A couple of years ago, pickup truck comparisons were all about power and towing capacity. Today, fuel efficiency is the new battleground. For the 2009 model year, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado XFE took their fuel economy figures up a notch by hitting 21 mpg on the highway and 15 in the city. Then Ford unveiled the F-150 SFE that matched those numbers, though without requiring the use of a tonneau cover. The Blue Oval dropped the SFE badge for 2010, but kept the improved fuel economy.
General Motors, however, is not content with a tie, and is upping the EPA numbers for its 2010 XFE Silverado and Sierra to 22 mpg on the highway, which just so happens to match the highway figure for the Sierra Hybrid. The combined fuel economy of both GMT900 trucks has also increased from 17 to 18 mpg.
Chevrolet spokesperson Brian Goebel told Pickuptrucks.com that the increased fuel economy is due to several engineering improvements. The XFE model's 5.3-liter V8 now has variable valve timing, optimized shift pattens in its six-speed transmission, and new tweaks for its Active Fuel Management system that enables the truck to run on four cylinders at cruising speeds for longer.