What is the best diesel engine? Cummins, Duramax and Power Stroke go head-to-head

When the job calls for a powerful truck to pull the load, you want a heavy-duty truck with a diesel engine at your fingertips. It may seem a bit obvious, but which brand of diesel engine is right for the biggest jobs? With three amazing names to choose from, you’ll find brand loyalists who will pull you in their direction, but the brand name isn’t all you should be looking for. Will you choose the Cummins, Duramax or Power Stroke diesel engine for your big jobs?

Diesel names tell the story

As soon as you hear the names of diesel engines, you know the brands of trucks. Ram offers Cummins engines, GMC and Chevy use Duramax models, and Ford offers Power Stroke engines under the hood. Let’s take a look at the important numbers provided by MotorTrend:

Ram 2500 HD | RAM

Ram Cummins Diesel

  • 6.7-liter inline 6-cylinder engine
  • 400 horsepower
  • 1,000 lb-ft of torque
  • 35,100 pounds of towing (Ram 3500 HD Dually with regular cab)
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD parked in the grass
Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD | Chevy

GMC/Chevrolet Duramax Diesel

  • 6.6 liter V8
  • 445 horsepower
  • 910 lb-ft of torque
  • 35,500 pounds of towing (3500 HD Dually with regular cab)
2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty
Ford F-Series Super Duty | Ford

Ford Power Stroke Diesel

  • 6.7 liter V8
  • 450 horsepower
  • 1050 lb-ft of torque
  • 37,000 pounds of towing (F-350 Super Duty Dually)

Which engine is the best of the three?

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Three diesel engines provide the durability and power needed to tackle big jobs. It’s easy to see from the list above that the Power Stroke had the most towing capacity, but that might not make it the best engine for you. The Cummins engine is the heritage model, according to AutoList, which also tells us that all three engines come with an excellent warranty. If you’re looking for the engine that will last the longest, you can’t go wrong with any of these three diesel powerhouses.

Is a diesel engine better?

If you wonder if a gasoline engine is better than a diesel model, you will quickly learn that engines using diesel fuel are much better. Car and Driver tells us that diesel engines have fewer components, which means you have fewer potential problems. Although each service visit may cost more with a diesel pickup, the power plant lasts more than twice as long as a gasoline model. A diesel also carries a much longer warranty, giving you the peace of mind you desire.

What is special about a diesel engine?

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The high thermal efficiency of a diesel power plant compared to a gasoline engine is what makes it special. This allows a diesel pickup to be more efficient and deliver higher torque ratings than you’ll find for comparable gasoline vehicles.

Why do diesels last longer?

Hot Shot’s Secret offers insight into why these engines last longer than their gas-powered counterparts. They tell us that the factors that contribute to longevity are:

Diesel engines have a higher compression ratio and higher cylinder pressures to be more robust than gasoline engines. These engines use a gear design, piston cooling jet, and have no spark plugs, which allows for more efficient use of fuel.

Using diesel fuel causes the engine cylinders to wear out more slowly than in a gasoline engine. Gasoline is primarily a solvent that causes engine wear, while diesel offers more lubricating qualities as it is formulated from crude oil.

Because diesel trucks deliver more power at lower revs than gasoline engines, they can last much longer. This means fewer rotations and ignitions in the cylinder, creating less wear on the engine.

Which Diesel Pickup Truck Should You Buy?

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With extremely comparable horsepower figures, the decision to buy a Ram, Ford, GMC or Chevy pickup truck with a diesel engine could be made using other factors. You will need to consider price, equipment, and convenience when purchasing these pickup trucks. At least now you know you’re not losing or gaining much by choosing one brand of diesel over another.

Check out the next article for some of the pros and cons of a diesel-powered pickup truck.

RELATED: Is there more to the 2022 Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks than the Power Stroke diesel engine?

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