By on May 22, 2018

Image: GM

It’s only natural to root for the underdog. Ford Motor Company consumes so much oxygen in the truck space, what with its best-selling full-size status and its unceasing pursuit of ever-greater horsepower, torque, and fuel economy figures, that it’s nice to see another automaker challenge the Blue Oval’s technological crown.

The unveiling of a new turbocharged four-cylinder for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado last Friday surely dropped a few jaws in the American heartland. After all, memories of the base-model Chevy S-10 and GMC Sonoma’s dump truck-like acceleration lingers, despite two decades of progress. And yet, here’s a 2.7-liter four-pot under the hood of a brawny full-sizer, generating class-leading entry level horsepower and torque. And it’s standard on the bottom two “regular” trims.

Is there a four in your future?

I broke the news to my father, a man who still fondly remembers his mid-Seventies F-150 Supercab with bulletproof 300 cubic-inch six and three-on-the-tree. He guessed the displacement of General Motors’ new motor right off the bat. He also seemed skeptical.

As oil and gas prices rise, fuel economy understandably grows in importance. But it’s clear most North Americans are ready and willing to rationalize the continued ownership of big trucks and SUVs, and it’s doubtful even $4/gallon gas would sway many drivers from their high-riding steed. If necessary, they’ll make sacrifices elsewhere to keep it on the road. Or, just maybe, they’ll be tempted into a vehicle that’s just as big, but beats the competition by 1 or 2 mpg. Whatever helps them sleep at night.

While there’s no fuel economy estimates for this unit just yet, we’re assuming it beats Ford’s base 3.3-liter V6 in stinginess at the pumps. Running on two cylinders on rare occasions, this four is clearly a shot across Ford’s bow — and a way of greenwashing GM’s truck fleet. Have your cake and drive it too, would be the message.

Ford popularized downsized engines and forced induction in modern pickups, making GM’s advancement a natural extension of its rival’s work. Sure, its 310 hp and 348 lb-ft doesn’t beat the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6’s specs, but it isn’t supposed to. That’s an upgrade engine and this isn’t. Anyone looking for additional power (and the comfort of tradition) can toss a few more bills at GM for a 5.3-liter on LT and RST trims. Eventually, you can hand over a stack of bills for the 3.0-liter inline-six diesel.

No one’s being forced to drive a pickup with this engine. Fleet buyers and stripper aficionados can still have the old 4.3-liter V6 in Work Truck and other spartan, lower-volume trims. The question today is: would you drive one?

Do you like what you see on paper, but remain unconvinced? And what fuel economy figure would you need to see before signing for a turbo four Silverado?

[Image: General Motors]

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154 Comments on “QOTD: Are You Four or Against?...”


  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Most buyers won’t know any better since they never open their hoods anyway. As the saying goes, “Americans quote horsepower but drive torque.” A turbo four cylinder will be sufficient as a base engine. I would likely prefer to drive this engine over a base V6. Why? My experience with forced-induction gassers is that they deliver excellent fuel economy if boost pressures stay low. I would guess that I could easily muster close to 25 mpg with this engine. I have a gentle right foot.

    A turbo-4 in a pickup just doesn’t lend itself well to most pickup truck conversations. There will be no bragging at the counter of the diner or at the pumps of the fuel island.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I think the better place to start with this motor is the BOF suvs; Tahoe Suburban ETAL. I believe these buyers care less about engine size and specs than pickup buyers and in a lot of cases care more about MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      “Most buyers won’t know any better since they never open their hoods anyway.”

      They will notice when they have to keep the throttle open constantly.

      “As the saying goes, “Americans quote horsepower but drive torque.””

      Drivers quote horsepower and drive horsepower. Power is the rate at which work is done. You can put 400 lb ft of torque on a bicycle and go nowhere. For torque to matter it has to be produced at a rate that gives you the speed and acceleration conducive to driving. That rate is horsepower.

      “A turbo four cylinder will be sufficient as a base engine.”

      Probably not.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        It generates peak torque at 1500 rpm (348), so it’s producing more HP at 1500 than most rivals NA v6 engines. It’s producing 310hp at peak hp, so it’s producing comparable peak HP to it’s rival engines. Ergo- it’s producing either more hp or comparable hp from 1500-5600rpm then it’s v6 rivals.

        It’s quoted as going 0-60 in 7 seconds, which is sufficient. If it will tow 7500#s that will be sufficient for this trucks mission- we’ll see how the tow ratings come in.

        As a side note:
        You can’t put 400lb/ft of torque in a bicycle and go nowhere in any reasonable example because even at 1 rpm you’d still generate 3/4 of a hp which is enough to move a bicycle. That’s more than an olympic bicyclist can maintain. In fact, you’d probably loop out on a regular bike.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Many electric assist motors are more than 3/4 hp (750W is common). It’s possible to do wheelies if you’re not careful but it’s entirely manageable.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Because it has more torque at low rpm, this engine will require less throttle opening than the naturally aspirated V6s it’s competing against.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Personally, having owned a N.A. 4 cyl Epsilon Impala, no way would I buy a full size 4 cyl truck . Turbo or not.

    IMHO …If gas milage is a concern , maybe a full size truck isn’t the best choice .

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Would I drive one?

    Drive one or own one is the real question. I am certain I will find my way into the driver seat of a Silverado at the National counter sooner or later, hopefully sooner out of curiosity more than anything.

    It really all depends on the driving dynamics. I have had plenty of F150 Ecoboost rentals. I can’t seem to get any better gas mileage than I get from an all natural v8. I have even compared different weeks of having a Ram 1500 Hemi vs the V6. Same deal, I get almost the same MPG, though you do have to keep your wits about you with the Hemi as it makes a lot of really great noise when you want it to.

    Cue DW to flame me…I think the biggest issue that GM is going to wrestle with as sales begin to slow, which from what I am seeing they are, is the long term reliability of the current fleet that offers the 5.3 (Yukon, Tahoe, Suburban, Silverdo, Sierra, much lesser extent Savana). Even as gas prices go up, it is hard to justify starting over on a new note after 3 or 4 years on a perfectly fine almost paid for truck to get a new one that might get a few better mpg.

    My 08′ 5.3 gets 15-16 like clockwork. Would I trade it or sell it for 16-18k (what is worth approximately today) and then spend another 45-50 to get a new Suburban that gets 20mpg? No I would not.

