2019 Silverado Fuel Economy: Why The Numbers Barely Moved32
When the 2019 Silverado 1500 officially revealed itself, there was a lot of hype, and expectation, surrounding the potential fuel economy numbers of the all-new breadwinning truck. With up to 450 lbs of weight lost, a lower drag coefficient, loads of subtle aerodynamic body work, Dynamic Fuel Management, and the introduction of a 10-speed transmission, all signs pointed to massive gains in fuel economy. Something that was highly prioritized during the truck’s development, as General Motors needed to find ways to meet the extreme 2025 CAFE targets originally mandated by the Obama Administration, which have now been rolled back by the Trump Administration.
We routinely scoured the EPA’s MPG site to see if the fuel economy numbers for the 2019 Silverado 1500 were finally reported. And when they finally manifested themselves, we were both surprised and confused to see almost nothing changed. During the 2019 Silverado 1500 test drive hosted by Chevrolet, we finally were able to get some answers.
There’s drag coefficient. Then there’s drag coefficient of area (a multiplication of the drag coefficient value by the surface area). Chevrolet touts that the 2019 Silverado has a drag coefficient that’s seven percent improved over the outgoing truck, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Without getting too scientific, the drag coefficient of area is where the 2019 Silverado 1500 is more challenged than before. Because while there’s less drag coefficient, the fascia of the truck has significantly increased, forcing the truck to punch a bigger hole through the air as it moves down the road at speed. This in turn creates more resistance, and thus requires more energy to move forward.
That’s why, despite all of the aerodynamic efforts, cylinder deactivations, gurney flaps, and extra gears, the 2019 Silverado 1500 in managed to improve its EPA fuel economy numbers by one mile per gallon in the city.
However, there are more efficient models coming. An all-new 2.7L turbo four-cylinder engine with 310 horsepower will be available on the 2019 Silverado 1500 in the coming months, and is expected to return better fuel economy numbers over its V6 and V8 counterparts. There’s also a 3.0L six cylinder Duramax diesel coming, and that might just prove to be the most efficient engine of the lot.
All of this fuel-saving effort may have been to offset the increased visual mass of the 2019 Silverado – because truck buyers can’t seem to have them big enough. Then again, who buys pickup trucks for the fuel economy?
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I know I’m in the minority, but I definitely shop based on fuel economy, in addition to safety, reliability, durability, etc. I’m disappointed that the new Silverado is larger overall. I would have preferred something sized the same but with more efficiently used space—plus an EREV option. Offer an all-electric El Camino that’s able to tow a small/light trailer and I’d be all over it!
So they increased the cross sectional area of the front of the truck? Why? If they pushed so hard for MPG and aero throughout design, then design the entire front end better.
I don’t buy this as an excuse. DFM didn’t turn out to be the poster child they were initially touting it to be. I honestly think Ram hit the nail on the head, they achieved great MPG on old ass engines and didn’t have to use aluminum. Their midcycle refresh could.bring lighter materials and/or more efficient and high capacity eTorque battery. That system can also likely be tweaked for great off the line acceleration whether just planting your foot or towing.
RAM has been and still is using aluminium body panels on the truck. They may not use much right now but they are likely to in the future to keep up with the rest of the market. RAM also likes to use a lot of aluminum in the suspension components to cut weight. http://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2018/01/22/2019-ram-1500-cuts-up-to-nearly-225-lbs-with-high-strength-steel-some-aluminum/
I was hoping they would go the way Ram did and reintroduce the mild hybrid on at least both of their V-8s
I actually really like the styling of this new truck. Although it is extremely polarizing depending on the trim and color. But boy did GM appear to drop the ball on the overall execution of this design.
Insignificant fuel economy increase
Unreasonable limiting of engine options
Interior pretty much stayed the same as the previous generation – and lost features and stowage no less
The ONLY thing that draws me to these new GM trucks vs the previous generation is the looks…nothing else.
Silverado owners will be really happy when they beat these figures by at least two mpg while the others struggle to get their advertised mpg. My dealer has received four new trucks and has sold all four. I was able to talk to owner of one. He loves the truck and is getting more than two mpg over advertised figure. They are beautiful trucks.
My 5.0 F150 averages 14.5 mpg and the best I seem to be able to get on the freeway is 19. Truck has 3.31 rear end. From what I have heard people with the Silverados get low 20s on freeway.
