Chevy’s base engine for the Silverado is a 4.3-liter V6 with a maximum towing capacity of 7,900 pounds and an EPA estimate of 17 mpg combined (16 city/21 highway). As with Ford, Chevy has several optional gasoline engines to choose from.
The Silverado’s diesel is a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder and is rated to tow a maximum of 9,300 pounds. That’s the lowest number of the three trucks by a pretty large margin. Unfortunately, you can’t get the diesel on the base-level Work Truck trim like you can with the Ram — the lowest trim level you can get the diesel with is the mid-level LT. On that trim level, the base engine is the 2.7-liter four-cylinder, and the cost to upgrade to the diesel is an additional $3,890. The EPA estimate for the Chevy’s diesel is 27 mpg combined (23 city/33 highway).
That’s the biggest fuel economy difference of the bunch, and it’s worth the cost of an upgrade if you’re willing to take the hit on maximum towing. Chevy’s available V8s, however, are more appealing for towing. The optional 6.2-liter V8, for example, can tow as much as 13,400 pounds — the highest of the bunch. However, it returns an EPA combined estimate of 17 mpg (16 city/20 highway) and requires premium fuel.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a nice compromise between pulling power and fuel economy, the Silverado’s diesel engine is an appealing choice.