Which is the best engine option if you’re looking to buy a new 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500? That depends on what you’re after. With four different engines, there are many reasons to pick one over another. Obviously, they have to do with towing capacity, economy, price, and what in the end is the most satisfying. So let’s break down the 2023 Silverado engines and see what the pluses and minuses are.
The four engines available in the 2023 Silverado 1500 are the base 2.7-liter L3B turbo 14 four-cylinder, a 5.3-liter L84 EcoTec3 V8, 6.2-liter L87 EcoTec3 V8, and a 3.0-liter LM2 Duramax inline-six. With the base engine being the 2.7-liter L3B four-cylinder, let’s start there.
Silverado base 2.7-liter L3B turbo inline four-cylinder engine
This is the only four-cylinder engine in a full-size truck. While unusual, when you look at the performance figures and disregard the four pots, it holds up. With 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, it matches Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6.
But while we would expect its advantage to be power with fuel economy, we’re disappointed in those numbers. The 2WD Silverado with a 2.7-liter only betters its 5.3-liter V8 by only a single mpg. And a 4×4 Silverado gets a combined 18 mpg. However, matched to the F-150 EcoBoost, it shares similar mpg ratings.
For towing, it does yeoman’s work at 9,000 lb capacity. That’s plenty of grunt for most of your towing needs. But it is the base engine because there are others, for more money of course, that improve on those numbers.
5.3-liter L84 EcoTec3 V8 engine
Chevy’s history of excellent V8s is well documented. This latest V8, the 5.3-liter turbocharged engine, features both a cast aluminum engine and block. There is also its sophisticated variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, and direct injection.
At 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, it is probably the most well-rounded engine. You get plenty of power and torque, combined with decent mileage at 16 mpg City and 21 mpg Highway. And its towing capacity hovers on either side of 9,000 lbs depending on options. But the 4WD Silverado can handle 11,000 lbs.
Plus, while 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 is a punched-out big block version of the 5.3-liter. So it increases all of the specifications across the board from the smaller V8. With 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, it has as much grunt as the GM diesel V8, but in a gas-powered version.
Towing capacity is increased to 13,400 lbs, faring slightly behind the Ford F-150’s 14,000 lbs. All 6.2-liter engines come backed by the 10-speed MQB transmission. Mileage dips to 16 mpg City and 20 mpg Highway. That matches the smaller 5.3-liter V8.
3.0-liter turbodiesel Duramax inline-6
While diesel engines are slowly being phased out, Chevrolet still offers its Duramax turbodiesel inline-six. The 3.0-liter Duramax packs 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Matching the torque of the 6.2-liter V8, it features better mileage figures at 30 mpg in highway driving.
This diesel engine will be replaced by the coming LZ0 Duramax, which we expected for 2023. Some of this may be due to the 3.0-liter’s past issues with extended cranking. Be aware that this issue seems to still be occurring. But overall, you can expect 200,000 miles of reliable service.