The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel champions itself as the fuel economy king of half-ton pickups. In its most efficient form, the Silverado is capable of earning an EPA-rated 33 mpg on the highway. That figure is only just above the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Ford F-150 PowerStroke, but it does win the battle in 2020. It’s rather mind boggling to see this epic fuel economy in a truck, but that’s where technology has taken us as this decade winds down.
The 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six that’s designed and built by GM makes 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that keeps the engine in its happy zone no matter the speed. In our test truck’s configuration — an LTZ Crew Cab with a standard bed and four-wheel drive — it’s rated at 23 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.
To tack on the diesel engine on a Silverado 1500 LTZ, you’ll need to fork out $2,495. Lower trims with less impressive base engines impose a larger markup of $3,890. This extra cost isn’t out of the ordinary for the class, but it’s worth doing some calculations to see if the diesel is actually worth it for your lifestyle. After the $6,700 LTZ Premium package, $2,125 Technology package and $1,605 Z71 package, our truck totaled $62,515. And before you ask, yes, it could be even more expensive, as the High Country trim sits atop the LTZ.
The bland design and seas of black plastic do no justice to this truck at its over-$60,000 price. If Chevy could give the expensive Silverados a nicer cabin, this truck’s powertrain would put it over the top for me. As it is, the diesel is superb, but the experience as a whole is lacking —
I still tend to feel that way, but I’m coming around to the new design. You have to change the styling at some point, and the Silverado does look more modern. The small headlights are an area that drew particular criticism, but I think on certain trims they add a sophisticated look. Our LTZ has a decent amount of chrome, and I think that helps. It feels more truck-like and has more presence than the lower trims. Overall, I’m starting to like the new Silverado’s design. It took me awhile…