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A Look at the 2016 Chevy Silverado’s Best-in-Class Engines

So far, things are looking good for the 2016 Chevy Silverado. Not only is this truck still outlasting the competition in durability, but it also has a lineup of three killer engines. Each engine allows the Silverado to get a best-in-class rating of either torque, fuel economy, or towing capacity. When it comes to the engine lineup in a model, it’s rare to see an occurrence like this and even rarer to see it happen with a pickup truck.

But, it’s just another way Chevy is able to trump the competition, and part of the reason they have produced and continue to produce some of the most reliable and highly praised trucks on the market.

Years of Refinement

These engines didn’t receive such praiseworthy titles overnight. No; this took years of refinement and precise tuning to get where they are today. I’m not saying the previous engines before these three were awful, these have just been upgraded.

These small-block engines have made quite a name for themselves over the years, so it’s not really surprising to see them revamped for 2016. Marking the 5th generation, these engines use three proven fuel-saving technologies: active fuel management, direct injection, and continuously variable valve timing, for outstanding fuel efficiency and reliable and familiar performance.

Therefore, before we dive into our consideration of these engines, it’s important to note that none of them are overcompensating in order to make-up for a weakness in another area. Just because one engine excels in torque, doesn’t mean it gets terrible fuel economy or puts out measly horsepower.

Overall, these engines equip their matched trims with well-rounded performance.
4.3-liter V6: Best-in-Class Torque


With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 engine. This base engine is recognized for its best-in-class 305 lb-ft of torque, but should also be known for everything else it offers. For a V6 with fuel-saving technology, this is a pretty solid engine. That torque is coupled with an output of 285 horsepower, and 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. Even if that fuel-efficiency isn’t actually best-in-class, it’s still rather impressive for a V6 under the hood of a full-size truck.

But, let’s get back to the 305 lb-ft of torque that’s produced and consider what it does for this truck. Torque determines how much power is sent to the wheels at lower RPMs, and is also a major contributor to how much a vehicle can effectively tow. Will 305 lb-ft of torque create any smokescreens when taking off from a standstill? No, but it will definitely make the tires chirp a bit. Plus, the 7,600 pound towing capacity is more than adequate for hauling smaller equipment trailers.

Basically, the base engine is Chevy’s balanced workhorse for the daily driver. If you don’t need it for any heavy contracting work, like towing large machinery or heavy trailer loads of material, this engine will handle slightly-less intensive tasks just fine, such as picking up a load of firewood or towing a bass boat.
5.3-liter V8: Best-in-Class Fuel Economy


But, if you want some more towing capacity and horsepower, then step up to the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine. Best part is, Chevy designed this engine so it was almost just as fuel-efficient as their base V6. It’s able to put out significantly more horsepower — 355 as opposed to 285 — and the torque is bumped up to 383 lb-ft. Naturally, this increases the towing capacity, which is a whopping 11,100 pounds.

Why are those specs important? Because, they make the fuel-efficiency of this engine even more impressive. The estimates come in at 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, which is only two mpg city and one mpg highway less than the V6 engine.

See why it lands best-in-class fuel efficiency? There is no other gas-powered V8 engine out there equipped to a full-size pickup truck that can match the fuel economy of this engine. To separate itself even more from the competition, the other engines that come paired to full-size trucks also have a hard time beating this excellent combination of powerhouse and fuel saving capability. In the end, you’ll struggle to find a V8 that gets this type of fuel economy, while still performing just as powerfully as you would expect. Sitting in the middle, this is the perfect engine option if you need to kick things up a notch for towing slightly heavier equipment or materials.

Even if you just want it because of the increased amount of horsepower and torque, grabbing this engine option if you are a daily driver is almost just as efficient as using a Silverado equipped with a V6 — since the difference in fuel-efficiency is almost negligible.

6.2-liter V8: Best-in-Class Towing Capacity


Finally, the big boy of the small block engine group leads the way in towing capacity for the full-size truck segment. With a gargantuan best-in-class tow rating of 12,000 pounds, it’s not surprising that this 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine puts out 420 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. With all that power roaring under the hood, it’s sure to make the 2016 Chevy Silverado handle smoothly and feel much smaller than it actually is.

The only surprising thing about this engine is the fuel economy. Don’t worry, it’s a good surprise. Somehow, the fuel-efficiency is still able to reach 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. For a vehicle this heavy and with that much horsepower, torque, and towing capacity, one has to wonder how it was able to stay above 20 mpg on the highway. Also, it validates the effectiveness of the three fuel-saving technologies inherent in these engines.

With these three engines on board, it’s clear the 2016 Chevy Silverado has you covered for whatever it is you want to do with this truck. Whether it’s to tow as much as possible with a 1500 size truck, get the perfect blend of fuel economy and V8 power, or if you are just looking for an all round base engine for daily driving and some minor tasks. Thanks to these options, the 2016 Chevy Silverado is one of the more versatile trucks on this year’s competitive market.