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Hey everyone. I did a search for this in the forum already to no avail. I am new here though so it's possible i overlooked something, so kindly redirect me if that's the case.

So you understand where I'm coming from, I've spent the last decade driving a v6 Honda Accord. It's been a wonderful car but in that time I've also purchased a house with the wife and the need for a truck has come up often enough that, since i'm ready to upgrade my vehicle, I'm looking at compact and mid size trucks instead of cars. Probably going to buy in the next month or 2.

My search has the Colorado/Canyon at the top of my list. Reviewers seem to love the v6 and i've seen a lot of good about the duramx option as well. I would like this truck to last 10+ years (longer if possible) and was wondering, which of the 3 engine options for the Colorado/Canyon is the best from a reliability perspective. I'm not going to be towing or doing a lot of high weight hauling but i still love the idea of the duramx as it gets really good fuel economy on the highway, but if the v6 will require less work on it over a 10 year span, I'll go that way. Economy isn't all of it but is a nice fringe benefit if the duramx is better. I would also like to know what people think of the 2.5l 4cyl although I'm not overly impressed with it from a power perspective. If you all come back and say that's the best though, i will go test drive it.

I chose a Honda for their high success rate of making reliable cars. Which option will give me as close to that as i can get here?
 

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Welcome to the forum.

My truck has the V6 gasser and I have been very happy with it. Quick enough, good towing capacity, and fairly good fuel mileage.

I have 3 vehicles with the 3.6 L engine. I know that some of the engine details are different between the vehicles, but the basic engines are the same. I’ve been very satisfied with the reliability of the 3.6L.

I’ve never owned the Duramax. But a lot of the members here have the diesel and I’m sure one of them will weigh in.

The 2.5L seems to be adequate if you don’t plan to tow. But it was at the bottom of my list when I bought.

Just my $0.02.
 

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I have had both the V6 (2017 Canyon) and Duramax (2020 ZR2).

Power:
The gas engine has more horsepower and less pedal lag (without tuning or pedal commander, etc). That might be desired if you want that oomph or if you want it to feel closer to your previous experience. I much prefer the higher torque of the diesel, because I can apply it at low rpm off-road. The other advantage of that extra torque is in getting loads moving when towing.

Fuel economy:
Yes, the fuel economy is considerably better with the diesel, but per gallon, not per dollar. With gas costs dropping faster than diesel (at least in my area) you're not saving money on fuel. It still feels good to get 28mpg highway in my overland loaded ZR2 on 33s . To be fair to the V6 though, I still pulled ~23 with about the same setup with the gas engine. I had the Trifecta tune, which they claim improves gas mileage a bit.

Reliability:
I don't know if anyone can answer this for sure. The truck with these engine options hasn't been around long enough. Conventional wisdom would put diesel motors ahead in longevity, but many would argue modern emissions control systems reduce that. I put 28K on the V6 and now just under 10K on the diesel, so I'm not a good data point, but both engines performed great for me.

Transmission pairing:
This is a tad controversial here, but if you're looking at used trucks, you should read about and understand the 8-speed transmission shudder issue. It seems resolved now after several TSBs and fluid changes. Post a certain build date in '19 (March maybe?) the twins got new AT fluid and the problem seems to be gone. Older models can have a fluid exchange to resolve the issue for most, and some never experience it anyway. The V6 is paired with the 8-speed and the diesel still has the 6-speed, so this may or may not matter in your decision.

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Fuel economy:
Yes, the fuel economy is considerably better with the diesel, but per gallon, not per dollar. With gas costs dropping faster than diesel (at least in my area) you're not saving money on fuel.
This is highly regional. In western Washington diesel is usually less expensive than gas, but it is something that needs to be checked. Gas did get down to about the same price as diesel during the first part of the Covid-19 outbreak because people weren't driving cars, but trucks were still operating. Currently diesel is 10 cents cheaper at Costco, but usually/often it's a wider gap than that.

That said, even though I own the diesel I would not recommend it if you don't tow unless you're going to do a lot of freeway speed driving. And even then it's going to take a lot of driving to make up the difference in cost. Also, with the diesel you should try to avoid short trips or have another vehicle you can do the short trips in.

