Chevy Says Not To Look At The 2019 Silverado’s Fuel Economy Rating

The 2019 Chevy Silverado is hitting dealerships soon, and one of the most notable changes for the new full-size pickup is the addition of a 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four.

2019 Chevy Silverado

The engine replaces the naturally-aspirated 4.3-liter V6 in volume consumer models like the Silverado LT and promises more power, less weight and — most importantly — better fuel economy. The thing is, the gains in efficiency haven’t been as dramatic as some might have hoped, especially when stacked up against competitors from Ford and Ram. As Automotive News reports, GM’s response is a little murky.

First, let’s talk numbers. We’re pulling all figures from FuelEconomy.gov, the official U.S. government source for fuel ratings. Fuel economy numbers on trucks vary greatly based on a number of factors. Bed and cab configuration play a part, but so does a four-wheel-drive system. You also have to factor in tires, transmissions, rear-axle gearing, hybrid systems and cylinder deactivation.

First, take a look at the ratings for the 2019 Silverado. A 2.7-liter model with two-wheel drive is rated 20 city, 23 highway and 21 combined. That’s both better and worse than a two-wheel drive 2018 Silverado with the 4.3-liter V6 (18 city, 24 highway and 20 combined). The updated 2019 Silverado with a 4.3-liter V6 has yet to be rated. With less weight and a smaller engine, many hoped Chevy would make bigger gains.

Expanding further, a V8-powered 2019 Silverado (17 city, 24 highway and 19 combined) actually gets better highway fuel economy than a turbocharged four-cylinder powered truck in certain configurations, even if the latter has a better overall average. But that’s only with two-wheel drive, the 8-speed transmission and cylinder deactivation. A Silverado with the 5.3-liter V8 and a 6-speed automatic is rated at 15 city, 22 highway and 17 combined.

The biggest issue with the Silverado 2.7-liter doesn’t come from within GM itself but from Ford and Ram. GM cites the Ford F-150 with the 3.3-liter V6 and the Ram 1500 with the 3.6-liter V6 as the closest competitors to its new 2.7-liter inline-four.

The Silverado’s executive chief engineer Tim Herrick told Automotive News “don’t look at the label” and that Chevy is “as good or better than them in every step.” Real-world fuel economy results usually differ, as the EPA rates fuel economy based on a specific set of driving criteria. We haven’t spent enough time with the truck to tell if Chevy’s real-world results will be radically different. Put more simply, and as always, your mileage may vary.

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