Not sure if @mass-hole
is making an apples-to-apples comparison. Are you looking at a gas Z71 with options vs diesel? My understanding is that they're putting the diesels into the higher trim packages more than lower because of the demographic: folks willing to spend more initially on a diesel are often (though not always) likely to spend more on trim. It's economics on Chevy's part, plain and simple.
When buying diesel vs gas, you've gotta factor more than just the cost of fuel in:
- While the market for diesels is smaller, they typically hold value better than their sparky little brothers.
- Speaking of holding value: they do that because the engines are more robust and tend to last MUCH longer (we'll see if the same can be said for the exhaust management system, but I digress).
- Speaking of robust engines and sparky little brothers: no spark plugs to replace, as well as a much longer maintenance cycle means fewer trips to the mechanic for "routine" maintenance.
- Two words: Diesel. Torque.
- Though there is give-and-take on the environmental impacts of diesel vs gas, the "clean diesel" vehicles today pollute less per mile. Further, diesel contains more BTU per unit AND take less refining to produce. So long as you're not a "rolling thunder" guy/gal, buying a diesel vehicle is actually more environmentally friendly.
All this said, is it worth the thousands extra? Perhaps not. I'm not going to argue to-the-penny economics here. I'd say it is, at worst, a wash as far as economics but when you factor in the torque and environmental benefits, I'll buy diesel every time. It's why I'm driving a Colorado today.