General Motors is reducing the price difference between its diesel-powered light-duty pickups and their gasoline-burning counterparts, according to a recent report. As of September 3, 2020, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 benefit from a $1,500 price cut when they're ordered with a turbodiesel under the hood.
Enthusiast website GM Authority first reported the news after looking at internal documents sent to dealers across the nation. It wrote the discount applies to in-stock and in-transit units of the Silverado and the Sierra (pictured), and it added dealers will begin receiving amended window stickers on September 8. And, it's not just a quick, easy way for General Motors stores to clear out 2020 inventory. Incoming 2021 models will benefit from it, too.
Chevrolet's cheapest diesel-slurping 2020 Silverado, a double-cab LT with two-wheel drive, now starts at $44,000 once a mandatory $1,595 destination charge enters the equation. For context, the same configuration costs $38,795 including destination when it's ordered with the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which is the smallest and cheapest engine on the roster. Selecting the more efficient engine option costs buyers $5,205.
At the other end of the spectrum, the crew-cab High Country with a standard cargo box and four-wheel drive is now priced at $59,690. Walk a block to the GMC store, and you'll need to spend between $44,470 (double-cab SLE with two-wheel drive) and $61,685 (crew-cab Denali with a regular cargo box and four-wheel drive) for a diesel-powered Sierra.
It doesn't sound like either company is making major mechanical changes to the trucks for 2021. Both are powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six Duramax engine, which makes 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission come standard, and four-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost. In its most efficient configuration, the Silverado returns 23 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg in a mixed cycle, impressive numbers for a body-on-frmae pickup that's as heavy as it is capable.
Ram's diesel-powered 1500 posts EPA estimates of 22, 32, and 26, respectively. Ford pledged the recently-unveiled 14th-generation F-150 will offer a turbodiesel engine, too, but its fuel economy figures are not available yet.
Chevrolet and GMC are both preparing to give their light-duty trucks comprehensive mid-cycle updates for the 2022 model year, rumored to include a new-look exterior design, an improved interior, an independent rear suspension, a Bowtie-branded version of the clever MultiPro tailgate, and, possibly an off-road-friendly trim level named ZR2 for the Silverado. We won't have to wait long to find out if an even more efficient diesel is in the pipeline, too.