    This is where BMW beat GM in long term thinking. BMW subsidizes leases to keep people coming back every 3 years. GM does not, and very few BOF GM vehicles are leased in comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      My ’17 4 door 4×4 Z71 worktruck with the 5.3 does 17-18 city and 23-24 hey, unless I’m really gentle and those number can creep up a couple points. Point is how much better will this engine do to not compete with the V8?

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        I’m not sure, but I don’t think the point is for the customer to get better mileage. I think the purpose of this engine is to gain a few tenths in CAFE fleet averages. Most downsized, turbo engines don’t save fuel in the real world, but maybe this one will be the exception.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Which is really strange. My neighbor (who is in his 60’s) has a 16′ Silverado CC w/ the 5.3 and he claims it gets no better mpg (15-16) than the 2004 extended cab 5.3 he traded in for it.

        I am not sure if he go the tow package or something with steeper gears perhaps, but he has not been happy w/ his mpg since the day 1.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I think (it’s a work truck so I never saw the window sticker) without looking my RPO codes up, that I have the best set of gears available, granted that’s an embarrassing 3:42 iirc. But I also do mostly highway mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Not only are 4 cylinder engines, both naturally aspirated and with supplemented with turbochargers, fine in vehicles of this size (SUVs and 1/2 and 3/4 ton Pickup Trucks and Cargo Vans weighing as much as 5,000 or even 6,500 pounds with cargo and passengers – not counting what’s being towed) more than adequate in terms of power, duty cycle, reliability and durability, BUT 3 CYLINDER ENGINES will soon admirably power similarly sized and type vehicles reliably, effortlessly, and without complaint or mechanical strain.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        p.s. – Plus, to further support this specific application, this is General Motors, so you know they’re going to allocate the budget to allow their engineers to use only the beefiest, most sturdy materials and components, whether it comes to oil cooling, overall cooling system, crankshaft, piston and block durability and strength, etc.

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    1/2 ton trucks don’t need to be fast. Turbo four is the new V6 and I’m fine with that. Just don’t touch the V8.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      A turbo four is not the “new V6”. A four cylinder is a four cylinder and a V6 is a V6. Every engine layout has its own design characteristics like engine balance that does not translate to other engine designs.

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        Maxb49 is right. Having had a modern company car with a turbo four, I can assure you it is not “the new V6”. In no way does a turbo four replace the smoothness and overall balance that the V6 provides.

  • avatar
    Kalvin Knox

    I wouldn’t buy one just because of the way the engine would sound. It could get 5 million mpg and make 5 million horsepower, but if it doesn’t make that v8 noise, Get it away from me.

  • avatar
    Kalvin Knox

    I wouldn’t buy one just because of the way the engine would sound. It could get 5 million mpg and make 5 million horsepower, but if it doesn’t make that v8 noise, Get it away from me.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I don’t know precisely how they’ll behave in a truck, but I rather enjoy the civilized around-town behavior of a 4-cyl. turbo around-town in a car. Not having to crank the tach up to get little spurts of power makes for a pretty pleasant experience.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I am all for this engine being offered. Better fuel economy for those who don’t mind or won’t notice a four cylinder means better compliance with MPG standards for GM, and less overall demand for gasoline. Both of which help me enjoy big V8s for longer.

    There’s nothing wrong with additional choice, as long as it remains a choice. The day a V8 is no longer available in a full size truck is the day I give up on new vehicles for good.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    having owned a 2003 Silverado v6 that I bought new and kept for 13 years,( after owning 3 new Sonoma 4’s) I personally would never by a large truck with a 4! I loved my 03 but always really wanted a v8, I traveled 90 miles round trip daily to work, so naturally thought a v6 was the way to go, smaller engine, better mileage and it worked for me except when you try to sell it. the market in a truck is always better for resale with a v8 and the difference in mpg is marginal.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Introducing the first truck that isn’t reliable.

    Why not at the very least use the similar-displacement diesel 4-cyl in the Colorado?

  • avatar
    ajla

    Shocking, but there is a zero percent chance I would ever own a Silverado with a turbo-4 or recommend it to anyone.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    Against. Not because a four cylinder couldn’t work in principle, but because I know how GM is going to cheap out on the bottom end. A truck engine made for truck use requires better bottom end materials than would go into a car engine. The longest lived car engine in continuous use is a four cylinder Volvo with more than 3 million miles on the original block. If you examine the P1800s bottom end, you will see that the materials are more substantial than GM’s. This is no P1800 engine.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      That P1800 has had several engine rebuilds on its life.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        “That P1800 has had several engine rebuilds on its life.”

        Correct. If you re-read my first post, I said that 3 million miles was driven *on the original block*. A rebuild does not involve changing the block. That particular P1800 went 600,000 miles on one rebuild. Impressive.

    • 0 avatar
      a5ehren

      “A truck engine made for truck use”

      The most “truck use” most Silverados see is hauling a few bags of mulch and a 2×4 from Home Depot. The people who need to tow a mountain will still be able to get the V8.

      • 0 avatar
        vehic1

        a5ehren: +1. Also +1 for the comment to the effect that the turbo 4 won’t be bragged about at the diner counter, or the gas pumps – it makes a poor **nis substitute in a hulking brodozer.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      A small, highly stressed engine cannot produce large engine power, economy and longevity unless it is precision manufactured of highest quality components. GM is unlikely to abandon decades of lowest cost engineering and purchasing.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I railed against the turbo 4 revolution but was recently kind of forced into one. Performance wise I would say it matches a bigger V6, but sadly it matches consumption wise too. No free lunch I suppose.

    This 2.7T is much more sophisticated, with its twin scroll turbo and cylinder deactivation, so I bet it will improve on the V8 appreciably.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’m curious about a four cylinder full size truck. A four cylinder Impala is panned all across anything I have read about being underpowered for a full size car, and although the comparison to a four cylinder full size truck may not be fair, I’m interested and skeptical at the same time.

    I must keep eyes and ears open to real-world experiences of owners.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I understand anyone skeptical of sticking a 4cyl into a full sized truck. But I think this is progress. This is the reality of the world we live in. Casual drivers of pickups who don’t really need it to do pickupy work should consider this and probably will if the fuel economy and price is difficult to beat. Advances in fuel economy are really what makes it possible to have the optioned up bruiser of a V8, so it should be welcomed.

