Diesel, Diesel! Who Wants A Diesel? I do. 2020 Chevrolet Silverado RST

Each traditional US auto maker has a "half ton" pickup with an optional diesel engine. They all use a 3-liter V6 and I can now say I've driven them all. I can also say I'm sold - a diesel is the way to go.

The last of the trio for me was the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado RST Double Cab with a standard bed (79.44"). I didn't get the chance (do I ever?) to test the carrying capacity or the towing capacity. It will carry 2,202 lbs (hence the quotes around "half ton"), and tow up to 7,600 lbs.

Powering the Silverado was a 3.0-liter, DOHC, turbocharged V6. Power output is, well it's a diesel-like 460 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm and 277 hp @ 3,750 rpm. The test Silverado was 2WD and that is how I like it. In most cases I don't see the need for 4WD. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The amazing part of the diesel engine, all the 3.0-liter diesels I have tested, is the fuel economy. The Duramax 3.0 is rated at 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. I took the Silverado to SoCal for the Grand National Roadster Show down I5 at 80 mph, and then between Pomona, Artesia, and Los Alamitos and it averaged 26.7 mpg. Outstanding!

It takes a little while to get used to driving such a big "small" truck. Without the backup camera I don't know if I ever would have felt at ease backing up. This is a problem with all new trucks. In my opinion they are just too massive.

There were four of us in the truck down in SoCal. Everyone was comfortable; two up front and two in the back. Although three could fit in the rear seat it would have been tighter. The only complaint, and it came from each one of us (and we are all over 60), was that the truck needed running boards. That's one of the problems with every single new full-size truck I've driven; they sit too high.

Although I didn't carry anything in the bed I have no doubt that it would handle the load. It had a power tailgate that had a soft opening. Not as fancy as some in the "tailgate wars" but functional. What had us scratching our heads was that the tailgate had bedliner on it but there was no bedliner anywhere else. 

Like many press vehicles the Silverado was well equipped. Not over the top, not even top of the line, but nice. Some may scoff at seat heaters and coolers, or a heated steering wheel but on a nippy morning they sure do feel good.

Everyone commented on the gauge layout.

Price wise the Silverado was competitive. Yes the optional diesel adds a fair bit - $3,890 - but the overall price of $47,590 is competitive. 

I'm sold. These small diesels are the way to go especially in a work truck. I have driven a Ford F-150, and a Ram 1500 (both 4WD) with their 3.0-liter diesels. They all have their pluses and minuses. They all do a darn good job. Diesel engines are known for their longevity. And the difference in fuel economy is dramatic - in the Silverado the only engine that comes close to the diesel's torque is the 6.2-liter V8 and it is rated at 16 mpg city and 20 mpg highway (4WD). 

The blue cap is for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and the green is the cap-less diesel fuel filler.
I have to thank Chevrolet for allowing me to drive the Silverado to SoCal and back. It was a good ride.

Any of the three will carry or tow what you need. The choice is yours. What is your preference - Chevrolet, Ford, or Ram?


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