At the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500‘s reveal in 2018, now GM President Mark Reuss said Chevrolet would lay claim to the “best-performing diesel in this segment.” Perhaps the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline-6 engine will be good, but it certainly won’t produce the most torque.
On Monday, the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel bowed with a third-generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. The powerplant makes 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. The latter figure is the important one—that’s 20 pound-feet more than the 2020 Silverado diesel. The bowtie brand was able to say the Silverado was segment-leading for only a few months with its performance specs.
We will note, the Silverado (and GMC Sierra) will have more horsepower, however. The 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six engine makes 277 horsepower compared to the Ram’s 260 horsepower. The Ram’s peak torque also comes on at a very low 1,600 rpm.
Ram revealed the pickup with utmost confidence that it will best the competition with top fuel economy and towing figures. While the brand didn’t reveal fuel economy estimates, it said the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will tow 12,560 pounds. We await what Chevrolet has to say about the towing figure and fuel economy; the brand hasn’t shared other specs aside from horsepower and torque.
Price will also be an important aspect. We know the Silverado 1500’s optional diesel engine will cost $2,495 to swap in over the 5.3-liter V8 engine, and $3,890 over the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. If Ram undercuts Chevy here, it could be a major blow, especially with more torque and only slightly less power. We’ll need to look at the entire picture once we see full specs and fuel economy to see which diesel truck will be the better value.
Chevy also missed an opening to perhaps get out ahead of the 2020 Ram EcoDiesel. The brand delayed the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine‘s introduction to the 2020 model year. Originally, it was scheduled to launch with the 2019 model year pickups. We’ll see both pickups fight it out as Ram prepares to launch the EcoDiesel engine in the fourth quarter of this year.