2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Real-World Mileage

Silveradompg

Chevrolet overhauled its half-ton Silverado for the 2014 model year, bringing with it a green punch thanks to the impressive EPA ratings for both its six- and eight-cylinder models.

At its introduction, the Bow-Tie brand threw a risky ball in Ford's court, claiming its 5.3-liter V-8 Silverado is more efficient than the Blue Oval's famed 3.5-liter EcoBoost six-cylinder in its best-selling F-150.

On a recent PickupTrucks.com Challenge, we gathered numbers proving GM's new half-ton twins are greener — even when towing. Engineers added fuel-saving technology to the EcoTec3 5.3-liter V-8 such as active fuel management, which shuts down four of the eight cylinders under light driving; direct injection; and variable valve timing.

We recently tested a 2014 Silverado at our Chicago headquarters and had the opportunity to once again see how it fared in the real world.

The 2014 Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 crew cab with four-wheel drive was put to the test on a 200-mile trip to Milwaukee from Chicago and back again. Both trips were strictly highway driving with normal use of the climate control. My results were fairly on-par with the EPA ratings.

Silverado-mpg

The Silverado shines on the highway, achieving more than 20 mpg even as it fought its way through intense rush-hour traffic for a majority of the first trip and about a third of the second. The rest of the miles were at typical highway speeds.

Looking down at the customizable digital gauge cluster, which is new for 2014, you can see the truck switch from eight cylinders to four, the latter happening more frequently at cruising speeds. It would be ideal if the engine's active fuel management would stay in four-cylinder mode during stop-and-go traffic on the highway. The transition, however, is seamless, and the other four-cylinders fire up on command when there's a need to pass or accelerate from a low speed.

Once back in my hometown of Whitefish Bay, Wis., the Silverado averaged between 18 and 19 mpg during suburban driving.

Some of our editors weren't as fortunate, observing underwhelming trip computer readouts of just 16.2 mpg, 15.5 and even as low as 13.8 on their shorter but just as congested commutes and in around-town driving.

Using "Big Red" as a commuter felt like piloting a La-Z-Boy on wheels, with a quiet, spacious cabin that allowed me to spread out after a long day in the office. The LTZ Z71 trim brought upscale amenities such as a power sunroof, ventilated front seats and Chevrolet's new MyLink system. Good visibility allowed for confident lane changes, and advanced safety features like lane departure warning and forward collision alert used a vibrating seat borrowed from Cadillac to keep you focused on driving. Also borrowed from Cadillac is the sticker price it seems, ringing in at just less than $50,000.

Power-folding side mirrors, a backup camera and parking sensors made parking "Big Red" on the street a stress-free endeavor. The new Silverado's integrated rear-bumper steps made the loading and unloading of multiple mountain bikes easy. Editor Kelsey Mays managed to load a more than 6-foot-long couch into the Silverado's rather short 5.5-foot bed, but he found the tie-down hooks to be a bit of a disappointment.

If fuel economy is a key factor in a truck-buying decision, the Silverado — with or without all the LTZ Z71's features — looks to be a solid choice.

Related:
Research the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
PickupTrucks.com's 2013 Light-Duty Challenge

Comments 

Wow didn't think the Z71 model could average over 20 mpg on the highway. Really like that idea.

Dan Leavitt

Very interesting facts in here. I was shopping for a diesel recently, and was between a 3500 or ford 350. The ride was smoother in the Ford, but the Chevy's turbo took it hands down. However, there were several features standard with the Ford that were additional for Chevy so in the end we went ford. That said, if it was a personal truck and not a work truck, and a 1500, I would likely go Chevy just for the fuel economy.

Bowrider

I like the reference to the Caddy's price tag. It made me chuckle.

That Z71 looks like it has small tires. I suppose that also contributes to better MPGs. But it looks bad. I'm not buying into that trade-off for 50K.

Skankzilla

$50k for a pick-up truck is just stupid. They must have picked up those headlights from e-Bay.

Its still shocking to me that a truck costs 50K but any of the new line trucks all cost around that, but it is nice to see the raised mpg for sure.

Pete

20-22 miles per gallon is pathetic. This is nothing to write home about. When this sort of truck gets at least 30, then it deserves an article.

Neww

When will GM move away from V8 towards V6 in their pickups.

Ford F has handsomely beaten Silverado in the sales.

Card13

Neww,

Why move to a V6 when the V8 can handsomely beat it in efficiency?

biker

What rear gear ratio?

Robby DeGraff, Cars.com

Biker- if I remember correctly it was a 3.08

Being a truck guy Im glad to see the much improved mpg but Id prefer for the price to come down some. 50K wow.

cody

it doesn't have small wheels/tires, it has huge, oddly shaped wheel wells.

WTF

No they are "small" in this day and age when 20's and now 22's are so prevalent on pickups. They are 18's.

cody

crewcab f150s can be had with 17's and 18's as OE tires....not worth arguing though.

WTF

It sure looks like arguing when you bring up a tangent about what sizes are or aren't available. The wheelwells are sized for 20's and 22's and that is why 18's look dinky in them.

Lance

@wtf
I think you're wrong. Following are standard tire sizes on popular versions of 2013 pick-ups.
Ford150 XLT: 17"
Ram SLT: 17"
Silverado LS: 17"
Tundra SR5: 18"
Titan SV: 18"

Not one 20" or 22" to be found. 20 inchers seem to be available in special option packages but since these trucks I listed are not base units but probably the bread and butter in sales, I would say the vast, vast majority of pickups are still 18" and below. My older Tundra has 17" wheels. Most pickups are bought by businesses and they hardly want 20" or 22" inchers to replace. Just the guys that want that jacked up look for show usually get the big wheels. And the mudders of course but that's a whole different animal there.

jyd

Wow, that is one ugly truck. It's sad to see the once proud Silverado look that bad. As far as the MPG goes, it's all splitting hairs. We're talking about a real-world difference of 1 mpg or less. When you factor in driving styles there will be little difference in your wallet. Well, except for the 50 large you dropped on it.

