GM’s Newest Full-Size Silverado Pickup Earns a 33 MPG Highway Rating – But Will It Save Owners Money On Fuel?

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Chevy’s 2020 Silverado Duramax diesel has earned a whopping 33 MPG Highway rating from the EPA. Will it be the truck with the lowest fuel costs?

General Motors announced this week that its full-sized, rear-wheel-drive, 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel pickup has earned an estimated 33 MPG Highway rating from the EPA. Just to put that number into perspective, that is one MPG higher than a Honda Accord 2.0T Sport earns on the highway. This new truck could well offer the lowest cost for fuel of any truck on the market. Or it may not, depending upon how and when you do the math.

The catch is that this high rating is due in large part to the turbo-diesel engine the 2020 Silverado is equipped with. When it comes to cost, this type of engine has two main downsides. The first is that GM simply charges more for it. On the upscale Silverado’s LTZ and High Country trims, the 3.0L Diesel is a $2,495 option (identical to the adder for the up-powered 6.2L gaoline V-8). For the more affordable LT and RST trims, the Duramax diesel is a $3,890 increase over a base 2.7L Turbo gasoline engine. Four grand buys quite a bit of gasoline. In fact, it buys almost exactly two years worth of gasoline for the base 2.7L-equipped Silverados.

The second downside is that, in America, diesel fuel costs more than regular unleaded gasoline. It is now the middle of summer and diesel fuel is at its lowest price point of the year. Still, diesel fuel is presently twenty cents more per gallon than regular gas. Diesel’s prices change as the seasons change due to the fact that the fuel is very similar to home heating oil. In the cold months, diesel can cost as much as twenty percent more than gasoline.  Particularly in states that have tough winters.

Still, 33 MPG using diesel is impressive and it tops both Ford and Ram’s current diesel offerings. Interestingly, the new Silverado full-size pickup equipped with the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel is even more efficient than the 2020 Chevy Colorado Midsized pickup equipped with a smaller 2.8-liter Duramax Diesel engine. It earns a 30 MPG Highway EPA rating in 2WD configurations. Imagine, a larger truck, with a larger engine, but with a ten percent better fuel efficiency.

“We designed the all-new Silverado and the all-new 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel to deliver both performance and efficiency,” said Tim Herrick, Silverado executive chief engineer. “The engine utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to optimize every drop of fuel, and takes advantage of architectural changes to make Silverado larger, lighter and more aerodynamic than before. The resulting combination offers all of the performance, refinement and capability customers want in a full-size truck, with highway fuel efficiency you would expect from a family sedan.”

Here Chevy speaks the truth. The all-new 2020 Silverado does indeed have the same highway miles per gallon of fuel consumption as a typical family sedan. Just don’t grab a calculator and check the actual fuel costs, or the fun might be spoiled.

 

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John Goreham

John Goreham

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