By on November 5, 2018

Last month, General Motors released EPA-estimated fuel economy figures for one of the new, turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four’s applications: the two-wheel drive version of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

Despite boasting 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque, the engine’s combined estimated fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon left many wanting more. Now that we have EPA figures for the rest of the line, it’s no surprise to see that figure serve as an MPG high water mark.

(Kudos to the eagle-eyed Bozi Tatarevic, who noticed the new figures)

In two-wheel drive applications, the 2.7-liter, which comes standard on LT and RST trims, rates 20 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. That’s an average of 1 mpg more than the 4.3-liter V6 found in last year’s mainstream, lower-trim pickups, which made do with two fewer forwards gears (six, to the 2.7’s eight). Still, the new mill beats the old one by 25 hp and 43 lb-ft of torque.

Moving up to GM’s 5.3-liter V8, optional on both 2.7L trims, brings additional horsepower and torque, at the expense of two fewer MPGs in combined driving.

Luckily for The General, adding four-wheel drive to the 2.7-liter models doesn’t cause an embarrassing dip below 20 mpg. The EPA rates the 2.7L/4WD models at 20 mpg combined, 19 mpg city, and 22 mpg highway — a combined drop of 1 mpg compared to the 2WD model. Compared to 5.3L/4WD models, the four-cylinder beats it by 2 mpg when equipped with the same eight-speed tranny, or 3 mpg if the V8’s bolted to the low-rent six-speed.

The top-flight 6.2-liter V8, when equipped with four-wheel drive, also sees a 3 mpg difference between it and the 4WD 2.7L.

As we told you before, Ford and Ram’s base V6 engines offer a slight edge in fuel economy, though the 2.7L handily trounces the 3.3-liter Ford V6 in terms of power. The GM’s two main rivals also narrowly edge out the 2.7L’s tow rating of 7,200 pounds. Ford’s 3.3-liter tops out at 7,700 pounds, while the 3.6-liter Ram is rated for up to 7,730 lbs.

[Image: General Motors]

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50 Comments on “EPA Ratings Reveal the Rest of the GM 2.7-liter Story...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    https://tinyurl.com/ya4udq9v

    The F150s Highway fuel economy kills that in 2.7 2wd 10 speed auto form.

    Hey GM how about you quit being so stingy with the 10 speed auto?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I guess a million+ drivers per year are ok with such lousy mileage, and paying $40k+ on average for the privilege, but that’s not for me. That’s what you get when you’re pushing a boxy 4500-lb vehicle down the road that can do 0-60 in under 6 seconds.

    We have cleaner engines today, but the added complexity of turbocharging and more gears is barely moving the MPG needle.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Wonder if this engine could be retrofitted into the Camaro? With a bit of tuning, should be good for 400 / 400..

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    4cyl Full size truck. Its for the “big boys”.

    *Still giggling*

    Sic-em Mahk.

    GM. What a joke!

    • 0 avatar
      ahintofpepperjack

      This 4cyl makes 100 more horsepower than full size trucks with a V8 did 20 years ago. And the same amount of horespower and torque as the 5.3L V8 made 10 years ago.

  • avatar
    TimK

    Given GM’s propensity to “sweat the details”, I’m sure this turbo-infused 4-banger will have great reliability and longevity. Anyone remember that gasoline V8 they converted to diesel and dropped into Oldsmobiles? What a slick idea!
    /s

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      The snarky part of me would make a sarcastic remark about how clever you are to remind us of something that we had all completely forgotten from 40 years ago.

      But I’ll leave that to someone else.

    • 0 avatar
      W210Driver

      Someone should correct me if I am wrong, but from what I remember the 350 Olds diesel was actually a true diesel motor in the sense that the block WAS engineered to withstand the 20:1 compression.

      From what I remember, GM screwed up by using the head gaskets of the 350 Olds gasoline motor (which were obviously not suited for the task), and the lack of a water-in-fuel-separator (and general consumer ignorance about this) ensured that the engine gained a reputation for trouble.

      Last I heard some dedicated drag racers wil actually use the 350 diesel block, convert it into a gasser engine, and love their durability.

  • avatar
    ghostwhowalksnz

    What happened to GMs inline 5 cylinder also known as the Vortec 3700

  • avatar
    NoID

    How clean are those MPGs? The other half of the EPA’s business is really CO2 emissions, I’d bet a pretty penny that the 4-pot drives those 20-23 miles while providing less breathable CO2 to the trees lining the expressway.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      NOID:

      If you want to worry about pollution, turn up the volume on China and India. Low level of current, simple pollution controls. And a growing economy and exempt from all climate change reduction regulation.

