Ask TFL: Should I Get a New Chevy Silverado 1500 Gas V8 or a New 3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel?

This truck will be doing occasional towing and road trips.

2023 chevy silverado 1500 gas v8 duramax diesel
Gas or Diesel?

Which half-ton truck is better for an occasional towing trip – is it a new Chevy Silverado 1500 with a 5.3L gas V8 or one with a newly updated LZ0 3.0L Duramax I6 turbo-diesel? This is a question that we recently received from Vince L. See below.

Vince L. writes:

I’m looking at a 2022 or 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 RST Crew Cab 4×4 in the near future. What I’m hung up on is the 5.3L V8 vs the 3.0L Duramax. I live in the Phoenix, AZ area. I work from home, so I don’t do a lot of daily driving. With 2 young boys, we plan on doing the occasional trip to the mountains, maybe towing a small pop-up camper or a couple of quads, along with occasional road trips (not towing) to California or New Mexico. I’m really intrigued by the new 3.0L and I’ve heard for ’23 the LZ0 has some improvements over the LM2. I’m attracted to the better fuel economy on the diesel but for the minimal daily driving I do, maybe that’s not a big factor. What are your thoughts on these 2 engines given the use I described? Are maintenance costs significantly higher on the diesel or other factors to consider between the 2 engine options?

What do you think Vince should do?

We are yet to test the new LZ0 3.0L Duramax I6 engine that is going into the 2023 GM light-duty pickup trucks. Although, the updates indeed sound very interesting. Also, the EPA is already rating the 2023 diesel engine at a slightly better economy than the outgoing LM2 turbo-diesel.

I usually answer this question by looking at the annual miles driven in the truck (or planned to be driven). The turbo-diesel starts to make a lot more sense if you drive a lot and do a lot of highway driving. I would say, if you plan to drive over 15,000 miles per year, then diesel is the way to go. If you drive 12,000 miles per year or much less – then the gas V8 is plenty good. Especially, the latest 5.3L V8 with the 10-speed automatic transmission.

Since Vince lives in Arizona, he will likely need to cover big distances for his road trips. Perhaps, the Duramax is in order?