The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Diesel Puts Up Big MPG Highway Number

At 33 mpg highway, it's the most economical light-duty truck—for now.

Chevrolet has released EPA fuel-economy numbers for the new Duramax diesel-powered Silverado 1500, and they're impressive. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the 3.0-liter Duramax engine delivers up to 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

The numbers put it ahead of the 2019 Ford F-150 diesel, the most economical Ford truck at 22/30 mpg. When opting for four-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive, fuel economy on the Silverado diesel drops to 23/29 mpg, but it's still ahead of a comparable F-150 diesel's 21/28. The current Ram 1500 Classic diesel nets 20/27 mpg, but these numbers are practically irrelevant given that the automaker is coming out with a brand new 2020 EcoDiesel. Fuel economy has not yet been announced for the new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, so we don't know if Chevy will be able to hold its claim to best-in-category fuel economy. But we do know Ram also expects to top Ford.

The capability figures for the Silverado 1500 diesel are less impressive than its fuel economy. When paired with four-wheel drive, it can tow up to 9,300 pounds and has a max payload of 1,870 pounds. GM says this capability will meet the towing needs of 90 percent of light-duty customers, but it nevertheless is well below the Ford diesel, and the new Ram boasts an impressive 12,560-pound towing capacity.

The Silverado 1500 diesel packs a 3.0-liter straight-six engine making 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, paired to a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic. In a recent test drive we achieved a cluster-indicated average of 44.7 mpg, although we have to note that we basically hypermiled the thing.

The diesel engine is available on the LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country trims. On the first two, it costs $3,890 more than the standard 2.7-liter turbo-four, while it's a $2,495 option on the latter two. Deliveries of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel are expected to begin this fall.

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