      #2- I ve forgotten most of my chemistry and Thermo from college in the 80s but i m pretty sure it will work out this way. CO2 amount generated in a modern car is a function of fuel consumed. Whether it is in 4 cylinders or 20 makes little difference.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Fun fact, by mass, that stuff in your gas tank is only one third of the fuel you use. The other two thirds? Oxygen that comes in through the air cleaner. So, six pounds of gas (one gallon) plus the mass of the O2 from the atmosphere produces nineteen pounds of CO2 out the tail pipe.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Is it less expensive to manufacture compared to 2.7L V6 ecoboost?
    If so, win GM.
    GM profit per truck is higher than Ford. Sell some 4 cylinders make more money.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      Ford’s 2.7L V6 Ecoboost has to be more expensive to build because it’s a V6 instead of an I4.

      Also, it’s not the base motor, it’s the next motor up in performance. The NA V6 is what you need to be comparing it to GM’s 2.7L I4.

      Ford’s 2.7L V6 is more comparable to performance to GMs 5.3L V8.

      F150s with 2.7L V6 can tow over 8,000 lbs and 0-60 in less than six seconds. Some are EPA rated at 26 mpg.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Keep in mind that the above fanciable MPG numbers exclude towing anything – something that many pickup trucks are purchased to do. I went the ‘old guy’ route of large displacement with my truck and I saw only a slight difference in mileage whilst towing my 1984 bowrider boat. A 2.7L turbo would be into the boost for the entire run – both ways. Yes, they can do it, but at the expense of fuel and, in the case of a colleague, a pair of turbos.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      It’s hardly scientific proof, but I attended a Ford event when the 3.5 Ecoboost first came out, and part of it involved towing a 7000lbs trailer on a short loop back to back with the competition. While the Ecoboost took a bigger hit (based on the dash display) over a Hemi Ram, it still did a little better in actual numbers (and felt stouter).

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I could get 23mpg highway in my ol’ Toyota T100 – with the 3.4L V6 and a 4-speed automatic. Also it had silly 3.90 gears out back.

    Progress!

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      Divide:
      Dont want to be a dork here but: Was nt the T100 a good bit smaller that a current F150?

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        True – it was a mid-sizer truck.

        And the 4-cyl turbo will make more power, be faster, etc too. I’m just thinking mileage should be a lot better in a truck that’s 20 years newer.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          You’re also comparing your anecdotal best case fuel economy against EPA numbers – on a level playing field, your truck appears to be 15/19mpg (assuming a RWD ’95).

          On top of that, considering aerodynamic forces are a big part of highway fuel economy, it’s not a fair comparison to use something that has to punch a noticeably smaller hole through the air. The T100’s much, much closer in size to a Colorado, which in 2WD spec, is good for 25-26 MPG as per the EPA (depending on the 4 or 6).

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    MPG differences are deceptive. 1MPG at 20MPG means a lot more than at 50MPG. A more instructive way to note the difference is the 2.7T is 5% more efficient than the 4.3L. To me, a bit disappointing as IIRC the 2.7T has a much better transmission, which can help fuel economy on its own. Hopefully the other benefits (i.e. towing, performance) make up for the disappointing performance.

    But then again, getting 21 MPG pushing a 5000lb brick with an open box out back is pretty effing impressive. 10 years ago trucks were happy to break 15MPG combined I think.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      GM has gotten complaints about their engines feeling gutless, on account of transmission programming that upshifts as early as possible. Which leaves NA engines way out of their powerbands. So joining the turbo bandwagon, may be an effort to counter that.

      The new Turbo4 may “feel”, to a certain type of driver, as powerful as the 5.3 in day to day driving. While getting better mileage than the 4.3. For others, who like to rev out their engines and hear the V8 burble, and don’t mind a bit of transmission intervention to do so, a Turbo4 won’t even be on the radar. But I do think Ford has proven quite conclusively that there are lots of people out there who prefer the characteristics of a blown engine in a truck.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Can you imagine how much of a dog a crew cab 4×4 must be with that engine?

    • 0 avatar
      ahintofpepperjack

      It makes almost the exact same horsepower and torque as the 5.3L V8 made 10 years ago, and it has 4 more gears in the transmission. So I imagine it does pretty well actually.

