Which GM V8 is better? Is it the 5.3L V8 or the 6.2L V8? Is the bigger V8 worth the extra $2,499? We get a rare opportunity to test both engines in very similarly configured trucks on the same day.
The 5.3L V8 in this comparison comes in the 2016 Chevy Silverado. It makes 355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm and 383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm using regular unleaded fuel. This truck is a crew cab in LTZ trim equipped with the maximum towing package and 2WD. It’s also the first time that we get to test the smaller V8 that is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is a new pairing for the 2016 model year in the Silverado, and it’s available in higher-end trim levels.
The 2016 GMC Sierra with the 6.2L V8 and the 8-speed automatic transmission is an SLT crew cab with the maximum towing package and 2WD. The big engine makes 420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm and 460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm.
Both of these trucks feature exterior updates for the 2016 model year. The changes are most obvious up front. The Silverado and the Sierra sport new hood, grille, headlights, and lower facias.
The 6.2L V8 engine is an $2,499 option in the Sierra. So the question is: is the bigger engine worth the extra money or is the 5.3L V8 just fine at acceleration and is it more efficient at towing?
We ran 0-60 MPH tests in both trucks. As always, we test all trucks at a mile above sea level. Considering the lower air density as well as other parameters – normally aspirated engines lose around 17% of power in this environment.
We took the trucks on our 100 mile highway loop towing a 5,600 lbs horse trailer. The exact highway distance is 98 miles and the test is at 70 MPH. We used the recommended premium fuel in the 6.2L Sierra and regular unleaded in the 5.3L Silverado.
We also had a friendly drag race at IMI Motorsports park.
Watch the video here. (Spoiler alert: the results are listed in the table below the video.)
|2016 Chevy Silverado||2016 GMC Sierra|
|Model||CrewCab LTZ 2WD||CrewCab SLT 2WD|
|Engine||5.3-liter V8||6.2-liter V8|
|Power (hp / lb-ft)||355 / 383||420 / 460|
|Max Payload (lbs)|
|Max Tow Rating (lbs)|
|0-60 MPH (sec)||8.49||6.96|
|Highway Towing MPG||10.6||10.7|
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been writing and reporting at TFL since 2011.