Putting the Chevy Silverado 1500 Turbo to the Test: Can it Tow Like a Pro?
Updated: 4 days ago
2.7 Liter/310 HP/430 pound-feet of torque
9,500 pounds max tow capacity
19/22 MPG City/Highway
This year Hartnell Chevrolet supported us with a 2.7 liter 4 cylinder turbo Silverado. Since we tow boats ranging from 6,000 lbs. to 9,000 lbs. they figured it'd be a good fit to test the ability of this eco rig!
I was both concerned and excited to test this baby out. On the plus side I knew we'd get better gas milage with no tow load, but on the other hand would I be biting my nails when towing my boats? Time would tell and I am excited to share my findings with you.
MPG *All fuel consumption data was using the built in trip computer.
First off I need to warn you that I drive like a grandpa turtle. This is a fact since I actually achieved 28.1 mpg (no tow) on one of my 30 mile trips. For a truck with a sufficient tow rating I was blown away.
Now like all towing experiences this dropped to 8-10 mpg under load (7,000 lbs. boat). It is a couple mpg less than my 5.3 L V8 models which I personally get around 10-12 mpg under load.
How did it tow? You might ask. The answer is, quite well actually. So well in fact, that I found it to be extremely smooth. Although the engine was louder than my V8, whether due to working harder or just being the nature of a turbo, it accelerated easily to my desired speed. The truck also pulled the boats out of the water with no issue. (No boats or trucks were stuck on the ramps in the testing of this vehicle) The two largest differences between the V8 models and this one is the sound, and the idle speed. The sound is sweet if you like turbos. It took a little bit for me to get used to it, but I liked it especially during its initial rev when starting the engine. I did find that this rig seemed to have a high idle. Once you put it into gear the rig would jump, (with no tow load) and traveled up to 5 mph without touching the gas pedal. (To be clear, this is on flat surfaces with no weight in the truck) I ended up getting used to the jump, but just be aware that it definitely is there. However, when towing my boat the jump was non existent.
I'm going to highlight my favorite options that my 2023 model had. First off the dash is gorgeous with large displays, high resolution, and the main screen is angled towards the driver which reduces glare. When you first step in the vehicle the screen boots an animation with a beautiful transition from the cluster to the main display that highlights the sexiness that Chevy offers. With this screen comes Android and Apple Car play that supports wireless connectivity. There are plenty of other options available with the screen which require subscriptions should you choose that route.
One safety feature that I didn't know I had until it showed itself was the "Warning Alert". It sounds, shakes my seat, and highlights the cluster with a warning icon to signal when quick stops are happening, or when something is approaching rapidly from the side of the road. This feature was a nice option to have just to ensure safe driving.
This vehicle also had automatic high-beam activation when there were no cars ahead of me. I was iffy on this feature at first, but began to enjoy one less thing to change while driving at night. The only downside to this feature was that when I was at a T intersection with no road ahead of me the beams still continued as others passed by. Due to this I found myself manually disabling this feature whenever I stopped at such intersections so that I didn't blind my fellow automobile enthusiasts.
The rearview camera is the last feature that I will highlight. I enjoyed the clear screen with the tow options for loading my trailers and this truck had just that. The HD camera is incredible and the tow line option made it easy to path to my hitch without a second hand. The tow mode also allows you to leave the rear view camera on while driving so that you can see how your trailer is doing.
There are so many options that you can add these days. Everyone's needs are different but for me the best features to have is a tow mode, crew cab, rearview camera, Android Auto/Apple Car Play, auto start, bed liner or coated bed, bed cover, and a sweet sound system.
What features do you like in your trucks? Let us know what's your go-to truck and what you use it for!
*This article is sponsored by Hartnell Chevrolet in Salem, WI
You can find their website here: www.hartnellchevrolet.com