With 4 Engine Options for the 2023 Chevy Silverado, What’s the Best?
Which engine is best if you want a new 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500? That depends. Four options offer many reasons to pick one over another. Their differences include towing capacity, economy, and price. So, let’s examine the pros and cons of the 2023 Silverado engines.
The four engines available with the 2023 Silverado 1500 are the base 2.7-liter L3B turbo inline four-cylinder, a 5.3-liter L84 EcoTec3 V8, a 6.2-liter L87 EcoTec3 V8, and a 3.0-liter LM2 Duramax turbodiesel inline-six. Let’s start with the base version.
Silverado 2.7-liter L3B turbo inline-4 base engine
This Silverado engine is the only four-cylinder in a full-size truck. Though unusual, it holds up when you look at the performance figures and disregard the four pots. With 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, it matches Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6.
We would expect this Silverado powerplant’s advantage to be fuel economy, but we’re disappointed in those numbers. The two-wheel-drive model with a 2.7-liter gets only 1 mpg more than the 5.3-liter V8. And a 4×4 Silverado gets a combined 18 mpg. However, matched to the F-150 EcoBoost, the Silverado inline-four shares similar mpg ratings.
For towing, this powerplant does yeoman’s work at a 9,000-pound capacity. That’s plenty of grunt for most towing needs. But other Silverado engines, for more money, improve on those numbers.
Silverado 5.3-liter L84 EcoTec3 V8 engine
Chevy’s history of excellent V8s is well documented. This latest V8, the 5.3-liter turbo, features a cast aluminum engine and block. It also touts sophisticated variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, and direct injection.
Producing 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, it’s probably the most well-rounded engine. It provides plenty of power and torque, along with decent mileage at 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. In addition, its towing capacity hovers on either side of 9,000 pounds, depending on options. But the 4WD Silverado can handle 11,000 pounds.
Plus, although the 2.7-liter runs smoothly, it can’t compare to the balance of a V8. In 2WD guise, it comes hooked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. With 4WD, the 10-speed automatic gets the nod.
Silverado 6.2-liter L87 EcoTec3 V8 engine
This one is a punched-out big-block version of the 5.3-liter. So, it increases all the specifications of the smaller V8. Making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, it has as much oomph as the GM diesel V8 but in a gas-powered version.
Towing capacity is increased to 13,400 pounds, slightly behind the Ford F-150’s 14,000 pounds. All 6.2-liter Silverado engines come backed by the 10-speed MQB transmission. Mileage dips to 16/20 mpg city/highway. That matches the smaller 5.3-liter V8.
3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline-6
While manufacturers are slowly phasing out diesel engines, Chevrolet still offers its Duramax turbodiesel inline-six. The older LM2 3.0-liter Duramax packs 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Matching the 6.2-liter V8’s torque, the diesel gets better highway mileage at 30 mpg.
Chevrolet replaced the LM2 with the LZ0 turbodiesel Duramax, debuting for the 2023 model year. That might be due to the 3.0-liter’s persisting issues with extended cranking. But overall, expect 305 hp, 495 lb-ft of torque, and 200,000 miles of reliable service from the most potent diesel engine in Silverado 1500 pickup trucks.