucks can carry you for 500,000 to 800,000 miles during its lifetime. Compared to the expected 200,000 miles for a gas truck, diesels can outlive your first (and probably second… or third) gas truck. They’re also generally more reliable than gas trucks and they keep their resale value for many years to come.
While we could debate all day long about the pros and cons of each motor type, you’re better off if you just keep one thing in mind: function. Ultimately, it all boils down to what you need your truck to do. If you’re daily driving your truck and using it for occasional hauling, then you’re probably better off with a gas truck. But if you’re a full-time hauler (or just love the rumble of a good ole diesel engine), then a diesel truck might be a better fit for you.
Are you a truck owner? What made you choose gas over diesel (or vice versa)? Let us know in the comments below!