The Most Fuel-Efficient Large Pickup Truck In 2024 - SUV VEHICLE

The Most Fuel-Efficient Large Pickup Truck In 2024

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Summary

  • Fuel efficiency is crucial for large trucks due to high fuel consumption, impacting costs and environmental responsibility.
  • The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offers superior fuel efficiency, saving owners money over time.
  • The DuraMax engine in the Silverado provides impressive power, torque, and efficiency, making it a top choice in the market.



In today’s automotive landscape, the significance of fuel efficiency in large trucks cannot be overstated. Often used for heavy-duty tasks such as towing, hauling, and transportation, these vehicles consume considerable amounts of fuel during operation. As a result, maximizing fuel efficiency in large trucks is not only economically advantageous but also environmentally responsible.

Fuel efficiency directly impacts various aspects of truck ownership and operation, as it significantly affects operating costs, which is why many are recurring to techniques like hypermiling. Large trucks with poor fuel efficiency require more frequent refueling, leading to higher expenses for owners and operators. By contrast, trucks engineered for superior fuel efficiency offer substantial savings over their lifespan, making them more cost-effective choices in the long run.


Focusing on full-size trucks, we see that their popularity shows no sign of waning, even as the electrified era looms large. In this segment, it is truly impossible to ignore the dominance maintained by Detroit’s “Big 3” comprising Ford, Chevrolet, and RAM, which continue to dominate the market share, including the category of the most fuel-efficient truck, which in this case corresponds to the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with an EPA-estimated 26 MPG.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Chevrolet and GMC, and other authoritative sources, including the EPA, and iSeeCars.

Model Overview
2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: A Comprehensive Guide On Features, Specs, And Pricing

The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a solid truck for work or play, but it also makes a great daily driver and family vehicle.

The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Takes The Crown This Year


When considering purchasing a truck, the first thing that may come to mind is its payload, towing capacity, or even the size of its cargo bed. The reason for this may be that, as is the case in many countries around the world, people view pickup trucks as special vehicles primarily intended for hauling duties or deliveries, often used on farms and ranches.

However, Americans have been using pickup trucks as their daily drivers for a long time, treating them almost like regular cars, which has greatly strengthened the American trucking culture. This influence has led several top American automotive brands to manufacture and incorporate competent pickup trucks into their lineups.

Plenty of pickup trucks on the market can be classified as absolute gas-guzzlers that can burn a hole in your wallet with their poor fuel economy. That’s the reason why, to address this issue, manufacturers have taken several steps to introduce more fuel-efficient trucks that remain capable and sturdy, and the Chevrolet Silverado is a prime example of this.


Its 3.0-Liter, Six-Cylinder Diesel Engine Achieves A Fuel Efficiency Of 26 MPG

The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado lineup, in general, offers impressive fuel efficiency for its class, making it an ideal choice for both city and highway driving. For instance, the two-wheel-drive (2WD) model with the 5.3-liter engine delivers a combined fuel economy rating of 18 MPG, while the four-wheel-drive (4WD) variant offers a slightly lower 17-MPG rating.

However, the standout model is the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD with its 3.0-liter, six-cylinder diesel engine referred to as DuraMax. This model boasts an EPA-estimated combined rating of 26 MPG, 23 MPG in the city, and 29 MPG on the highway, making it the leader in its segment. In this way, it manages to outperform its direct competitors, the Ford F-150 and the RAM 1500, which offer 28 and 26 MPG respectively.


Great Range Available: 624 Miles On A Single Tank Of Gas

2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Chevrolet

Another noteworthy aspect of the 2024 Silverado 1500 is its fuel tank capacity. With its 24-gallon tank and its high gas mileage playing a crucial role, it’s possible to achieve an EPA-estimated 624 miles on a single tank of gas. Considering that the average cost to fill the tank is $96, this would equal to an annualized cost of approximately $2,500.

With the rising prices experienced this year, especially now in the month of April, it never hurts to prioritize efficiency as one of the factors to consider when making the purchase of your new truck.

Related
2024 Chevrolet Silverado: Trim Levels, Equipment, And Towing Explained

We Unravel the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado with this rundown on trim levels, equipment, and towing capacities from base model to the best of the best.