I'm glad you mentioned the transmission. I do like having the more proven 6 speed, and it works well for the diesel. I think the manufacturers have gone a bit nuts with 10 speed transmissions being common, but I do like that the new Bronco will have a 7 speed manual (on gear being a granny gear). At some point there are diminishing returns on the number of gears and increased chances for issues.
 

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Just keep in mind before you buy the 4 cyl gas, you might find yourself wanting more power and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it, your stuck.
If you aren't going to tow most likely I would do the V6. It's very peppy! And you can tow with it if need be.
Around here diesel is the price of regular 'right now', it always changes though, usually it's the price of premium.
 

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Just keep in mind before you buy the 4 cyl gas, you might find yourself wanting more power and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it, your stuck.
I'm not a big fan of buying too much engine, so for example I'm fine with the base Subaru engines. Most people never ever accelerate 0-60 in less than 8 seconds regardless of what their vehicle can do. Most do barely 10 seconds most the time, if that. But I would never get a non-turbo 4 cyl. pickup truck. In addition to my own use I imagine it would hurt resale.
 

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I'm not a big fan of buying too much engine, so for example I'm fine with the base Subaru engines. Most people never ever accelerate 0-60 in less than 8 seconds regardless of what their vehicle can do. Most do barely 10 seconds most the time, if that. But I would never get a non-turbo 4 cyl. pickup truck. In addition to my own use I imagine it would hurt resale.
I would love to have a v8 in my truck, just saying... I like the low end power for even cruising the street. I have considered a supercharger but they are expensive and when it comes time for a new truck you'd never get the money back.
 
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Odds are great if you have been driving a V6 gas you will be most happy with the gas V6.

Diesels are fine 1 if you like diesels, 2 need a Diesel and 3 understand Diesels.

If you are about buying a Diesel for just around town mpg then you are buying it for the wrong reasons.

You generally buy a diesel to work in towing or hard driving. Generally th3 harder they are driven th3 better they are.

If you are just driving around town and have no experience or love for a Ditself then stick to what you are happy with. You also pay more for the engine so you need to drive a lot of miles to get back any mpg gains.

My V6 over the last 14,000 miles averaged 21 mpg. That is little highway and most
y secondary roads Driving to work and the store. That also includes 4x4 and a crew cab At 4500 pounds.

Note too I am just driving it I am not trying for mpg.

The 4 cylinder in my view is under powered in this truck but some like it. To me the V6 is a perfect match. This truck is not a race truck. It does strike a good balance of mpg and performance.

As for problem the GM trucks are no better or worse than anything else. Honda and a Toyota are not what they once were either. My buddy paid for his airplane doing head gaskets on Honda‘s and Subaru’s. Today they all have some issues.

Ours was the transmission shudder that appears to be nearly gone with the new fluid they are using. But shudder is a problem at nearly all MFGs.
 

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Diesel. We are surrounded by mountains here in B.C. Diesel is more popular here, 90% of trucks here are diesel. Towing in the Rockies is much more enjoyable with a diesel. And diesel is always cheaper than gas, the gap cloises with winter additive, but 8-10 mpg better with the diesel makes for a longer range before fueling.
Had a 2016 first year Diesel Canyon, had 1 repair in 4 years( alt pulley). So when rumors of the diesel being discontinued along with the V6, I grabbed a 2020 Duramax Canyon. Turns out the Diesel is staying and V6 is discontinued next gen.
It is your money, your truck, you get the one you want, but since you asked, I added my experience with the mighty Duramax. Right now diesel is 60 cents per gallon cheaper tha gas. Def costs me about $11 bucks every 4000 miles ( estimated, it uses very little).
 

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I have the V6 gas. I think it is great. I have talked to Duramax owners who like their engine. My simple answer is if you tow a lot diesel hands down otherwise either is a good choice.
 

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One thing you didn't mention that will have the biggest impact on which engine you choose is what is your usual drive cycle? What I mean is, what is the majority of the driving that you will be doing, how long will the engine be running between stops? If you live in the city or a small town and rarely take drives that are longer than 10-15 minutes between stops then I wouldn't go with the Duramax. In order to avoid issues with the DPF and regens being unable to complete the truck ideally needs to be driven for at least 30 minutes 1-2 times per tank of fuel to ensure the regen can complete properly. If the regen cycle is always interrupted or the exhaust components are unable to get up to temp to start a regen then the DPF will end up full of soot and the truck will either go "Speed" on you and tell you that you have to keep driving until the message clears or it will go into limp mode.

