Search Cars for Sale

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2.7 Liter Turbo 4-Cylinder: First Drive Review

Chevrolet recently introduced a new 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder version of the all-new 2019 Silverado. As this is the first application of a 4-cylinder turbo in a full-size pickup, Chevrolet wants to make it clear that its new pint-sized mill is up to the task, so it flew me to Phoenix to experience the new 4-cylinder 2019 Chevrolet Silverado on a long driving loop through Tonto National Forest, and alongside its closest competitors from Ford and Ram.

Engine Specs

GM’s new 4-cylinder should eventually see duty in a variety of vehicles, but for now, the engine is launching in the 2019 Silverado. The 2.7-liter turbo four makes 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque, which are both respectable figures. This is good for 20 miles per gallon in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving in two-wheel-drive models, and 19 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined when you add four-wheel drive. These figures are somewhat disappointing, given that the Silverado’s available 5.3-liter V8, which carries only a $1,400 premium, makes more power while achieving identical or better highway fuel economy.


While neither Ford nor Ram offers a 4-cylinder engine in its full size pickup, both automakers do offer entry-level engines in their trucks that make comparable power and return similar fuel economy to the new 4-cylinder Silverado.

The first such example offered up for comparison was a 2019 Ram 1500 fitted with the venerable 3.6-liter "Pentastar" V6. In the Ram, the Pentastar V6 makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. While the Silverado employs downsizing and turbocharging, the Ram employs a mild hybrid system referred to as "eTorque," which helps save fuel on starts from a dead stop. With help from the mild hybrid system, 2WD examples of the new V6 Ram earn 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined, while 4WD models earn 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

The F-150’s entry level engine is the tried and true 3.3-liter "Cyclone" V6. Equipped with the base engine, the F-150 makes 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, returning 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined with 2WD, and 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined when fitted with 4WD. Buyers may also cross shop the F-150’s 2.7-liter turbocharged "EcoBoost" V6, which can be had for a small, sub-$1,000 premium. Fitted with the 2.7-liter turbo, the F-150 makes 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, earning 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined with 2WD and 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined with 4WD.

Driving the 4-cylinder Silverado alongside Pentastar V6-equipped Ram and 3.3-liter equipped F-150, I could hardly tell a difference in terms of day-to-day livability. Each truck had plenty of power for everyday traffic and, from what I could tell, for completing simple tasks. Altogether, the differences are marginal when it comes to these economical full-size trucks.

The Truck Itself

Altogether, the new 2019 Silverado is a charming truck. Its interior feels fresh and modern, on par with that of the new 2019 Ram 1500. The interiors of the Silverado and Ram are arguably a level above that found in the F-150, which was last fully redesigned for 2015, but did receive a mild update for 2018. The Silverado offers comfortable seats, pleasing ergonomics and an infotainment systems that is among the best in the industry.

The 4-cylinder Silverado is still equipped for truck-like duties, with a quoted towing capacity of 7,200 pounds and a 2,280-lb maximum payload capacity.

Driving Characteristics

While you could tell there wasn’t a V8 under the hood, nothing about the driving characteristics of the new Silverado was particularly noteworthy, nor was anything offensive. As with most turbos, there was a bit of lag between the time you depress the accelerator pedal and the time you feel the full force of the engine’s 348 lb-ft of torque. Still, that torque was there, and it didn’t struggle to get the big truck going in a variety of situations. I did notice something odd though over the course of my two hours behind the wheel. Anytime I abruptly pulled my foot off the gas pedal as the engine’s 8-speed transmission began to downshift, the truck would continue to accelerate for a moment as the transmission completed the shift. My drive partner and I were able to replicate this a number of times throughout our long drive through Tonto National Forest. This isn’t anything that I think would ever result in an accident, but it was unsettling. I didn’t get a chance to ask the Chevrolet engineers about this phenomenon, but I have to think it has to do with engine and transmission calibration. This isn’t something that would necessarily turn me away from this powertrain, but it was a peculiarity nonetheless.


Altogether, like the other two trucks I sampled during the event, the Silverado felt completely fine with this downsized power plant. Sure, it doesn’t offer the growl of a V8, and there’s a bit of turbo lag, but for medium and light duty applications, the Silverado’s 4-cylinder was more than adequate. Chevrolet expects the 4-cylinder to make up about 10 percent of overall 2019 Chevrolet Silverado sales, which sounds about right, given that the 5.3-liter V8 can be had for only $1,400 more. Nonetheless, the 4-cylinder Silverado looks to be an excellent choice for fleets, rental car companies and buyers needing a simple, dependable work truck — applications where the benefits of a V8 are unlikely to be fully realized.

Find a Chevrolet Silverado for sale

Chris O’Neill grew up in the rust belt and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in the auto industry for a while, helping Germans design cars for Americans. On Instagram, he is the @MountainWestCarSpotter.

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

Leave a Comment

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 News & Reviews

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Truck Deals: July 2021

These are the best deals on trucks for the month of June.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This