Trucks & SUVs

Which 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 Engine Is Best for Towing?

If you’re looking to get the best out of your 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, you’re going to need to option the correct engine, transmission, and cab configuration. To simplify this process, we’ll be going over the max trailering figures for the 2021 Silverado.

As a result, you’ll be able to select which model best suits your needs carefully. Unfortunately, Chevrolet reports that you can’t reach these maximum stats without optioning the Max Trailering Package for these various configurations.

What engine options does the 2021 Chevy Silverado offer?

A photo of the Chevrolet Silverado outdoors.
Chevrolet Silverado | Chevrolet

If you’re optioning your ideal 2021 Chevy Silverado, you’ll have to start by looking at the various engine and transmission options available. The base engine is a 4.3-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Total power output is rated at 285 hp and 305 lb-ft. The next most powerful engine option is a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine developing 310 hp and 348 lb-ft. The four-cylinder is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

If you want your 2021 Chevy Silverado to have a V8 under its hood, you’ve got a few options available. The cheapest V8 is a naturally-aspirated 5.3-liter engine developing 355 hp and 383 lb-ft. Unlike the other options, this engine is available with either a six-speed automatic, eight-speed automatic, or 10-speed automatic transmission. The most powerful and expensive engine available is a naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 developing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft. The only transmission option available is a 10-speed automatic.

If you want your 2021 Chevy Silverado to skip gas power altogether, you’ve got one engine option available. The 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel engine develops 277 hp and 460 lb-ft. The only transmission option available is a 10-speed automatic.

Which offers the best towing rating?

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Before we dive into the towing specs for the 2021 Chevy Silverado, it is worth noting that the Silverado is available with a regular cab, double cab, or crew cab. Additionally, you’ll have to option the Max Trailering Package depending on the truck you choose. According to Chevrolet, this option costs around $850 depending on trim level. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the various engine options and their maximum towing rating according to the cab option and drive options selected.

Crew Cab with Short BedDouble Cab with Standard BedRegular Cab with Long Bed
2.4L Turbo9,300 lb (2WD)9,300 lb (2WD)N/A
4.3L V67,600 lb (2WD)7,600 lb (2WD)7,900 lb (2WD)
5.3L V811,500 lb (2WD)11,500 lb (2WD)10,000 lb (2WD)
6.2L V811,900 lb (4WD)13,300 lb (4WD)N/A
3.0L Turbo-Diesel9,500 lb (2WD)9,500 lb (2WD)N/A
Towing Figures via Chevrolet

Keep in mind that these 2021 Chevy Silverado towing figures are the best scenario for each engine and cab option. If you select different cab sizes or all-wheel-drive, these figures will drop slightly. However, if you are purely looking to get the best out of your truck, you’ll want to get the 6.2-liter engine with a double cab and standard bed, thanks to its maximum 13,300-lb towing rating.

What about fuel-efficiency?

2021 Chevrolet Silverado Multi-Flex Tailgate with the truck parked in front of a house
2021 Chevrolet Silverado Multi-Flex Tailgate | Chevy

In terms of fuel-efficiency, the 2021 Chevy Silverado can be fairly efficient depending on the options selected. Below you’ll find the engine options with their corresponding fuel-efficiency ratings published by Chevrolet.

City (mpg)Highway (mpg)
2.7L Turbo20 (2WD)
19 (4WD)
23 (2WD)
22 (4WD)
4.3L V616 (2WD)
15 (4WD)
21 (2WD)
20 (4WD)
5.3L V8 (6-Speed Auto)15 (2WD)
15 (2WD)
21 (2WD)
20 (4WD)
5.3L V8 (8-Speed Auto)17 (2WD)
16 (4WD)
23 (2WD)
22 (4WD)
5.3L V8 (10-Speed Auto)16 (4WD)22 (4WD)
6.2L V8 16 (4WD)21 (4WD)
3.0L Turbo Diesel23 (2WD)
22 (4WD)
33 (2WD)
26 (4WD)
MPG Figures via Chevrolet

While all of the engine options available for the 2021 Chevy Silverado may be daunting to look through, now you’ll be able to find not only the best engine for towing but the most efficient as well. From there, there are various optional trims available that can make your trough more rugged or more luxurious.