These diesel engines are the epitome of reliability

Diesel engines have long flourished and enjoyed widespread use in passenger cars, commercial trucks, trains and marine machinery. For now, the future of this engine looks cloudy as the push toward electrification increases. Diesel hybrids remain rare, which is a shame, as diesel cars have proven to be capable alternatives to their petrol rivals. These engines have different starting mechanisms and one of the main differences is that they do not use spark plugs. Instead, they operate on the principle of compression ignition. This design requires robust components that contribute to the diesel engine’s high reliability and suitability for heavy-duty applications.

Related: The 10 Coolest Luxury Cars with Diesel Engines

Over the years, manufacturers such as Ford, Chevrolet, and Mercedes-Benz have evolved significantly Reliable cars Powered by diesel engines. Some of these vehicles have proven to last over half a million miles with minimal problems. Here are some diesel engines that offer bulletproof reliability in their various applications.

Looking at information from reputable sources, including CarSurvey, Edmunds, and Ultimate Specs, we’ve compiled this list of ten diesel engines that exemplify reliability.

10 Volkswagen 1.9L ALH TDI Diesel

Via: Cars and Bidding

Engine specifications

the creator

Volkswagen

Years of production

1996 – 2007

Settings

Inline four

displacement

1.9 litres

power

90 – 100 hp

Torque

155 – 177 lbs.ft

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Passat, Audi A3

In 2015, Volkswagen was at the center of a major emissions scandal, known as Dieselgate, which led to the most embarrassing recall in automotive history. However, this does not erase the prominent role that Volkswagen plays in defending diesel engines. They built powerful, reliable diesel engines like the 1.9L TDI which appeared in many VW Group models from 1996 to 2007.

Reliability of Volkswagen 1.9 TDI.

A review of CarSurvey data shows that many cars equipped with the 1.9 TDI engine including the Jetta, Golf CL and Passat have covered more than 250,000 miles with the engine still solidly reliable.

Highest distance reported in CarSurvey: 1999 Volkswagen Passat with 434,000 miles

9 Mercedes-Benz OM617

1979_mercedes-benz_300d_1979_mercedes-benz_300d_OM617
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Engine specifications

the creator

Mercedes Benz

Years of production

1974 – 1991

Settings

NA or turbocharged straight five

displacement

3 litres

power

79 – 125 hp

Torque

118 – 177 lbs.ft

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Mercedes-Benz W123 240D, W123 300D, W116 S-Class

Enthusiasts often refer to the OM617 as the “Million Mile Engine,” a title rightly earned by being one of the most legendary and reliable diesel engines ever built. The five-cylinder diesel engine appeared in several Mercedes models of the 1970s and 1980s, including the W123 and W126 series, in naturally aspirated or turbocharged forms.

Reliability of Mercedes-Benz OM617.

Many owners of cars equipped with the OM617 report exceptionally high mileage on these engines, often exceeding 500,000 miles and sometimes reaching 1 million miles with proper maintenance. According to CarSurvey data, many cars are still running strong even after owning them for decades.

High mileage reported in CarSurvey: 1979 W123 240D with 1.14 million miles

8 Toyota 1HD-FTE

1HD-FTE Turbo Diesel FZJ80 Land Cruiser
Diesel games

Engine specifications

the creator

Toyota

Years of production

1998 – 2007

Settings

Inline six

displacement

4.2 litres

power

202 hp

Torque

268 ft. lbs

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Land Cruiser, Toyota Coaster

The 1HD-FT is a 4.2-litre turbocharged inline-six diesel engine mainly found in Land Cruisers, and known for its durability and reliability. It featured a cast iron block and cylinder heads that made it bulletproof and was the preferred choice of enthusiasts and professionals who needed a powerful, dependable diesel engine.

Reliability of Toyota 1HD-FT.

Toyota’s diesel engines have proven to be consistently reliable, and have contributed to the brand’s long-term reputation for reliability. Owner reviews on CarSurvey cite high mileage numbers for their 1HD-FE-powered vehicles, with many praising its durability comparable to most of Toyota’s 1HD engine family.

Highest distance reported in CarSurvey: Toyota Land Cruiser 2000With 310685 miles

7 Kia/Hyundai 1.6 CRDi

Engine specifications

the creator

Hyundai

Years of production

2007 – present

Settings

Inline-four turbocharger

displacement

1.6 litres

power

89 – 126 hp

Torque

174 – 195 lbs.ft

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Hyundai i20, i30, Accent, Kia Cerato, Venga, and Soul

When the 1.6 CRDi was launched in 2007, it was one of the cheapest diesel engines on the market. It is part of the U family including Korean diesel engines that feature two-camshaft cylinder heads and four valves per cylinder. The CRDi engine has been used in many Hyundai and Kia cars designed for the European market and is still popular in the current Kia Seltos after continuous development and improvement.

Reliability of Hyundai 1.6 CRDi

Over the past decade, the 1.6 CRDi engine has demonstrated solid reliability and the cars it powers have been praised by CarSurvey owners for being mechanically flawless with no serious faults to report.

High mileage unit for sale in Edmunds: Kia Soul 2013 with 135,737 miles

6 Volvo D5

Volvo V70-2008-D5 Engine
Volvo

Engine specifications

the creator

Volvo

Years of production

2001 – 2017

Settings

Inline-5

displacement

2.4 litres

power

160 – 217 hp

Torque

243 – 310 ft. lbs

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Volvo S60, V70, XC90

The Volvo D5 is a family of turbocharged, aluminum, five-cylinder engines that appeared in many Volvo vehicles including sedans, wagons, SUVs and some performance-oriented models between 2002 and 2017. These engines have left a lasting mark with their smooth operation and smooth delivery. Good torque, fuel efficiency and reliability made it suitable for daily and long-distance trips.

