Diesel Cars

Chevy's 2020 Silverado 1500 diesel is the most efficient pickup in the US

With an EPA-rated 33 mpg on the highway, the new Silverado diesel beats out even some passenger cars when it comes to gingerly sipping fuel.

The Silverado 1500 diesel will do 33 miles to the gallon on the highway, making it America's most efficient pickup.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Diesel engines have a lot of appeal for buyers of full-size trucks and for good reason. They're usually much torquier than their gasoline-powered kin, and that makes them great for towing. One of their other significant advantages has historically been superior fuel economy.

Now, that fuel mileage gap has narrowed over the years as gasoline engines have added forced-induction and diesel-like direct fuel injection, among other things. Chevrolet has just proved that diesel is still king when it comes to gas mileage in full-size trucks though, with the 3.0-liter Duramax-equipped 2020 Silverado 1500 that managed a staggering 33 mpg on the highway, according to an announcement made by the company on Thursday.

Just to put that in perspective, the much smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic Mazda CX-5 Diesel can't do better than 31 mpg on the highway, and for an even wilder comparison, the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST -- a hot hatchback that weighs under 3,000 pounds and has an engine half the size of the trucks -- can only manage 32 mpg on the highway, according to FuelEconomy.gov.

Of course, the highway is the ideal situation for a diesel thanks to relatively low engine speeds and minimal turbocharger use, but things don't totally fall apart in the city either for the diesel Chevy, with it returning a highly respectable 23 mpg. For some comparison, the Ford F-150 diesel offers just 22 mpg in town.

We're still waiting on the EPA fuel economy ratings for Ram's new small diesel engine, also a 3.0-liter unit, but it's anyone's guess at this point whether that company's long history as a leader in diesel trucks will be enough to edge out Chevrolet's surprising accomplishment.

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