Car Review: Chevrolet adds better mpg to Silverado pickup with new diesel engine

Looking for a light duty pickup truck that excels with higher miles per gallon? The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado delivers with the new Duramax diesel engine.

Pickup trucks are as popular as ever, but aren’t the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road. Now, more light duty trucks are adding an alternative option — the diesel engine.

The 2020 Silverado is the latest to jump on the diesel bandwagon, with its optional straight six-cylinder turbo diesel engine as a $2,495 option.

When the diesel Silverado landed in my driveway, I thought I’d want the V8 after a few miles — but rather quickly, I realized I was wrong, and that this Duramax engine and 10-speed automatic was quite a good combo.

There is plenty of power and torque and just a slight amount of that diesel clatter that declares, “this isn’t a normal gas engine.”

The extra cost for the engine does yield better mpg. I saw 31 mpg on the highway with a full bed. The ride tends to be a bit more firm than some others on the market. But the handling was very confident and direct.

The Silverado LTZ is the second highest trim level, so the interior is nicely equipped — especially with the pricey LTZ premium package.

The perforated leather seats offer heat/ ventilation and plenty of power adjustments. Still, some of the interior materials in the lower cabin aren’t as nice as its competitors, with $60,000+ price tags.

The Silverado’s high point is space. It’s roomy, both front and back with the large crew cab truck and has room for five or six, if you choose the front bench seat.

Another plus for GM trucks is the bed, which has more capacity than other same-sized trucks. A clever use of space and design means more volume to haul. I really liked the power up/down tailgate.

Cost: $49,000; as tested, $62,515.

MPG: 23 mpg city, 29 mpg highway; I managed 25.3 mpg in 217 miles of mixed driving.

Safety: Rear seat reminder, teen driver mode, HD surround vision with trailer camera provisions, front and rear park assist, lane change alert/side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, safety alert seat, adaptive cruise control.

Options: $6,700 LTZ premium package; $2,495 Duramax 3L turbo diesel; $2,125 technology package; $1,605 Z71 off-road and protection package; $495 Cajun red tricoat.

Things to know: The Silverado has a new optional diesel engine for 2020. The Chevy pickup is large with space, technology and better gas mileage with the new engine.

Pros:

* Turbo Diesel is smooth and delivered impressive mpg

* Large, comfortable cabin with innovative storage areas

* Loaded with technology and features in LTZ trim level

Cons:

* Prices are going higher and higher for pickups

* Some parts of the interior aren’t as nice for the price

* Exterior styling is a bit more daring than other trucks

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