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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    General Motors Announces Fuel Economy For The EcoTec 4.3L V6


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 20, 2013

    General Motors has been doing a slow drip on specifications for their new pickup trucks. Yesterday, the company announced the fuel economy numbers for the EcoTec 4.3L V6 that will be the base engine in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

    For 2WD models, the 4.3L V6 will return 18 City/24 Highway MPG which puts right in line with the Ram 1500 equipped with the Pentastar V6. 4WD models see fuel economy numbers of 17 City/22 Highway. The city number makes the Sierra and Silverado 4WD models best in class.

    Not bad considering the EcoTec 4.3L V6 is packing 285 horsepower (@5300 RPM) and 305 foot-pounds of torque (@3900 RPM), and can tow up 7,200 pounds.

    Source: General Motors

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 Offers Best-in-Class Capability

    • New engine gives Silverado and Sierra unsurpassed city fuel economy

    DETROIT – The all-new 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 powering the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will be the most capable standard V-6 in any full-size pickup truck – leading the segment in city fuel economy and helping customers save money through a host of fuel-saving technologies.

    EcoTec3 engine technology matches Ram HFE’s 18 mpg city, while 4x4 Silverado and Sierra models achieve 17 mpg city, the best of any full-size pickup. EPA highway estimates are highly competitive: 22 mpg for 4x4 versions, and 24 mpg for 2WD models.

    The 4.3L V-6 also help Silverado and Sierra will offer the highest-available payload rating of 2,108 pounds and the highest available towing rating of 7,200 pounds.

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    Let's compare the Dodge Ram and the Silverado...

    Dodge Ram 1500 2WD

    Engine: 3.6L DOHC 24-valve V6

    Transmission: 8-speed Automatic

    Output: 305 bhp / 269 lb-ft

    0-60 mph: 8.5 secs

    Towing Capacity: 6,500 lbs

    Fuel Economy: 17 (city) / 25 (hwy) mpg [4x4 = 16 / 23 MPG]

    Chevy Silverado 1500 2WD

    Engine: 4.3L Pushrod 12-valve V6

    Transmission: 6-speed Automatic

    Output: 285 bhp / 305 lb-ft

    0-60 mph: 7.9 secs

    Towing Capacity: 7,200 lbs

    Fuel Economy: 18 (city) / 24 (hwy) mpg [4x4 = 17 / 22 MPG]

    Even with the significant gearing advantageous of an 8-speed transmission, the DOHC 24v equipped Dodge is out performed and out towed by the Pushrod 12v powered Chevy. Not only that, but it didn't even manage a fuel economy advantage. If both vehicles had the same transmission, the differences would have been even more pronounced.

    What does that say about using four cams, four valves per cylinder for performance or downsizing displacement for the sake of fuel economy? Does it really pan out? Not in this case obviously...

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    i've had our company's dodge journey quite a few times and have probably logged about 3k miles on it. Nearly all the time I have averaged high twenties with it. Now i would be curious to know the weight diff and such between the journey and ram. i can't help but think the ram will be true to its epa numbers ...

    there is a lack of torque in the low to mid, and they purposely put a delay on the downshift to force you to wind it up.. likewise it has aggressive throttle cut off and the sixth gear is way high. 1600 rpm at like 70 or something. I wonder how many rpm the ram runs at that speed.

    I think if the ram engine were retuned, it would haul out harder but of course its tuned for FE. I am guessing the larger displacement and torque tuned 4.3 feels faster on roll on acceleration.

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    I can say with complete authority the 3.6L Pentastar is horribly underrated on fuel economy. I know it isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison considering we're talking trucks here, but with that said, my Charger routinely returns numbers in the mid 30s on the highway and has never averaged less than 24 to 25 mpg. That's also using regular unleaded gas. I'm sure a 3.6L Ram will do better than advertised; hell, my dad's 5.7L Hemi-powered Ram Express returns an average of about 18 to 20 mpg and returns somewhere in the mid 20s on the highway (you'll get that only if you use mid-grade unleaded, but even still).

