We like to test the real-world MPG of pickup trucks here on TFLTruck, and when you talk about fuel usage, you have to discuss speed and fuel cost.
Speed is one of the major contributing factors to fuel usage, as simply physics dictate that more effort is needed from the powertrain to keep a vehicle at a higher speed, thanks to aerodynamics. Basically the faster you go, the more drag is created around the vehicle, causing the engine to work harder to maintain speed.
This is exactly what we set out to test with a brand new 2020 Chevy 2500 HD fit with a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel hooked to a 10-speed automatic, making 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. We hitched a 16,000-lb trailer to the gooseneck hitch and hit the highway, running one loop at 60 mph and a second loop at 75 mph. We wanted to see exactly how much money we can save on fuel by slowing down.
This truck is a setup with lots of features that make towing easier, including a full surround-view camera setup, power folding and extending mirrors, trailer hook-up check list, tow/haul mode memory, and more. For 2020, the Silverado HD also packs an updated frame, a 5.2-inch longer wheelbase and an all-new cab that shares only its roof with the lesser half-ton Silverado.
The rear end axle ratio has been swapped out for 2020 as well, from a 3.73 down to a 3.42. This should help to save money on fuel, and thanks to the lower gears in the ten-speed automatic, torque getting to the ground shouldn’t feel diminished.
So finally, what was the result of our MPG test? In the end, reducing our highway speed from 75 MPH to 60 MPH resulted in a 15% fuel saving or about four cents per mile at current fuel prices.
Check out the full video here: