The concept of a diesel-powered half-ton truck is not a new idea, but when those at the top of your rival list make moves to enter the niche, you have to up your game stance. Back in the late '90s, you could snag a 1500 with a V-8 Diesel. But as Miguel Cortina of Motor Trend covered in his story this week, the 1500 was stuck for a while with all-gas engines after Chevy stopped offering a diesel half-ton truck. The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 finally will step up valiantly to the challenge set in stone by the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Ford F-150 Diesel with a 277-hp 3.0-Liter turbodiesel I-6 that's good for 460 lb-ft of torque.
As all of us here at Jim Butler Chevy of St Louis were in fascination, their features editor Scott Evans had his hands on the 2020 Silverado 1500 Duramax at its press launch, road test editor Chris Walton was behind the wheel and took just 7 seconds flat to go from 0 to 60 mph. This is absolutely outstanding performance, and a tenth of a second faster than what the F-150 nailed down. There was not the opportunity to tow during the press event, but the incoming 1500 Duramax is rated to tow up to 7,600 pounds and while hauling a full load sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in just 16.4 seconds.
When driven for an extended time, the team claimed the engine is “buttery smooth”, yet it has lots of torque. They said pulling a trailer was easy to the point where it felt as if it wasn't there, and the 10-speed automatic transmission offers amazingly precise shifts even when weighed down immensely. One of the most important things the gang noted here for anyone considering a new purchase is that it struggles much less than the F-150 when being tested with massive weight.
One of the testing grounds for these claims was the steep incline at Davis Dam, near the Arizona-Nevado border, where the Silverado 1500 blew past the 70 mph mark and still had reserve power to go faster. Even with all the purposeful kinks and frustration thrown at it, the Silverado diesel did a phenomenal job of controlling the trailer. Don't forget to ask us to demo the invisible trailer technology for you: it is available on the 1500 Duramax and uses a camera installed on the back of the trailer to create a see-through image minus the trailer. Another amazing quality of this new 1500 is the improvements that were made to the trucks NVH courtesy of engineering: there is next to none of the noise clamoring around you that diesel always carried as part of its characteristic!