Volvo D5 reliability

The Volvo D5 has proven reliability when properly maintained and can last 200,000 miles and more. Most owner reviews on CarSurver claim that maintenance costs are high for cars with engines, but not directly due to engine problems.

High mileage reported in CarSurvey: Volvo S60 with 176,000 miles

5 BMW M57

2007 BMW X3 M57 Engine
BMW

Engine specifications

the creator

BMW

Years of production

1998 – 2010

Settings

Turbo inline six

displacement

2.5 – 3 liters

power

150 – 320 hp

Torque

221 – 580 ft. lbs

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

BMW 3,5,6, and 7 Series, X Series

BMW is a pioneer in the use of the six-cylinder engine, and the M57 is arguably the brand’s best diesel engine ever. The M57 came in three different displacements including 2.5, 2.9 and 3 liters making up to 580 lb-ft of torque in the Dakar Rally Car version. Features a high-pressure common rail direct injection system that enhances fuel efficiency and reduces emissions.

Reliability of the BMW M57

The M57 engine is one of the most reliable BMW diesel engines and has shown very few problems compared to similar engines from competitors. Owners rated the older 218 hp M57 engines as more reliable than newer versions.

High mileage reported in CarSurvey: 1998 BMW 323i with 178,954 miles

4 Cummins 5.9 litres

Dodge Ram B6T engine
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Engine specifications

the creator

Cumin

Years of production

1989 – 2007

Settings

Turbo inline six

displacement

5.9 litres

power

160 – 325 hp

Torque

400 – 610 ft. lbs

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Ram pickup trucks

The diesel versus gasoline engine debate won’t end until electric vehicles take over. However, diesel units like the Cummins 5.9L are prime examples of diesel engine superiority in the trucking industry. Besides achieving impressive torque numbers and impressive towing capacity, the 5.9L Cummins engine proved to be extremely reliable and dependable throughout its run powering Ram trucks between 1989 and 2007.

Cummins Reliability 5.9L.

More than three decades after its debut, the Cummins 6BT remains a favorite among builders and truck enthusiasts. Many owners who have reviewed Ram trucks with the Cummins 5.9L have noted its smooth performance and reliability.

High mileage reported in CarSurvey: 1995 Dodge Ram SLT with 430,000 miles

3 Chevrolet Duramax 6.6L LB7

2003 GMC Sierra 6.6L Duramax V8
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Engine specifications

the creator

Duramax

Years of production

2001 – 2004

Settings

Naturally aspirated V8

displacement

6.6 litres

power

300 hp

Torque

520 ft. lbs

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Chevy Silverado HD, GMC Sierra HD

Duramax was able to build the LB7 into a durable unit while using lightweight cast aluminum pistons and 4340 crankshaft components. The extremely reliable Chevy V8 diesel engine powered the 2001-2004 Chevy Silverado HD and GMS Sierra HD and made up to 520 lb-ft of torque.

Chevy Duramax 6.6L LB7 Reliability

Aside from some injector faults, the LB7 has proven to be a very reliable and efficient diesel engine that will last hundreds of thousands of miles with basic maintenance.

High mileage reported in CarSurvey: 2001 Sierra 2500HD 4×4 6.0 V8 with 209,000 miles

2 Ford Power Stroke 7.3L

Ford 7.3L power inside a 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT
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Engine specifications

the creator

stronghold

Years of production

1994 – 2004

Settings

Turbo V8

displacement

7.3 litres

power

210 – 275 hp

Torque

425 – 525 lbs.ft

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Ford F-Series Super Duty

The Ford Power Stroke is one of Ford’s most successful diesel engines ever with nearly 2 million units sold thanks to its rugged construction and ability to handle heavy loads. While Ford replaced the engine with smaller 6L and 6.4L Power Stroke engines, the 7.3L trucks remained in demand in the used truck market.

RELATED: 10 Classic Cars With Heavy-Torque Diesel Engines

Reliability of the 7.3 liter thrust

This engine has gained a strong following from truck owners for its reliability and longevity. One CarSurvey owner describes his F-Series powered trucks as the best engineered, manufactured and high-quality vehicles he has ever owned.

High mileage reported in car survey: 1999 Ford F350 with 338,000 miles

1 Cummins 6.7 ISB

Modified 5.9 Cummins ISB
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Engine specifications

the creator

Cumin

Years of production

2007 – present

Settings

Turbo inline six

displacement

6.7 litres

power

305 – 420 hp

Torque

610 – 1,075 ft. lbs

fuel

diesel

Noteworthy applications

Dodge Ram trucks

The Cummins 6.7 picked up where the 5.9L left off and continued Cummins’ legacy of building highly reliable diesel engines. It is currently the largest V6 engine used in light trucks and school buses, and has impressive torque and towing capacity.

Latency 6.7 ISB Reliability

The 6.7 Cummins engine has a longer life expectancy than its 5.9L predecessor, and many engines have surpassed the 300,000-mile mark with proper maintenance. Some CarSurvey owners have reported nothing or no faults in Ram trucks powered by the 6.7L Cummins engine.

High mileage unit for sale in Edmunds: 2014 Ram 2500 with 152,000 miles

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