Diesel engines produce more torque, and more torque means more towing and payload capacity. Diesels are also more durable, with a longer engine life, making diesel trucks more reliable, which is especially important if you’re looking to buy a pre-owned truck.
Check out our article What to Consider Before Purchasing a New Car in Manitoba to help you decide between a new diesel truck and pre-owned one. Whichever you choose, we have plenty of popular and reliable options.
Most reliable diesel truck in Canada?
So what is the most reliable diesel truck in Canada? What’s the best used diesel truck?
Here (in alphabetical order) is our list of the best diesel trucks in Canada:
Since 2016 the Chevrolet Colorado has had the option of a diesel engine, becoming the first modern midsize truck to do so and, along with the GMC Canyon Diesel, the Colorado is still one of only two midsize diesel trucks on the market. The optional diesel engine ups its towing capacity (on the 2019) to 3,493 kg (7,700 lb) So if you’re looking at used trucks, diesel is still an option if you opt for newer models. The 2019 model enjoys modern luxuries like satellite radio and an in-car wi-fi hotspot. If you’re looking for a midsize truck that’s up to hauling big payloads, than a diesel Colorado should be high on your list. Available with seating for up to 5, and a variety of packages and trims, the Colorado might be the best and more reliable diesel truck for you!
The GMC Canyon, along with the Chevrolet Canyon, is one of only two midsize diesel trucks on the market. The 2019 Canyon has a towing capacity of 3,493 kg (7,700 lb) which is above average for a truck of its size. All aspects of the truck feel solid and weighty, from the doors to the climate controls, making it one of the most reliable diesel trucks in terms of interior maintenance. Cabin comfort is also a high-priority with the Canyon. The interior is spacious and well-isolated from road noise, making for a quiet ride, even when towing. These features combined with comfortable seats and more modern additions like voice control and smartphone integration (available on newer models) help makes even the longest trips feel smooth and easy. If you’re in the market for a used diesel truck, GMC has offered diesel engine options for the Canyon since 2016.
Ford Super Duty F-350
The Ford Super Duty F-350 is for when you need to do heavy duty hauling. The 2019’s max tow capacity is a whopping 9,525 kg (21000 lb) and can be increased to 14,515 kg (32000 lb) with a gooseneck hitch. The Ford Super Duty F-350 has had the diesel option since its release in 1999, giving you plenty of options to purchase used. While the earlier models don’t have the same sledgehammer towing capacity, the 1999 F-250 still has 5,670 kg (12500 lb) capacity and even the older models are some of the most reliable used diesel trucks on the market.
Like the Super Duty F-350 but are looking for something a little different? Ford offers several different Super Duty options, all with the fantastic diesel reliability, but with slightly larger or smaller towing capacities:
Max Towing Capacity: 8,165 kg (18000 lb)
Max Towing Capacity: 9,525 kg (21000 lb)
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is a powerful, heavy-duty truck. The 6.6-liter turbodiesel engine and robust 6-speed automatic transmission gives it a 6,577 kg (14,500 lb) max towing capacity that can be upped to 8,210 kg (18100 lb) with a gooseneck hitch. With up to six seats (depending on the model) the Silverado will get your toys and your family wherever they need to go, no matter the size. The seats can also be folded down for increased cargo capacity. Newer models have Chevy’s MyLink functionality that allows for full smartphone integration, including calls, texts, and music.
The 2500HD’s older sibling, Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, also has an immensely powerful 6.6-liter turbodiesel engine and it’s larger size allows for a larger max towinging capacity of 9,072kg (20000 lb). While the 3500HD also can have up to six seats (depending on the model) the truck’s larger size means a larger interior and allows for more leg and elbow room for passengers. Many of the same features apply to both the 2500HD and 3500HD, including Chevy’s MyLink functionality and Chevrolet’s Teen Drive Mode, which has many uses, including restricting max speed to help ease the minds of parents and teen drivers. The 3500HD is a great option if you’re looking to tow or haul large loads, while the 2500HD’s size makes it a good option if you’re planning to drive it (and park it) around town regularly.
If you’re looking at a used Silverado 2500HD or 3500HD, keep in mind that in 2016, their diesel powertrain was improved, with updates made to the induction system, internal components and transmission. While the earlier Silverados are still some of the most reliable used diesel truck options and will definitely do what you need them to do, the 2016 models and onwards have a little more power to help them do what you want.
GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD
The GMC Sierra 2500HD carries passengers in comfort as well as easily hauling heavy trailers. The double cab options allows for six seats, so the 2500HD is a great option for larger families as well as those looking to tow and carry large payloads. The 2500HD has a max towing capacity of around 6,577kg (14,500 lb) thanks to a 6.6-liter diesel V8 engine.
If you like the Sierra 2500HD, but are looking for a truck that’s a little more heavy-duty, then the GMC Sierra 3500HD could be exactly what you need. The 3500HD also has a 6.6-liter diesel V8 engine, but is larger and has a higher towing capacity. With the right package, the 3500HD can tow up to 9,072kg (20000 lb), which is an almost 3,000kg improvement. Available with a variety of customizations, both the 2500HD and 3500HD can be optimized for exactly what you need, whether it be towing or off-roading.
While the Sierra 3500HD is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for more towing power, the 2500HD’s more compact size may make it slightly more suitable for city living as it’s easier to park and maneuver through traffic. The 2500HD is surprisingly agile for a larger truck and handles tight corners well, so while you might not want to make this your errand vehicle of choice, it can handle most city traffic situations. Diesel has been an option for the Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD since its release in 2007, making it easier for you to find the best used diesel truck for you and your family.
2014-2018 Ram 1500
The easy handling, crisp steering and reasonably high tow capacity made sure that 2014-2018 diesel Ram 1500 models are well-rated. The latest Ram 1500 models (2019 and up) no longer includes the option for choosing a diesel engine. If you’re shopping for diesel, you’ll have some fantastic pre-owned options to choose from, as it’s one of the most reliable used diesel trucks on the market. At 4,082kg (9000 lb) the 2018 Ram 1500’s towing capacity may be lower than some of the trucks on this list, but the comfortable ride and easy handling mean you shouldn’t overlook this gem too quickly. The large interior offers plenty of legroom, regardless of whether you’re in the front or back seats. The comfortable seats, telescopic steering wheel, and ample small item storage shows that Ram put user-comfort high up on their priority list when designing the 1500, without forgetting about the important aspects of truck utility.
Nissan Titan XD
The Nissan Titan XD is smaller than many heavy-duty diesel trucks, but is larger than the mid-sized options on this list. It’s great in-between option if you’re looking for a compact diesel truck, but need more power and towing capacity than the midsize trucks on this list can offer you. The Titan XD may be more compact, but it’s still up to big jobs: the turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 diesel gives it a max towing capacity of 5,765 kg (12710 lb) and it’s a great option for payload hauling as well. The five-rail cargo tie-down system that you can add to the bed allows for safe and simple cargo transportation. The Titan XD has had a diesel engine option since its release in 2016, which makes purchasing a used diesel easier, as you aren’t limited to certain years.
Depending on what you’re looking for, any of the above trucks could the best diesel truck in Canada for your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for comfort, heavy utility, or easy handling there are plenty of new and used options.