A black 2021 Chevy Colorado, the smallest Chevy diesel truck, is towing a boat past a lake.

Is a Chevy Diesel Truck Actually Right for You?

Diesel trucks just sound tough. It may be the ads with gruff and gravelly-voiced men speaking from the back of their throats over images of trucks searing through dirt, or maybe it’s the deep, satisfying roar of a diesel engine at work. Trucks are intentionally marketed to seem like the more masculine, tougher, and more practical vehicle choice – far more so than any car or SUV. But is a diesel truck actually the best vehicle for you? Take Chevy diesel trucks, for instance, which are some of the most popular, and some of the original, diesel trucks.

Sure, there are plenty of practical reasons why you’d choose diesel. However, that doesn’t mean that you should drop tens of thousands on a new diesel truck. You have to be certain that you’re making an investment in a vehicle that isn’t just advertised to appeal to your base instincts, but one that makes sense for you on a daily basis. Let’s break down the top benefits of choosing a new diesel vehicle, some signs that a new diesel truck is right – or dead-wrong – for your lifestyle or wallet, and our recommendation for the best diesel truck of 2021 for your consideration.

A New Diesel Truck Is Right for: Green Drivers Who Need a Truck

“If you really cared about the environment,” some environmentalist might say, “You would drive an electric car.” To which you could answer, “And if you also cared about the environment, you wouldn’t drive at all.” While you can certainly make good choices for the environment – don’t use styrofoam products, try to recycle – sometimes doing right by yourself means doing what’s less than ideal for the planet, and sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

Not all truck drivers are particularly interested in tearing a new hole in the ozone layer or bringing about the next ice age. They just need a pickup truck for practical purposes. Maybe you transport goods as part of your job, have a large property to maintain, or prefer to travel with an RV in tow. If you need a truck but want one that’s environmentally friendly, diesel is for you.

Diesel engines are designed to operate with a higher compression rating, meaning that they generate more power from less fuel. This means that the average diesel vehicle offers better fuel economy and fewer emissions than a comparable vehicle with a standard gas engine. For example, the Chevy Silverado 1500 with the Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine is actually the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America. You still get to tow heavy loads and manage hefty payloads while reducing your fuel usage (and hey, you save money at the pump, too). Maybe what’s good for the environment is also good for you after all.

A red 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is driving past a snowy mountain.

A New Diesel Truck Is Wrong for: Drivers Currently on a Tight Budget

Stop! We don’t mean that all diesel is wrong for people on a tight budget right now, but new diesel may not be the best way to go. You might save money on fuel when you buy a diesel truck, but diesel trucks are often more expensive to purchase than gas ones. Diesel engines aren’t necessarily more difficult or time-consuming for manufacturers to produce. Rather, there’s simply a high demand for diesel vehicles, especially for industrial and commercial use. Higher market demand means a higher purchase price.

If you’re car shopping on a tight budget, you should consider an alternative to a new diesel truck. To that end, you might consider shopping for a used diesel pickup rather than a brand-new 2021 model. Used diesel trucks are a perfect alternative for those who want the power and performance of diesel but can’t afford to shell out the cash for a brand new model.

However, when you buy a diesel truck, you do benefit financially in the long-run. Diesel trucks tend to maintain their value better than gas pickups will, likely because diesel engines last longer on average. This also means better resale or trade-in value when you eventually decide to upgrade to a new truck.

Also, because diesel engines are hardier than gas engines, they need less frequent maintenance and are less likely to fall victim to expensive problems. But ultimately, if you’re on a tight budget, it might be best to consider your current finances vs what’s a good value investment. However, it’s helpful to know that some new pickups, like the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500, have an available diesel engine for the same price as its V-8 gas engine model. Things may be looking up for diesel truck enthusiasts after all.

A New Diesel Truck Is Right for: Torque Titans

A dark blue 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is towing a camper out of a tunnel.

Diesel trucks output a supreme level of torque that can grip the road and accelerate in a flash, for superior handling and performance even when you’re approaching a truck’s max payload or towing capacity. You might think that every pickup truck is designed to have its bed filled to the brim with cargo, but in reality, most trucks aren’t actually as tough as they look. That’s where diesel trucks come in.

Their specially engineered combination of slow fuel burn, high compression, and potent powertrain output result in a vehicle that can pull tons of weight and drive almost normally. This has its recreational and professional benefits. Ranchers, outdoors junkies, watersports enthusiasts, and RV travelers may need a diesel truck to haul their heavy equipment. Meanwhile, commercial trucks for countless industries, including construction, farming, household maintenance, and delivery services, need trucks with diesel engines to churn them into motion when they’re hauling to capacity.

A New Diesel Truck Is Wrong for: Those Who Don’t Care

Some drivers aren’t looking for a tough towing or payload truck, nor do they necessarily need a vehicle that’s built for long-term use. You might not even be particularly interested in a vehicle that has good fuel economy – or you at least rank that perk lower on your list than something like sports performance or comfort. If any of this is true for you, then a Chevy diesel truck may not be your best bet. However, if you want diesel power not in a truck, we would recommend getting a diesel Chevy Suburban or Tahoe.

Which Diesel Truck Reigns Supreme?

When it comes to great-value trucks that perform well, carry their fair share of weight, last a lifetime, and come at an attainable price, Chevy Silverado diesel trucks should be at the top of your list. The Chevy Duramax diesel engine is available in the Silverado 1500, 2500HD, and 3500HD. The 3.0L Turbo-Diesel V-6 engine in the Silverado 1500 produces 277 horsepower, while the 6.6L V-8 Turbo-Diesel on the larger Silverado trucks can produce an unstoppable 445 horsepower.

The combination of intense horsepower and torque from the larger Chevy Silverado trucks make them the perfect work truck and a no-brainer if you’re looking for a commercial vehicle to pull tons of weight – literally tons. Add to that the exciting new features in the latest Silverados, like their available multi-camera technology, and there’s no beating one of Chevy’s diesel trucks. Just imagine taking advantage of the Invisible Trailer view while you drive, which shows an unobstructed rear view of your truck. Utilize birds-eye-views and trailer hitch views to make navigating easier than ever, too.

Diesel Is Right for You

Ultimately, diesel vehicles are right for a certain kind of driver, but if a diesel truck is what you need, then a vehicle in the Chevy Silverado diesel lineup should be at the top of your list. Did we mention that they’re also some of the most affordable trucks, even when you tack on safety and towing package upgrades? Excellent value can certainly last if you give your Chevy diesel truck its due maintenance, including the use of specially engineered parts and fluids that are more appropriate for a diesel truck.

If you’re looking for a cheaper or lower-maintenance vehicle, consider a sedan. But there’s a difference between price and value. The price may be your big concern on day one, but great value makes the investment worthwhile in the long run. So, is a new diesel truck right for you? The answer is probably yes.