Join us for the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Duramax diesel Ike GauntletTM – the world’s toughest towing test. Is this new turbo-diesel the best light-duty towing pickup truck of them all? Let’s find out.
GM has updated the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel I6 engine to give it more power and better efficiency. The engine is now 25% new. They updated the pistons, raised the compression, and bumped the power output up to 305 horsepower @ 3,750 rpm and 495 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm. The engine is still mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. In this luxurious Denali Ultimate trim, the rear axle ratio is 3.23 to 1. This configuration of the truck is rated up to 8,800 lbs of towing.
This is the world’s toughest towing test because this stretch of the I-70 Interstate goes up to the top of the Colorado Rocky Mountains at 11,158 feet above sea level. It’s an 8-mile stretch of the grueling highway with a maximum of 7% grade.
GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate
The Denali Ultimate is a new top-of-the-line trim for GMC trucks. It takes the existing Denali truck to the next level with dark “Vader” chrome accents on the outside, and unique leather massaging seats and wood trim on the inside. The truck get GM’s latest and updated interior design and technology.
This time the Roamer1 off-grid and off-road luxurious camping trailer is loaded up to a total weight of 7,000 lbs. This way we can compare it to when we towed it with other pickup trucks and SUVs.
- Silverado ZR2 6.2L V8 & Ram TRX with a trailer of a similar size and weight.
- Ford Raptor R & GMC Sierra AT4X AEV with this trailer.
Check out the video below for all the details!
The new LZ0 version of the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel I6 is one of the most efficient trucks on the Ike Gauntlet test. It showed 5.9-6.0 MPG during the rigorous climb. It did not blow us away with its downhill grade-shifting performance nor its acceleration speed on the way up. The Sierra 1500 registered a good four brake applications on the way down (better than average, but not the best). It also showed an 8-min 13-sec second climb, when we expect a perfect 8 minutes up the mountain.
No matter – this new turbo-diesel is ultra quiet, super-refined, and very efficient. If you plan to tow a trailer on longer distances, this engine must be at the top of your list.
Here is the new 2023 Ford F-150 Tremor with a 5.0L V8 and a 2023 Ford Expedition Timberline with a high-output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 – towing the same trailer on the Ike GauntletTM.