Judges selected both trucks for the same reason: the availability of turbo-diesel engines. The Colorado offers a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that returns 30 mpg highway, making it an extraordinarily efficient pickup. What’s a tad strange is the 2019 Silverado. While it’s wonderful to see the truck nominated, the 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel inline-six engine isn’t in production yet. We also don’t have official EPA fuel economy estimates. Therefore, we’re not sure why it’s in the running without basic information on the powertrain.
However, judges said the 2019 Silverado’s lower curb weight (lighter by up to 450 pounds) will help contribute to a greener truck. And across the board, EPA fuel economy estimates have risen marginally for the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8 engines. The 2.7-liter L3B turbocharged four-cylinder engine—the 2019 Silverado’s new volume engine—returns an EPA-estimated 21 MPG combined.
Both trucks will face stiff competition. The Ford F-150, Ford Ranger and Ram 1500 are also in the running for Green Truck of the Year. The Ram 1500 also introduced the segment’s first mass-market mild-hybrid system, paired to a V6 or V8 engine. The former returns better fuel economy than the Silverado’s 2.7-liter turbo-four engine. We’re also curious as to how the Ford Ranger is up for the award, as the truck won’t be available until next year.
The winner of the Green Truck of the Year award will be announced at the 2018 San Antonio Auto Show, which takes place November. The winner of the Commercial Green Car of the Year will also be announced, though GM does not have any contenders for the category.