    The hp and torque is there, why does it really matter that it comes from a 4cyl or a V6 or a V8? It probably would appeal to most people who don’t require the childish Tonka Truck sound effects to have a complete ownership experience. This truck is more powerful than V8’s of not that long ago. Time marches on.

    That being said. I can understand why people would avoid being the Beta testers for this new breed of full sized truck. In time, if the reliability and durability is there, it will catch on the die hards too. Mark me down as “for”

    • 0 avatar
      IBx1

      You think people who buy pickups that don’t need them will go for a 4-cyl? They buy them because iT’s GoT a v8 EnGIne wITh eXtRA oOmpH foR dAD

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…hp and torque is there, why does it really matter that it comes from a 4cyl or a V6 or a V8?…”

      Good question. Hard to explain. Figure there’s a world of difference between V8s and anything less. There’s nothing better that I’ve seen, all things considered, by a wide margin.

      Once it’s not a V8, yes it matters little if it’s a V6, straight 5, or I4, turbo or no. And there’s not much fuel savings with V6 fullsize pickups (turbo or no), in some cases you get worse mpg, so I don’t expect much better from this I4 turbo.

      It’s not just about “the way they sound”, that’s a bonus. V8s are hard to kill, typically outlasting the car they power. V8s are not prone to head gasket failure if you look at them wrong.

      When I opted for the 4.6 V8 in my base F-150, one thing I wasn’t going to compromise on, I knew its engine was not ever going to be an issue. So I do 50,000+ mile oil changes on it (full synthetic), since i have no plans to harvest the engine when I’ve driven the truck into the ground.

      So I crack open its used oil filters, expecting to find metal dust, and nope, just clean.

      The V8 upgrade wasn’t a “childish” decision, it was a smart financial move (that also sounds good).

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You do the longest interval oil changes, by a factor of at least 4x, of anyone I’ve ever encountered.

        I’m not criticizing or claiming it’s not working for you, but I’d be fascinated to see what a teardown reveals on your engine after 150,000 miles versus the same spec engine in another vehicle that did 10,000 or 7,000 mile oil change intervals.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yeah don’t try this at home, kids. If you do, you gotta run full synthetic, and remember to top off. I’ve checked the drain plug’s magnet for metal dust too. I’ve always felt recommended oil-change intervals are too short.

          If it’s abuse, I know V8s can take it, except with diesels you should stick to the program.

          My truck has close to 200K (I’ve had it since new} and I won’t do another oil change, maybe the filter only just to look inside just for giggles. I tell everyone driving an older car, nothing special (beaters especially) to stop doing oil changes, it’s a terrific waste.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You know, that magnet is useless if you’re running an aluminum block and aluminum heads. They’re non-ferrous and therefore non-magnetic. Any lost metal would never be picked up by it.

          • 0 avatar
            conundrum

            @ Vulpine

            If the block or heads start to dissolve, the engine is toast. Aluminum engines use an iron cylinder liner and the rest of the oily bits are the same as an iron block/head engine. So of course the magnetized plug is useful. Step back and have a think – my first question would be, do you actually know how an IC engine works? That’s job 1.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Considering I did almost all my own work on my first car, which had a cracked cylinder wall when purchased, I think I know a little bit about how ICEs work.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Whether engines are durable has little to do with their layout and much more to do with their engineering. To cherry pick a couple of examples, the first-generation Ford 3.5 EcoBoost V6 has a much better reliability record than the early GM Gen V V8s (either 6.2 or 5.3). The Gen Vs had problems with improperly engineered cylinder deactivation systems and a few episodes of bad metallurgy. The first-gen 3.5 had a few fuel system issues the first year but was rock-solid after that.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          First year, new engines? Why risk it? Even 2nd and 3rd? Not when there’s plenty of older, even “legendary” engines still in production, hundreds of updates/TSBs later.

          If you just gotta have the brand new generation, look for carryover engines and drivetrains.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          Thank you, sir. The cylinder deactivation scheme on a cam-in-block valvetrain is much more problematic and complicated than ones on an OHC setup. A pushrod V8 cam is doing a million different tasks already – now you bake in VVT and then cylinder deactivation and it’s doing 3 million things.

          The Gen V has a hard-and-fast 6500 rpm redline and a rock-hard fuel cutoff just a tiny bit above that, as a result of durability testing with VVT and cylinder deactivation.

          One reason the wonderful LS7 in the C6 Z06 had to go the way of the dodo…the corporate edict was cyl. deact. on all future engines, and the 7100 rpm redline on the LS7 was deemed a no-go for that reason.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      If the real world fuel economy is the same why does it really matter that it comes from a 4cyl or a V6 or a V8?

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        Because one of these is able to game the EPA test cycle better than the others. I would generally agree that you put similar power numbers from two different types of engines in the same vehicle should generally yield a similar “observed” fuel economy. (provided the engines are thouroughly modern) For the heavy footed, smaller turbo engines can be quite thirsty, maybe even moreso than NA larger displacement engines.

        Even so, I think the idea is that many drivers would see at least a slight improvement in fuel economy especially if they don’t have any workhorse needs or a lead foot.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…more powerful than V8s of not that long ago. Time marches…”

      On paper, sure. But don’t fool yourself. Similarly today’s diesel HD pickups have the hp/tq of the Semi trucks of not that long ago. And you can drop a new 6.7 Cummins in an 18 wheeler and it’ll do the job, similar to how well old Semis with 80,000 lbs did it, but for how long?

  • avatar
    arach

    Count me in!

    As long as fuel economy looks good, I’m 100% in.

    I’m darn impressed with the turbo4 in my hyundai sonata, and it has plenty of torque. the torque puts me in heaven… massive torque at low RPMs is the reason I like diesels, and the turbo4s offer the same feeling. I’ve never had a horsepower issue in trucks.

    My wife and I love full size trucks and both want one, but the fuel economy sucks. We could get a small truck but we hate small trucks and don’t want to spend that kind of money on a car we hate.

    I think it will put down plenty of power for highway/DD duty, and then who cares about fuel economy under heavy load. when we tow, I’ll take a fuel economy hit.

