GMC Canyon, Chevy Colorado diesels get 31 mpg highway

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Monday its new 2016 GMC Canyon and 2016 Chevrolet Colorado diesel pickups will be rated a top-of-the segment 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg highway for two-wheel drive versions of the pickups.

The 31 mpg figure is tops for any U.S. truck — gasoline or diesel.

The automaker, citing recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ratings, said the midsize diesel trucks will get 25 mpg combined for two-wheel drive versions. Four-wheel drive diesel Canyons and Colorados are rated at 23 mpg combined, or 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

GM said the EPA has issued a “certificate of conformity” for the Canyon and Colorado diesels. GM said the EPA had no issues or concerns following extensive testing and evaluation of the emissions system on the Canyon and Colorado diesels. The certificates come following Volkswagen AG’s recent diesel emissions cheating scandal that came to light in September. GM’s diesel trucks had been in the final stage of evaluation when the scandal occurred and were subject to increased on-the-road testing.

The move will allow GM to soon sell both trucks that the automaker has said would be available in the fall. A GMC spokesman said orders for the Canyon diesel have been open for several weeks but would not say when the trucks are expected to roll into dealerships.

Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, last year said the diesel Colorado’s fuel economy would “surprise” people. When asked if he thought the diesel fuel economy would top 30 mpg highway, he would not comment.

The Canyon and Colorado diesel fuel economy is the best among pickups, beating the 2016 Ram 1500 3-liter EcoDiesel V-6, which gets up to 29 mpg on the highway. GM said the trucks have a 21 gallon tank and offer highway range on the two-wheel drive trucks of up to 651 miles between fill-ups.

GM’s midsize diesel pickups are powered by a new 2.8-liter Duramax, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, generating 181 horsepower and 369 foot-pounds of torque. The automaker said the Duramax 2.8-liter engine has been certified “to the cleanest standards of any diesel truck ever produced by GM and meets tough U.S. emissions standards.”

The diesel Colorado is offered on LT and Z71 crew cab models, while the Canyon diesel is available on SLE and SLT crew cabs. The truck are priced $3,730 more than comparably equipped 3.6-liter V-6 trucks. A base LT diesel Colorado starts at less than $32,000.

The Colorado and Canyon have been a hit for GM, with Colorado sales through October topping 70,000 sales and Canyon sales nearing 25,000 so far this year. The trucks went on sale in fall 2014.

Currently, the Colorado and Canyon segment competitors, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, don’t offer a diesel variant. Nissan will begin selling a 2016 full-size Titan powered by a Cummins diesel late this year.

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