GM Reveals Fuel Economy for 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra’s 4.3-Liter V-6
GM recently unveiled the power figures and EPA estimates for the optional 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 that will power its all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Now, it is taking the wrappers off of the info for the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6s that will serve as the standard engines in both pickups.
The new V-6 engine cranks out 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque, up a substantial 90 horsepower and 45 lb-ft from last year’s 4.3-liter V-6. Fuel economy improves by 3 mpg in the city and 4 mpg on the highway for both rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive setups (to 18/24 and 17/22, respectively), and is the same regardless of cab configuration: regular, double, or crew. The increases in both output and fuel economy are a result of a host of new technologies for the engine, including direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing, along with some aerodynamic tweaks and low-rolling-resistance tires.
That’s the feel-good news. Up against the competition, however, despite all of this technology, the Silverado and the Sierra are still in a close race with Ford and Ram. The Ford F-150’s base 3.7-liter V-6 makes 305 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque; rear-wheel-drive models are rated at 17/23 (down 1 mpg in both city and highway versus the GM twins) and four-wheel-drive versions get 16/21 (down by 1 mpg in both cycles). The Ram 1500 HFE (in regular cab) has a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive versions get 18/25 (matching the Silverado and Sierra in the city and bettering them by 1 mpg on the highway); all-wheel-drive models get 16/23 (down by 1 mpg in the city but up by 1 mpg on the highway).
- First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- First Drive: 2014 GMC Sierra 1500
- Instrumented Test: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3L 4×4 Crew Cab
While fuel economy may be too close of a race to call once in the real world, these are work trucks, after all, and that means hauling and towing, which is where the Silverado and Sierra have the F-150 and Ram 1500 beat. The GM trucks have a maximum payload rating of 2108 pounds, while both the V-6 models of F-150 and Ram 1500 max out at 1930 pounds. Maximum available towing for Silverado/Sierra is 7200 pounds; for the Ram 1500, it’s 6500 pounds and for the F-150, it’s 6100 pounds.
When it comes to trucks, most owners are probably more concerned with how hard their vehicles can work as opposed to how good their fuel economy is. When was the last time you heard a truck owner brag about his fuel economy?
By Kirk Seaman