Diesel pickup enthusiasts will finally get the motor they’ve wanted all along in the Colorado and Canyon pickups General Motors introduced last year.

Both trucks–which have proven massively popular–will get a 2.8L turbodiesel four-cylinder for 2016, an engine that’s been available in overseas markets but has been modified for North America with a higher-capacity cooling fan, glow plugs for cold-climate use, and a new variable geometry turbo GM says will work better at high altitudes.

Power ratings haven’t been firmed up, but estimates are pegged at 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and GM expects the diesel will give the Colorado and Canyon best-in-class fuel consumption bragging rights. Again, GM isn’t talking official consumption numbers yet, but if a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ram 1500 with FCA’s 3.0L turbodisesel V6 can achieve 10 or 11 L/100 km in real-world city driving, then we expect a diesel Colorado should be capable of 9-10 L/100 km in the city, and the 7.0 L/100 km range on the highway.

The questions that remain in our minds are thus: Will the engine be available in all trims? What will it cost to option one into a Colorado or Canyon? And, will it be offered with a manual transmission? All in due time, but if GM could put this motor into these trucks for about the same price as the 3.6L gas V6, we’d call that a sweet deal, though it’s more likely the diesel will be positioned as an upgrade over the V6. We’d also cheer if the diesel were offered in basic Work Truck (WT) trim, as that would turn one of these mid-sizers into a real work truck.

2015 GMC Canyon

Connect with Autos.ca