2020 Chevrolet Silverado Diesel

33 MPG: 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Turbo-Diesel Is Fuel-Efficiency King

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is finally getting a small, powerful, and efficient turbo-diesel. This full-size pickup now offers better fuel economy than many family sedans!

Over a year ago, I talked about the features of the all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado. I got most excited about the announcement of the forthcoming 3L turbo-diesel option. Now we have all the details on that new diesel, with some impressive performance numbers all around.

New 3L Duramax

This fall, you’ll be able to get a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with an all-new 3L Duramax turbo-diesel engine. The aluminum block inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel uses things like stop/start technology and a 10-speed transmission for the ultimate in fuel efficiency and performance.

The Chevrolet Silverado’s 3L Duramax inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine
The Chevrolet Silverado’s 3L Duramax inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine

With this new diesel option in a 2WD Silverado 1500, you can expect to get 33 mpg highway and 23 mpg city. Even in 4WD models you still get an impressive 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg city. To put that into perspective, a Toyota Camry V6 gets 32 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.

Yep, you read that right: The new full-size Silverado 1500 diesel pickup gets better fuel economy than a Camry sedan!

Not only do you get efficiency with this new engine option, but you get plenty of usable power. It offers up 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. With the 4WD model, you also get 9,300 pounds of towing capacity and a max payload of 1,870 pounds, which are big numbers for a light-duty half-ton truck.

The Chevrolet Silverado’s all-new 3.0L Duramax inline-six turb

Towing is further improved with an included diesel exhaust brake, which makes going downhill while towing much more confidence-inspiring and controlled.

The 3L Duramax is available on LT, RST, LTZ and High Country Silverado trims. It’s a $2,495 option on the LTZ and High Country, the same up-charge as the 6.2L V8 option. On the LT and RST trims, the diesel will bump the price up to $3,890 over the base 2.7L four-cylinder turbo option.

The Competition

Sure, the big Silverado 1500 somehow edges out the tiny Camry sedan in fuel efficiency, but let’s have a look at more comparable vehicles. For full-size light-duty diesel trucks, you have to look at the Ford F-150 Power Stroke and RAM 1500 EcoDiesel.

A 2WD Ford F-150 diesel will get you 30 mpg highway and 22 mpg city, dropping to 28 and 21 mpg, respectively, on the 4WD models. It also offers up 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, which is a bit less on all accounts than the new Silverado 1500 diesel.

The 2020 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel EPA numbers aren’t out yet, but RAM claims it will “lead the segment on fuel economy.” We’ll let you know what we find when we drive it for the first time later this summer. For reference, the last RAM EcoDiesel offered 29 mpg highway and 21 mpg city.

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
2019 RAM 1500 Rebel

Even the Silverado’s baby brother, the Colorado, with its 2.8L turbo-diesel, only gets 30 mpg highway and 20 mpg city in 2WD, dropping to 28 and 19 in 4WD.

Let’s take this one step even further. Somehow, this new full-size diesel Silverado even outperforms the Tacoma and Outback when it comes to fuel efficiency! A 2019 Toyota Tacoma 2WD V6 gets a paltry 23 mpg highway and 20 mpg city, and 22 and 18 for 4WD.

An AWD 2019 Subaru Outback four-cylinder will get you 32 mpg highway and 25 mpg city, while the six-cylinder Outback will get you 27 mpg highway and 20 mpg city.

2020 Silverado 1500 Diesel

The Chevrolet Silverado’s all-new 3.0L Duramax inline-six turb

What this all amounts to is the new 2020 Silverado 1500 Duramax being a super-strong, fuel-efficient, full-size truck. Go further into the backcountry in more comfort while hauling more friends and gear. This truck is worth a test drive when it hits dealer lots this fall.

Bryon Dorr
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Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by adventure motorcycle or 4x4, while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike and kayak.

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