I averaged 24.5mpg HWY over 250miles with a Diablo 87 octane tune and AFM deactivated (so it stays in V8) in my old non-direct injection 2012 5.3 crew cab LTZ with a 2″ lift and 275 65 18 duratrac tires
Tune got me about 2mpg
We all know the EPA is nuts when rating certain vehicles. They are off on the 2019 Silverado’s too. My 2017 Impala is a perfect example. Rated for only 22/31 and now down to 22/30 for 2018 despite zero changes the 2.5 Lt I have has numerous times beat the highway rating by up to 5.5 MPG going well above the speed limit with the A/C blasting in hot weather. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 5.3 8 speed 2019 trucks seeing as high as 24-25 highway despite being rated for only 22.
gm is notorious for getting good ‘real world’ mileage compared to the eco/or/boost.
I hate to say it but when the first pictures of the 2019’s were released, my first thoughts were “what a big flat front end”. From the side there is barley any rake looking down the front bumper. Not blaming anyone but vehicle design is one of the hard things to concept and build where the masses think it is a good looking vehicle. One big problem with marketing is for some reason every new model has to have styling queues that says “Chevy or Silverado”. When you look back at hugely popular new vehicles, and Ford hit on this alot, they never looked like a Ford or a vehicle before it. Start with the Mustang, then the 1985 Taurus, the Chrysler minivans and many others. For the last 30 years the Silverado and Chevrolet cars still have the damn 2×4 across the grill. Why?
When GM went from the GMT800 to the GM900 chassis, they really jacked up the height to give it a bigger look but not a bigger truck. I have a 2012 SIlverado 2×4 with 20″ wheels and I’m 6’2″. It’s a stretch to climb up in the truck. Too get more MPG probably lowering it 2 inches with a front air dam could help.
I hope GM has all of the bugs worked out from the new DFM.
Heads need to roll after a fiasco like this and the worst part is that they knew that despite being 450 lbs lighter, a better engine and transmission wasn’t going to mean anything before the first prototype was built; still the design leader of the project decided to let the Silverado go into production despite the shortcomings.
Since they have launched these new models , am looking for there curb weights and i don’t see any differences compare to the previous models , after looking actually, i hope they didn’t become heavier ?!
so despite the advertisement they are saying
dose anybody has a prove of that they become lighter trucks ?
New:: TC 2.7-liter Inline 4 ( fuel economy), New inline 6 TC diesel fuel economy). Don’t know what numbers you were looking for, on a V8 engine, real world numbers are different. EVT/GM, Full Hybrid plug in system, Bigger fuel numbers coming.
I have a gut feeling the 2.7L Turbo four will be selling like pancakes. At least GM decided to be bold and put a turbo four-banger in its full size pickup. Maybe they should add it to the Colorado and Canyon.
Yeah that is so bold of them to offer a small displacement turbo in a full sized pickup. I mean who would have thought of that ingenious idea? And the courage it took to go to aluminum for some of the body. And that “man step”. That took some serious intestinal fortitude.
Yeah, GM seems to be more of a follower than a leader these days when it comes to trucks.
I wish they would do MPG testing in real world type settings, fill the truck full of fuel. Set the cruise control at 65 on the freeway and drive the truck until it runs out of fuel. Then track how many miles it went.
Do this in the middle of nowhere so traffic is not a problem.
What you just described are ideal conditions. Anything but real world. I’m sure manufacturers would love to be able to advertise MPG based on fantasy conditions like this.
Yes it would be best case scenario but it would give the customer a idea of what the mileage would be.
Doing testing in traffic would be hard to duplicate in a scientific way.
Car & Driver does a test very similar to this, although at 75 mph. Based on my experience, you can probably guess a 10-20% increase over their numbers at 75 mph by dropping to 65 mph.
No better age for pickups, especially if you’ve got the bucks. These companies are beating the hell out of one another.
So if the truck has more resistance and takes more energy to move, won’t that mean the 2.7 turbo will be in boost more and won’t really be that great on fuel? Personally I’m expecting another let down from GM, hoping it’s a homerun, but it won’t be class leading. It better at least match the Ford 2.7V6
In my opinion, you should describe it in your 1000 word essay. Just read https://writemypaper4me.org/blog/1000-word-essay if you need some writing advices.
I really hate to say it as a long time GM fan, but GM blew it here. They poured tons of resources into this program (10,000 people worked on it I remember reading somewhere) and the best they came up was a truck that is barely better than a four year old Ford and outclassed by the new RAM. The styling inside is complete copy of the previous one and a mild step up from the previous generation and yet is still a miss mash of styling aesthetics. The RAM interior is so much better and more cohesive, it’s a embarrassment for GM. The GMC has the interesting multigate and the Chevy has a power up tailgate, but beyond thing, I’m struggling to see where a lot of the engineering went other than reducing weight (which is good). The only thing helping GM compared to the RAM is the RAM is from FCA and has terrible past quality/reliability to overcome.
