Disappointing Surprise: Some 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 Trucks Get Worst MPG Estimates Than 2018 Models

2019 chevy silverado 1500 epa mpg ratings
2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 : EPA MPG ratings

EPA recently published fuel economy estimates for all gasoline engines available in the new 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the results are mixed, disappointing, and difficult to explain. In at least two engine/transmission combinations, the 2019 Silverado 1500 is showing MPG estimates that are significantly worse than the comparable outgoing 2018 truck.

2019 Chevy Silverado 1500

Let’s start with the good news, and then go into the surprising results. Chevrolet is introducing their new Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM) system for the 2019 Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. It’s a more sophisticated cylinder skip technology than the cylinder deactivation that preceded it (the older system is referred to as AFM). The new DFM system can seamlessly switch between up to 17 different cylinder firing modes.

5.3L V8 / 8-Speed

The new 5.3L V8 with DFM and an 8-speed automatic transmission is EPA-listed at 17/23/19 MPG. This is one MPG better than the 5.3L V8 / 8-speed combo from the previous generation.

Here is our real-world highway MPG evaluation/comparison that includes a 2019 Silverado 1500 Trail Boss.  This comparison also has some shocking results, but the shocker did not have to do with the Chevy.

6.2L V8 / 10-Speed

The big 6.2L V8 also gets DFM, and it is paired to a 10-speed automatic in the 2019 trucks. The 2018 Silverado had a 6.2L V8 with AFM and an 8-speed automatic. The new truck is getting one MPG better in the city rating, but the combined MPG rating remains the same as the older model at 17 MPG for the 4WD configuration.

5.3L V8 / 6-Speed

This engine/transmission combination is mostly a carryover from 2018. This version of the 5.3L V8 uses AFM cylinder deactivation. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. This is where things get interesting and not in a good way. The 2019 Silverado is rated 17 MPG combined, and the older generation 2018 truck is at 19 MPG combined.

The new truck, which is lighter in weight (by up to 380 lbs) and larger in size, is rated at two MPG less than the older model. The lighter weight should help the truck’s fuel economy. The larger size may hurt aerodynamics, but can it account for a two MPG decrease?

4.3L V6 / 6-Speed

The 4.3L V6 continues duty in the 2019 trucks, but this one also loses MPG when compared to the 2018 model. This one is even more startling. The 2019 Silverado with the 4.3L V6 (AFM) is rated at three MPG less than a 2018 model. 17 MPG combined for the 2019 truck, versus 20 MPG combined for the 2018.

Special High Efficiency Model

2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 gets a special XFE high fuel efficiency model. This one is powered by the new 5.3L V8 with DFM and an 8-speed automatic.  In 2WD configuration, this 2019 Silverado XFE is rated at 17/24/19. The highway rating of 24 MPG gets a one MPG boost.

If you are looking for a new 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 with a gas engine, it’s the new 2.7L turbocharged I4 that is mated to an 8-speed automatic. It’s rated at 20/23/21 MPG for a 2WD model.

We did a quick real-world MPG check on the 2.7L turbocharged four-cylinder, and the trip meter was always showing results that are better than the EPA ratings. We will do a proper MPG loop with the new trucks and bring you the latest results soon.