Trucks

2019 Chevy Silverado 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder hits 23 mpg

GM's all-new downsized engine delivers ho-hum fuel economy.

Chevrolet

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is the first modern full-size pickup to get a four-cylinder engine option, and now we know how efficient the new mill will be. The all-new 2.7-liter, turbocharged power plant will yield an estimated 20 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined in rear-wheel-drive configuration, as paired to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission.

Despite its healthy 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque, those fuel-efficiency figures may come across as slightly disappointing to some truck shoppers, as they aren't class-leading numbers compared to small-engine offerings from its main rivals, the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.

According to the data on FuelEconomy.gov, Ford's 2018 F-Series truck offers up to 20 mpg city, 26 highway and 22 mpg combined with its turbocharged 2.7-liter V6. The Blue Oval engine actually offers more horsepower (325) and more torque, some 400 pound-feet. The F-150's larger, naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6, which Chevy says is a better comparison, still offers 19 city, 25 highway, 22 combined, but it's less powerful at 290 hp and 265 pound-feet.

For its part, the new 2019 Ram 1500 offers a 3.6-liter V6 powertrain that generates 305 hp and 269 pound-feet. It also delivers EPA estimates of 20 mpg city, 25 hwy and 22 combined. The Ram truck stacks the efficiency deck somewhat, however, as it features Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' eTorque mild-hybrid assist, which also means the powertrain can deliver up to 359 pound-feet of torque in bursts.

The Chevy Silverado 1500's new 2.7-liter turbo engine replaces General Motors' naturally aspirated 4.3-liter V6 in a high-volume Silverado LT and a new RST sport-truck variant. The long-serving six-cylinder remains available as a base engine elsewhere in the Silverado lineup.

Despite the somewhat disappointing fuel mileage figures for Chevy's new four-cylinder, buyers should be happy with the powertrain's 2,280-pound payload rating, which is up to 600 pounds more than similarly equipped trucks from its cross-town rivals. However, the 2.7-liter's max tow rating of 7,200 pounds is slightly worse. 

Silverado's new 2.7-liter features a twin-scroll turbo, cylinder deactivation and stop-start.

Chevrolet

The 2.7-liter features a twin-scroll turbo for improved low-end responsiveness, as well as cylinder deactivation and stop-start tech, and its lighter weight should aid in improved handling, too.

GM has not yet released 2.7-liter fuel efficiency figures for Silverado 4x4 variants.

Chevy Bowtie fans may not have to wait long for a more efficient truck, however. GM has promised that a new 3.0-liter Duramax diesel is coming for early 2019. Paired with a new 10-speed automatic and a stop-start system, the diesel option ought to prove both more muscular and quite frugal.