    • 0 avatar
      RSF

      It won’t be a dog, at least with light hauling and towing. There’s plenty of power there. The engine will do just fine with a big portion of the people who buy a truck just to have a truck. Now, having said that, I won’t be buying it because there’s not enough of a mileage increase to justify the stigma of a 4 cylinder truck, and I do heavy towing. I wonder if it has the buzzy feel that many 4 cylinders have?

      I’m a bit old school and I do appreciate the sound of a V8. However I appreciate technological progress even more. My 2016 F150 3.5L ecoboost is very strong, very smooth, and returns excellent fuel mileage as long as I’m not towing my travel trailer. It far surpasses any V8 truck I’ve ever had. I’ve learned to accept a V6 full size truck because of all the positive attributes it provides.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        Hey–RSF. Yeah you.

        QUIT BEING REASONABLE.

        You must take the far extreme on any position if you want to make comments on ye olde internets.

        Making a reasonable argument based on ACTUAL OWNERSHIP of a product that is being discussed is simply not permitted. Furthermore taking an open view of BOTH side of the argument is just not allowed.

        Now go back and edit your comment so that you demonstrate the core principles of internet commentary: pick a side and defend it with nonsense. When someone argues, call them names.

  • avatar
    Hydromatic

    I’m guessing the only customers who’ll flock to the 2.7 in any serious numbers will be fleet buyers. Maybe the occasional skinflint “pennywise/pound-foolish” customer.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      That was my first thought too, it’s the mileage motor for fleet buyers, but not only is it poorly suited for that – overpowered for 2WD work trucks, the usual boosted motor longevity questions, it doesn’t actually get very good paper mileage – it isn’t even available in the work truck trims. LT only.

      If the motor is any good there, which I doubt that it will be, every person who takes it is first costing GM the $1200 markup for the 5.3 that they didn’t buy instead, and then costing GM the marginal cost of a low volume motor with a turbo and plumbing instead of the simpler V8.

      I think that what they’re really going for is to associate the word 2.7 with non-desirable base motor to retail trim buyers and thereby tar Ford’s excellent 2.7 V6 by association.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        You guys are acting like the vast majority of buyers will actually be doing work with this thing. I see more pickups in office parking lots than at jobsites! Every time I roll past a construction site, there are a few construction trucks, but many of the workers themselves get there in old Cavaliers and Sentras.
        For most of the goobers that typically haul a full load of air in the bed, these will be just fine. On their 2x a year Home Depot/Ikea run, they’ll be great.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          My policy is to drive a cost efficient and fuel efficient sedan. When I have a need for a pick up truck, rent one for the job. This saves many, many thousands of $$$$.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    SCE:

    4,500 lbs is for Ridgelines and 2wd Colorados.

    Try 5,200-5700 lbs, and more for a half-ton “full-size” pick-up.

    This is America–because we can! Even Madeline Albright said, we are the “indispensable nation”.

    Wretched excess…

    ….and the Germans are Japanese are emulating us, building oversize (by their standards) vehicles tailored to the US.

    Of course, they (and the Koreans) still know how to build more modest vehicles. And I predict they will rebound in popularity if/when the low interest rate, high-debt party starts to run out of gas….

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors strikes again, harkening to their Cadillac V8–6-4, Olds 350 Diesel, Quad Four, 3400 and 3100 V6s, Chevy 2.2 liter I4, and Cadillac 4100, just to name a few of the piles of underhood excrements GM dumped on the world.

    This is another idiotic motor, with the power of a V6 only under load and spooled up, the fuel economy of a modern V8 (it will DO WORSE THAN OTHER CURRENT GM V8s NOW IN PRODUCTION IN THE REAL WORLD), and reliability likely to be between horrendous and terrifying.

    Imbeciles!

  • avatar
    arach

    I was looking forward to this truck. I figured a 4cylinder is plenty… but this fuel economy is atrocious.

    Its less than the F150, with 2 less cylinders.
    Its less than the Ridgeline, with 2 less cylinders.

    I was thinking more like 24-25 MPG? Than I’d be talking… but I guess thats more about weight and aerodynamics than powertrain.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    Not impressed. I’m getting a real average of 20.5 mpg combined (mostly city) from my ’18 F150 XLT 4X4 Supercab 2.7L Ecoboost. I’d bet if I had a 2.7L EB F150 4X2 regular cab I’d have no problem surpassing 24 combined.


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