Ram spent all their development money on:
– the interior (12′ screen, reclining rear seat, vented rear seats, movable middle console storage and lots of leather/wood trimmings)
– new frame
– suspension tweaks
– the e-torque system (have to spend $1500-2000 to get it and then it only gives about 1mph improvement on the Hemi, which is the only way it comes close or matches what GM and Ford have with their engines)
– added the industry standards for safety like all the monitoring systems, braking systems, etc
BUT nothing on their engines or transmissions besides a program tweak on the transmission, no real trailering or actual daily work technology. Once again the Ram looks pretty and will be comfy, but besides the flashy stuff, nothing really impressive for actual daily use.
Whereas GM spent theirs on:
– new frame
– weight saving
– added all the industry standards for safety like the monitoring and braking systems
– new engines (3.0L diesel and 2.7L turbo)
– new 8 and 10-speed transmissions
– full trailering app that provides a towing tutorial for newbies, a full trailer light test, storing individual trailer brake settings for up to 5 trailers as well as monitoring fuel mileage, miles towed, etc for each of those 5 trailers. It even can monitor trailer tire temps (so you can tell if a wheel bearing is going as tire temps spike before that happens) and tire pressures (really nice to use and for those who tow)
– various driving modes
– a new terrain mode for single speed transfer cases
– DIC that even monitors your brake life
– surround cameras than zooms in on each side tire so you can see a curb, etc in the camera while you are turning
– trailering camera system that can even have a camera mounted inside or on the back of the trailer and show on the dash
– 7″ heads up display for driver safety and convenience
– A brake system that engages the emergency brake when you are backing up to a trailer (when using the hitch guidance camera) so you don’t get that pesky 1-2 inch roll when you put the truck in park and they your hitch doesn’t line up
– Entirely new box design that provides 7 inches wider interior box width with 12 built in tie downs plus 9 more that are optional and movable
-Power lift tailgate on Silverados
-GM pro tailgate on Sierras plus the carbon-fibre truck bed
– New infotainment 3 system that now has apps, climate control options, and is very fast from screen to screen and intuitive
GM’s interior is an evolution of the previous gen, which actually is good thing. One of the guys in our football pool already has the new RAM and he says the interior is a nightmare to clean as the there are so many nooks, crannies, corners between materials and plastics that he needs Qtips just to get the dust clean. I appreciate the smoothness of the GM interiors as a quick swipe with a interior detailer and microfiber cloth and you’re done. He’s already found out the sliding middle console bin is pretty much useless if you have anything in the main storage area higher than about 3 inches and the handle that releases the sliding bin has already broke. His sliding rear seat release on the rear passenger side is already broke also. The 12″ screen is having glitches and freezes up on him requiring him to shut the vehicle off and restart it to reboot it. He is also getting the same mileage he did with his 2015 Hemi, which is about 2-3 mpg less than what I get with a 2018 5.3L.
I find the Ram’s interior very busy with so may buttons, different layering of materials, etc. But Ram will sell a lot of trucks to those who like flash but less substance under the skin.
Well said. I agree completely. I’ve always said Ram’s are great mall crawlers but when it comes to guys using trucks as work vehicles, the GM is a better option.
Finally this guy gets it. I’ve been saying this for months. Both ford and dodge are notorious for doing this, they make flashy things that people can look at and say wow. To keep their minds and comments off of the truly outdated stuff that matters. It’s called smoke n mirrors I want you to pay attention to this so you dont see this over here!
The buying public are gullible, easily tricked into thinking they are getting a good deal.
What would most truck people want a company who spends the majority of the time and money on the truck stuff that matters or screens?
It’s the same with all the “class leading” from Ford. But how many trucks on the lots are class leading? I think GM is going the right direction on the “who cares about class leading attitude”. Class leading is more for the little man complex customers.
No, No, No
The larger frontal area is a factor, but the other reason is the elimination of the 3.08 axle that nobody wanted, but GM used on the K2 trucks for EPA tests.
6 speed K2s with the 5.3 came with the 3.08 axle standard, 3.42 on Z82 tow package trucks, and 3.73 for NHT max tow package trucks
8 speed K2s and T1s have a 3.23 standard, with or without Z82, and a 3.42 for NHT
So, GM did what was best for the consumer. They gave them the axle ratio they used to pay extra for as standard equipment, but got screwed by the EPA.
In the real world, a Z82 truck (most of the ones you see) will see a substantial increase in fuel economy.
Since the EPA never tested the 3.42 trucks before, there are no concrete, quotable numbers for people to reference, but ask a T1 owner in a few months and I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to tell you about it.
Sorry Manoli, but your argument seems to lack depth. We haven’t even seen the real world numbers yet. Why don’t you wait until we get some real data before putting out unfounded theories based on nothing?