    The V6 should get better fuel economy under heavy load, but most the trucks see a load 1% of the time at best? I’ll take better fuel economy 99% of the time in exchange for worst fuel economy the 1%.

    This might finally help us have one vehicle instead of owning a separate car and truck, which would save a lot of money and hassle.

    The best truck engine I ever had was Ford’s 4.2L v6 It had 260lb-ft of torque but not until 3800 RPM, and only 210 HP but it was plenty of power and it gave fuel economy I was really pleased with. Frustrated that engine wasn’t available in the crew cab or high trims.

    I had a 5.4L and it drank so much gas that I never wanted to drive it.

    Bought the small Ram 3.7L and it asked for a bit more torque for a big truck but only in certain driving situations. The Turbo4 numbers should curb that. That engine was a dog at low RPMs. I replaced it with a 4.7L, which left me pleased at the pump, but it was such a poor match for the transmission that driving anywhere there were hills was pretty miserable. Put it on cruise control in Kentucky and I’d hit 60 on the top of the hill and 80 at the bottom.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      I’ve got bad news. The fuel economy is still going to suck.

      It’s a 5,000lb barn door. Fiddling with engine configuration isn’t going to do much in the real world.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Hell no. Fours are a poverty motor setup for poverty people, I settled for them when that’s where my budget stopped, but for as much as a new car costs now you’ve got to be kidding me that I’m going to pay that much to settle again.

    Pride of ownership is worth something.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I know what you’re saying. However, the base Mercedes E-class and BMW 5-series sedans are now turbo fours and their pricing begins in the mid-$50s. I’ve driven them and the turbo fours are no slouches.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        ” I’ve driven them and the turbo fours are no slouches.”
        — In a relatively lightweight body that’s not intended to withstand heavy loading, especially for potentially extended periods of time, a turbo four is an excellent choice. The heaviest load it will ever haul around is five passengers and some luggage. The full-sized pickup already weighs that much!

        The problem is, that full-sized pickup is going to be carrying that much and more… dragging around as much as 10,000# more in some cases. The transmission will do what it can to keep the load as light on the engine as it can, but it’s also programmed for greatest economy, so it’s going to do its damndest to also keep revs as low as it can. All told, a blown engine just waiting to happen and it’s probably going to be that turbo that goes first.

        • 0 avatar
          EquipmentJunkie

          I agree that a turbo-4 in a 1/2-ton pickup will have its challenges. In this case, I was addressing Dan’s statement of a 4-cylinder being a “poverty motor for poverty people”. My point was that the turbo-4 engine configuration is currently in mid-sized luxury vehicles and no smoothness or performance is lost. Any indications of poverty would be in the mind of the purchaser who even knows what is under the hood. BMW seems to do make an effort to hide the engine configuration on their website.
          To your point, I agree with you and am surprised at how many base, NA V6 engines are being sold in 1/2-ton pickups these days.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I can’t consider a turbo-four to be a “poverty” choice; typically it’s a higher-priced choice over an NA six because they’re more expensive to build. This is, to the best of my recollection, the first time a turbo four will be the BASE engine in almost anything, not even the Fiat 500 going turbo until this next year’s model, according to reports. And we all know how the Fiat 500 is such a dog with that little 1.6 at 101 horses (NOT).

            No, my point is exclusively that this little engine isn’t going to be able to stand up to the strain that’s going to be put on it by these heavy-bodied, slab-sided, non-aerodynamic bricks. They’ll be running on turbo boost no less than 80% of the time; almost every time they accelerate and almost all the time they’re at any speed above 55mph. And that’s when they’re running empty. The physics is all wrong for what they’re doing here. A pure electric would be massively more efficient — no less than 4x more efficient in mpg-equivalent.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Hearing the smaller BMWs angrily buzz back to life from every stop sign and red light is giving up a lot of smoothness. Performance doesn’t matter, everything is fast enough, but they sound like Kias. I can’t disassociate that noise from the penalty boxes that I grew up with.

            Seeing how diligently BMW lies about what they’re selling with small print tech specs and ever escalating badge numbers, and the $5-10,000 per cylinder upcharge to get away from it, I’m not the only one turned off.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Nope, nope, nope. I’m not fond of the switch to 4 cylinders in passenger cars, goes doubly for trucks.

  • avatar
    arach

    I also love the idea that no one will buy these, so they will be available for 1/2 of MSRP on the lot.

    I’ll be like “hmm- thats a bargain”. I love to buy bargain cars.

    the the amount they’ll have to discount sticker for to move these, you can buy 2-3 replacement engines.

    Would I pay $20k more for a V8? No, I dont think so.

  • avatar
    don1967

    In theory I like the idea of a turbo-four truck. More torque coming from fewer moving parts is a fine engineering goal. So is displacement-on-demand.

    In reality I would rather pull out my toenails with pliers than be an early adopter of new GM technology. Especially that which was coerced by regulatory forces. Nuh-uh.

    The two-valve 4.6 V8 in my old Ford is a turd by every measure. But it’s a reliable, easily-serviced turd, and that’s worth more to me than winning some silly EPA contest.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Ignoring my opinion of the size of these modern trucks, I’m opposed to dropping a four in, despite the good horsepower and torque numbers. Why? Because the engine is going to be abused by far too many and its reliability is not likely to be all that good. You’ve got a tiny engine that would work much better in that S-10-class of trucks hauling around a body weighing 1500# more and expected to tow almost double that weight. I’ve already seen what happens when a small engine gets heat-soaked and I won’t be surprised in the least if this thing doesn’t suffer from some form of thermal failure well before 100,000 miles and probably before it reaches half that figure.

    Put it into an S-10-sized truck instead.

    • 0 avatar
      mj1

      Why do you think it will be abused? It makes more HP and torque at lower RPM than my 5.3 liter. The 4 cylinder makes peak torque at 1500 RPM. My 5.3 makes peak torque at 4000 RPM. The 5.3 needs to work harder to make power than the 4 cylinder does.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    I wonder if this engine will eventually work its way into the Canyon/Colorado, the way the 4.3 V6 was available in an S10 and full size trucks?

