Strangely, some new 2019 Silverado configurations are actually less fuel efficient than the previous year’s despite having the same engine.
Fuel economy usually isn’t the primary concern of anyone who’s heart set on buying a truck. Typical combined miles per gallon for a pickup is measured in the 20s, as opposed to the 30s-40s for most passenger cars. That makes sense, given the fact most pickups are powered by big, thirsty V6 and V8 engines.
But as with all automobiles, pickups still followed the general trend of upward fuel economy--next year’s model is usually more fuel efficient than the previous year’s model, and the year after that will be better still. Rarely do they take a step backward.
Unless you’re the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, that is.
Chevy introduced a new 2.7-L turbocharged engine as their most fuel efficient engine, but the previous 4.3-L and 5.3-L EcoTec engines are still around for those that still want a big V8 engine under the hood. They’re the exact same as last year’s models, so you’d expect to see the same fuel economy numbers, but for some unknown reason, that’s not the case.
According to Motor1 (who got their fuel numbers from FuelEconomy.gov), If you pair the 2019 Silverado with a 4.3-L or 5.3-L V8 and a 6-speed automatic transmission, you’re actually getting less mileage than if you bought a 2018 model. In some cases, a lot less.
Take the 4.3-L V8. In 2WD configuration, you got 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined in 2018. For the 2019 model year, that drops to 16 city, 21 highway, and 17 overall. That’s a drop of 3 mpg on average from one year to the next.
The 5.3-L V8 also sees a fuel economy loss. In 2018, the 5.3-L 6-speed automatic in 2WD form got 16 city, 23 highway, and 19 overall. In 2019, that dropped to 15 city, 21 highway, 17 overall. The same thing happened for the 4WD format as well as the Trail Boss trim with the same engines.
This is incredibly confusing because Chevrolet says that the 2019 Silverado is actually lighter than the previous model (by up to 450 lbs) and has the same power figures: 285 hp and 305 lb-ft on the 4.3-L, 355 hp and 383 lb-ft on the 5.3-L.
A lighter vehicle with the same engine and same power should get even better fuel economy, not worse. But somehow, Chevrolet has done it.