Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Chevy Silverado Duramax Diesel got a Lower Fuel Economy

A new model year for a truck means that it gets better, right? Well, this isn’t exactly the case for the 2021 Chevy Silverado. The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel engine actually managed to get a lower fuel economy. 

The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel is worse on fuel 

Despite having no significant changes between the 2020 Chevy Silverado and 2021 model year, the Duramax diesel got a significant drop in its MPG ratings. The four-wheel drive 2020 Silverado Duramax got an estimated 23 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. 

2020 Chevy Silverado Duramax Diesel
2020 Chevy Silverado Duramax Diesel | Chevrolet

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado gets an estimated 22 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined. This most significant drop includes getting 3 mpg less on the highway. But with a world obsessed with a better fuel economy, why did the Silverado’s drop? 

Will the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax have a better fuel economy? 

Well, the 2021 Chevy Silverado got heavier. It went up in its test weight class, which led to a reduced fuel economy, according to PickupTruckTalk. Also, General Motors shared that it was a higher-contented truck being tested based on the production schedule. 

Chevrolet Silverado Diesel driving on a highway near a mountain
Chevrolet Silverado Diesel | Chevrolet

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This means that the numbers may not be final, and during real-world testing, the 2021 Chevy Silverado Duramax might get better numbers. But MGP estimates come from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing, and GM conducts the tests on their own vehicles. 

Automakers self certify their results and report them to the EPA. Then the EPA may perform a spot check to ensure the automaker is telling the truth. The automaker is allowed to pick the vehicles they want to rate for the EPA based on which vehicle they think will sell.

GM could test for the Chevy Silverado LTZ if they think that would be the most popular model. But the trail boss wouldn’t get the same fuel economy due to having bigger tires and a lift.

So, off-roading versions of trucks often have the same EPA estimate despite getting a slightly lower fuel economy. The keyword here is estimate. EPA ratings shouldn’t be considered as facts. 

But doing this can get trucks in trouble. GM guessed that consumers would buy the lower-trim Duramax Silverado, but they actually went for higher trims. To stay compliant with the EPA, GM revised its numbers to better reflect what customers are buying. 

To get straight to the point, the Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax may have a slightly better fuel economy depending on which trim level you get. Also, EPA estimates serve as a guide and not fact. 

About the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel 

You can get started in the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel truck for about $44,000. This is $1,500 less than the 2020 model. The 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine has 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. 

Hennessey Goliath 500 Chevrolet Silverado
Hennessey Goliath 500 Chevrolet Silverado | Hennessey Performance Engineering

It can tow up to 9,500 lb. The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 also got towing upgrades. It now has a jack-knife alert, and the length of the trailer is automatically accounted for lane changing assistance. The Chevy Silverado Multi-Flex tailgate simplifies loading cargo too.