The 2021 Chevy Silverado’s Fuel Economy Just Got Worse

The 2021 Chevy Silverado seems to be facing trouble. The global chip shortage has been causing auto manufacturers issues, but General Motors isn’t stopping production. They will keep building Chevy Silverado models, even if the chip is needed for a better fuel economy. 

The 2021 Chevy Silverado faces fuel economy issues 

According to Auto Blog, production of the 2021 Chevy Silverado and 2021 GMC Sierra will continue without one important semiconductor chip. The global semiconductor chip shortage has made it difficult for production to continue until General Motors decided to move forward without using them in its engines. 

The missing chip is needed for the cylinder deactivation for the 5.3-liter V8engine. This could cause a reduction of one mpg in affected models. But losing one gallon of gas doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal, right? That depends on how much you drive.

A red 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Diesel full-size pickup truck travels on a four-lane highway past pine trees and a snow-capped mountain
2020 Chevrolet Silverado Diesel | General Motors

Which models are affected depends on if the engine is paired with the six- or eight-speed automatic transmission. Also, it depends on if the truck has the Active Fuel Management System or the advanced Dynamic Fuel Management cylinder deactivation system. DFM is paired with the 5.3-liter V8 engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission that’s standard with the LT Trail Boss and High Country trims. 

Michelle Malcho, a General Motors representative, shared that due to the microchip shortage, the components that control AFM/DFM in the engine control module have been removed. The engines will still have the hardware in place, but GM will not allow the systems to be activated in the future. 

Is the Chevy Silverado in trouble? 

No, the 2021 Chevy Silverado isn’t in trouble at the moment. Demand for the full-size pickup truck remains strong, but the number of vehicles impacted by this chip omission is unclear. Also, the Silverado and GMC Sierra’s other engines, including the 2.7-liter turbo inline-four, 4.3-liter V6, and 6.2-liter V8, will continue to have AFM and DFM. 

RELATED: Consumer Reports Ranked the 2021 Chevy Silverado as the Most Unreliable Truck

The Chevy Silverado is projected to get an EPA estimated 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. So, losing one mpg to create 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway isn’t a drastic impact. General Motors will still meet their corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers. 

However, GM mentioned that the chip shortage could cause them to lose $2 billion in earnings in 2021, despite the expectation that the global chip supplies should return to normal by the second half of the year. 

What’s new for the Chevy Silverado? 

Aside from losing a semiconductor chip, the 2021 Chevy Silverado is still a great truck option. It has an MSRP of $28,900 to rival the Ford F-150. But like all trucks, it has a few pros and cons. According to Car and Driver, the Chevy Silverado has a cheap and uninspired interior. 

It has tons of capability, though. With the 6.2-liter V8, you can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.4 seconds. When properly equipped, the Silverado 1500 can tow up to 11,500 lbs and carry a payload of up to 2,430 lbs. 

2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss
2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss

The truck feels nimble and has a quiet engine. But it has a harsh ride quality and a noisy cabin. The brake pedal is firm and reassuring, though. Also, the Trail Boss model adds a 2.0-inch lift and tons of off-roading goodies. 

There is tons of space in the cab, which can distract you from cheap materials. However, Car and Driver noted that the backseat is uncomfortable, and the storage cubbies are helpful. You’ll probably want to upgrade to the larger 8.0-inch infotainment system. Also, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.