5 Reasons Why the 2021 Chevy Silverado Is a Great Diesel Pickup

August 27th, 2021 by

A silver 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is parked on a track after leaving a Chevy 1500 diesel dealer.

Anyone who knows anything about pickups knows that if you want a dependable pickup to handle tough tasks when it comes to hauling, trailering, and towing over a long period of time, your best bet is almost universally going to be a diesel engine. Not just any diesel engine, by the way, but typically a turbo-diesel. If you were specifically looking for a good, light-duty, diesel-powered pickup, there are a few reasons why the 2021 Silverado is a great diesel truck when you visit DePaula Chevrolet, your Chevy 1500 diesel dealer.

The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 offers multiple powertrain options, but the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel stands apart from the other powertrain options and competition for a few select reasons. This includes everything from fuel economy and performance to towing and stability. That’s precisely why we’re going to run through the top reasons why the 2021 Silverado is a great diesel pickup truck to own.

#5: Duramax-Brand Quality

Over the years, there have been several brands of diesel-powered engines that have stood out when it comes to quality and durability. One of those brands happens to be the very highly lauded Duramax. The brand has been employed by General Motors for its pickups since 2001. Some of these engines have accrued more than 200,000 miles on them, and owners still applaud the longevity of their diesel-enriched Duramax.

For the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 series, the Duramax turbo-diesel is once again positioned as a top-of-the-line, dependable diesel option. The 3.0-liter Duramax for the Silverado 1500 series originally made its debut for the half-ton series back in 2020, but for the Silverado, it was improved upon and upgraded for the 2021 model year. So not only are you getting a pickup that is already one of the best-selling in the nation but it’s paired with a brand of engines known for being long-lasting and quality made for over two decades.

Duramax may be used across other General Motors marques, but it’s probably most popular for setting trends and redefining standards with the Silverado. Rightfully so, the 3.0-liter debuting for the half-ton Silverado was popular with truck shoppers after many requests were made for the pickup to have its own variation of the turbo-diesel engine made available for the recent generation of the 1500 series.

A close up shows the backup camera screen in a 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500.

# 4: Quiet Ride

Not every diesel engine offers up a quiet and comfortable ride. In fact, for a long time, diesel engines were considered smog-producing noise factories under the hood due to all the shaking and rattling taking place. When the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel debuted for the 2020 model year of the Silverado 1500, it was not the smog-making machine of legend. Instead, it was specifically fine-tuned to accommodate today’s emission standards, and it took things a step further by reducing the noise.

The 6-cylinder turbo-diesel manages to knock off the knocking and reduce the noise significantly, so much so you would probably never know it was a diesel to begin with. Thanks to a stabilized engine block with high-quality components and controlled pressure through the common rail injection system, rattling and noise from the combustion process are greatly reduced. With improved fuel injection and a reinforced design, it means you’re given a smooth and quiet ride without all the noise.

This is just an added reason for what makes the Silverado 1500 so great as a diesel truck. The pickup not only manages to provide all the power and performance you want from a diesel, but it does so without making the ride uncomfortable or grating. These kinds of improvements help make the diesel option for the Silverado 1500 that much more enticing, especially for those who need a light-duty pickup that they can put through the grinder as a workhorse to stretch the turbo-diesel’s pistons.

# 3: Performance for Days

When you think of diesel, you don’t always think about off-the-line acceleration, but that’s exactly what the 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel achieves for the Silverado 1500. The launch times are a heck of a lot more impressive than you might have been expecting for an inline 6-cylinder. This is largely due to the powertrain configurations for the Duramax turbo-diesel that helps translate all of the torque generated into power on the pavement.

Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 3.0-liter Duramax generates 277 horsepower and up to 460 pound-feet of torque. The 10-speed reduces gear scavenging with improved ratios to maximize the diesel’s revolutions for reduced fuel consumption and better use of the power banding. According to performance testing, the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 can hit 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7 seconds flat and finish the quarter-mile in 15.4 seconds.

Even if the main goal was to find a half-ton pickup that was great for work tasks such as towing and hauling, you still get great performance gains as an added bonus with the Silverado 1500’s Duramax turbo-diesel power plant. The added benefit of great fuel economy only sweetens the deal. It’s like having your cake, ice cream, and a cherry on top, and you get to eat it all, too!

# 2: Improved Towing Power

The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 took everything that worked with the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500’s diesel and then improved on it in every way. This includes the 2021 model year’s diesel powertrain getting a tow-rating increase. Not only that, but the diesel powertrain also received a price reduction of roughly $1,500. So it’s more efficient, more powerful, and less expensive than the previous model year.

In fact, the towing for the turbo-diesel increased by up to 1,900 pounds. This puts the total maximum tow rating for the Silverado 1500’s Duramax at 9,500 pounds for the two-wheel drive models. What exactly did they change to increase the tow rating? A lot of it boils down to the improved rear-axle durability. This allows the Silverado 1500’s diesel powertrain to tow heavier loads than the previous model year.

The built-in exhaust brake that works in conjunction with the Tow/Haul Mode also makes the Silverado’s diesel option finely tuned for heavy loads under various road conditions. In essence, the extra tow-rating isn’t just there to make the Silverado 1500 harder to handle with a diesel engine. If you need to maintain speed control and precise braking while trailering a heavy load, the exhaust brake comes built-in, so you never have to worry about the trailer or the truck getting away from you.

A white 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is towing a boat after leaving a Chevy 1500 diesel dealer.

# 1: Great Fuel Economy

The battle of the light-duty pickup is a big one. There are a lot of competitors all trying to vie for the top spot as the best on the market or at least best-in-class for certain categories. While certain trucks aim for the most horsepower or torque, or the highest trailer ratings, some opt for the top spots of other categories, such as interior passenger volume or ground clearance. The 2021 Silverado 1500 gets the distinct honor of having some of the best fuel economy ratings on the market for a diesel, which is just another added reason why the 2021 Silverado is a great diesel truck.

The 3.0-liter turbocharged Duramax manages up to 23 miles per gallon in the city and up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway. This gives the Silverado 1500’s diesel-touting competitors a real run for their money. It also gives potential truck shoppers a reason to opt for the Silverado 1500, especially if they not only want solid tow ratings but great fuel economy to boot.

The Duramax is capable of its impressive performance and fuel economy thanks to how the engine has been fine-tuned to maximize the way fuel is distributed through the rail system. Using a variable-geometry turbocharger and high-proficiency solenoid fuel injectors, the Duramax is able to get maximum compression ratios out of the engine with as little fuel consumption as possible. This enables the Silverado 1500’s turbocharged diesel to achieve the fuel economy it does, and one of the added reasons why truck shoppers might consider it the next time they visit a Chevy 1500 diesel dealer for a new or used truck.