Trucks & SUVs

2020 Chevrolet Silverado: How Good Is the Diesel’s Gas Mileage?

When it comes to trucks, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado has what it takes to get the job done. It’s the strongest and most advanced Silverado ever with a legacy of Chevy dependability. The Silverado leads the pack in cargo volume and V8 power and towing, and it has a full suite of high-tech safety features. But how do these full-size diesel pick-ups do when it comes to fuel economy and gas mileage?

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado

2020 Chevy Silverado HD models on display at the Annual Chicago Auto Show
The 2020 Chevy Silverado | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

These powerhouses come with a choice of engines. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has a standard 4.3-liter V6 that’s capable of 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. There’s also an available 6.2-liter V8 under the hood with dynamic fuel management and plenty of power for towing.

There are also 3 other engine options, depending on your needs. These include a responsive 2.7-liter turbo, a 5.3-liter V8, and an available Duramax 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine. The Silverado also has a long list of trim choices, including the High Country, LTZ, LTZ Trailboss, RST, LT, Custom Trailboss, Custom, and Work Truck. All Silverado models have an available drive mode selector, which lets you customize your pickup’s performance. It has six different driving modes, including:

  • Tow/Haul
  • Normal
  • Off-Road
  • Sport
  • Terrain
  • Snow/Ice

The cargo bed in the Chevy Silverado is larger than any of its competitors and offers features like 12 different tie-down hooks and a Durabed liner to tackle any job. Inside the cockpit, you’ll find an array of features depending on the trim level you choose. It has all the technology you’ve come to expect, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, and an available Wi-Fi hotspot. With a spacious center console that closes flat for a large surface area, the Silverado makes the perfect office on wheels for contractors. 

The 3.0-liter Duramax engine

The powerhouse available on LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country models is Chevy’s uncompromising Duramax 3.0 liter turbodiesel V6 engine. It churns out 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The diesel is mated to a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.

It is a quiet engine that is equipped with auto start/stop technology for improved fuel economy. This legendary engine has a 9,300-pound towing capacity and an advanced in-vehicle trailering system with all the latest trailer tech. 

The Chevy Silverado’s diesel efficiency

Pickup Truck News took the Chevy Silverado on a thorough 1,000-mile run to test the diesel gas mileage of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado. They tested a 4×2 Silverado 1500 RST Double Cab pickup equipped with the optional diesel engine. The advertised mileage for the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 4×2 is an EPA-estimated 23 MPG with city driving, 33 MPG with highway driving, and 27 MPG combined. The real-life California test was conducted over 1,026 miles of mostly highway driving at posted speed limits.

The results were an overall reported diesel gas mileage of 26.4 miles per gallon. While still fairly impressive for a diesel pickup, the numbers do fall short of the EPA’s highway estimate of 33 MPG. The test team theorized that the discrepancy could be because California has a higher speed limit than most national highways at 70 miles per hour. Another reason could be that the test route climbed an elevation of 4,144 feet.

In all, the Chevy Silverado does a little worse on mileage than its more aerodynamic cousins, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and the GMC Sierra 1500 Diesel. Although all three trucks share the same type of engine, a 3.0-liter V6 diesel, the Ram and GMC models get slightly better fuel economy than the Silverado thanks to their more streamlined design. However, 26.4 miles per gallon on the highway is still impressive mileage for a full-size pickup.