New testing reveals that the 2019 Chevy Silverado’s 2.7-L turbocharged engine isn’t quite as good on gas as it’s big V8 counterpart.
We’re not quite sure what’s going on with Chevrolet’s engines of late. We were quite surprised to find out that the new 2019 Silverado actually gets worse mileage than the 2018 version when you pair the 5.3-L or 4.3-L V8 with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel mileage is supposed to improve over time, not degrade!
Now it turns out that the 2.7-L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine that was supposed to be Chevrolet’s answer to entry-level fuel economy is actually anything but.
Car and Driver performed a test comparing the 2.7-L turbo to the big 5.3-L V8. The test was performed in with a Silverado Double Cab RST powered by the 2.7-L, while the V8 found itself in a Crew Cab RST. The Crew Cab was 314 lbs heavier than the Double Cab, so the 2.7-L engine even had a weight advantage over the big V8. Both have 8-speed automatics and four-wheel-drive.
The test involved driving 200 miles at 75 mph--something that not too many pickup trucks get to do all that often, but a great way of getting real-world highway mileage.
On the EPA sticker, the Silverado’s 2.7-L turbo should get 20 combined mph, while the V8 gets 18 mpg. Both have a highway rating of 22 mpg.
After the 200 miles had flown by, the 2.7-L turbo Silverado got just 18 mpg, while the 5.3-L V8 got 21 mpg. Quite the switch from what the EPA says we should expect.
So what happened? Well, the EPA testing doesn’t involve traveling 200 miles at 75 mph, so the 2.7-L turbo 4-banger was likely working a lot harder to keep up the 75 mph pace than the big V8.
The 5.3-L V8, on the other hand, wasn’t working as hard and so could afford to deactivate a few cylinders to improve its highway mileage. GM calls it “dynamic fuel management” and says there are 17 different ignition cycles it can choose, depending on the situation the engine finds itself in.
That 2.7-L turbo is still probably a little better on gas in slower or more urban environments, but if you plan on doing some long-hauls with it, you’re better off with a big V8.