Information about General Motors’ new 4.3-liter truck V6 is trickling out of Detroit: GM says it will offer the best city fuel economy, towing ability, and hauling capacity of all full-size truck V6 engines, but will lag the Ram 1500 V6’s 25 MPG highway rating by 1 MPG.
According to the press release from GM, the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 engine will match the Ram’s 18 MPG city rating, tying for best-in-class, and in two-wheel drive form will achieve an EPA highway fuel economy estimate of 24 MPG– just 1 MPG shy of the Ram 1500 two-wheel drive that gets rated at 25 MPG highway.
The tradeoff, GM says, will come in the engine’s ability to do trucky things, like hauling and towing heavy stuff. The V6-equipped Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins will offer a maximum payload rating of 2,108 lbs and a maximum tow rating of 7,200 lbs. If you’re curious, the 3.6-liter Ram 1500 V6 will haul a maximum of 1,900 lbs— and just 1,430 lbs. in HFE trim, if you’re looking to get that vaunted 25-MPG highway. That HFE Ram will tow 4,750 lbs., while the beefiest V6 Ram 1500 will tow a maximum 6,500 lbs. Ford’s F-150, when equipped with the 3.7-liter, 23 MPG highway V6 rings in with a maximum payload of 1,930 lbs. and a maximum trailer tow rating of 6,700 lbs.
That combination of fuel economy and best-in-class hauling and towing could prove a satisfying one for weekend warrior types likely to spec out a V6 Silverado or Sierra. For my own light truck use, I’d need more fuel economy. That would likely mean less hauling/towing capacity, but that’s okay with me, as I’ve never hauled more than around 1,500 lbs. in the bed of a truck anyway. That’s why I’m eagerly awaiting news of GM’s planned next-gen midsize– ostensibly a replacement for the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins– slated to come out sometime in 2014.