The EPA has finally dished out official fuel economy figures for perhaps the most anticipated 2019 Chevrolet Silverado engine. The 2019 Silverado with the new 2.7-liter L3B turbocharged four-cylinder engine will return 21 mpg combined (20 city, 23 highway).
We’ll address the elephant in the room right away: the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 both outdo the 2019 Silverado with their EPA fuel economy ratings. When looking at each truck’s volume engine—the 2.7-liter turbo-four replaces the Silverado’s former 4.3-liter V6 volume engine—the Silverado falls shorts. Ford’s 3.3-liter V6 engine will return 22 mpg combined, as will Ram’s 3.6-liter V6 with a standard e-Torque mild-hybrid system. And both of the trucks will return 25 mpg on the highway, too.
The fuel economy ratings do not include figures for 4×4 models, which will drop compared to the 20/21/23 mpg figures for two-wheel drive pickups. And for further comparison, the figures aren’t far off from 5.3-liter V8-powered 2019 Silverado models. A two-wheel-drive Silverado with the 5.3-liter V8 will return 17/18/23 mpg with its Dynamic Fuel Management technology.
However, the fuel economy figure for the turbo-four engine is also a milestone in one way as it pushes the truck’s combined fuel economy figure over 20 mpg.
The 2.7-liter turbo-four engine will be standard on volume Silverado models: the LT and RST trims. Pricing for the LT starts at $38,395, while RST models command $40,295. Buyers will have to fork over another $2,400 for a short bed/crew cab truck, which is the most popular configuration. The new four-cylinder engine will also tow 7,200 pounds and haul up to 2,280 pounds. The latter is up to 600 pounds greater than the Ford or Ram, but the Silverado will tow 200 pounds fewer.
Why didn’t the fuel economy figures move more dramatically? Drag coefficient of an area. While the 2019 Silverado boasts a drag coefficient that is 7 percent improved over the old truck, its surface area has increased. The truck’s face has increased, which means the pickup has to cut a larger hole through the air, and that requires more energy to move the Silverado and cut through a greater resistance.