Chevy Silverado Engine Sizes: 26 Models Compared (By Year)

The Chevrolet Silverado, formerly the top model Chevy C/K, dominated the truck market.

It has four generations of development spanning many models, configurations, and engine sizes.

In 1998, Chevrolet dropped the C/K moniker and named their new line of pickup trucks Silverado.

We also have a good guide to towing capacity for all Chevy Silverado models. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re considering how big an engine you need on your Silverado or similar trucks.

The Fourth Generation Chevrolet Silverado: 2018 to present

In 2017, Chevrolet revealed their next rendition of the Silverado, and the models are still sold today.

When it rolled out in early 2018 as an early 2019 model, the Chevy was offered in eight trim levels.

The trim level of the Silverado determines how it is powered and equipped. Options such as transmission coolers, beefier cooling systems, and towing packages will enable a Chevy Silverado to haul more.

Engine and other Specifications of the Fourth Generation Silverado

There are nine trim levels for the fourth-generation Silverado.

This includes both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, which adds the ZR2 model to the line-up.

However, there are only five engines to choose from, and the engine in the truck will depend on its trim level. Or, you can order a truck the way you want.

Engines of the Chevrolet Silverado – 2022

Like the Silverado’s exterior, the engine bay’s power has changed over the years.

The base power plant of the Chevrolet Silverado is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder. The 2022 year is also one of the best years for the Chevrolet Silverado.

However, it has more power than many V8s.

Trim levels of the Fourth Gen Silverado include:

  • WT (work truck)
  • Custom
  • Custom Trail Boss
  • LT
  • RST
  • LT Trail Boss
  • LTZ
  • High Country
  • ZR2 (available with four-wheel drive – only)

Engine options for the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado:

2.7 Liter Turbocharged inline Four-cylinder

The base engine of the Silverado is a 2.7-liter High-Output turbocharged inline four-cylinder.

  • Horsepower: 310
  • Torque: 430-pound feet
  • Fuel mileage: City/highway 19/22 for two-wheel drive, 17/20 for four-wheel drive Silverado’s, and 16/18 miles per gallon for the Custom and LT Trail Boss trim.
  • Towing Capacity: 9,500 pounds

The 2.7-liter Turbo four-cylinder engine is standard on the WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, the RST in the double cab configuration, and the LT Trail Boss.

5.3-liter Ecotec V8 with Dynamic fuel management

The second engine available in the Silverado is an EcoTec3 V8 with Dynamic fuel management.

Horsepower: 355

Torque: 383-pound feet

Fuel mileage: City/ highway mileage of the Silverado with the 5.3 with Dynamic Fuel management is 16/21 miles per gallon for a two-wheel drive Silverado and 15/19 mpg when equipped with four-wheel drive.

Towing capacity: 11,200 pounds

5.3-liter Ecotec V8 without Dynamic Fuel management

The third engine option is also a 5.3-liter Ecotec V8 without Dynamic Fuel management. The specifications of this engine are identical to fuel management. However, where the difference lies with the mileage.

Fuel mileage with this engine is 14 city/19 highway mpg for four-wheel drive WTs, LTs, RSTs, LTZs, and High-Country models. The Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss return 13/17 miles per gallon.

6.2-liter Ecotec V8 with Dynamic fuel management

This is the largest engine available on the Silverado.

However, it is not the most powerful. Specifications of the 6.2-liter V8 are:

  • Horsepower: 420
  • Torque: 460-pound feet
  • Fuel mileage: This engine is standard in the ZR2 trimmed Silverado and returns 14 city, 17 highway, and 15 miles per gallon combined.

Towing capacity in this configuration is 13,300 pounds when properly equipped. In contrast, the towing capacity of the base WT powered with the 2.7-liter four-cylinder is 6,700 pounds.

Duramax 3.0-liter turbocharged, diesel-fueled, inline six-cylinder

The only diesel option, the Duramax 3.0, has the power to pull 13,300 pounds.

  • Horsepower: 277
  • Torque: 460-pound feet
  • Fuel mileage: When equipped with the 3.0- liter Duramax diesel, you can expect a mileage of 23 city, 31 highway, and 26 miles per gallon combined. Silverado’s with four-wheel drive, highway mileage drops to 26 mpg, and city mpg will drop to 22.

Third Generation Silverado: 2014 – 2018

Enter the Ecotec line of engines.

They replaced all but the Vortec 6.6-liter V8 as a choice for the third generation of Silverados.

Trim levels of third-generation Silverados include:

  • WT (work truck)
  • LS
  • Custom
  • LT
  • LT Z71
  • LTZ
  • LTZ71
  • High Country

Ecotec 4.3-liter V6

  • Horsepower: 285
  • Torque: 305 pound-feet
  • Fuel mileage18 city and 24 highway miles per gallon

Ecotec 5.3-liter V8

  • Horsepower: 355
  • Torque: 383
  • Fuel mileage: 14 City/ 19 highway miles per gallon when equipped with four-wheel drive.

