The pickup truck segment will continue to grow, especially after the arrival of hybrids and EVs. Still, all-electric variants are still not available for purchase and diesel engines will remain a popular option in 2023. The diesel powertrain delivers impressive low-end torque, great durability, higher mpg numbers, and much more.
Therefore, trucks with diesel outputs are providing higher towing capacity and are also a good choice for off-roading. We will provide a list of the best diesel trucks for 2023. That will include half-ton and mid-size and full-size pickup trucks. On the other hand, we will not include heavy-duty models this time.
2023 Ram 1500
The first model on this list that we are going to cover is the 2023 Ram 1500. It is one of the most reliable pickup trucks in the segment for years. It provides an impressive interior and a variety of cab configurations and trim levels. A diesel engine is optional, while the regular Ram 1500 runs on a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline unit. However, a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine is the real deal. It is an optional powertrain that will cost you an additional $5,000.
However, thanks to 480 lb-ft of torque, it will provide around 12,500 pounds of towing capacity. On top of that, Ram 1500 Diesel delivers 26 mpg combined. Interestingly, that is better than the Ford F-150 Hybrid model. The performance is great, but towing capacity is still behind the biggest competitors in the segment. Still, Ram 1500 makes up for it with a more upright interior and better ride quality.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
After a redesign, the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is coming with not-so-major updates. However, this truck will get an all-electric version in the coming months. Until that happens, Silverado 1500 Diesel will remain the most capable variant. It comes with a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel engine. This six-cylinder output is optional and it costs around $2,500. By 2023, Chevy didn’t improve the engine’s power, but towing capacity is increased to 13,300 pounds.
Like the Ram 1500, Silverado 1500 Diesel delivers 26 miles per gallon combined. The AWD system is optional and it will slightly lower the fuel efficiency. Still, the Silverado truck can tow more than its rivals in the segment. It is important to note that the Ford dropped the F-150 Diesel version just recently.
2023 GMC Sierra 1500
The Sierra has so much to offer, including a smart multi-function tailgate, a good towing safety package, and plenty of interior space. On top of that, it also shares many features and characteristics with its less-expensive sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado. Among them is the optional 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline-six engine, which can achieve up to 26 mpg combined.
That’s the same as Chevy and Ram, although the GMC’s highway mileage rating is somewhat lower. Sierra provides 30 mpg on the highway, while Silverado has 32 mpg and Ram 1500 33 mpg. The 2022 Sierra will receive much of the same changes as the Silverado, including a significant increase in diesel towing capability to 13,100 pounds, which is more than Ram but slightly lower than Chevy.
2023 Jeep Gladiator
As we said, diesel engines are a good choice for off-roading pickup trucks. Speaking of which, the 2023 Jeep Gladiator is perhaps the best option in the segment, when it comes to off-road capability. This mid-size truck provides various trim levels, including Rubicon or Mojave variants. Based on the Jeep Wrangler SUV, the Gladiator truck has a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. It gets 24 mpg combined, and Gladiator is definitely a better truck when equipped with the diesel engine.
The EcoDiesel V6 provides better acceleration, towing capacity, and of course, higher torque for improved off-road experience. The Gladiator model delivers 6,500 pounds of towing capacity. Still, Gladiator is a mid-size model and the diesel engine is too heavy. The result is a slightly lower hauling ability, but if you are looking for a capable off-roader, look no further.
2023 Chevrolet Colorado
In case you didn’t know, the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado rides on the same architecture as the GMC Canyon model. Both models are available with a 2.8-liter turbo-four diesel engine. However, Colorado provides more trim levels, including off-roading versions such as ZR2. The diesel engine achieves 23 mpg combined, and it has a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. However, ZR2 and ZR2 Bison models are nothing without a diesel powertrain.
Those variants will trade fuel efficiency for increased performance. Therefore, Colorado ZR2 provides only 19 miles per gallon. The price for this optional diesel engine varies from $3,500 to almost $6,000. The Colorado model offers good driving manners, lots of customization, and much more. On the other hand, we think the interior should be more upright.
2023 GMC Canyon
The 2023 GMC Canyon offers an optional 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that isn’t quite as powerful as the six-cylinder engines on this list. Still, it’s a reliable and inexpensive motor that produces a torque of 369 lb-ft and returns up to 23 mpg combined. Though it isn’t as speedy as the Canyon’s V6 gasoline variants, it has the highest tow rating of any midsize pickup at 7,700 pounds. The disadvantage is the cost, which varies by model and trim.
Some diesel will cost you more than $5,000. The Canyon pickup truck also offers the AT4 and AT4X off-road variants. However, Chevrolet’s Colorado provides much of the same for less money. The Canyon also delivers a good interior, but this model lacks driver-assistance aids. On the other hand, the ride quality is good, along with a smooth transmission and a very upright cabin.
2023 Toyota Hilux
The upcoming 2023 Toyota Hilux will gain a diesel powertrain, which is great to hear. Toyota will introduce a powerful V6 turbodiesel engine with 308 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. We don’t know if this diesel engine will be available exclusively in the Hilux GR model. Anyway, this output will provide amazing performance.
Furthermore, Tundra trucks could also get the same or similar diesel powertrain option. Although this engine is still not available, we had to include Toyota on this list. 2023 will be a very important year for the Japanese carmaker, no doubt about it. Still, we are waiting to hear more details about mileage and towing capacity ratings.
2023 Nissan Titan
The 2023 Nissan Titan will get a new diesel engine option. You all know about the Titan XD variant with a diesel powertrain. However, this engine has been discontinued. Now, Titan is ready for the new chapter. Many reliable reports are writing about the 5.0-liter V8 turbodiesel variant with 330 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. The full engine specifications are not available at the moment. However, car experts are saying the Titan truck will get a diesel option.
The current Titan offers a potent Endurance V8 gasoline engine with 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to that, this truck has a towing capacity of around 11,000 pounds. No doubt, a diesel engine will provide even more power and similar miles per gallon ratings. The Titan model will provide numerous significant upgrades, but the diesel version should be the most important one.