We Test Two Chevrolet Silverado V-6s at Davis Dam

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In the spirit of the type of comprehensive testing we like to do here at PickupTrucks.com, we requested a pair of identically equipped 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500s (LT, double cab, two-wheel drive, shortbed) from General Motors, each with the new EcoTec3 4.3-liter V-6 powertrain and 3.23:1 axle gears (the only ratio available for this engine).

Regular PUTC readers will remember our test last year, "Rampage! The Test at Davis Dam," in which we had two similarly equipped 2013 Ram 1500s — one empty and one with a fully loaded horse trailer (no horse, just heavy barn mats). For that test, we ran both Rams through our Davis Dam regimen of testing, measuring acceleration times and keeping detailed notes regarding our fuel economy along our 1,000-mile route. Additionally, we compared most of the data collected in Ram/Pentastar test with an earlier two-part story (Part 1 and Part 2) in which we tested a set of identically equipped 2011 Ford F-150s, each with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.

In this twin Chevrolet test, we measured our Silverado 1500 4.3-liter V-6 data against data from our previous Ram 1500 Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 test for comparison purposes; the results may surprise you. We tried to keep as many of the variables involved as identical as possible throughout the test, but we should note there were some subtle differences. The full story will be posted Monday.

Cars.com photo by Mark Williams

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Comments

Oh man! You're teasing us and then let us hang until Monday?

@woopud,

No, this is a carefully formulated opportunity for all of the Fan Boys & Girls (you girls know who you are!) to sound off and run their mouth full throttle before the stats are published.

That will be when the nuttin' starts.

@PUTC

I gotta admit: The only thing more beautiful than a red 2014 Chevy Silverado LT is another 2014 Chevy Silverado LT.

We can only hope that the 4.3 shines and we can tweak the hell out of the RAM boys who were so excited about their Pentastars yesterday on the comments board.

Easily the ugliest trucks on the road, no wonder they aren't selling. PUKE

AutoNews Now: A shot across GM's bow?

http://www.autonews.com/article/20140320/VIDEO/303209998/autonews-now-a-shot-across-gms-bow

Can't wait. I suspect FAIL!

@ HEMI V8

After watching that link I feel pretty confident that Chrysler saw the writing on the wall over the Toyota debacle which to me would point to why they issue their recalls so quickly and why they usually involve small lot numbers of vehicles. Everyone cries foul whenever any manufacturer issues a recall but issuing a recall sure beats the hell out of the foul cried because people are dying because of the company's arrogance to not issue the recall. I point no fingers to try and keep a neutral viewpoint but it is quite obvious that Eric Holder's knife is getting pretty close to GM's throat

"The results may surprise you"

No one would be the least surprise if the 4.3 outperformed the pentastar. This statement from the article is a stong indication that the pentastar outperformed the 4.3

Lol at GM and their POS fanboy trucks. Way to go Ram.

Red is a horrible color, YUCK!!!

Red is a horrible color, YUCK!!!
Posted by: Frank | Mar 21, 2014 2:29:13 PM

Well, what do you know. Ole Frankie has showed up to troll. Where you been hiding out at lately Frankie? Been trolling other forums?

Mark Williams has now catfished PUTC readers.

Damn.

Really Johnny Doe The Troll Queen, just because I said I don't like the color red. I made no reference to the make/brand/model. This is ridiculous

No wonder you're TROLL. Have at it, have fun.

P-L-E-A-S-E let it be the Chevy V6 be the winner over the Ram V6 or we will never hear the end of it from these cult ram truck owners.
Its not because they love their Ram Truck MORE, its because they hate Chevy and Ford!
BUILT
FORD
TOUGH

Red looks really good on Mustangs and Ferraris, but horrible on trucks.

http://news.yahoo.com/watchdog-blew-lid-off-gm-100000370.html

GM killing people now, wonder what the TROLLS got to say about that.

Gotta admit I don't really like red pickups either. Around here the only red ones have construction company or township logos on them.

Who cares who wins with the little v6's. Who buys that stuff anyway? People that are buying those trucks aren't buying them to tow more than a utility trailer or a small 14' fishing boat. It's a waste of time to tow up some big pass when 99% of the people that buy those trucks will never tow up that pass.
Just do an mpg test, because that's what they're bought for. I mean who needs bragging rights for a V6 powered truck with 3.23 gears? Maybe a couple soccer moms.

Dale Miner, I do agree. You don't buy a V6 for bragging rights on towing you buy it for good mileage. If you do a lot of towing your going to get a V8.

Its amazing how much nicer looking the GM pickup are over the Ford and Dodge. They just look classy and ready for work. I may just give up my V8 for a V6. Or go for the new Canyon.

Two classy pickups!!!

@Dale M.

I might like hearing how many downshifts the six speed makes to stay in the powerband on a long climb. Where I live we don't have any long climbs but I'm interested.

