Diesel Trucks today aren’t what they used to be. They used to be slow, rugged, and basic machines meant for strenuous work, but today they offer comparable features to modern luxury cars. They ride like cadillacs and with modern technology are extremely powerful and quick. However, with all of this new technology and new options they are not always as reliable and bullet proof as their predecessors.
Today’s diesel pickups are comprised of thousands of sophisticated parts that amount to the vast amount of features and power these new beasts are laying down. However, with all these parts come new issues. Every make and model has its own set of problems while also having its advantages. While many seem obsolete, some can be a big deal to a Diesel Lover like myself. Here are some common pros and cons with today’s Diesel Trucks.
- Lightweight aluminum construction allows for better fuel economy and faster acceleration.
- Many exclusive and high-end features, especially the trailer assist system.
- Tons of Cab Space
- Lots of Power & quick acceleration
- Numb Steering Feel
- Slightly Fragile because of aluminum
- Aluminum body repair is also more expensive
- More moving parts and less mechanic friendly under the hood. I’ve never been a huge fan of Powerstrokes because of the complexity and difficulty of some repairs. This leads to a lot more labor and increased labor costs at the mechanic.
- Stiffer Suspension compared to GM Model trucks associated with straight axle.
- The Legendary Allison Transmission
- Independent Front Suspension Allows for a great ride
- Great Motors
- Independent Front Suspension can be more costly and complex to add lift kits. Bigger Tires and Wheels can also lead to issues with front end, requires more heavy duty parts
- New L5P Duramax has lack of performance parts and tuners because of “Uncrackable” ECM.
- Slightly tighter space compared to other makes.
- Some Trims lack in luxury features.
- Fuel Economy is average, not very impressive
- Turning Radius
- Often times cheaper than the other makes/models
- Variety of Trim packages with the high end models being very luxurious.
- Largest Interior /w Megacab package. The truck’s rear seats recline!
- Arguably the best Diesel Motor, Inline 6
- Best Fuel Economy
- Still Carry Manual Transmission Trucks
- Turning Radius is Amazing
- Transmissions are Sub-par
- Different trims have different HP/TQ
- Slightly slower acceleration speed when it’s stock compared to its V8 Rivals
My Thoughts on the new L5P Duramax
The Duramax has been a long-standing motor known for its reliability and impressive numbers. Just this year however, GM moved on from its “LML” platform Duramax which they have used since 2011. Since the Duramax’s inception in the early 2000’s they’ve produced a number of successful motors also including the LB7, LBZ, and LMM platforms. Earlier this year I picked up the new 2017 L5P Duramax. Here are my thoughts after driving it for half a year.
Let me start off by saying these trucks look good bone stock. With the L5P motor, the only noticeable exterior addition is the hood scoop. The rest of the Exterior is identical to the Late bodystyle LMLs. One VERY noticeable detail on the exterior of these trucks is the location of the DEF tank. It is probably the only eye-sore.
The Interior of the truck I purchased is relatively basic, however, as an LT it is still much nicer than my father’s tradesman or my previous SLT Cummins truck. I’m in love with the dashboard, especially the gauges as well as the head unit. This truck has something my 2017 Laramie Longhorn Megacab didn’t have, the Apple Carplay feature. It is awesome being able to utilize my iphones features while I’m driving. I use Spotify quite a bit and it’s pretty neat being able to browse my playlists while at the wheel.
The truck itself is probably the most impressive stock diesel i’ve ever owned/driven in. I know a big issue for me with my old LMM Duramax was at highway speeds. It was difficult to accelerate or pass on the highway. But with this new motor, the truck has plenty of passing power. It drives very similar to my tuned LMM as I have to watch my take-offs when its wet and raining. This thing can break the tires loose relatively easy! It drives amazing down the road with its independent front suspension and shifts very smoothly, courtesy of its newly revitalized allison transmission.
I hardly have anything to complain about except for two small details(because im picky). First off, i’ve always grown used to a relatively constantly oil pressure. With my Cummins trucks the gauge always was always right in the middle, with very small directional changes according to my driving conditions/habits. With my LMM duramax it was always very low, around 40 lbs. This new L5P Duramax from a cold start will get all the way up to 110 before slowly working its way down. I’ve also noticed when braking hard that there is a surge forward despite slowing down. It’s a hard feeling to explain.
The L5P Duramax seems like a great truck that will maintain GM’s legacy when it comes to Diesel Trucks. It’s a great start to a new motor, and I expect GM will tweak many of the small issues after a year or two. I recommend the truck to people who like driving diesels that are stock when it comes to the performance side of things. Apparently GM made these things with an “Uncrackable” ECM that is giving reputable tuning companies a real run for their money. Few tuners are available, with arguably the best one being the Banks Derringer Tuner.