Its 3.0-Liter Turbocharged Inline-Six Engine Steals The Show

Duramax 3.0 Liter Straight Six
Chevrolet 


The Silverado boasts a sprawling powertrain lineup with four engines, three transmissions, and, of course, options for both two- and four-wheel drive. As a result, performance and fuel economy vary widely depending on the system and combinations chosen to equip. Not only does it offer engines of all types, but they also pack a punch, capable of delivering impressive torque values and, as we’ve seen, excellent fuel economy.

The DuraMax Engine Was First Introduced Back In 2001

3.0-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine
Chevrolet


History was made in January 2001 when General Motors introduced its first DuraMax diesel engine for the 2002 model year Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty trucks — a 6.6-liter V-8 mated to an also-new six-speed Allison 1000 automatic transmission. Over the course of its two-plus decades of availability, the DuraMax line expanded too much of the Chevy and GMC pickup and SUV lineups, including a 2.8-liter inline-four offered primarily in their midsize pickups. Later on, we also saw the introduction of the first-generation 3.0-liter DuraMax LM2. Introduced with late availability for the 2019 model year Silverado and Sierra 1500s, its diesel direct competitors became the RAM 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel and Ford 3.0-liter V-6 Power Stroke.

The first-generation 3.0-liter LM2 DuraMax diesel engine was a GM product manufactured in Michigan. The engine became the first diesel for GM’s Chevy and GMC light-duty trucks since 1997, and the first inline-six turbo-diesel ever for its light-duty full-size trucks.


At the time, GM stated that “from the moment the engine is started, to its idle, acceleration, and highway cruising, the 3.0-liter DuraMax performance will change perceptions of what a diesel engine can offer in refinement. With advanced technologies that draw on global diesel expertise, it’s a no-compromise choice for those who want the capability and driving range of a diesel in a light-duty truck.”

Standard In The ZR2: 305 Horsepower At Your Disposal

2024 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 action shot
Chevrolet

As efficient as it is hardworking, the DuraMax 3.0-liter Turbo-Diesel engine is the king of the night, capable of generating up to 305 horsepower and 495 pound-feet of torque in the Silverado 1500, figures that have been increased compared to the previous unit, with an additional 28 horsepower and 35 pound-feet of torque. Coupled with the 10-speed automatic transmission, its 2WD configuration allows for an elevated towing capacity of up to 13,300 pounds, making it stand out as an excellent option for those seeking robust torque and a generous driving range in a large truck.


This engine is available as an option for various trims but comes standard in the ZR2 model, where it achieves a fuel efficiency of 21 MPG with the assistance of high-pressure common-rail fuel injection.

Related
10 Ways The Duramax 3.0-Liter Diesel Pushes GM Trucks To A New Level

Beyond being torque-rich and fuel-efficient, find out what makes the all-new 3.0-liter inline-six second-generation Duramax diesel such a great engine

Same Engine, Same Results: The 2024 Should Also Be Declared The Winner

2024 GMC Sierra 1500 in gray posing in front of mountains on rocks
GMC

While the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 stands out as the long truck with the highest fuel efficiency thanks to its DuraMax engine, it is not the only truck to possess it, reason why the 2024 GMC Sierra should also be considered a winner, and the explanation behind why both trucks have the same power and torque values.


It could be said that the fifth-generation GMC Sierra 1500 is essentially the same truck as the Silverado but with a different exterior design and is being marketed as a premium truck. When it comes to miles per gallon values and range, they are exactly the same, although according to the EPA, it has a lower combined MPG of 25, which is somewhat unusual since the city and highway values are the same as those of the Silverado.

Delving Deeper Into The Engine’s Properties

In order to achieve its top-of-the-line horsepower without significantly compromising fuel economy, the Duramax 3.0-liter engine incorporates a variable geometry turbocharger. This turbocharger optimizes boost levels across the engine’s speed range, ensuring responsive acceleration for scenarios such as merging or passing on the highway while still maintaining efficiency.

Furthermore, the engine’s efficiency is evident in its block, constructed from a lightweight cast aluminum alloy, a material that not only withstands the high combustion pressures typical of a diesel engine but also results in a 25 percent reduction in mass compared to a similar cast iron engine block.


DuraMax LZ0 Engine Design

  • Variable Geometry Turbocharger: Enhances performance and throttle response.
  • Aluminum Block and Head: Decreases engine weight, thereby enhancing fuel efficiency.
  • Active Thermal Management: Optimizes engine temperature to maximize efficiency and performance.

