Diesel vs. Gas Trucks: Which Is Right for You?

A 2019 Ford F-150 Parked in a Field

Diesel Trucks


Gas Trucks
Internal Combustion

Engine Type

Internal Combustion



Maintenance Costs




Torque / Towing Power


Requires Spark Plugs


What are the pros and cons of choosing a diesel vs. gas truck? This is a good question that comes to us often here at Cornerstone Plymouth near Minneapolis, as drivers look at our vast used inventory. This short guide should help you understand the benefits offered by both gas and diesel engines. Ultimately, your personal situation will be the deciding factor on which is “best.”

Diesel vs. Gas Trucks Pros and Cons

Towing capacity, fuel efficiency, and lifespan are all factors to consider when looking at trucks with diesel and gasoline engines. Below, we’ve detailed what Maple Grove drivers can expect in these categories from the two different engine types:

Diesel Engine Pros

  • Torque and Towing – If towing is your number one consideration, you should know that diesel trucks often generate significantly more torque than their gas-powered counterparts. This means they can tow heavier loads when compared to gas-powered engines. As you might imagine, this is why diesel trucks are such great on-the-job workhorses.
  • Fuel Economy – While diesel engines are often more fuel-efficient than their gas counterparts, diesel is often more expensive. Still, many drivers appreciate that having a diesel engine means a reduced number of stops to refuel while traveling past New Hope.
  • Longevity – According to anecdotal and scientific evidence, diesel engines can last much, much longer than otherwise-comparable gas engines. Diesel-powered vehicles employ a simpler construction and stronger engine blocks, which may be the reasons behind diesel longevity. A well-maintained diesel vehicle can power your long-distance trips for more than 500,000 miles.

Gas Engine Pros

  • Acceleration and Horsepower – Better torque doesn’t necessarily mean better performance. Diesel engines may be torque kings, but many drivers will appreciate the superior horsepower and acceleration offered by gas-powered pickup trucks.
  • More Fueling Stations – Diesel fuel isn’t offered at every gas station, sadly. Gas-powered truck drivers don’t have to worry about finding their next fill-up near Brooklyn Park.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs – Diesel engines may last longer, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy or cheap to maintain. The fact that many diesel engines employ heavy-duty and sometimes hard-to-find parts can make it difficult to repair them. The more ubiquitous gasoline-powered engines tend to be easier to maintain.

Technical Comparison: Gas and Diesel Engines

So why are gas and diesel engines so different? That’s a good question, and we’ve got several points that will answer it:

  • The core design of both gas and diesel engines is the same: they’re both internal combustion engines. This means that fuel is turned into energy inside the engine itself. In external combustion engines, heat is produced in one location and routed to the engine, elsewhere. Steam-powered trains are an example of an external combustion engine—choo choo!
  • Diesel and gas trucks compress air and fuel at different ratios. The higher ratio of diesel engines—between 15:1 and 25:1—compared to gas engines—about 10:1—means hotter cylinders. Therefore, diesel engines are often self-igniting and do not need spark plugs.
  • The efficiency of any engine is determined in part by the relative difference between its maximum hot and cold temperatures. Higher compression ratios allow for a smaller min-max temperature difference, which accounts, in part, for the diesel engine’s greater fuel efficiency.

Should I Buy a Diesel or Gas Truck?

Answering, “Which is better, gas or diesel?” is difficult due to it depending largely on your performance needs. Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient and can go longer between maintenance visits due to its more durable compression system. Weighing the diesel vs. gas trucks pros and cons, we’re finding that gas trucks are speedier and more fun to drive, with higher horsepower capabilities, while diesel trucks are more durable. It’s clear why diesel engines are the norm with commercial vehicles as it can withstand more than a gas truck.

Diesel vs. gas prices has evened out in recent years. A diesel vs. gas engine, with the same amount of fuel, does not have the same fuel efficiency. Diesel used to be cheaper than gas fuel, but as the demand has begun to rise due to diesel engines’ fuel efficiency, the cost of diesel vs. gas roughly the same as buying gas. You get more mileage for your money, so it’s no wonder why many vehicle manufacturers are offering diesel engine options on non-commercial SUVs and trucks. Some things to note:

  • Diesel vs. gas emissions is significantly lower because diesel engines are more efficient and energy-dense than gas engines.
  • The cost of diesel vs. gas would have to rise by 25 to 30 percent for diesel to not be better for your wallet in the long run.
  • Diesel engines are better equipped to handle high compression while gas engines are better equipped for speed and agility on Minneapolis roads.

Compare a Diesel vs. Gas Truck In Person!

From Chevrolet to Ford and even the RAM 1500, Cornerstone Plymouth is honored to have a vast selection of both gas and diesel trucks. Whichever engine type you choose, our service team can give you quick tips for how to be more fuel-efficient when drivingReach out today to schedule a test drive!

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