    I was also hopeful the straight 6 4.2 engine in the Trailblazer would have made it into the full size truck. It made respectable power/torque but apparently the gas mileage wasn’t the greatest. Now with 8, 9, and 10 speed transmissions, I wonder what might have been. Hard to beat the smoothness of a straight 6.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I think this is perfectly fine, and would own one, in the right circumstances. It sounds like this was designed to be a truck engine from the git-go, rather than adapting something that’s primarily a car engine.

    I wouldn’t buy this in an 4X4, crew cab configuration, or if I was planning on doing a ton of towing, but in a single cab, 2WD it would probably be great, and in reality that’s what most people need, even if they don’t buy it. I’m just as guilty because I own a crew cab, 4X4, V8 powered truck and only tow once a year or so, and I’ve used the 4WD twice in 4 years. I do like the huge cab though, for sensitive cargo. Flat load floor, folding seats and rubber mats for the win.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “I wouldn’t buy this in an 4X4, crew cab configuration, or if I was planning on doing a ton of towing, but in a single cab, 2WD it would probably be great, and in reality that’s what most people need, even if they don’t buy it.”

      — Exactly why this engine needs to be in a three-quarter-size pickup and not a full-sized one.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        If I’m not mistaken, aren’t the Colorado and Canyon almost as heavy as the base trim 1500’s and just as long? I’ll take the extra width any day.

        Also, this engine will likely end up in the Colorado and Canyon, so I think you’ll get your wish.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “If I’m not mistaken, aren’t the Colorado and Canyon almost as heavy as the base trim 1500’s and just as long? I’ll take the extra width any day.”

          — And I won’t. On many roads around where I live, that extra width can mean the difference between staying on pavement or winding up in the ditch on a meet. They’re so wide that, when including mirrors, BOTH truck have to put right-side tires on the dirt to avoid contact, and there’s only a few inches of dirt before dropping into the storm ditch on either side of the road. These roads were built for horses and buggies, not Road Whales™.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    This new 2.7 T should also be put into the Colorado and Canyon. Considering this new GM 1/2 ton will probably have a higher row rating than a Tundra base 4.6 V8. Yes this is a brilliant move for GM.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Not that I’ll be buying a full sized truck in the near future, but I’d give it a try.

    These motors generate numbers we only dreamed of a few years back. I think that for vast majority of light duty pickup truck use, these motors will be just fine. Most folks who own trucks seem to use them as daily drivers; they’re fully loaded only occasionally.

    Even when I had my pickup truck, I mostly hauled air in the bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Zipster

      In fact,for most truck owners who rarely haul anything of consequence, the trucks intended purpose is to be a cod piece.

      • 0 avatar
        2drsedanman

        Bonus for incorporating the word codpiece. An underused and undervalued word used all too infrequently in the car world.

      • 0 avatar
        2drsedanman

        Bonus for incorporating the word codpiece. An underused and undervalued word used all too infrequently in the car world.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        “In fact,for most truck owners who rarely haul anything of consequence, the trucks intended purpose is to be a cod piece.”

        Most people I know buy a pickup truck because they need a pickup truck…

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Pickup trucks have become a status symbol. That’s why their sales have gone through the roof over the last decade or so. Ever since they became more readily available with four full doors.

          You could call it, “Conspicuous Consumption.”

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Meh. Five days a week my Dakota hauled air. On weekends, there was always something to do. I had two acres back then, there was always some damned project that required me to move dirt or mulch or brush.

      Honestly, I never really enjoyed the benefit of that land. It was a lot of work and with (at the time) two small kids and a wife that worked, I always felt like my free time was spent fixing or tidying up stuff.

      Now I have a house in the city limits with a tiny yard. I use a minivan for much of the same hauling duties my Dakota did; the only thing I don’t haul is loose items (like mulch or gravel). The landscape companies offer delivery for that kind of thing.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    As a European, I can chuckle a bit about many of the comments here. I never had anything but four-cylinder engines (although I drove a couple bigger ones: V6-powered company cars, Dad’s old Opel Commodore with that lump-of-iron I6, even an SL with a V8 once). And the fours really have plenty of power to spare, even in overweight modern cars — especially the boosted modern ones are blisteringly quick.

    They might not hold up as well though — although I think that’s not a given: probably longevity is more to do with good construction, adequately dimensioned bearings, and sufficient cooling, than it depends on horsepower per litre; also, the closest thing I ever owned to a performance engine, which was my ’87 Golf GTI 16V (1.8 litres, 129 bhp) made 400k kilometres effortlessly, which nobody would’ve guessed in ’87. Whether an Ecoboost or a TSFI can do that remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    All that said, I do aspire to own a V6 sometime — just for the sheer luxury of it. Just not sure in what car … the six vehicles that Citroën offered with hydro-pneumatic suspension and a V6 (SM, Xantia, XM, C5 I/II, C5 III, and C6) don’t appeal to me for varying reasons and/or are out of my financial reach, and anything steel-sprung will have a very hard time convincing me. What else is there? Maybe air suspension in an Audi or a small Jag or something. Time will tell.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m “four” it, but wouldn’t buy one. I’ve recently come to the realization that in order for me to buy something as inconveniently-large as a full-size pickup truck, I’d need to be doing some serious towing or other activities that would necessitate the V8.

    But I think the new Silverado, sadly, has a face only a mother could love. So that’s out. I do think its GMC Sierra sibling is attractive, but haven’t heard any evidence that this 2.7T will go into the Sierra.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      If it starts to sell well with the Chevrolet, I can guarantee you the Buick/GMC dealers will start screaming for it within minutes, and it’ll be added to the Sierra very quickly.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Is there a 4-cylinder in my future? I’m going to have a nervous breakdown if I have to downsize to a six, let alone a Briggs & Stratton or whatever engine they’re putting in these trucks. Is there a four in my future? That’s a clown question, ‘bro.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I am guessing that GM’s turbo four will require premium gas, as opposed to the regular gas that most V6’s are capable of running on. This to me negates the minute advantage in fuel mileage you’ll get with the turbo four.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Not against the power plant but have no desire to own a full size truck. My current Dakota is “right sized”.

    I had a V6 in my Ranger and it couldn’t handle towing duties, I had to move up to the V8 in the Dodge. There was no difference in mileage while towing. What I really want is a small diesel because for towing its the torque you really appreciate.

