2016 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon Take Truck Fuel-Efficiency Crown At 25 MPG


2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel

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The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickup twins, fitted with the newly-available Duramax four-cylinder diesel engine, are now the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks sold in the U.S.

EPA fuel-economy ratings are in, and rear-wheel-drive versions of the General Motors trucks are rated at 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway).

That edges out the full-size Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, which is rated at 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway) in rear-wheel-drive form.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Chevy Colorado Diesel: Specs And ZR2 Off-Road Concept From 2014 LA Auto Show (Nov 2014)

With four-wheel drive, the Colorado and Canyon diesels are rated at 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway).

That beats the four-wheel drive Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as well; its numbers are 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway).

The GM twins also handily outdo the only other mid-size trucks currently sold in the U.S.--the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel

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Revamped for 2016, the Tacoma gets 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway) in its most fuel-efficient guise: rear-wheel drive with a 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission.

The Nissan hasn't been updated for some time, and musters a best 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, and a five-speed manual transmission.

The GM 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder Duramax engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and is offered only with a six-speed automatic transmission.

ALSO SEE: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon Four-Cylinder Gas Mileage: 21 Or 22 MPG Combined (Sep 2014)

GM will continue to offer a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.6-liter V-6 gasoline engines alongside the diesel.

In addition to the fuel-economy ratings themselves, GM notes, the EPA also issued a "certificate of conformity" that states the agency has no issues or concerns with the emissions-control systems on the GM trucks.

It's a rare bit of good news for new diesel vehicles in the midst of the ongoing Volkswagen emissions scandal.

2016 GMC Canyon

2016 GMC Canyon

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Despite the apparent damage to diesel's reputation in Volkswagen and Audi passenger cars, GM will reportedly move ahead with plans to offer more diesels in the U.S.

A previously-announced diesel version of the redesigned Chevrolet Cruze is still slated to launch on schedule for the 2017 model year, GM product chief Mark Reuss told a gathering of auto journalists in Detroit yesterday.

MORE: 2016 Chevy Colorado Diesel Pickup Priced At $31,700; Fuel Efficiency To Come Later

Meanwhile, the Colorado and Canyon diesels will go on sale before the end of this year, GM says.

The diesel option will be priced at $3,730 more than the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6, making the Duramax the priciest engine in the lineup.

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