September 9th, 2022 by

Different power plants offer different kinds of power and performance. For a pickup truck like the Silverado 1500, it’s more important than ever to pick the right configuration that works for you. The reason for this is because some engines are designed for fuel economy, others are designed for towing, and others are designed to maximize high-end performance. Each of these configurations offers truck shoppers something different when it comes to the functionality of the pickup, and it can greatly affect what kind of longevity you can expect from the truck in the long run. That’s why it’s so important when you visit Richard Lucas Chevrolet, your Chevy Silverado 1500 dealer, that you let us help you find the right configuration that’s best for you.

So how do you know which engine and setup are right for you? Well, it all boils down to what engines are available for the Silverado 1500 and what they’re capable of. Matching the right engine with the right drivetrain setup can alter how you get the most out of your truck. Tailoring your choices to be able to get the performance and capability you really need can be tricky, but we are here to outline what you need to look for in a new or used Chevy Silverado and how to make your truck work for you.

For Convenience: 4.3-Liter EcoTec3 V6

For the first half of the fourth generation of the Chevy Silverado 1500, the entry-level engine option is the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6. It only manages 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. During the fourth generation, it was only available from the 2019 model year up to the 2021 model year. However, some might question what the benefit of this engine is and how it could be considered the best for some truck shoppers. Well, it’s mostly an engine of convenience.

It originally made its debut during the third generation back in 2014 and stuck around for many years until it was ultimately phased out during the fourth generation. However, the benefit of the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 is that since it’s a naturally aspirated gas engine, it’s one of the lighter options available, doesn’t suffer from turbo-lag, nor does it have as many moving components required to stay functional like some of the other options. Where it lacks in power, it makes up for in convenience and longevity, especially for those who want a long-lasting, full-size pickup that doesn’t require a lot of complicated upkeep for the engine maintenance.

If you don’t plan on doing a lot of towing, and you’re planning on keeping your payload hauls to a minimum, all while wanting to save on entry-level costs and maintaining long-term reliability, the 4.3-liter V6 is probably the best engine option for you. Its applications are going to be limited, and the scenarios in which it could be considered your best option are also going to be limited, but it’s still good for the role that it fills.

For Low-Cost Performance: 2.7-Liter Turbo High-Output Four-Cylinder

Some truck shoppers see the phrase “inline four-cylinder” and instantly shake their heads. However, the engineers at Chevrolet recognized this, and that’s why for the 2022 model year Chevy Silverado 1500, they completely overhauled the four-cylinder power plant. Prior to 2022, the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder wasn’t considered high-output and only managed 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque. The new model completely revamps the power output for the full-size Silverado, managing 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.

What changed? Well, the engineers focused heavily on upping the low-end torque of the four-cylinder, meaning more torque at lower revs, which in turn makes it far more capable for towing and hauling. The entire block was improved with higher-grade materials and performance scaling, allowing the Silverado 1500 to take full advantage of the enhanced capabilities. Access to lower-end torque means better acceleration off the line while towing, improved durability under stress, and a far more capable engine for the entry-level trims.

If you want a new full-size Chevy Silverado 1500, but you aren’t keen on the higher trims with bigger engines due to cost, then the 2.7-liter is the best option for you. You still get an impressive maximum tow rating of 9,500 lbs, and you have a much lower entry cost. This is your best engine when it comes to great performance at a low price.

For High-End Performance: 5.3-Liter vs 6.2-Liter EcoTec3 V8

You might be wondering, “What about the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8?” Well, it’s a good engine for sure, but there’s really no reason to go with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 as an option if you can afford a trim that has the 6.2-liter EcoTec V8 option instead, especially if it has dynamic fuel management available. It might be nitpicky, but you’re getting more horsepower and torque out of the 6.2-liter V8 as opposed to the 5.3-liter V8. This doesn’t make the 5.3-liter V8 bad in any way; it just means the 6.2-liter is that much better when it comes to overall performance.

If you have the option and the budget, the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque is the best choice for those who want a powerful full-size pickup with a roaring V8 under the hood. The only downside is that if your budget has limited you in terms of which kind of new Silverado 1500 trim you can afford, and anything at the RST level or above is outside of your price range, then the 6.2-liter V8 is sadly not going to be an option.

However, if you do find yourself wanting the power of a V8 but you’re going with something between the WT and LT trims, then the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque is your best option, no doubt. The 6.2-liter V8 is unfortunately not available for the WT through LT trims, but for those who can’t live without the rumble of a gas-powered V8, the 5.3-liter is more than serviceable. With the 5.3-liter, you still get access to towing ranges above 10,000 lbs and great hauling capabilities. Still, if your budget allows and you want the best V8 available for the Silverado, then the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 is the way to go.

For Flexible Capability: 3.0-Liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel Six-Cylinder

Did we save the best for last? Well, it depends on how you define “best” because some people do not like having to maintain a diesel engine. Others may not like the extra weight it adds to the vehicle, while others may not have a need for a turbo-diesel in the first place. The additional costs may also put off some potential shoppers. This might make you think, “How is a Duramax turbo-diesel the best engine option then?” Well, if you really want the best engine for towing, trailering, and fuel economy, then the Duramax turbo-diesel is your best option.

The 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel six-cylinder provides you with 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Alongside the 6.2-liter V8, it also offers the best towing capacity at up to 13,300 lbs. So if you need a brand new Silverado 1500 pickup for towing purposes, the Duramax is perfect for the job. What’s more, you also get the best fuel economy out of the entire engine line-up for the Silverado 1500 with the diesel. The Duramax provides you with an estimated 23 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. This gives the Duramax a lot of leeway in terms of its flexibility and capabilities.

For long hauls and fairly lengthy stretches of travel, the Duramax will save you the most on the highway. For trailering and towing, the Duramax provides you with some of the most competitive tow ratings in the segment. For durability and low-end torque, the Duramax is also a go-to option, making it the best engine for those looking for a power plant that’s going to last a long time.

Find the Best Silverado 1500 Engine for You

Engine selection is just as important as trim selection, especially when you’re truck shopping, and your choices all depend on what you plan on using the truck for. For daily driving and simple tasks, you have the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 and 2.7-liter turbocharged high-output four-cylinder. For power and performance, you have the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 engines to choose from. For fuel economy and workload reliability, the Duramax turbo-diesel six-cylinder is the preferred option. When scouting our Chevy Silverado 1500 dealership for the best engine and truck configuration for you, keep in mind the pros and cons of each engine so that you can get the most for your money.

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