I have the diesel and love it, I haven't had any problems and have put 50k miles on it since I bought it new in 2017. I live in a small town but before COVID hit my commute was about 25 minutes each way, 3 days per week, which was more than enough to ensure regens completed. Since COVID I've been driving less in general, but if I find myself just taking short trips locally I make it a point to head to "the city" now and then, which needs to be done for certain shopping anyway, so it can stretch its legs. The diesel is a great option if you drive a lot, either for commuting or traveling, but it is not the engine to have if most of your driving is going to be hopping into town a few miles away. This is the bane of all modern diesel engines. Doing only short trips will end up causing problems with the emissions system.

That caveat aside, it's a great engine.

What @overpakd said about diesel fuel being more expensive left out some qualifiers. As was mentioned, diesel price vs gas is largely regional. Some places it is more $/gallon but that is not the measure of the true cost. It's all about $/mile. Say the diesel gets 20% better fuel economy than the gas, that means that as long as the price of diesel is less than 20% more expensive it's still cheaper per mile for fuel.

Say the V6 gets 20MPG and gas costs $2/gal, that's $0.10/mi in gas.
Say the diesel gets 24MPG and fuel costs $2.20/gal, that's $0.09/mi in diesel. More per gallon, less per mile.

Diesel maintenance is essentially the same as the gas engines in terms of oil changes. The diesel needs the fuel filters replaced every 2yr or 37,500 miles max. For me it's been more like every 1-1.5 years and 25k miles, but fuel filters are cheap and easy to replace. Don't need to pay the dealer's premium price to have it done.

Anyway, I'd think long and hard about how the truck would be driven. The diesel likes to be driven, not putt-putted around. If you plan on putt-putting around town then go with one of the gas engines.

Welcome to the forums and good luck with your decision!
 
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One thing you didn't mention that will have the biggest impact on which engine you choose is what is your usual drive cycle? What I mean is, what is the majority of the driving that you will be doing, how long will the engine be running between stops?
I think that's important to emphasize. It's not like you need to go 30 minutes between each stop, but if I have a trip that's going to be 30 miles and 5 stops I'll take the Subaru. If that's your regular driving pattern, then maybe a diesel is not for you.

That said, we bought the Subaru a few months before the Duramax. For the first several months after buying the Duramax it made me wish there were more (some?) diesel cars available. It really is a nice engine to drive. But now I do realize it's nice to have both a gas and a diesel in the garage..
 

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Man, this regional diesel pricing is crazy. Wish I was out there with you guys! In NC, diesel is at best 10c more than regular, but usually more (right now diesel is $2.19 and gas is $2.04). I'm in the Atlanta area this weekend and gas is down to $1.78 while diesel is up at $2.49.

My normal driving in NC is still more economical with the diesel, but more important for me is the greater range per tank. On typical weekend adventures, I fill up before leaving and don't really have to think about again.

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One thing to note about the V6 and just about any new gas turbo engine. You will need to buy at least 87 octane. That means you will need to pay mid grade prices which is something you should factor into your fuel cost.
 

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One thing to note about the V6 and just about any new gas turbo engine. You will need to buy at least 87 octane. That means you will need to pay mid grade prices which is something you should factor into your fuel cost.
Huh?

The gas engines in these trucks are not forced induction and 87 is regular grade (unless you’re at a high elevation like Colorado in which case you can run 85). So no, don’t need to run mid grade gas.


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Huh?

The gas engines in these trucks are not forced induction and 87 is regular grade (unless you’re at a high elevation like Colorado in which case you can run 85). So no, don’t need to run mid grade gas.


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Thanks for the correction. I've been at altitude so long I don't know what normal is anymore. 😓
 

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Even most turbo engines today are a Premium Recommended that let’s you run 87 if you chose With no risk of damage. It will drop power about 20-25 hp.

Now if it is Premium Required then you do need the more expensive fuel. But even the the increase in cost is generally small. Most of these engines get pretty good mpg. My last turbo was 26 city and 32 highway.
 
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