GM’s new 2019 pickups, by far the most important vehicle in their portfolio, are not off to a roaring start. There is a growing consensus that its interiors are not competitive. And now it’s apparent that its fuel consumption isn’t either. Certain versions of the 2019 Silverado have EPA ratings as much as 3 mpg lower than comparable 2018 versions. The apparent (and rather obvious) reason: worse aerodynamic drag thanks to that oversize blunt front end. Progress.
Here’s one example. Same engine and 6-speed automatic. That’s an 18% drop in combined mpg rating. 4WD versions of the 4.3 L are down 2mpg. 5.3L V8 versions (the most popular) are also down 1 mpg (4WD) and 2 mpg (2WD).
According to an article at autonews.com, A Chevrolet spokesman responded with this:
Monte Doran, a Chevrolet spokesman, attributed the difference in fuel economy to the redesigned trucks being more capable and larger than the outgoing models, which in turn increases aerodynamic drag.
“We increased towing capacity, payload, and it’s a much larger bed and a much larger cab,” he said.
While aerodynamic efficiency increased 7 percent and the automaker cut out hundreds of pounds on the redesigned Silverado, Chevrolet says the frontal area also increased…
And here I thought the whole point of this new generation was to be lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient. Silly me. But yes, the previous generation was obviously too small.
Also, there’s an EPA ratings disappointment with GM’s new turbocharged 2.7L four, as per this AN report a few weeks back. (we covered it here) The new high-tech engine’s EPA numbers (20 mpg combined) are lower than anticipated, and represent only a very small 1 mpg improvement over the existing 4.3 L V6. And it’s no better than the Ram with the Pentastar V6, and a whole 2 mpg worse than an F150 with the 2.7 L Ecoboost V6. And both the Ford and Ram get up to 25-26 mpg on the highway, while the GM four is rated at just 23 mpg. GM’s response: “Don’t look at the sticker”. Seriously. Maybe it should have been “Don’t look at the front end”.
And if you think the 2019 Silverado front end is a bit tall, wide, blunt and…um…not exactly very subtle in its styling, feast your eyes on the 2020 Silverado HD, just announced. Where will this end?
Time to start a GM Deathwatch?