For those who want the twist-happy torque of a diesel engine stuffed into a light-duty pickup truck, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel and 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 diesel are on deck with all the right fixin’s do the job. But the question is, how do GM’s diesel-powered half tons compare to rival diesel engines from the likes of Ford and Ram? To find out, we broke out the spec sheets for a little side-by-side comparison.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the 2020 Silverado diesel and 2020 Sierra diesel. Under the hood, both trucks feature the 3.0L inline six-cylinder LM2 turbodiesel Duramax engine. Offered on LT, RST, LTZ and High Country trim levels on the Silverado, and on the SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4 and Denali, the all-new diesel engine is the first-ever inline six-cylinder turbodiesel available in GM’s full-size, light-duty pickup trucks. Peak output is rated at 277 horsepower at 3,750 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm, with the GM 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission providing shifting duty.
Over at the FCA camp, the 2020 Ram 1500’s 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 gains a few improvements for the 2020 model year. Peak output is rated at 260 horsepower at 3,600 rpm, less than GM’s 3.0L Duramax. However, peak torque bests that of the GM engine, with as much as 480 pound-feet on tap at 1,600 rpm.
That’s a full 20 pound-feet more than Duramax, albeit at 100 rpm higher in the rev range. Putting it all to the ground is a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission, which carries over from the previous generation Ram 1500 with new programming to make use of the updated engine’s extra torque.
Lastly, the Ford F-150 offers the 3.0L Power Stroke Diesel “Lion” V6. Found under the hood of the 2020 Ford F-150, this oil burner sits in last place in terms of peak output numbers, producing 250 horsepower at 3,250 rpm and 440 pound-feet of torque at 1,750. That’s 27 horsepower and 20 pound-feet under the peak figures posted by GM’s Duramax, though a 10-speed automatic transmission (co-developed with GM) makes the most of what’s there.
|Vehicle||Engine||Displacement||Configuration||Horsepower @ RPM||Torque @ RPM|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500||Duramax Diesel LM2||3.0L||DOHC||277 @ 3750||460 @ 1500|
|2020 GMC Sierra 1500||Duramax Diesel LM2||3.0L||DOHC||277 @ 3750||460 @ 1500|
|2020 Ram 1500||EcoDiesel||3.0L||DOHC||260 @ 3600||480 @ 1600|
|2020 Ford F-150||Power Stroke Diesel Lion||3.0L||DOHC||250 @ 3250||440 @ 1750|
All told, the 2020 Silverado diesel and 2020 Sierra diesel definitely put up a fight, boasting the highest peak horsepower and second-highest peak torque in this comparison. However, there’s a whole lot more to unravel when it comes to comparing these three light-duty diesels, especially how all three behave in the real world, so stay tuned for additional follow-up posts later.