Agree with your observation about V8s and towing. Fuel economy is an over-sold feature these days. When you total up all of the costs of ownership, fuel is not the biggie.

Every time I see one of these new Chevies on the road I have to look away to avoid vomitting.

Comparing trucks that are test a year apart is not much of a comparison. Take your favorite car or truck to the drag races even days apart, and the numbers can be very different.

So whom ever wins really won't matter except for those that want to burn the other brand truck.

Red is a BAD color unless your ass is on FIRE!!!!!!

There's no way around it, these trucks are butt ugly. Had a 05 duramax and loved it but no way I would buy a new one.

@HDmax

Dude, they didn't make a 2014 truck for PUTC to compare a year ago. They are doing their best.

Why not compare the RAM to the Chevy. Best man wins.

What's not to like?

@hdmax - if the results are close then one can say that ambient temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure etc. render the results a wash BUT if there is a big difference..........

Wow, we have guys arguing over colour.

It is personal opinion.

Most of the reds I see know tend to show up scratches and dust/dirt badly. Same can be said for some of the blue colours. Black is the worst for showing dust and dirt.

Apparently silver has become the most popular colour.


I really could care less about the outcome of the comparison. What I do know is this:
1) Ram offers best in class V6 fuel economy.
2) Also a class exclusive diesel option, which will top it's already best in class fuel economy.
3) A 9 year old Hemi that gets only gets 1mpg less both city and highway than a brand new DI engine.

Whatever the outcome of the comparison test may be, it is irrelevant really, the facts speak for themselves. I won't participate in the name calling that others have done already for this article, but it's what happens when people can't accept the facts. This may be my last post here, I'm really getting sick of it all.

I was at the auto club speedway today for qualifying. Stopped by the chevy display. Looked at a new 4 door 6.2 vortex. Sat inside. Very nice truck. I like the hood design from the drivers seat. Very nice interior as well. Roomy and full of leather. If i didn't already have my heart set on a new power wagon i would be inclined to test drive one and compare it to Ram. I personally
would not buy a V6 in any make or model truck unless it was a mid size. I also think it's a shame that Chevy is building these trucks in MEXICO after being bailed out by the AMERICAN tax payer. Also looked at the tahoe. Very nice truck with beautiful wood trim inside. Chevy has some nice products on the market right now. Looks better in person than on the web. I did miss the sting ray. They did not have one on display :( Those look very nice. Haven't seen one in person.

@HEMI V8 - Chrysler was bailed out and builds truck in Mexico.

No different than Ram.

Ford makes stuff their too. The 6.7 Power Stroke.

meant no different than GMC.

@Hemi V8

Yeah, I would stop blasting GM for its made in Mexico stuff. All Ram 2500/3500(including the Power Wagon) and both Hemi's (5.7L and 6.4L) are made in Mexico. Also, GM and Chrysler Corp. were bailed out by both Canadian and US government aide money amidst their bankruptcies. So throwing dirt on them for it is a bit hypocritical. Just sayin.

@HemiV8 - if the USA Justice Department fines GMC won't that be the same as fining itself?

I would find it surprising if a lighter truck with 4.3 motor isn't better performing that a heaver 3.6 motor even with more gears. If the GM trucks didn't hold their own and a bit more I'd really start being worried over at GM if they aren't already.

@CreigMac
Sounds like GM has a lot to worry about besides their trucks. I think we can all agree that their trucks could have and should have had a better kick off with the new models.
With the whole recall mess that has come about within the last few weeks, I have been reading a lot of negative comments towards GM on the auto sites. I think the recalls have really brought up bad memories/experiences that were in the back of peoples minds with previous GM vehicles.
I think it's safe to say GM has improved a lot quality wise. Now, I know that both Ford and Chrysler have had their share of quality problems and I readily admit that Chrysler has particularity had lots of issues in the quality dept. The thing is though that with the domestic automakers attempting to regain the trust of the American people, the last thing any one of them needs is a recall/government probe/billion dollar fine.
The issue is that whether anyone likes it or not, GM is facing a potential major setback. Combine that with lackluster sales, and not having enough "class leading" vehicles, it is looking to be a recipe for disaster. This is a game GM can't afford to lose. They also can't expect to do the minimum to just get by anymore.

While some here already have their minds made as to which model is the best for them, I'm personally interested in learning how these V6 Chevys compare to the RAM and Ford V6s. Yes, I know the EcoBoost probably has the most power overall, but does it offer better economy WHILE towing? Is power really that all-important if your typical load falls far below 'max tow' capabilities?

I want to know.

Do you even read your own links Frank? In that very article it talked about Fords killing people as well! The sad truth is that there is not a single manufacturer out there that is innocent!

