Chevy Silverado's New 4-Cyl Turbo Gets Worse MPG Than V8 In Test

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - January 24, 2019

In an effort to create more efficient vehicles, automakers have gone with smaller, turbocharged engines. Standing out of the full-size pickup segment isn't easy, but Chevrolet boldly decided to add a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder to the new Silverado's lineup. While the EPA figures make the four-cylinder Silverado seem like the fuel-efficient option, Car and Driver's own research painted a different picture.

The automotive outlet put two Silverado variants against one another: one with the four-cylinder engine and one with the 5.3-liter V8. Both had four-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the four-cylinder's configuration allows it to get up to 19 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. The larger V8 is rated at 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.

To see if the EPA's figures were actually close, Car and Driver completed its own 75-mph fuel-economy test, and the four-cylinder engine didn't do as well as the V8. The outlet claims that the Silverado with the turbocharged four-cylinder managed to get 18 mpg over the 200-mile test. The model with the V8 got 21 mpg.

2019 Chevy SIlverado

Why the big difference? For one, the outlet tested the vehicles at 75 mph, while the EPA conducts its highway testing at 48 mph. One is clearly more realistic than the other. Second, as Car and Driver points out, the V8 is high tech, featuring Dynamic Fuel Management. Third, the four-cylinder, despite not having as much weight to push around, could be using the turbocharger to its full potential to keep the full-size truck at 75 mph, while the V8 is hardly breaking a sweat.

With the new four-cylinder, Chevrolet was really hoping to appeal to consumers that wanted all of the heavy-duty benefits of a full-size truck, while not having terrible fuel economy. While Car and Driver's test proved that a V8 is better at real-world highway cruising, we're sure the EPA's figures hold up in the city and at lower speeds.

No other automaker sells a full-size pickup truck with a four-cylinder engine. When it comes to efficiency, the Ford F-150 with the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine is at the top with an EPA rating of 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined. Ram offers the new 2019 1500 with a mild-hybrid system, which helps that offering get decent fuel economy numbers. With the hybrid system and the 3.6-liter V6, the Ram 1500 can get up to 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

Just like its competitors, Chevrolet will be offering a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine in the Silverado, but specs for that motor have been released yet. That engine should get better fuel economy numbers than the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Learn more about the Chevy Silverado

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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