    I’ve owned several turbos (Mitsubishi, VW and Volvo) and love the down low power and rush of the boost. Mileage is decent provided you could stay away from playing with the boost. Downsides were oil consummation and heat soak along with premium fuel requirements.

    On paper this engine seem fine as it has more HP and TQ then my current V8, which is just amazing to me, the technology has really advanced in the last decade. How it actually drives and long term reliability would be my concerns. I think Ford’s turbo 6 is a better solution, but would go with the small diesel option in a mid-sizer for the win.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    I would rather go to a full electric than a four. Especially one with miserable stop-start.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    More turbo boost, more fuel used. My guess is those trucks would be no better in terms of fuel consumption than the 5.3 V8…of course, they can logically make it look good on the window sticker by jacking up the expected MPG.

    The better option in my opinion would have been the 4 cyl turbo diesel in the Canyon/Colorado twins. I base that on the fuel mileage, torque, and overall driving impression of my Ram 3.0 Echodiesel. Sure, it’s a V 6, but it is one torque monster for that size engine. I gave up a 5.7 Hemi in my last Ram, and have been thoroughly impressed with the Echodiesel.

    Would I buy a GM full sized truck with the turbo 4…No, but I might try the Turbo D 4 cyl…

    • 0 avatar
      Clueless Economist

      Agreed. The Colorado should get this engine too.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The difference is that the 4-cylinder turbos can be mapped to ace the fuel economy cycle tests. An engine that mitigates pumping losses and captures work from the expanding gasses in the exhaust manifold will always be more efficient than a naturally-aspirated engine, assuming optimal turbo conditions. Therefore, tune the engine such that the fuel economy test is optimal for the engine.

      Whether or not drivers can replicate the performance in the real world is another matter.

      Long story short, we’re paying more money for less reliable engines and the only real benefactors are the political busy-bodies who achieve peak self-actualization when they control everything and everyone around them.

      The automotive future is bleak at present. That’s why CAFE 2025 has been strapped into the electric chair. Hopefully, someone will throw the switch soon.

  • avatar
    carguy

    For most work trucks ~300HP and ~350lb will be fine. However, most recreational truck owners will be opting for the V8 as it provides the soundtrack they are looking for.

    The Turbo 4 would also make a great option for the Colorado.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    I think the v6 comparison is the wrong comparison- I think they’re working on making a very diesel like 4 cylinder. Very long stroke with strong early torque. They’re making a little diesel too, but diesels have a lot of headwind and hoops to jump through now- I’m not sure that diesels are automatically more reliable due to simplicity now.

    I don’t have anything intrinsically against this engine. I would always wait a year on a new engine – but that’s not because it’s a 4.

    There’s a lot more info to come out before I’d give a thumbs up or down- but if it hits something like 21city-26freeway mpg with 7500 towing in a 4×4 xtra cab, that would be a compelling alternative to a small diesel (easier fill ups, no DEF, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Good point. If they really did overbuild this thing properly, looking at it like a diesel substitute without all of the problematic emissions stuff makes it much more appealing in my eyes. I’ve kept a casual eye on lightly used Colorado Diesels and it is eye opening how many ones I see with a “lemon buyback” on the carfax. Between that and the Colorado and Ram EcoDiesel owner forums is enough to scare any potential diesel buyer straight.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        You can read the specs of the new 2.7T on Chevy’s media site.

        Honestly, it’s not promising and appears to be a light-headed CAFE queen over anything else.

        If you want the diesel experience without the emission headaches (or the big MPG unfortunately) then the Ecoboost V6s are the best choice. I think the last round of upgrades Ford provided will sort out the most common issues from the earlier versions.

        But I agree that the only people who should opt for a US diesel offering these days are people towing over 12000lbs and people that just *love* them.

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          I watched the TFL interview and read the media site- I’m curious what makes you think this is a light head cafe queen and the ecoboost 2.7 isn’t?

          Based on the stroke specs and peak torque, I’d guess this is much more light diesely than the 2.7 ecoboost. My impression of the f150 2.7 ecoboost is that they tuned it to feel like a v8. It looks like the Chevy engineers focused on a more diesel like curve.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The Chevy 2.7 is all-aluminum with an integrated exhaust manifold and cylinder deactivation (first time for a GM 4-cylinder and I think first time on GM engine with forced induction). The Ford 2.7 is CGI, has dual injection and keeps all its cylinders moving.

            As far as which one “feels” more like a diesel, I can’t say for sure, but I’d bet on the Ford lasting longer.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            This makes peak torque all the way to 4000, and peak power at 5600, so no it isn’t light dieselly at all.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I can count the number of times GM (now Guangzhou Motors LLC) “overbuilt” ANY motor on definitely less than one hand, and MAYBE on ONE FINGER.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          One thing I never understood about GM’s vaunted small blocks: why are the sumps so small? 4.7 quarts IIRC. Throw in some leaky valve seals on a higher mileage unit and you better keep an eye on oil level or you’re in for a new engine. I did an oil change in my buddy’s 305 equipped truck and it took the same amount of oil as the same friend’s 2.0L Mazda3.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Smaller bearings = smaller sump. Back in the old days, the GM engines built for actual truck duty did have larger pans, but most pickup and car engines got by with as little as possible.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I don’t think it’s just a GM thing. My Mopar 318 took 5 quarts and a friend’s 390 Ford takes a just a little over 5.

        • 0 avatar
          Maxb49

          “I can count the number of times GM (now Guangzhou Motors LLC) “overbuilt” ANY motor on definitely less than one hand, and MAYBE on ONE FINGER.”

