The availability of turbodiesel engines in General Motors vehicles sold in the U.S. has doubled in the past five years. During the 2016 model year, just six GM diesel models were available. In 2021, that number has risen to 12.
Diesel engines offered in GM models since 2016 have ranged from the 1.6L I4 LH7 WhisperDiesel, first used in the Astra hatchback marketed by GM’s former European brands Opel and Vauxhall, to the large 6.6L V8 L5P, which has a torque figure approaching 1,000 pound-feet. All of these engines, plus their power and torque figures (including variations), are shown in the table below.
|Engine||Power (hp)||Torque (lb-ft)|
|1.6L I4 LH7||137 / 170||203 / 240|
|2.8L I4 LWN||181||369|
|3.0L I6 LM2||277||460|
|6.6L V8 L5P||445||910|
|6.6L V8 LGH||260 / 335||525 / 685|
|6.6L V8 LML||397||765|
Six GM diesel models were on sale in the 2016 model year, then nine in 2018 and 12 in 2021. The increase between 2018 and 2021 is particularly notable because both the Chevrolet Cruze and the 1.6L I4 LH7 engine fitted to the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers were discontinued during that period.
|Cadillac Escalade||-||-||3.0L I6 LM2|
|Chevrolet Colorado||2.8L I4 LWN||2.8L I4 LWN||2.8L I4 LWN|
|Chevrolet Cruze||-||1.6L I4 LH7||-|
|Chevrolet Equinox||-||1.6L I4 LH7||-|
|Chevrolet Express||6.6L V8 LGH||2.8L I4 LWN||2.8L I4 LWN|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||-||-||3.0L I6 LM2|
|Chevrolet Silverado HD||6.6L V8 LML||6.6L V8 L5P||6.6L V8 L5P|
|Chevrolet Suburban||-||-||3.0L I6 LM2|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||-||-||3.0L I6 LM2|
|GMC Canyon||2.8L I4 LWN||2.8L I4 LWN||2.8L I4 LWN|
|GMC Savana||6.6L V8 LGH||2.8L I4 LWN||2.8L I4 LWN|
|GMC Sierra 1500||-||-||3.0L I6 LM2|
|GMC Sierra HD||6.6L V8 LML||6.6L V8 L5P||6.6L V8 L5P|
|GMC Terrain||-||1.6L I4 LH7||-|
|GMC Yukon||-||-||3.0L I6 LM2|
The greater amount of GM diesel engines offered in 2021 is essentially the result of the Detroit-based automaker beginning to offer its new 3.0L I6 LM2 turbo-diesel Duramax engine in its full-size, body-on-frame vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Tahoe/Suburban, as well as the GMC Sierra 1500, Yukon and Yukon XL, along with the Cadillac Escalade.
The increase in GM diesel models is greater still when markets outside the U.S. are included. Cadillac waited to introduce the XT4 luxury crossover in Europe while it was developing the 2.0L I4 LSQ motor due to the historic popularity of diesel engines in the region. As GM Authority exclusively reported in March of 2020, the LSQ is unlikely to be offered in vehicles sold in the U.S. or Canada.
Ironically, the XT4 350D went on sale in Europe on October 10th 2020, the month after European diesel sales fell below those of EV models for the first time ever, according to industry analyst JATO Dynamics. The strategy of offering more GM diesel vehicles comes at a time when the automaker plans to launch 30 EVs worldwide by 2025. The first of these will be the Cadillac Lyriq, which is due to arrive in the first quarter of 2022, nine months ahead of the original schedule. Even so, it is unlikely that EVs will outsell GM diesel models in the U.S. until several years after that.