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A blue 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country is shown from the front at an angle.

Which Truck Has Better Engine Options: The 2023 Chevy Silverado or the 2023 Nissan Titan?

When drivers are looking for a tough truck that can handle tough jobs, they often consider the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Nissan Titan. They’re both full-size trucks from reputable manufacturers known for building durable and reliable vehicles. The Chevy Silverado has been around since 1999, and the Nissan Titan has been around since 2004, so Chevy does have a five-year leg up on perfecting their workhorse. Over the years, both manufacturers have added features drivers are used to seeing today, like infotainment, luxury material options for the interior, smartphone integration, Bluetooth, and advanced driver assist features. However, many of these are under the “nice to have” category for truck drivers looking to do serious work.

When you have a farm, construction company, moving business, or you’re just a serious RV enthusiast, you know that there’s one thing you prioritize in your truck: power. More specifically, you look at engine type, towing capacity, and payload. You need to be able to transport important cargo safely without it impacting your vehicle’s performance. For some business owners, their livelihood depends on it. Maybe occasional campers and agricultural hobbyists can be more lax when reviewing engine and power; however, if your day-to-day activities and ventures require serious towing and hauling, this is a make-or-break feature. So, how do the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2023 Nissan Titan compare in the engine and power department? The Chevrolet Silverado far outshines the Nissan Titan in what feels like a shortcoming Nissan should obviously (and hopefully quickly) remedy.

Chevy Silverado Engine Options

The 2023 Chevy Silverado offers a generous selection of four engine options. Between these four, every truck driver, regardless of tasks planned for their pickup, should be able to find something that works for them.

The 2.7L Turbo I-4

This is the standard starting engine for the 2023 Silverado, and for a base option, it’s pretty impressive, offering a 9,500-lb towing capacity and a 2,260-lb payload capacity. Plus, it gets solid fuel economy for a pickup, with an EPA estimated 19 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway in rear-wheel-drive. Drivers looking for a moderately tough but highly dependable pickup might consider this engine. It can easily get the job done if you need to do day-to-day driving with your truck and only tow light things like small campers, trailers, or equipment.

A black 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT is shown from the front at an angle during a 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Nissan Titan comparison.


The 5.3L EcoTec3 V8

When it comes to a powerful engine, a V8 is going to be a classic choice. Those eight cylinders offer some great capabilities, and it shows, as this engine for the Silverado is capable of towing 11,300 lbs and handling a payload of 2,140 lbs. It’s also going to accelerate nicely, which truck drivers appreciate, as poor acceleration is usually a concern when carrying so much weight.

This engine is best suited for drivers who primarily stick around the work site and don’t need to travel too far, as its fuel economy dips a bit from the first engine. It gets an EPA-estimated rating of 17 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway, so it doesn’t perform quite as well in the gas department for daily driving as the 2.7L engine does. Still, when you need serious power, you can’t beat a V8.

The 6.2L EcoTec3 V8

If you like the sound of a V8 and simply want more of everything; more power, more torque, and more acceleration, Chevy also offers a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8. This engine is where you will find the maximum towing ability for this model, which sits at a massive 13,300 lbs. It also gets a payload of 1,980 lbs. The fuel economy takes one more dip here, down to an estimated 16 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway. But this engine knows what it is; if you need to tow and haul a lot and aren’t looking for an everyday driving vehicle, this will have you covered.

The 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I-6

Now this is the cream of the crop of engines because it offers the best of both worlds: tons of power and fuel efficiency. In fact, it even gets better efficiency than the starting 2.7L engine, with its rear-wheel-drive model getting an EPA-estimated 24 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. So, if you need a truck that’s tough around work sites and good for everyday driving, this might be the engine for you. The Duramax will also get you that 13,300-lb towing capacity and it will have a 1,970-lb payload capacity as well.

The Titan’s Sole 5.6L Engine Option

Onto the Titan. As we mentioned earlier, the Titan has just one engine, and that’s the 5.6L ‘Endurance’ V8. It can tow up to 9,323 lbs and has a payload of 1,697. So, as noted before, these numbers sit just below those of the Silverado’s base-level engine. It also offers an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 16 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway with a rear-wheel drive model.

And that’s it. There are no more engine options for the Titan. So, if these capabilities and this fuel economy work for you, then the Titan is an option. But anyone looking for higher towing abilities, payloads, or better fuel economy, would simply have to go to the Silverado for the sheer variety of options. And for reference, you need over 10,000 lbs of towing ability for things like fifth wheel campers, large travel trailers, and some flatbed trailers, so this singular engine option is rather limiting.

A black 2023 Nissan Titan Pro-4x is shown from the side on the highway.

Why Having Enough Power Matters

If you think you’ll get the Nissan Titan and “wing it” when you need a little more towing ability, we’d say this is probably not a good approach to owning a full-size truck, as it’s dangerous for you and your vehicle. Regularly maxing out or even going beyond your vehicle’s capacities puts you at risk of several things:

  • Burning out your transmission prematurely
  • Needing to drive so slowly you are a traffic hazard
  • Maxing out even when you don’t realize it because sometimes trailer companies mislabel those weight numbers
  • Forgoing help from technology like trailer sway assist, which is designed for the vehicle’s official capacities

For Drivers Needing a Variety of Power, Consider the Chevy Silverado

The information is all there; drivers who need to tow or trailer anything heavier than 10,000 lbs need to consider a Chevy Silverado. The Nissan Titan simply does not offer an engine that can meet that demand. Likewise, drivers who need a truck with fuel economy sufficient enough for everyday driving will also need to go for the Silverado because its DuraMax gets surprisingly good fuel efficiency for a pickup truck.

It’s unclear why Nissan would limit itself in this way. Yes, it is a little younger as a model than the Silverado, but Nissan has had over 15 years to assess the competition and get a feel for what drivers need. It’s no secret that pickup drivers need power, and not all want to spring for HD trucks to get it. The Silverado 1500 gives a nice light-duty option, with capacities nearly matching heavy-duty trucks. Plus, it has a longer history than the Nissan Titan, making it a solid choice for a variety of drivers and lifestyles.