          List of GM overbuilt engines (not just well built, overbuilt):

          Chevrolet W-series 348/409 big block V8
          Chevrolet 396 V8 (1960s)
          Chevrolet 496 (8.1) V8
          Chevrolet 502 V8
          Buick 455 V8
          Oldsmobile 371 Rocket V8
          Oldsmobile 455 V8
          Cadillac 472/500 V8

          Only the 502 is still available from GM. Most of these engines ended production a long time ago.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I think the power and MPG will be good, and for short term fleet buyers and short term private buyers it will work out just fine as long as the private buyers don’t care about the exhaust note and aren’t totally crazy about the ‘feel’ of a V8 (I’m sure plenty are more focused on MPG). It’s the long term running costs that I have very real questions about. Can you imagine one of these highly-turbod and direct injected 4s roaching around in 20-30 years like many-an-old GMT400 does now? My buddy has a ’98 K1500 in his driveway as a weekend hauler, gets used maybe once a month if that. 209k miles, 305 small block, auto, manual shift 4wd. It’s a simple and crude, well made beast. The few things it has needed have been trivial to source and trivial to replace. With how much heat this turbo wonder will be putting out to make that kind of hp/torque, I wonder how ugly things will get under the hood after a decade of use and all of the rubber bits are cooked hard and brittle. I’ve helped do an engine swap on an ’02 WRX and all of the hoses and other bits in the near-turbo vicinity basically crumbled upon disassembly. Having recently poked around under the hood of a 2.0T equinox and seeing the (IMO) wholly inadequate or missing heat shielding and rubber hoses and wiring harnesses right next to the turbo, I can’t help but wonder what will happen with all these things in about 10 years as used cars.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      You nailed it. Most of today’s cars are designed like laptop computers – you use one for 3-5 years and then dispose of it for a new one. Because the cost of dropping the drivetrain and replacing all of the worn-out plastic and rubber bits will be cost-prohibitive.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        “You nailed it. Most of today’s cars are designed like laptop computers – you use one for 3-5 years and then dispose of it for a new one. Because the cost of dropping the drivetrain and replacing all of the worn-out plastic and rubber bits will be cost-prohibitive.”

        With the ever-increasing price of cars, this is a failed strategy. The automakers are headed for serious chit with their bullchit strategy.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    I would love to root for Chevrolet but I just can’t until they get rid of their spokeshipster and make them not so ugly.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I’ve driven naturally aspirated V8’s (except for a Jag XKR) my entire life and just recently had my first fullsize truck, turbo engine experience (had a Ford Expedition Ecoboost rental). My impressions:

    1) The power was amazing….pleasantly surprised. It could pass like a beast, even uphill.
    2) The sound left a lot to be desired. Instead of the cool whistle of a turbo diesel, for example, the turbos just made an unpleasant sucking sound.
    3) I averaged 17.8 MPG over 1,800 mostly highway miles, which I thought would be higher.
    4) Engine “feel”. Smooth while cruising but a notable shake at idle. Not sure if this is typical of smaller turbocharged engines or an issue with my particular vehicle. Overall was impressed with the refinement of the vehicle.

    My opinion : Will still stick with V8’s if possible. My daily driver is an Land Rover LR4 V8 which has more power, sounds better, and beats the fuel economy of the Expedition rental.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      “4) Engine “feel”. Smooth while cruising but a notable shake at idle. Not sure if this is typical of smaller turbocharged engines or an issue with my particular vehicle. Overall was impressed with the refinement of the vehicle.”

      Typical of the V6 layout, not of the turbos. The turbos are not working at idle, anyway. They are just a pair of centrifugal compressors that run off the exhaust gas.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is a repeat of Cadillac’s 4100 moment, and that truly doomed the marque even if it was death by a thousand cuts. GM will again make the wrong decision, decade to decade this stuff doesn’t really change does it?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Uh…none of the above?

  • avatar
    srh

    I bought an ’18 F-150 with the 3.5L. I’d have gotten the 2.7 if it were offered with my preferred configuration (crew-cab, 6.5′ bed). And if that 2.7 only had 4 cylinders instead of 6, who cares? Especially if that is reflected in the mileage.

    I’ve had plenty of V8 diesels and gassers. Not once did I buy them because of the cylinder count. I’d like peppy performance (needn’t be sub-6 0-60), the ability to haul and pull light loads, and still get 20s on the highway. If a 4-cylinder can do all that, sign me up.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    I would, for the simple fact there’s more room to work under the hood.

    Remember when you could sit on a fender with your legs inside next to the engine? Happy days are here again!

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I’ve driven trucks with 4 cylinders, 6 cylinders, and 8 cylinders, and they all did the work I expected of them. If people have a V8 fetish, they should just go ahead and admit it, rather than conjuring up specious arguments about how V8s are “good” and 4s are “bad” somehow.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I absolutely have a major V8 fetish and will definitely continue making purchase decisions based on cylinder count and displacement over almost everything else until EVs become more widely available.

      That said, I still don’t believe this downsizing effort from GM is as fully baked as what Ford is offering.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s beyond a fetish (wild animal sex), but if it’s just a simple “cylinder count” to you, you’re totally indifferent, don’t care to know any better, then you get what you deserve.

      Don’t… ok DO come crying to me, so I can laugh at cha..

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    In a 2+ ton truck with the aerodynamics of a small bungalow? No freakin’ way.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    Unrelated, but I finally figured out what’s bugging me about the new Silverado’s design. At the bottom of the front fender, where it meets the bumper, the bumper goes *inside* of the fender instead of wrapping around it. That, of course, makes it opposite to every car ever built, and would appear to make the fender more vulnerable in a front corner impact. It also gives the visual impression that the bottom-front of the fender is just hanging out there flapping in the breeze.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      In the above photo at least, it bugs me that the front looks like it’s taller than the bed. Sue me, I was raised in the wedgy, low hood, high tail school of automotive design :)

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    The emotional battle people are having with a 4cyl 1/2 ton is understandable. But this is going to happen and NA V6 engines are slowly going away.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I wouldn’t do it, but my reasons are pretty stupid: I don’t like the way fours sound.

    The engine will perform fine. 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque is more than big blocks were putting out thirty years ago. I hope it will last fine, although GM engineering is hit-or-miss in that respect. But that’s not unique to a four; I don’t trust GM with a brand-new six or eight either (and the early Gen V V8 issues proved me right).

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I would have to drive it. I have a 2.7 F150 so I’m cool with downsizing but Id be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little worried

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Now, if this engine was offered in a Colorado most of the B&B would make comments alluding how GM made a great move.

    It seems many don’t know what a commercial engine is. Just because it’s in a pickup doesn’t mean “truck”. Pickups are light duty (carlike) in application, really 75% only ever see a full tank of gas and a bag of mulch as their largest loads.

    The small percentage that need more, you can still buy it. But, if you tow more than 5 or 6 thousand pounds continually, buy a 250/2500.

    Even HD diesel engines aren’t commercial. Have a look at similar size engines in global commercial vehicles. Even global light commercials use light carlike drive trains.

