What Kind of Gas Mileage Do Diesel Trucks Get?

Diesel trucks have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their power, durability, and towing capacity. However, one of the biggest concerns for potential diesel truck buyers is their gas mileage. How fuel-efficient are diesel trucks, and how do they compare to gasoline trucks? In this article, we’ll explore the factors that affect diesel truck gas mileage and provide real-world examples to answer the question: what kind of gas mileage do diesel trucks get?

Understanding Diesel Trucks

Diesel trucks are vehicles that use diesel fuel to power their engines. Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines don’t use spark plugs to ignite the fuel. Instead, they use compressed hot air to ignite the fuel, which produces a more significant amount of power. This power is what makes diesel trucks great for towing heavy loads.

Diesel engines are also more durable and longer-lasting than gasoline engines due to their design. They have fewer moving parts, which means there are fewer components that can break down over time. Additionally, diesel fuel has a higher energy density than gasoline, which means diesel engines can produce more power with less fuel.

Diesel trucks are often larger and heavier than gasoline trucks, which means they require more power to move. This increased power leads to lower gas mileage than their gasoline counterparts. However, diesel trucks make up for this lower gas mileage with their increased towing capacity and durability.

Factors Affecting Gas Mileage

There are several factors that affect the gas mileage of diesel trucks. The following are the most significant factors that impact a diesel truck’s fuel efficiency:

Engine size and power

The size and power of a diesel engine have a significant impact on its gas mileage. Larger engines require more fuel to operate, which leads to lower gas mileage. Additionally, more powerful engines require more fuel to produce more power, leading to lower gas mileage.

Vehicle weight

The weight of a diesel truck is another significant factor that affects its gas mileage. Heavier vehicles require more fuel to move, which leads to lower gas mileage. This is why diesel trucks with larger towing capacity tend to have lower gas mileage.

Driving habits

Driving habits also play a role in a diesel truck’s gas mileage. Aggressive driving, such as hard acceleration and braking, can decrease gas mileage. On the other hand, driving at a steady speed and avoiding unnecessary idling can increase gas mileage.

Route and terrain

The route and terrain a diesel truck travels on can also affect its gas mileage. Driving on uphill terrain or rough roads can decrease gas mileage, while driving on flat terrain and smooth roads can increase gas mileage.

Maintenance and upkeep

Regular maintenance and upkeep can also impact a diesel truck’s gas mileage. Dirty air filters, worn-out tires, and low tire pressure can all decrease gas mileage. On the other hand, keeping the engine tuned up and the tires properly inflated can increase gas mileage.

Average Gas Mileage of Diesel Trucks

When it comes to gas mileage, diesel trucks tend to get lower gas mileage than gasoline trucks. However, they make up for this lower gas mileage with their increased towing capacity and durability.

Comparison to gasoline trucks

On average, diesel trucks get about 25% to 30% better gas mileage than gasoline trucks. For example, a diesel-powered Ford F-150 gets an estimated 22 MPG on the highway, while a gasoline-powered F-150 gets an estimated 17 MPG. However, diesel fuel is typically more expensive than gasoline, which can offset the cost savings from better gas mileage.

Real-world examples of diesel truck gas mileage

The gas mileage of diesel trucks can vary widely depending on the factors mentioned earlier. For example, a diesel-powered Ram 1500 can get anywhere from 20 MPG to 30 MPG depending on the driving conditions and maintenance. Meanwhile, a diesel-powered Chevy Silverado can get anywhere from 17 MPG to 25 MPG.

Factors that affect diesel truck gas mileage

The factors mentioned earlier, such as engine size and power, vehicle weight, driving habits, route and terrain, and maintenance and upkeep, all play a role in a diesel truck’s gas mileage. Additionally, the type of diesel fuel used and the age of the engine can also impact gas mileage.

Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

While diesel trucks may have lower gas mileage than gasoline trucks, there are ways to improve their fuel efficiency. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your diesel truck’s gas mileage:

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your diesel truck running efficiently. Keeping up with oil changes, air filter replacements, and other routine maintenance tasks can help improve gas mileage by ensuring your engine is running smoothly.

Upgrading Tires

Upgrading to tires with a lower rolling resistance can also help improve gas mileage. These tires are designed to reduce the amount of energy required to move the truck, which can lead to better fuel efficiency.

Driving Techniques

Your driving habits can also have a significant impact on your diesel truck’s gas mileage. Avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking, maintaining a consistent speed, and reducing idling time can all help improve fuel efficiency.

Using Fuel Additives

Fuel additives can also help improve diesel truck gas mileage. These products are designed to clean and lubricate the fuel system, which can reduce fuel consumption and improve engine performance.

Installing Aerodynamic Accessories

Finally, installing aerodynamic accessories like side skirts and air dams can help reduce wind resistance and improve gas mileage. These accessories can be particularly helpful for diesel trucks that frequently travel at high speeds on the highway.


In conclusion, diesel trucks have lower gas mileage than gasoline trucks due to their increased power and weight. However, they make up for this with their increased towing capacity and durability. To improve your diesel truck’s gas mileage, you can take steps like regular maintenance, upgrading tires, using fuel additives, and installing aerodynamic accessories. When buying a diesel truck, it’s essential to make an informed decision and consider your specific needs and preferences. With the right care and attention, your diesel truck can provide reliable and efficient performance for years to come.

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