Which GM V8 to Get in a Pickup: 5.3L or 6.2L? Which One is More Reliable? (Ask TFLtruck)

2019 gmc sierra chevy silverado
GMC Sierra 1500 vs. Chevy Silverado 1500

Which GM V8 engine is best in a pickup truck? Is it the 5.3L or the 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine? We recently received this question from Abe H at ask@tfltruck.com.

I am looking to purchase a new truck this summer. I have pretty much decided I want either a GMC Sierra 1500, or its twin, the Silverado 1500. My question is: would you recommend the 6.2L or the tried-and-true 5.3L V8? I already have a 2004 Sierra with the 5.3, and I know it is a fantastic engine. However, I have read a lot of good things about the 6.2L as well. I know that the 6.2L is another $2500, and it wants premium fuel, which is more expensive. I watched your comparison between the two and am now leaning towards the 6.2L. My only remaining questions are: how reliable is the 6.2L, and what would you guys personally buy with your money? I found a dealership with lots of 6.2L’s in stock, so that takes the issue of having to order it out of the equation.

Abe, thank you for sending your question. It’s good to hear that you have not had many problems with your 2004 5.3L Vortec V8 engine. The engines you are considering now in the 2018 truck are part of the next EcoTec3 generation. This generation of engines came out as part of the 2014 model year.

Unfortunately, we do not currently test every new truck for reliability. We had several long-term new trucks recently, but no new GM V8 trucks yet. This is why we are posting your question here so we can get some feedback from the TFLtruck community.

Personally, I would get the 5.3L V8 with the 8-speed automatic transmission in a 2018 truck. This is because I generally do not tow over 7,500 lbs, and I do not tow very often with my personal truck. GM offers the 6.2L V8 is higher end trim levels of their pickups, so it can get expensive to the get the big V8. If you plan to tow often and tow a relatively heavy, then go for the 6.2L V8. If you do, you can also tell your buddies that your truck’s V8 is very closely related to the V8 in the Corvette. It’s a nice conversation starter.

What do you guys think? What are your experiences with the 5.3L or the 6.2L GMC V8s?

Here is our direct comparison between the existing (not 2019) 5.3L and 6.2L V8s.