2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Diesel vs World’s Toughest Towing Test – Can It Get The Best Ike Gauntlet Score Ever? (Video)

Here is the ultimate towing test for the new Duramax!

2020 chevy silverado 1500 duramax diesel towing review ike gauntlet
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax on the Ike Gauntlet

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel engine is all-new

General Motors’ all-new three-liter, inline six-cylinder diesel makes 277 horsepower and 460 lbs-ft of torque. The engine is connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Our tester was equipped with a rear-drive-only setup. It has a 3.23 rear axle ratio, and it’s rated at a maximum of 7,600 lbs of towing. Interestingly enough, the 4×4 version can tow up to 9,300 lbs.

It’s a double-cab RST version of the Chevy Silverado. It’s not a base model, it’s pretty much considered a mid-level truck in terms of its trim and amenities. We recently tested a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel which had a similar setup.

The MSRP on our Chevy Silverado 1500 RST tester is $48,685.

Towing up the “Ike”

This test is devised for our annual 2020 Gold Hitch Award which is given to the best towing truck in a specific class. This year is the first time we have three half-ton diesel trucks in the mix. As such, we have a unique category slated for the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500 diesels.

Our horse trailer (supplied by Transwest) weighs 7,600 lbs. That weight is after being weighed down with water totes and bricks. We’re using a Gen-Y weight-distributing, adjustable hitch. We use this on all of our standard tow tests and it helps with keeping the ride level, easy to control and safe.

This TFLtruck test is called the”Ike Gauntlet.” It is an 8-mile run up a 7% grade. It maxes out at over 11,000 feet above sea-level. During the Ike, we test the brakes, stability, acceleration, efficiency and more – all while towing a heavy load.


The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel did well, but it left us scratching our heads.

  • The Silverado 1500 diesel has the only exhaust brakes in its class. Heading down hill, the Silverado still required more braking applications than we expected – eight.
  • It has the best-in-class horsepower, and it pulled nicely. Kent was a bit disappointed about how long the truck took to get to 60 mph. Still, it took the hill in 8 min 9 sec, excellent time.
  • The mpg numbers were interesting as well. Keep in mind: this is under full load, up seven degrees of incline at high elevation. Andre kept his foot planted to the floor for a majority of the climb as well. We recorded 5.7 mpg by the time we got to the finish line. That’s a good result. Unfortunately, it only has a 22-gallon fuel tank – which we feel is too small.
  • The total points out of 100 possible, was 85. To see how they arrived at that score and what it all means, watch the video!
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.