Some 2019 GM pickups will have lower mpg than outgoing models


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The fuel economy on some redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models will be worse than the outgoing pickups they’re replacing.

Ratings on fueleconomy.gov have 2019 models equipped with 4.3-liter V-6 and 5.3-liter V-8 engines getting up to 3 mpg combined less than comparable 2018 pickups. The engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

It’s unusual for outgoing models with essentially carryover powertrains — aside from small changes such as tuning to engines and transmissions — to be rated higher than redesigned vehicles that are replacing them.

Monte Doran, a Chevrolet spokesman, attributed the difference in fuel economy to the redesigned trucks being more capable and larger than the outgoing models, which in turn increases aerodynamic drag.

“We increased towing capacity, payload, and it’s a much larger bed and a much larger cab,” he said.

While aerodynamic efficiency increased 7 percent and the automaker cut out hundreds of pounds on the redesigned Silverado, Chevrolet says the frontal area also increased — resulting in the same aerodynamic load. The Sierra is slightly more aerodynamic than the Silverado. However, it’s still larger than the outgoing model.

Aside from differences in engineering and design, auto writer Bozi Tatarevic, who initially tweeted the differences, pointed out the rear axle gear ratios also are different between the model years.

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