When you think about environmentally-friendly vehicles, a full-size pickup isn’t the first car that usually comes to mind. Hybrid and electric vehicles are typically much more eco-friendly. The Honda Civic Hybrid uses less fuel than its gas-operated counterpart and has an impressive fuel economy to prove it. Fully electric cars, like the Tesla Model 3, have a long driving ranges and absolutely no local emissions.
However, one truck managed to make Cars.com’s list of Best Eco-friendly Cars for 2020. Joining the likes of the Corolla Hybrid and Clarity Plug-in is the Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel. Let’s go over everything this truck has to offer.
Engine specs and performance
The greenest Silverado 1500 has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine. It’s capable of 277 hp and an ample 460 lb-ft of torque. However, it’s not the standard engine for this truck. It’s only available for the LT trims and above, which will bring the truck’s starting price up to $45,200.
Despite its diesel engine, reviewers praise this truck for its quiet operation. It shifts smoothly thanks to the ten-speed automatic transmission, no gear hunting required. Its exhaust recirculation system has also been fine-tuned to make this truck the most fuel-efficient pickup on the market.
Exceptional fuel economy
The Duramax-equipped Silverado with two-wheel drive gets 23 mpg on city roads and 33 mpg on the highway. For models with four-wheel drive, you can expect 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg during highway drives. In real-world testing, Cars.com found these numbers to be almost exactly accurate.
Many things can affect a truck’s fuel economy, so your mileage may vary. However, when driven carefully, the diesel Silverado will still return much better numbers than other engines. For example, a Silverado with the turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder only gets 16 mpg combined city/highway.
Speed and towing prowess
The Silverado Duramax Diesel is also a little speedier than its rivals. MotorTrend found that it could get from 0-60 mph in exactly seven seconds. It finished out a quarter-mile in 15.4 seconds, reaching nearly 91 mph. This is much faster than the Ram EcoDiesel, which requires 8.1 seconds to reach 60 mph.
With a trailer attached, this Silverado reached 60 mph in 16.4 seconds. MotorTrend noted that towing felt smoother inside the Silverado compared to the F-150, even while climbing a steep hill. Testers felt that the truck could still go faster even as it passed 70 mph.
The Duramax diesel pulls large trailers easily, but it doesn’t have the highest towing capacity. When fully loaded, it can only tow a maximum of 9,300 pounds. The Silverado with the 6.2-liter V8 can lug up to 13,400 pounds. This V8-powered Silverado is also significantly faster than the Duramax Silverado.
However, the Silverado with the Duramax still includes Chevy’s latest trailering technology. It comes with tire pressure and temperature monitors for the trailer, as well as an enhanced camera system. This system includes the “see-through” camera angle, which allows drivers to see cars behind the trailer.
Huge improvement in drive quality
One thing you may not find in other Silverado models is a smooth drive. In the past, critics have taken shots at the High Country Silverado for its jittery, bumpy ride. However, the Silverado with the Duramax has turned this around.
Many editors at Autoblog enjoyed their experiences inside the Duramax Silverado, even though the interior is still woefully outdated. For a truck that costs over $40,000, some drivers might expect a little more luxury on the inside. However, the Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel is clearly worth it if you need to save on fuel.