@Roadwhale

I can save you the time and tell you that the Ecoboost is more about having the power of a big V8 than the fuel economy of a V6. Don't get me wrong, it gets better fuel economy than the bigger V8s it matches power wise, but if you are looking for it to have the V6 fuel economy then look elsewhere. If you don't tow that heavy and would rather have better fuel economy over power than you would be better off getting one of the base V6 or the Ecodiesel. Things might be different with the new 2.7L Ecoboost next year, but the 3.5L is the power motor of the two which is why it replaced Fords 6.2L that it matched in performance while getting better fuel economy. However, you will sacrifice power in the 2.7L Ecoboost for fuel economy as is with anything else. How much, I don't know until Ford finally releases the specs.

@Roadwhale

I would add that if you were going to throw the Ecoboost in the base V6 comparison, then I would opt for the 3.15 ratio if it were 2wd and 3.31 if it were 4wd. It would still be way more powerful and rated more capable by a considerable amount than the other base V6s, but at least it would return better fuel economy numbers closer to the other V6s. Since fuel economy would be your main concern over any heavy towing then those would be the optimal gear choices because it does make huge difference in mileage with the Ecoboost.

You guys that say the Chevy is a great looking truck need to take one for a test drive. When I was shopping in 2013 for a new pickup I did the test drive on the Ford, Dodge and Chevy and the feel of the Chevy was the WORST, it just felt cheap, you can feel the vibration in the floor and steering wheel, in a tight steer it seemed to stall the engine, the ride was like a horse wagon. To be fair my test drive was the 2013 model and I am aware the 2014 is a new improved model.

@Hemi monster

if saving gas is so all-fired important, park it in the damn yard and walk. Take a bus. Call a cab. Ride a bike. Car pool.

Do a better job of planning your trips. But just remember that fuel cost is a fairly small part of the total cost of running a truck. Enjoy the truck you have.

What about the 2 wheel drive compaired to the much heavier 4 wheel drive? What about if you live in a mountain area where you have to climb steep hills? What about hauling or towing heavy up those steep roads?
Wouldn't you be ashamed and embarrassed when a Ram 1500 with a 5.7 HEMI passes you up on a steep hill?, or if your truck is holding up traffic?
I can haul 2700 lbs of dirty 2B or 2400 lbs of coal in my truck and keep the 65 MPH speed limit up a steep mountain highway!
I will tell you the Dodge Guys would be impressed!

@ Dale Milner and Tom#3 and papa jim,
For towing and economy at the moment the only offering is the Ram EcoDiesel.

If you want a decent easier to park tow vehicle, live in the suburbs and only want to tow up to a few tons I'd wait for the Colorado/Canyon diesel. These will perform as well as most V8 pickups, especially when you have 4 adults and camping gear in the bed. They will tow the same weight as most full size trucks, cheaper.

@Lou
I bought a Silver pickup. All of the dark colours are referred to as 'stone chip' red, black, blue, etc.

Darker colours looks nice when shiny, pretty and new. But unless you live in suburbia aren't viable.

@ LouBC, Dale Milner and Tom#3

Big Al from Australia has the crystal ball warmed up this morning. Despite the new Colorado/Canyon being months away from appearing on dealer lots, much less the highways and byways, he in his inestimable wisdom has decreed how the new GM midsize twins will perform.

Having not yet driven an Ecodiesel himself, he has nonetheless determined its suitability for our uses.

We are not worthy!!!!

Colorado 2.8D will have about 6,000 lbs towing capacity I believe. Half-tons are now pushing 9,000-12,000 lbs (that's 50-100% more). Half-tons are also longer and wider, which adds to towing stability. The Colorado is all some people will need, but to suggest it tows just as much as a full-size is absurd.

I missed the point of scoring two identical trucks. At least get one GMC? But it was a blown opportunity to test the V6 vs the V8, all other things equal. That might have been highly embarrassing for the V6 though. Especially when the 3.23 gears are wrong for the V6 unless it's a strict commuter, freeway flyer. 3.73s in the very least.

@Alex

No one has seen or driven a Colorado diesel yet. All the talk about ratings is silly when a single Colorado of any kind has yet to cast a shadow on a dealer's asphalt.

I agree with your point, but am growing tired of all the predictions I see in these pages. I'm just sorry the 4.3 (or 5.3) will evidently not be available in the Colorado.

An extended cab Colorado 5.3 would surely smoke the Tremor, the RAM Express and the other hot dog trucks out there. No crystal ball is needed for that prediction.

The red trucks don't need to be washed as often as the rest and actually look better dirty. I mean a layer of dust on top and road grime down the sides looks better than a cleaned red truck mostly because the paint is so offensively bright otherwise. But I'll polish the windows and clean the wheels weekly though. And treat the black trim every other. Then I'll go months without washing her. Besides, highly detailed trucks are for city boy posers. And glaze on the tires is for girls.



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