Ecotec 6.2-liter V8

  • Horsepower: 420
  • Torque: 460
  • Fuel mileage: 14 city, 17 highway, and 15 combined miles per gallon.

Vortec 6000 6.0-liter V8

  • Horsepower: 300 to 362
  • Torque: 360-to-362-pound feet
  • Fuel mileage: Variable, based on the platform it is installed on and how it is tuned. Some mechanics report that a Silverado with this engine will only get 10 to 14 miles per gallon.

Duramax 6.6- liter V8 Turbo-Diesel

  • Horsepower: 445
  • Torque: 910
  • Fuel mileage: 17 to 19 highway miles.

Like any older vehicle, this generation of Chevy Silverado is getting a little older.

If you choose to use yours for towing or hauling heavy loads, have it checked out before using it for such a purpose.

Second Generation Silverado: 2006 – 2013

The new body style of the second-generation Silverado was more fuel efficient due to better aerodynamics, more powerful engines, and lighter bodies.

4.3-liter V6

  • Horsepower: 195
  • Torque: pound-feet
  • Fuel mileage: 18 city and 24 highway miles per gallon

4.8-liter V8

  • Horsepower: 295
  • Torque: 305 pound-feet
  • Fuel mileage: 15 city and 19 highway, and 16 combined miles per gallon

5.3-liter V8

  • Horsepower: 315
  • Torque: pound-feet
  • Fuel mileage: 16 city and 23 highway miles per gallon

6.2-liter V8

  • Horsepower: 403
  • Torque: 417 pound-feet
  • Fuel mileage: 12 city and 18 highway miles per gallon

First Generation Silverado: 1999 – 2007

In the first year of production, the Silverado was offered as a regular cab and a three-door extended cab pickup truck.

In 2003, Chevrolet added the Silverado SS, powered by a 6.0-liter V8 that produced 345 horsepower and 380-pound feet of torque.

Engine options of the First-Generation Silverado

In 2004, the Vortec engines were introduced and paired with the Silverado.

They included four engines:

Vortec 4300 (4.3-liter) V6

  • Horsepower: ranges from 135 to 200 horsepower based on year and configuration.
  • Torque: ranges from 210 to 260-pound feet
  • Fuel mileage: A 1985 Silverado with a 4.3-liter V6 returned 15 city and 20 highway miles.

Vortec 4800 (4.8-liter) V8

This is the LS version of Chevy’s small V8, and yes, the torque and horsepower numbers are correct because this is the engine designed for the Vette and is still used today.

  • Horsepower: 255 -2500
  • Torque: 285 – 2432-pound feet
  • Fuel mileage: Need you ask?

Vortec 5300 (5.3-liter) V8 and Vortec 6000 (6.0-liter)

The specifications for these two engines are the same and are the same as the 4.8-liter small block LS V8. The only difference is their displacement and how they are tuned.

The towing capacity of first, second, and third generation Silverado’s

The engine size your Chevy is equipped with will determine how much you can pull. However, when using an older vehicle to tow, you may need to get the specs from your Chevy dealer.

Depending on the age of the truck, its equipment, its miles, and how it has been maintained can determine how much you should tow in your older Chevy Silverado.

Unless you have owned a truck for a long time and know its abilities, it is best to have your Silverado checked out. Especially before strapping 7000 pounds of travel trailer to its rear bumper and heading for the hills.

What Chevy Silverado model has the strongest engine?

Equipping your Silverado with a 6.2-liter V8 or a Duramax 3.0-liter diesel is when it shines.

The towing capacities and load weights increase, which allows you to pull large tools and toys.

The model years with LS small block V8s or the Duramax 6.6 liters are also good and have the power to pull larger tools and toys than their siblings.

How big a boat can a Chevy Silverado tow?

It can tow a boat and trailer weighing 13,300 pounds or less. When considering the weight of a boat, also consider its width and the weight of the trailer.

Length is also a factor when pulling a boat.

Even if you can tow a 40 or 50-foot-long boat, due to its weight, you may not be able to haul it without a permit if it is too long.

Check the rules per state here for how long something can stick out of your truck.

How big a camper can a Chevy Silverado tow?

If you tow a trailer, you are limited to 13,300 pounds, including the trailer’s contents.

The added weight will include total water, fuel tanks, and provisions.

If you equip your Silverado with a fifth-wheel attachment, you will also be able to tow this type of trailer. Like boats, fifth wheelers and travel trailers can exceed forty feet in length, which is another consideration.

Will you be comfortable pulling a forty-foot trailer?

The Chevrolet Silverado is a great truck.

Over the years, the bodies have changed, and so have the engines and transmissions.

The engines have evolved to be more powerful while using less fuel due to engine tweaks and eight- and ten-speed gearboxes.

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