After a three-month delay mandated by the U.S. government and its emissions certification process, General Motors has finally begun to ship the Duramax diesel equipped versions of the GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup trucks to dealerships, according to a report by Automotive News. The delay was caused by stricter regulations surrounding emission testing, particularly for diesel powered vehicles. (Thanks, Volkswagen).
The wait may have proven to be worth it, however, as the GM truck twins put out some seriously competitive figures. With a highway fuel economy rating of 33 mpg, the Silverado and Sierra 1500 Duramax currently have the best highway mileage out of any of the Big Three automakers’ diesel half-tons. The Powerstroke equipped Ford F-150 sits at 30 mpg highway, while the previous generation Ram EcoDiesel managed a rating of 27 mpg. FCA may have something to say about this claim in the near future, as the company has stated their next generation 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will deliver best in class fuel economy ratings, when it eventually launches.
The 2020 Silverado 1500 Duramax also has a 9,300 pound towing capacity and a maximum payload rating of 1,870 pounds, while the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Duramax has a slightly smaller tow rating of 9,100 pounds and a 1,830 pounds maximum payload rating. These are solid figures for a half-ton pickup, though they fall far behind the Ram’s class-leading towing capacity of 12,560 pounds.
Prices for the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax start at $44,540, while the fancier 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Duramax has a base price of $53,495. The pricing has a lot to do with the fact that the 3.0L inline six LM2 diesel engine is only unlocked by selecting more premium trim level options. Meanwhile, Ram plans on offering the EcoDiesel V6 engine on nearly all trim levels, and in doing so undercuts the diesel-powered half-ton GM trucks by roughly $8,000.