Only 1 Full-Size Pickup Truck Has a Four-Cylinder Engine

Whether big or small, modern pickup trucks typically steer clear of four-cylinder engines. Well, Chevrolet has decided to add a little bit of weirdness to the newly updated 2022 Chevy Silverado. While the new Ford Raptor dueling Chevry ZR2 has soaked up most of the limelight, Chevy has made another change that is far more newsworthy and bizarre, making it the only full-size pickup truck with a four-cylinder engine. 

2022 Chevy Silverado LT full-size pickup truck parked on a grass field near forest mountains
2022 Chevy Silverado LT | Chevrolet

Do any full-size pickup trucks have a four-cylinder? 

Four-cylinders are typical pickup truck fare. Truck owners often prefer lots of torque instead of horsepower, at least for those using their trucks for work. For this reason, four-cylinders aren’t often used in pickup trucks. However, Chevrolet decided to buck the system and slapped a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder in the Silverado. According to Gear Patrol, for the 2022 model, Chevrolet bumped up the engine’s torque by an impressive 20 percent and tweaked the eight-speed auto to shift at more appropriate times. 

Can the four-cylinder make enough power for the Chevy Silverado? 

Admittedly, putting a four-cylinder in a full-size pickup truck is a strange choice. Despite the lengths Chevrolet has gone to bump the power up, a mental block may keep truck buyers from considering a four-cylinder. But should it? 

Understanding that selling the four-cylinder to truck people would be tough, Chevrolet got the torque up to 430-lb-ft. That ain’t nothing to shake a stick at, but is it enough? On its own, maybe not. 

To prove that even GM recognizes the weirdness of a four-pot in a full-size pickup truck, Gear Patrol noticed that there is no PR material of any kind from GM that actually says the words “four-cylinder.” 

Is the four-cylinder Chevy Silverado worth it? 

2022 Chevy Silverado towing a trailer. Is this the worst truck you can buy today?
2022 Chevy Silverado | Chevrolet

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Gear Patrol got to get its hands on one of these black sheep and gave it the review you might have expected. They say that the 2.7-liter offers decent power for daily driving. They mention that the turbo lags a noticeable amount, but the torque is impressive when it does eventually spool up. 

The “high-output” 2.7-liter may lag, but there is still plenty of power to get off the line, and once the turbo gets there, drivers have plenty of power to pass and do other highway-speed maneuvers easily. 

It certainly isn’t going to blow the competitors away with its towing, but this small-motored Chevy can still tow a very impressive 9,000 lbs. After making this point, the reviewer admits that the Chevy’s performance is not a  legitimate reason for passing on the Silverado. The part that makes this full-size truck tough to stomach is the driving experience. 

The review was put off by the “gravelly” sound of the small engine. He says the pickup truck felt like it was working hard at all times. Other aspects like the chunky column shifter also annoyed him but not overly so. Ultimately, the experience just isn’t satisfying compared to the feel of a naturally aspirated GM V8 in a proper full-size pickup truck. 

Is the four-cylinder Chevy Silverado good on gas? 

The worst part about this small engine is that it isn’t even very efficient compared to other big trucks. For instance, the 5.2-liter V8 option gets 21 mpg, while the 2WD four-banger only gets 22 mpg. If you get it in the 4×4 configuration, it only gets 18 mpg. That is worse than the V6 Toyota Tundra. It is hard to make this make any sense. 

Making matters worse, this less-powerful version isn’t even much cheaper than the other models. Depending on the trim and the drivetrain, savings are about $1,500-$2,500 over the 5.3-liter V8. I’m simply not seeing much of an upside here. 

It’s not that the GM four-pot is a bad engine; it isn’t. It is a hard sell, especially when considering how good, relatively affordable, and efficient the V8 version is. 

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