The Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon have enjoyed a warm welcome ever since being (re)introduced to the North American market in 2014. The all-new midsize trucks present a newer, fresher, and smarter alternative to the competition from Toyota and Nissan. Plus, GM’s midsizers are also more fuel efficient than their rivals. But then comes the Ram EcoDiesel HFE with its 21 MPG city, 29 MPG highway, and 24 MPG combined fuel economy ratings, making it the most fuel-efficient truck in the biz.
Luckily, GM will soon drop its 2.8L Duramax diesel engine into both the 2016 Canyon and 2016 Colorado. The move will hopefully knock the RAM off its perch and claim the highest-MPG truck title for The General.
Both the Canyon and Colorado will be fitted with the Dual Over-Head Cam turbo-diesel four-cylinder 2.8L Duramax sporting an iron block and aluminum heads. We expect the mill to make about 181 horsepower at 3400 RPM and a healthy 369 pound-feet of twist at 2,000 RPM. To further drive efficiency, the Duramax’s water-cooled turbo will also employ variable-inlet turbine geometry, which alters the aspect ratio of the turbo as conditions change in an effort to maximize effectiveness.
|METRIC||2.8L DURAMAX I4 TD||3.0L ECODIESEL TD V6||+ / – DURAMAX|
|MPG CITY:||23 (EST)||21|
|MPG HWY:||31 (EST)||29|
|MPG COMBINED:||26 (EST)||24|
Sure, the Duramax is down 59 horses and 51 pound-feet of torque from the figures produced by the RAM EcoDiesel’s 3.0L V6 (240 horsepower at 3,600 RPM and 420 pound-feet) of torque at 2,000 RPM, but that’s not really the point, as GM’s goal is MPG supremacy, along with the added diesel capability.
So here’s the interesting part: the folks at Car and Driver expect city ratings in the low 20s and highway figures in the low 30s for a combined figure of 26 MPG, pipping the Ram EcoDiesel HFE by 2 MPG. We’re inclined to believe the Durmax-powered twins will be a little more fuel-efficient than that (it is, after all, a midsizer rather than a full-sizer like the Ram), but all will be revealed once GM releases the official EPA-certified MPG figures.
GM will import the 16-valve Duramax from its plant in Rayong, Thailand, where it produces the international-market Colorado and Isuzu equivalent, while the trucks are assembled at GM’s Wentzville facility in Missouri.
Expect the Duramax-powered Canyon/Colorado to begin arriving at Chevy and GMC dealerships around the country this fall.