The Engine Contributes To Enhancing Emissions

2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Front Three-Quarter Shot
GMC

While diesel engines boast impressive torque, emissions have long been a significant concern. Particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides expelled through the exhaust highlight the environmental impact of diesel engines. However, advancements in emissions technology have led to substantial improvements in cleaning up these emissions as some manufacturers have excelled in this regard, with the DuraMax serving as a notable example.


The previous-generation 3.0 DuraMax performed well in emissions tests, and the latest iteration builds upon this success. Changes to the emissions devices, positioning them closer to the turbo, have enhanced their efficiency due to the faster warm-up, a critical factor in optimizing emissions removal.

Related
2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Vs 2024 Chevy Silverado 1500: A Comprehensive Pickup Truck Comparison

A comprehensive comparison of the full-size GM pickups to determine how the light-duty truck twins from GMC and Chevrolet stack up against each other

Both The 2024 Silverado And GMC Sierra Stand Firm In The Top 3 Full-Size Trucks In The USA

White Sierra 1500 Vs Blue Silverado 1500
General Motors

We’ve discussed the Silverado and the GMC Sierra, but we must not overlook the Ford F-Series and the RAM 1500. These select models stand at the pinnacle, completely dominating the segment competition.


With these four titans of the pickup truck market vying for the top spot, it can be challenging to determine which model best suits your individual needs. Whether considering bed sizes, box sizes, drivetrain options, or available features, each model offers an endless array of configurations. When focusing on fuel efficiency, it’s evident that all contenders are neck and neck, with the Chevrolet and GMC models taking the lead thanks to their DuraMax engine as we’ve already seen.

Side-By-Side Comparison Between Each Model

While exhaustive comparisons have been made between each of the models, including prices, powertrains, reliability, and towing capacity, it seems correct to highlight their differences regarding fuel efficiency, engines, and gas range, something that other manufacturers must focus on to keep up with them in the future.


Silverado 1500

GMC Sierra 1500

Ford F-150

RAM 1500

MPG – City

23 MPG

23 MPG

19 MPG

20 MPG

MPG – Highway

29 MPG

29 MPG

25 MPG

25 MPG

MPG – Combined

26 MPG

25 MPG

21 MPG

22 MPG

Engine

3.0-Liter Six-Cylinder

3.0-Liter Six-Cylinder

2.7-Liter V-6

3.6-Liter Six-Cylinder

Fuel Tank

24 Gallons

24 Gallons

36 Gallons

23 Gallons

Range

624 Miles

624 Miles

756 Miles

572 Miles

(Data sourced from each respective manufacturer and EPA)

Hard To Argue Against The Numbers

The best truck can be judged by many criteria, but it’s hard to argue with raw sales data. Based on 2023’s sales in the United States, the four models dominate the podium thanks to their popularity among the population.


  • Ford F-Series: 750,789 Units. With over 750,000 F-Series trucks sold, the F-Series topped the charts for the 47th consecutive year in 2023 as the best-selling truck and the best-selling individual model in the USA. This number represented a 15% increase year-on-year, with Ford outselling the second-placed Chevrolet Silverado lineup by around 200,000 trucks.
  • Chevrolet Silverado: 555,148 Units. The Chevy Silverado secured a clear second place with sales exceeding 500,000 units. While Ford remains on top as a singular brand, the Silverado 1500 accounted for the majority of sales at 354,774 units, marking a 9.3% increase over the previous year.
  • RAM Pickup: 444,926 Units. Despite experiencing a decline in sales throughout 2023 to 444,296 units, down by 5%, the RAM Pickup still managed to secure the final spot on the podium for the best-selling overall models in the USA last year. However, it still faces challenges due to an aging engine lineup, towing capabilities that fall short of the competition’s best, and the absence of basic single-cab variations.
  • GMC Sierra: 295,737 Units. The GMC Sierra, a close relative to the Silverado, also had a strong showing in 2023, with nearly 300,000 units sold, representing a 22.4% increase from last year. Of these, 189,288 were for the light-duty version. These positive numbers are likely attributable to a significant facelift for the 2022 model year. With a respectable maximum towing capacity and an ultra-luxurious range-topper, the Sierra emerges as a solid contender in the truck market.


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