2016 Chevy Silverado 5.3L V8 Ike Gauntlet Towing [Video]

2016 chevy silverado v8
2016 Chevy Silverado 5.3L V8

We have not tested a General Motors 5.3L V8 in a long time. Now is the chance to take the refreshed 2016 Silverado with the small V8 and put it to the extreme test on the Ike Gauntlet. During the test, we take a truck – loaded nearly to the max – up and down an 8 mile stretch of the I-70 with a maximum grade of 7% and the top elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level. This is truly an extreme test of a truck’s towing ability.

It is also part of the 2016 Gold Hitch awards for the midsize pickup truck category.

The 5.3L V8 makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The other big news is that it is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is the first year that the small V8 can be pair to the 8-speed. Also, this transmission and engine combination is available on higher trim levels, and this test truck is an LTZ.

We test all aspects of a pickup truck that relate to towing. Do side mirrors offer good visibility around the trailer? How does the transmission behave on the way down the mountain? How do the brakes feel? Does the truck have enough power to maintain the speed up the hill? And many more…

Watch the video for all the details. [Spoiler Alert: the results are in the table below the video.]

2016 Chevy Silverado
Model Crew Cab 2WD LTZ
As-Tested Price $51,010
Engine 5.3-liter V8
Transmission 8-speed Auto
Power (hp / lb-ft) 355 / 383
Payload Rating
Tow Rating 11,000 lbs
Test Load (trailer + ppl) 9,750 lbs
Down: Transmission Temp normal
 Down: # of Brake Events  10
Up: Time 8:08
Up: MPG 3.2
Up: Transmission Temp normal
 Ike Gauntlet Rating 66 out of 100

All specifications are for the as-tested configuration.

We are implementing the following scoring system to rate the trucks’ performance on the Ike Gauntlet.

There is a maximum of 100 points, with 25 points given in each of the following categories:

  • Downhill Braking: 1 point is subtracted for each brake application required to keep a truck below the desired speed limit of 60 mph. Brakes are applied to decrease speed to 50 mph then released.
  • Uphill Time: The 8-mile uphill run should be completed in 8:00 minutes at 60 mph. Trucks are deducted 1 point for each 5 second interval (or portion thereof) over 8:00 minutes required to complete the run.
  • Uphill MPG: Based on previous years’ tests, a baseline of 6.0 mpg was established. Trucks are deducted 1 point for each 0.2 mpg (as calculated by the vehicle’s trip computer) under 6.0 mpg. Trucks will be awarded points for mpg scores over 6.0 mpg using the same 0.2 mpg rule.
  • Subjective Review: Inevitably, there are aspects to any truck that cannot be captured by a category, except this one. Each truck will have the drivers give their subjective scoring based on driving impressions and features that detract from or add to a truck’s Ike Gauntlet performance. With a max of 25 points given by each reviewer, the scores are averaged.

The 2016 Chevy Silverado with the 5.3L V8 score breaks down as follows:

  • 15 points for Downhill Braking,
  • 23 points for Uphill Time,
  • 11 points for Uphill MPG,
  • 17 points as the average of the subjective scores from Nathan (15 points), MrTruck (17 points) and Roman (20 points).

The total is a 66 out of 100 rating.