    This 4 banger will more than suffice for 75% of daily driving pickup owners as their pickups are cars, not a truck.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Agreed on all your points. There is this sense of power that some people need to have which includes the largest V8 possible.
      Example a friend if mine needs to have a tundra with the 5.7L because it’s just better. Well, he has only towed about 800 lbs with his large engine tundra. For my friend he basically has a city truck, a Home Depot pickup that will never be used to its max capacity.
      So yes, this 2.7 T will be able a great option for many.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If you’ve been around V8s, V6s (and other) all you’re life, you get the V8 when it’s offered (you say a little “THANK YOU JESUS!!!”), and you never think about it again.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VW4motion,
        I have nothing against V8s as we have quite a few here in Australia and they work okay.

        The reality is most buy a fullsize pickup because they can, like I have done.

        But, you’ll hear the diehard redneck pickup people state how they can go 0-60 in 6sec, tow 1 000 000lbs, etc. I then ask myself on my many visits to the US (once to twice a year) why don’t I see many pickup with more than one person hauling air more often? The answer is just look in parking lots. Like Australia the pickup is just another family hack.

        Even with my pickup I had my fridge delivered! Why? For $25 they delivered, unpacked, checked the shelves, cleaned and took away the cardboard and all the packaging.

        The same goes when I visit Bunnings (like Lowes), if I have too much to take in my pickup, I’ll gladly pay the $50 to have the stuff delivered.

        People buy pickups and always state their capabilities, but most never use it. I just a way for them to justify to others why they have bought such excess. They should be like me and state straight up, I bought a pickup because I can and I carry sweet fnck all, other than camping and offroading equipment when needed. I even put the shopping inside on the back seat.

        This four will be enough for 75% of pickup owners.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    “Sure, its 310 hp and 348 lb-ft doesn’t beat the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6’s specs, but it isn’t supposed to. That’s an upgrade engine and this isn’t.”

    The Chevy 2.7T does not appear to have balance shafts, and 2.7L is pretty big for an inline four.

    The 2.7 EB makes 325 hp and 400 lb/ft of torque. And pretty much everyone agrees it’s probably making more than that. Proven engine – CGI block.

    Yeah, it’s an upgrade engine…but at only $995 for the upgrade in what is probably at least a $40,000 truck, who cares?

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    This engine downsizing is madness. And GM SHOULD be getting raked over the coals for this one. Lets make excuses though. Madness is the new norm.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Four cylinders only belong in midsize and compact sedans/sport coupes and smaller crossovers. My opinion on that will never change.

    If there was ever a Malaise era, this is it.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Four cylinders only belong in midsize and compact sedans/sport coupes and smaller crossovers. My opinion on that will never change.

    If there was ever a Malaise era, this is it.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    Buy? F. No.
    I bought my RAM Express with a 5.7 and put a Borla exhaust on it. A bit childish? Maybe in some eyes, but the comments from old and young, male and female is “bada$$”.
    Lease a heavily discounted pickup with a turbo four and beat on it for two years, sure why not.

  • avatar

    Remember 9 years ago when Ford was stupid and told us they were going to make the 3.5EB, and they were placing it above in the lineup from the V8? Remember how it was going to cause them to lose their title as sales leader? Remember how there is no way the 3.5EB would be a good towing motor and all the smart money was on buying a 5.0? Here we are almost a decade later and GM is still the “underdog” in this article. Sure I love the way a v8 sounds, but the technology has proven powerful and reliable. Would I rather have a large bore inline 6 in everything I own? Sure, but I don’t buy enough new vehicles and the EPA wouldn’t like that so they don’t make them special for me. It’ll sell just fine so long as they did their real world engineering right, and it’ll do the job most people need it too. But being the class leader of the base engines isn’t gonna win you the crown either…..

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The technology has not proven itself. In fact, Ecoboost are prone to far more issues than a corresponding Coyote or GM small-block.

      Everyone with a brain knew the turbocharged engines would perform right out of the box. The question is whether they would continue to perform 10 years after the fact. The answer looks like “no”.

      • 0 avatar

        Hardly. I know plenty of folks with even the “trouble prone” early motors with lots of miles on them. Most haters on the Ecoboost own the 5.0, and most folks with the Ecoboost have been pretty happy with them and aren’t seeing major issues. The motors continue to demand a premium in the used market as well, holding their value, something that would not be happening if they were having lots of issues.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          This is a matter of objectivity. Obviously, Ecoboost owners are happy, and that’s why Ecoboosts continue to sell. However, their happiness will not satiate sober buyers who are looking for objective reliability performance.

          The only thing the American manufacturers are doing is driving more reliability shoppers to Toyota, a manufacturer that won’t need to change because they sell enough synergy drive vehicles to offset whatever eco-sins the government claims are created by simple large-displacement naturally aspirated engines.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Remember 9 years ago when Ford was stupid and told us they were going to make the 3.5EB, and they were placing it above in the lineup from the V8? Remember how it was going to cause them to lose their title as sales leader? Remember how there is no way the 3.5EB would be a good towing motor and all the smart money was on buying a 5.0?”

      — And I haven’t bought a Ford EcoBoost yet, despite buying or acquiring four different vehicles in that nine-year period and not a one of them has been an EcoBoost, despite two of them being Fords.

  • avatar
    TW5

    It’s all relative:

    Do you want a small-block GM V8 or an GM Ecotec turbo four-banger? How many people do you think will flunk this test? 10,000 a year maybe. People who live at altitude might have a legitimate reason to buy a gasoline turbo.

    Do you want a 2.7L V6 Ecoboost or a 2.7L I4 Ecotec? This question seems to favor the inline-4, which is less complicated, less expensive to make, and should be more reliable in the long run.

    Overall, the 2.7L turbo I4 is just a compliance engine. By giving it 348lb/ft at 1,500rpm, GM is giving drivers the ability to blow their engines. The figure looks nice on paper and it feels nice to drive (usually), but it’s not going to last if you keep your foot in it. If you drive it delicately in cool weather climates, you’ll probably be okay. I doubt it’s ability to handle the punishment dished out by the Southwest, but who knows.

    I’m 80%-90% pessimistic, the 10% optimism is reserved for GM diehards who live at altitude.

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