Diesel is a smart choice for a pickup truck. Not only do diesel engines provide the right torque and towing specs, but they also traditionally offer solid fuel economy numbers to boot. While gas engines have also shown impressive fuel economy gains as of late, the oil burners are still the better choice when it comes to max returns, as evidenced by the class-leading MPG and horsepower numbers posted by the 2020 Silverado diesel. But how do the numbers compare to rival products from Ram and Ford? To find out, we laid out a comparison between all three models.
Let’s start with a quick overview of the engines in this segment, starting with the 2020 Silverado diesel. Under the hood, we find the 3.0L inline six-cylinder LM2 turbo-diesel Duramax, which mates to the GM 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. Output is rated at 277 horsepower at 3,750 RPM and 460 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 RPM, with fuel economy pegged at 33 MPG on the highway, 23 MPG in the city, and 27 MPG combined for models equipped with two-wheel drive.
The 2020 Silverado diesel is offered as GM’s first-ever full-size light-duty pickup with an optional inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. Buyers can option the diesel powerplant in LT, RST, LTZ and High Country trim levels.
Up next, we have the 2020 Ram 1500, which is equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. The EcoDiesel was recently upgraded for the 2020 model year, and mates to a ZF eight-speed automatic tuned to handle the extra torque of the updated engine.
Output for the Ram diesel is rated at 260 horsepower at 3,600 RPM, a 17-horsepower deficit compared to the Silverado’s 3.0L Duramax. Meanwhile, peak twist slots in at 480 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 RPM, beating the Silverado by 20 pound-feet. However, the Ram’s peak torque still arrives 100 RPM later than the Silverado.
As for fuel returns, the 2020 Ram 1500 diesel posts 32 MPG on the highway, 22 MPG in the city, and 26 MPG combined, falling short of the 2020 Silverado diesel’s numbers by a single MPG in each of the three measurements.
Finally, we have the 2020 Ford F-150, which comes with an optional 3.0L Power Stroke Diesel “Lion” V6. The Blue Oval brand‘s ‘six mates to a 10-speed automatic, the same transmission co-developed with GM.
Output for the Ford is rated at 250 horsepower at 3,250 RPM and 440 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 RPM, placing the F-150 at the back of the pack in that regard. The Ford is also in last place in terms of fuel mileage, posting 30 MPG on the highway, 22 MPG in the city, and 25 MPG combined for two-wheel-drive models. That’s 2 MPG less on the highway, 1 MPG less in the city, and 2 MPG less combined when compared to the 2020 Silverado diesel.
|Vehicle||Engine||Displacement||Configuration||Horsepower @ RPM||Torque @ RPM||MPG (hwy/city/combined)|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500||Duramax Diesel LM2||3.0L||DOHC||277 @ 3750||460 @ 1500||33/23/27|
|2020 Ram 1500||EcoDiesel||3.0L||DOHC||260 @ 3600||480 @ 1600||32/22/26|
|2020 Ford F-150||Power Stroke Diesel Lion||3.0L||DOHC||250 @ 3250||440 @ 1750||30/22/25|
The 2020 Silverado diesel stands out in the segment by offering the highest peak horsepower and the highest fuel mileage estimates, while also grabbing the second-highest torque rating.
However, it also bears mentioning that the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel severely undercuts the 2020 Silverado diesel in terms of pricing. That said, the discrepancy comes down to trim level availability for the diesel powerplant, and would most likely vanish assuming equal trim levels.
Indeed, diesel power is a smart choice for a pickup, especially the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado.