The Silverado 1500 is offered with five engines in 2021, including improved 4-cylinder and diesel offerings. Fuel efficiency, payload, and towing capacity are all in the mix when picking the right one for you. Let's take a closer look.
4.3L V6 – Base Engine
The base engine on the Silverado 1500 is a 4.3L V6 making 285 hp and 305 lb-ft torque output. As one of the lighter engines, it offers an excellent payload capacity of 2,250 lbs, but the towing capacity still reached 7,900 lbs. Fuel efficiency is average at 16 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway. This is an excellent first engine, but there is more to offer.
2.7L Turbocharged I-4 – Big Power, Small Package
The Silverado 1500 offers a 4-cylinder engine, a rarity among full-size pickups, and it’s improved for 2021 to punch well above its weight. Its turbocharger boosts it to make 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque, good enough to tow up to 9,600 lbs. This is also one of the most fuel-efficient options, getting 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway.
3.0L Duramax Turbodiesel – Fuel Sipper
The Silverado 1500’s diesel engine is improved for 2021 as well. By far the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup in America, the diesel burns only 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, delivering long-term economic and environmental savings to its owners. Torque output is excellent at 460 lb-ft, and despite only 277 hp, it can tow up to 9,500 lbs. The payload capacity is only 1,870 lbs, so drivers with a lot to load up should consider another engine, but fans of fuel efficiency are sure to love it.
5.3L V8 – Versatile Upgrade
The 5.3L V8 engine is an upgrade over the V6 that’s well worth it for any driver who intends to put their truck to work. At 355 hp, this is a major power upgrade, and 383 lb-ft of torque output helps deliver a max towing capacity of 11,500 lbs. Paired with an 8-speed transmission and 2WD, this engine can supply that max towing limit, a payload capacity of 2,190 lbs, and fuel efficiency of 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. There are 6 and 10-speed automatic transmissions available as well, making this the most versatile engine in the lineup.
6.2L V8 – Segment Leader
The engine that was the segment’s most-capable V8 gas burner in terms of power and towing in 2020 is back in 2021, the crowning jewel of this diverse lineup. It matches the diesel’s 460 lb-ft of torque and delivers 50% more power at 420 hp while still making 16 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway – the same efficiency as the base V6. Properly equipped, payload can reach 2,060 lbs, and max towing is 13,300 lbs – this is by far the best engine for any driver with serious towing demands.