Currently, the highest max tow rating for a General Motors half-ton Duramax truck is 9,300 lbs. That appears to be changing. According to GM-Trucks, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks are set to see tow rating improvements for both the previously mentioned 3.0L Duramax LM2 engine as well as the 2.7L turbocharged four cylinder, codenamed L3B. While neither Chevrolet nor GMC have announced anything publicly, the report essentially proves what we were told by engineers roughly a year ago.
Another update expected is the integration of the GMC MultiPro tailgate onto the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, said to be called Multi-Flex.
As it stands, 95 percent of Chevrolet and GMC light duty truck customers don’t tow over 9,000 pounds, which spurred a conscious decision to prioritize fuel economy in the LM2 Duramax Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. But in a market where the name of the game is to constantly one-up the other, whether it’s towing, payload, horsepower, torque, or 0-60 times… settling for 95 percent just won’t do.
Currently, the Ford F-150 Power Stroke is rated to tow 11,400 pounds, while the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is rated at 12,560 pounds.
Despite being down on towing, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax 4X2 achieving an incredible 33 mpg highway and 23 mpg city. The Sierra 1500 Duramax comes in at 30 mpg highway and 23 city. The difference in highway fuel economy reflects a corporate fleet average of how customers option and spec their vehicles – where the GMC tends to have more content, and thus more weight in the test. EPA fuel economy for the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 in any engine or trim level awaits publishing.
Compared to the V6 diesel engines that Ford and Ram offer, the Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 Duramax trucks integrate an inline six diesel. By nature, this configuration is a smoother, more balanced engine that returns superior NVH without adding balance shafts. They don’t have as much rotating mass that we have to support that a V6 does, and therefore negates the need for balance shafts, while there are also advantages to its packaging.