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A black 2024 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country towing a trailer on a coastal road.

Is the Chevy Silverado’s Diesel Engine Option Right for You?

Drivers hoping to rev up their ride when shopping for a used Chevy Silverado for sale might want to take a look at the truck’s diesel option. The diesel engine powerhouses from Chevy are some of the best engines for drivers who need a vehicle that blends work and play effortlessly. When it comes to picking out an engine to power your truck, the diesel can be an overlooked option for drivers who haven’t experienced it firsthand. However, a diesel engine should be the go-to engine for many Silverado drivers, considering its smooth blend of performance and efficiency. A Chevy diesel engine like the Duramax has no problem performing along with its gas counterparts while offering improved fuel economy for drivers who want more for less.

When you’re shopping for a Silverado, power is just one part of the equation. Ensuring your truck can tow and haul the cargo without breaking a sweat or navigating challenging or uneven terrain is essential so you get the most out of one of your biggest investments: your truck. Besides efficiency and performance, we’re going to check out factors like maintenance costs and resale value. Keeping these factors in mind as you go forward gives you the complete picture when it comes to the Silverado diesel engine options, so you make the right choice for you.

How Is the Performance?

Since the Silverado model was introduced in 1999, it has seen various changes to its engine lineup in order to keep up with the demands and needs of drivers worldwide. This includes a rotation of gas as well as new and improved diesel engines.

Starting in 2001, Chevy rolled out the impressive Duramax diesel engine that could be had with 4, 6, and 8-cylinder, all with varying abilities when it came to horsepower, torque, and trailering potential. The Duramax was designed with the idea of taking Chevy vehicles like the Silverado to a new level of performance without sacrificing fuel economy. So, does it succeed?

When the Duramax began production in 2001, it delivered class-leading horsepower and torque, but beyond that, its modern engineering and design made it one of the quietest and most eco-friendly diesel engines out there. The first generation of Duramax diesel engines cultivated a reputation for being affordable, powerful, and long-lasting, not to mention clean.

The latest 2024 Silverado model featuring the Duramax 3.0L Turbo-Diesel is the ZR2 enhanced off-roading model. But, it is also an available option for the Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country models. The 305-horsepower diesel engine delivers a whopping 495-lb-ft of torque for responsive steering and a smooth ride over challenging terrain. The 2WD has towing abilities of up to 13,300 lbs which works for both work and recreational towing jobs. A max payload of 1,970 lbs means carrying cargo and passengers won’t be an issue.

When you need heavy-duty power, the Silverado HD takes it to a new level. A 6.6L Turbo-Diesel engine paired with Chevy’s Allison 10-speed automatic transmission is available under the Silverado HD hood. This robust combo makes heavy-duty driving feel like a cakewalk. The 470-horsepower Turbo-Diesel is capable of 975 lb-ft of torque, which allows you to work hard without overworking your truck. Opting for the high-performance Turbo-Diesel gives the driver access to a 36,000 lbs max towing ability along with a maximum payload of 6,638 lbs. So are Chevy’s diesel engines capable of great performance? We have to say yes. Whether the Duramax 3.0L Turbo-Diesel on the Silverado 1500 or a 6.6L Turbo-Diesel on a Silverado HD, we don’t think your truck will have any problem impressing you.

A close-up of the Allison Transmission, Duramax Engine, and High Country badging on a black 2024 Chevy Silverado HD.

How Efficient Are Chevy Diesel Engines?

As we touched on briefly above, when Chevy designed its Duramax diesel engine in 2001, one of the main focuses of the engine wasn’t just performance but also efficiency. In turn, Chevy made one of the cleanest and most efficient diesel engines available. When the 3.0L Turbo-Diesel is added to Chevy’s big SUVs like the Tahoe or the Suburban, they achieve best-in-class fuel economy. How is it possible that such a powerful engine could be so efficient? It’s all in the design.

Since a diesel engine is streamlined with the ability to use a leaner fuel-to-air mixture than traditional gas engines, drivers get less time at the pumps and better use of their fuel. The compression combustion component means it excels at delivering low-speed torque that increases its efficiency for both city and highway driving. Not only that, but the engine’s ability to create a low, steady torque helps you out when it comes to towing and hauling cargo and trailers up steep roads or hills.

Is a Diesel Engine High-Maintenance?

Not at all. A diesel engine requires about the same costs to maintain as a traditional gas engine. Maintenance is important to ensure your truck runs in top condition, so despite Chevy’s diesel engine’s reputation for durability and longevity, annual oil changes and filter replacements are essential to keep things on track so you get the most from your truck. An oil change or annual maintenance depends a lot on your driving habits; however, it’s recommended to have your truck serviced with annual oil changes around every 7,500 miles. Taking your truck to qualified Chevy technicians means getting the best available treatment for your engine. To help every driver tackle the road with confidence, the Chevy currently offers a 5-year/100,000-mile limited warranty on both the 3.0L and 6.6L Turbo Diesel engines.

Lots of Value

One last thing to keep in mind when deciding between gas and diesel engines is value. We have already seen how a Chevy diesel engine can help you save thanks to its efficiency, which helps decrease fuel consumption without cutting corners, but how about resale value? Does having a diesel engine help or hurt when trading in or reselling your Silverado? The good news is that a Silverado equipped with a diesel engine is known to give drivers plenty of value. A Silverado that has been taken care of and maintained can hold onto as much as 60% of its value. As for a Silverado HD, it can hold up to 52% of its value. Silverado trucks with diesel engines tend to give drivers a lot for the money because of the diesel’s reputation for durability. The engines, therefore, depreciate at a slower rate in general and have a better return than traditional gas-engine trucks.

The black and brown leather interior of a 2024 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country.

The Perfect Pairing

The versatility of a Chevy diesel engine like the Duramax makes it suitable for casual drivers as well as those needing a truck with a strong work ethic to back them up at the job site. When seeking the balance of power and performance, a diesel engine might be just what you’re looking for.

By checking out the complete picture of what a Chevy diesel engine under the hood of a Silverado has to offer, it’ll make finding a truck that aligns with your needs that much easier. A diesel engine is a smart option for drivers needing a co-pilot to help them tackle whatever the road has in store for them that day. Thanks to the ever-evolving advanced engineering, a Silverado decked out with a diesel engine is more than ready for towing, hauling, and taking on rough terrain, all without breaking a sweat or costing you at the pumps.

A Silverado already has a great reputation for being a hardworking, well-rounded truck. So pair that with one of Chevy’s aggressive diesel engines, and you’ve got a winner on the road. The potent combo of power, efficiency, and value means drivers searching for a new truck should seriously give the diesel engine option some thought in order to unlock the full power potential of their Silverado.