WTF

Lance,

I'm not sure what I'm wrong about. You seem to think I'm saying the majority of pickups are sold with 20's or larger. I said 20's and now 22's are prevalent which they are.

Steve

While 22mpg for a full size crew cab truck is good, but with all the technology they have going on in those engines, I really thought it would be better. After 7 years of that bubbled out, blocky look, I guess we have to look forward to the same for another 7. I wish they could make them the size of the '99-'06 models instead of these bloated versions. Maybe they could get even better fuel economy doing that alone? I hope the 2020 Silverado becomes revolutionary instead of evolutionary. By that time, GM will NEED them to be.

Lance

WTF
I think you need to look up the definition of prevalent. It means in general use, commonplace, prevailing, rampant, etc etc. I don't think the use of 20" or 22" inch tires are any of those things. Are they more in use than 10 or 15 years ago? Sure, but to call 18" tires "small" and say that the large tires are commonplace is an exaggeration.

David Okeefe

Boston to Cape Cod hundred twenty mile journey in 2014 Silverado with the 5.3 v8 on cruise control 30.3 average

carma

David,
Congratulations on getting such great mileage. I'm guessing your truck is a two wheel drive and you drove no faster than 55 mph - correct? The cylinder deactivation 5.3 allows for incredible real world mileage and is worlds ahead of Toyota's gas guzzling trucks and Ford's high strung turbo sixes.

eddie

i have 2014 4x4 toyota double cab 5.7....driving for 2 months and have 3000 miles on it. driving average 65 miles/h and real consumption is....22mpg. On a trucks is manner of driving not any cylinder deactivation or anything else...simple physics.

responder

The Tundra with the 5.7 V8 is rated at 13 mpg city and 18 highway. Not even the compact Toyota Tacoma 4x4 with the four cylinder does 22 mpg on the highway. Maybe you should recalculate your mileage and stop dissing gm's outstanding cylinder deactivation system, which works incredibly well, and allows it to best the tundra by 27 percent on the highway. I have purchased new toyotas but won't go near their pickups because, unlike gm, they can't operate on four cylinders and get the eye popping mileage as reported above by mr. O'Keefe.It is simple physics, 8 cylinders operating all the time in a toyota burn a lot more gas than a chevy or gm truck that transitions imperceptibly to four cylinders on level highways or under light loads in town.

responder

Actually the 2014 tundra 5.7 is rated at only 17 mpg highway, not 18.

dale

bought a new 4by4 Silverado and cant get the mpg they brag about.

George

Just purchased a 2014 Silverado - 4.3 V6, 6 speed automatic. Rated at 18 city, 24 highway. V6 is rated at 285 HP and moves the full size pick-up pretty well. I have yet to see fuel economy that is claimed. Only have 400 miles on it so I'll wait an see if it comes close to the ratings.

carma

They're supposed to be coming out with an 8 speed tranny...I would be tempted to wait for that. I hope you guys see better mileage. My 2008 2wd 5.3 would do up to 25 on the highway when not loaded (summer only). Cylinder deactivation was phenomenal, but where I live is pretty flat and it spent a lot of time in 4 cylinder mode.

JR

I bought one. I drive as gentle as anyone out there. I coast, very rarely using the brake above 10 mph. I accelerate excruciatingly slowly and do not speed, driving under the posted limit. This truck gets between 16 and 18 mpg. When you put a load behind it, it goes downhill very quickly.

marlin vatne

I have a 2014 Silverado crew cab with a 5.3 motor. I'm very unhappy with the millage it gets between 15&17 miles per gallon.at best

Kevin

I have a 2013 F-150 SuperCrew with the 3.5 C-6 Ecoboost. 20" wheels. Simply unbelievable BUILD QUALITY. I had 3 GM vehicles before this. Had NO IDEA what I was missing. The GM is uglier than can be believed and they are getting tons if complaints that it looks "old". Trucks have ROUND wheels. Why does the Chevy have SQUARE wheel wells/fenders?!?! Check out the 2015 F-150 if you want to see why FORD will continue to dominate the completion. The gap is getting WAY wider!!

Kevin

Sorry for the type-o. See the 2015 Ford F-150 to learn just how far they have gone to ensure they continue the 38-year streak of dominating the competition. The 2015 F-150 will widen the gap to historical levels.

Randy

I bought one and like everything about it but the mileage. Sure i can get anywhere from 0 to 99 mpg but the average is 17 mpg if keep it under 2200 rpm. After finding the mileage was tested at 45 mph with no wind resistant, I was really disappointed. So my truck hauls anything and my friends corvette gets the mileage award for getting 32 mpg.

jake

im guessing a lot of ford guys pooing on a truck they have never driven and bad mouthing the looks that make ford look like a moms truck. I have driven both and will say that ford offers better features, but that GM offers a better riding exsperiance (brakes are all wrong in ford and the engines run too high) honestly, the GM 1500 chassis WAY outsells the F150 (between Silverado, suburban sierra and Yukon)

michael sobolewski

New Z-71 LTZ with the 6.2. Crew cab . Drove from Edmonton to Nakusp B.C. .Average was 11.5 litres per 100km.Best was 8.6. Luv this truck. Goodyear tire review will have to wait. 
     BTW....I was speeding all the way,130-155 kph.   

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