Generac XD5000E Diesel Generator Review

Generac XD5000E
PTR Review
  • Build Quality 9.0
  • Feature Set 8.0
  • Runtime 10.0
  • Power 8.0
  • Value 7.5

If you enjoy getting nickel-and-dimed for accessories, you'll get a kick out the Generac XD5000E. The runtime is fantastic, and it has a solid range of outlets, but you'll need to buy the battery and the wheel kit separately...which feels like a slap in the face for a $3700 generator.

Overall Score 8.5 (out of 10)

Portable generators come in a variety of flavors, from camping-sized 1800-watt models to 10,000-watt monsters that power an entire job site. The 5000-watt power class works well for powering just about anything on the job site, and it can power most of your larger household appliances if a storm knocks out your power. While there are a ton of options in this wattage class, it’s tough to beat diesel. There aren’t a whole lot of portable options in that vein, but one that I like is the Generac XD5000E diesel generator.

First Impressions

The word “sturdy” might not quite do the Generac XD5000E justice. At 252 lbs, you’ll likely plant this generator where you need it and avoid moving it again if possible. That or just get your apprentice to move it when the need arises.

You expect a heavier weight with any diesel engine and there’s a reason for it. How many small consumer diesels do you see running around? Not many. Diesel engines are built to run long and strong. Even smaller diesel engines are known for their long life and excellent fuel efficiency.

That brings up the immediate question of, “why does this $3700, 250-lb generator not come with handles and wheels?” It’s a fair question. Regardless of the answer, if you’re using this generator for portable uses, spend the extra $150 on the wheel kit.

Likewise, the Generac XD5000E features an electric start, but you’ll need to purchase that separately as well. The 12V, 35 Ah recommendation will start around $50. It’s a no-brainer to avoid the hassle of pull starting this beast every day.

One other thing that I love about diesel as a fuel source – there’s no carburetor to maintain. There are still plenty of ways a lack of maintenance will get you, but a carburetor is a headache you won’t have to deal with.

How to Maintain Your Generator



The Generac XD5000E, as previously mentioned, offers both electric start-up as well as recoil backup. Of course, you can only use the electric start-up feature if you’ve purchased a battery, but the feature is there. As with all generator batteries, you’ll need to connect it and charge it before its first use.

This generator also features a fuel primer bulb and a compression release lever. The bulb helps to restart the generator after you’ve run it dry, and the compression release lever makes start-up a good deal easier in colder temperatures.


The Generac XD5000E runs on diesel fuel, which points to the fact that Generac designed this generator to run long and run often – this is a heavy-duty machine. It features a Yanmar LW Series, 435cc air-cooled, direct injection industrial engine.

This generator pumps out 5000 running watts and 5500 peak starting watts. This amount of power will adequately run multiple power tools on the job site, including your 15-amp table and miter saws. This is a common class for job site crews that is a near-perfect combination of power and fuel efficiency.

If your needs happen to include emergency power, 5000 watts will cover you pretty well. If you’re not sure how much power you need, check out our handy guide.

What Size Generator Do I Need?

This system runs at less than 6% total harmonic distortion as well. If that sentence sounds like a bunch of science-y, engineer-speak, basically, this means that your electronics will run more smoothly as the generator isn’t pumping out big power spikes.


The Generac XD5000E really shines in the runtime category. Where a lot of the generators we looked at crank out a piddly 6-9 hours of runtime, the Generac runs for an impressive 32 hours at 50% load. Granted, the XD5000E has a 12-gallon tank, which is a bigger tank than most.

Per gallon, the XD5000E gets the outstanding fuel economy. This owes a lot to its running off of diesel fuel. The Generac XD5000E makes a pretty compelling case for going diesel if you’re not all that interested in refueling every 6 hours.


Generac covers your basic outlet needs with the XD5000E. All of the outlets feature GCFI protection. The Generac XD5000E includes:

  • (4) 120V 20 Amp Outlets
  • (1) 120V 30 Amp Outlet
  • (1) Selectable 120V/240V Outlet

Price And Value

I’ll start by saying that the Generac XD5000E is not cheap. At $3700, it’s among the more expensive options in this wattage class. And in case you’ve already forgotten, add another $200 for the wheel kit and battery.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this generator presents awful value. There’s a big difference between sub-$1000 consumer generators and commercial level models that can run all day, every day. When you only look at the commercial class, $3900 is pretty compelling, especially given the fuel efficiency and runtime.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a generator that can tackle long days and heavy usage, you’ll do well to consider the Generac XD5000E diesel generator. Its Yanmar diesel engine means business, and it has enough of the right kind out outlets to power the vast majority of what you’ll throw at it on the job site.

While the price and weight might be a stretch for users that simply want a recreational or storm prep generator, you’ll be awfully happy with it when the need arises. The one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that diesel fuel isn’t as common as gasoline – so prepare ahead of time.

As long as 5000 watts meets your needs, there isn’t much to complain about with this model – just be sure to order the wheel kit and battery!

Generac XD5000E Key Features

  • Diesel Power requires less maintenance, is more efficient, and provides a long life.
  • Yanmar LW Series 435cc air-cooled direct injection, EPA Tie IV, industrial engine.
  • Less than 6% total harmonic distortion for clean, smooth, operation of sensitive electronics, tools, and applications.
  • Large-capacity 12-gallon fuel tank with fuel gauge provides a long run-time of 32.4 hours at 50% load.
  • Compression release lever provides easier starting during cold ambient temperatures.
  • Low Oil Pressure Shutdown automatically safeguards engine from damage.
  • Fuel primer bulb provides quicker starts when the fuel tank has previously run empty.
  • Durable, fully welded 1-1/4″ steel frame.
  • Integrated lifting eye provides easy transport and security on the jobsite.
  • 120/240V selector switch provides full 120V power.
  • Single touch electric start provides hassle-free start-up(battery not included).
  • Hour Meter with maintenance resets tracks usage and monitors maintenance cycles.

Generac XD5000E Specifications

  • Model: Generac 6864-0
  • Engine: Yanmar LW Series
  • Engine Size: 435cc
  • Starting System: Electric with recoil backup
  • Starting Watts: 5,500 W
  • Running Watts: 5,000 W
  • Maximum Amps: 41.7 /20.8 A
  • Fuel Tank Size: 12 Gal
  • Run Time: 32.4H @ 50% Load
  • Outlets: (2) 120V 20Amp GFCI Duplex Outlets NEMA 5-20R
  • Weight: 252 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years Limited
  • Price: $3700
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its oddly difficult to find user experience with this thing, but a few reviews mention it is “very loud”. Is it really louder than a regular consumer gas gen(not an inverter one).

Wayne Carpenter

The review was helpful. The surge wattage is rather low for a 5,000 watt running rating—only 500 watts more.

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