Car Reviews

What are the Most Reliable Diesel Cars

By TheCarzingTeam March 8, 2022 | Car Reviews

Car Reviews

Diesel engines are often offered as an option for pickup trucks to provide more power for hauling and towing heavier loads. When used in smaller cars these engines hid another advantage that made them popular beyond the pickup power: fuel efficiency.

Hybrid and electric models may offer the best fuel efficiency and a greener drive, but not everyone can afford the price of these models. Cars with diesel engines are an economical choice for the consumer who needs a vehicle with decent gas mileage and perhaps a little extra power, too. What are the most reliable diesel cars? Here are the best options.

Most Reliable Diesel Cars

Notable Smaller Vehicles that Offered Diesel

Are there small or compact diesel vehicles? In the past, there was a trend for manufacturers to offer diesel cars. Volkswagen was notable in its diesel offerings. One of the most fuel efficient diesel models, though, was the Chevrolet Cruze. When it launched, it boasted incredible fuel efficiency and drove up to 60 miles per gallon.

Unfortunately, the Cruze was discontinued in 2019 and VW faced a diesel scandal. While new small diesel cars aren’t an option, buyers can hunt the used market for these models.

Most Reliable Diesel Cars

Diesel Trucks

Diesel engines offer more power, and this makes them ideal for pickup trucks. A diesel engine can enable the truck to tow heavier loads. Car buyers who want to maximize the towing capacity for their pickup need to choose a diesel engine. This engine is an upgrade, though, and buyers need to be prepared to spend more money in exchange for more strength and power.

What are the most popular diesel pickup trucks? Diesel Forum compiled a list of top-selling vehicles (this list included vans, too), and here are the five most popular pickups:

  • Ford Super-Duty Diesel

41,468 sold

  • Ram Pickup 2500/3500 Diesel

26,773 sold

  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 Diesel

18,179 sold

  • GMC Sierra 2500/3500 Diesel

18,416 sold

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Diesel

7,251 sold

Most Reliable Diesel Pickup Truck

J.D. Power ranked the most reliable vehicles based on 2018 models, and the winner earns the J.D. Power Award for Highest Dependability. Vehicles were scored based on consumer experience in four areas: Quality and Reliability, Driving Experience, Resale and Dealership Experience.

For pickup trucks, the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 took the top spot. The truck received an overall score of 80. For Quality and Reliability, it received an 81 (denoted as Great). In the area of Driving Experience and Resale it received an Average score (a 78 and 79, respectively), and the Silverado received another Great for the Dealership Experience (a score of 83).

Most Reliable Diesel Cars

Diesel SUVs

Not all new car buyers want or need a pickup truck, but they still might need towing power. Diesel engines also are offered in SUVs and full-size cargo vans. For SUVs, there are multiple diesel models with varying prices. Several popular brands included the option for diesel engines  for 2021 year models. 

Diesel SUVs have comparable fuel efficiency as their standard gas counterparts, but their biggest asset might be more power. Here’s how each model stacks up in price and MPG (2022 model prices noted when applicable).

  • Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV

The 2022 lowest priced diesel powered Escalade is priced at $76,395 (and goes up). The ESV is a bit more expensive with a base price of $79,395. For the size, the Escalade diesel offers decent fuel efficiency with 21 MPG for the city and 27 MPG on the highway.

  • Chevrolet Suburban

For the newest 2022 model, buyers can expect to spend a minimum of $58,540 for a Suburban equipped with the diesel engine. The Suburban offers the same fuel efficiency as the Escalade.

  • 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe

The 2022 Tahoe (diesel) has a base price of $51,195. The Tahoe is a little less fuel efficient than the Suburban, getting 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

  • 2022 GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali

The GMC Yukon has a base minimum price of $53,095, while the Yukon Denali starts at $68,500. The Denali offers more fuel efficiency than the Yukon; the Denali gets 21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. The Yukon offers 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

  • 2022 Jeep Wrangler

One of the most affordable diesel SUV options, the rugged Wrangler starts at $39,235. The Unlimited Sport boasts 29 MPG on the highway and 22 MPG in the city. The Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon offers 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

  • 2022 Jeep Gladiator

A bit more expensive than the Wrangler, the diesel equipped Gladiator has a base price of $41.325. The Sport Rubicon model offers 21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway, while the Gladiator Sport offers 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.

  • 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a luxury SUV, but it can conquer almost anything in its path. This SUV has a base price of $79,500. The fuel efficiency is comparable to other SUVs on the list with 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG highway.

Finding the Most Affordable Diesel Vehicle

Buyers may have a budget in mind when they are looking for a diesel vehicle. New trucks and SUVs may be more expensive, as the diesel engine is typically an upgrade.

For those who want the most budget-friendly diesel SUV, the Jeep Wrangler is the top choice. The base price for the Wrangler is less than $40,000.

Pickup trucks also include diesel engines as an upgrade, and this comes with a higher price tag. The most affordable 2022 pickup truck is the Ford Ranger, which has a base price of $25,285.

Those who want a diesel car might need to look online. With the rise of hybrid and electric vehicles, the option for diesel cars seems to be a remnant of the past. Used models, though, can be affordable and fuel efficient options.

Use Carzing to Find the Best Diesel Vehicles

Car buyers looking for the most reliable diesel cars can use Carzing to find all their options. Search for cars by make/model, body type, price or just use keywords. Buyers who want to view all the diesel models can use ‘diesel’ as the main keyword to start their search.

Some buyers prefer a certain model or even a particular body type (like an SUV). When the search results appear for these queries, buyers can use the toolbar to the left of their results to select diesel as the fuel type. This ensures that all results will only be diesel engines.

Buyers can narrow their choices even further by selecting additional criteria. Maybe the buyer wants all wheel drive or even a specific color; the toolbar to the left of the results lets buyers focus specifically on the exact features they want.

Carzing makes the search for the perfect diesel car even easier with a sort option; this will sort the results based on the criteria selected. Buyers can sort results by price, distance, mileage, age or just by the best match.

Buyers who are on a budget can view the least expensive options first. Other buyers might want to see the cars with the lowest mileage at the top of their list.

Once buyers find their ideal car, they can use Carzing to get prequalified for financing. Carzing doesn’t require buyers to enter their social security number, but work history and other information is necessary. Buyers also should enter any applicable information related to a trade-in.

Carzing lets buyers take control of the financing piece of the buying puzzle. Once all the information is entered, buyers will see all their financing options. They can select the loan option that fits their budget needs or their term preferences. Some buyers want the lowest possible monthly payment, but others want to pay their vehicle off quickly and prefer a shorter loan term.

With Carzing, there isn’t any pressure to make a choice; buyers can sort through their different options to find the best match. After financing is selected, buyers can print out the details to take it to the dealership.

Using Carzing to find the best vehicle and financing leaves buyers to spend their time at the dealership on the major details of the transaction. Complete the credit application to secure financing and sign all the paperwork for the vehicle. Just don’t forget to take a test drive; while the car might seem to be a great fit online, buyers should see how it drives, too!

Whether buyers are looking at new diesel trucks and SUVs or pre-owned diesel cars like the Cruze, Carzing can help them sort through all their options and find affordable financing, too.

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