    The new 4.3 does have better towing capability, but on the other hand, it's just a few hundred pounds better than the Ram. I also know Chrysler can still do way more with the Pentastar than what they currently have.

    I'll say this, with the next-generation Ram and F-150 just on the horizon, I don't expect GM to keep in the marginal lead they have right now.

    Edited by black-knight
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    Here's the fundamental issue...

    (1) The ONLY advantage a 4-valve DOHC valvetrain has is that it is able to flow more air and hence produce more power. Everything else about a DOHC valve train is a disadvantage -- four times as many cams, twice as many sprockets and valves, higher friction, bulkier packaging, heavier weights and greater complexity.

    (2) In order to capitalize on the ability to flow more air you have to be at high rpms and wide open throttles. At anywhere south of about 4000~5500 rpm depending on the valve lift employed, a 2-valve head is able to achieve 100% volumetric efficiency so the additional flow capacity is moot. At partial throttle, the engine is choked by the throttle butterfly not the valve or intake, so it is also moot. In other words, unless you wind it out a DOHC engine has no advantage.

    (3) Between a DOHC engine and a Pushrod engine of the same displacement, the Pushrod engine will have better fuel economy because it has less parasitic frictional losses, it is smaller and it is lighter. However the DOHC engine will be able to maintain its torque output higher into the rev range and hence make more power. You can also use a smaller displacement DOHC engine to equal the pushrod engine's power production. However, because it is smaller in dispalcement it'll make less torque and must be revved higher to achieve the same power output. Lower torque and higher revs before hitting the same power levels is contrary to the duty cycle of trucks.In order to have a similar pulling power, you have to gear it with a lower gearing and lose efficiency.

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    Based on the numbers GM has posted, I have to really question why a V6 is superior over a V8. I get this with a V8 and no one drive a truck gently so this V6 will suck like all V6's in trucks and SUV's and really give nothing other than a numbers game due to Stupid EPA regulations on MPG.

    Idiots in all of them for thinking smaller is better. Just like the ugly Fiat 500 POS, I am really not happy with GM, FORD or RAM for giving into this smaller is better for everyone garbage.

    Every where I search it is amazing to see that people love the V6 turbo from ford and it is a blast to stomp on, but for those that are driving it a so called conservative style and have 3-5 thousand miles, they all admit to only 13-14mpg and none believe they will hit the 21mpg Ford claims.

    Looking at other V6 non turbo engines, we still only see teen MPG. So I have to really doubt the V6 will properly replace the long living V8 engines for those that expect to own and drive 500,000 miles. I see plenty of V8's last this, but I have yet to see a 4 or 6 banger last this long and for a truck that gets far more abuse than a car.

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    My Local Dodge dealer has 33MPG plastered across the side of some new Rams, i don't get how they can get away with it

    I am sure there is a fine print some place that says this is for the Dodge Dart or some other auto and they are just using the Rams for a street sign considering how big they are.

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    I can say with complete authority the 3.6L Pentastar is horribly underrated on fuel economy. I know it isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison considering we're talking trucks here, but with that said, my Charger routinely returns numbers in the mid 30s on the highway and has never averaged less than 24 to 25 mpg. That's also using regular unleaded gas. I'm sure a 3.6L Ram will do better than advertised; hell, my dad's 5.7L Hemi-powered Ram Express returns an average of about 18 to 20 mpg and returns somewhere in the mid 20s on the highway (you'll get that only if you use mid-grade unleaded, but even still).

    The new 4.3 does have better towing capability, but on the other hand, it's just a few hundred pounds better than the Ram. I also know Chrysler can still do way more with the Pentastar than what they currently have.

    I'll say this, with the next-generation Ram and F-150 just on the horizon, I don't expect GM to keep in the marginal lead they have right now.

    that would be the only reason I would ever buy a chrysler, this good gas mileage on the pentastar. I wonder what the vans are pulling with it.

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    Most cars get above EPA ratings when you put it on cruise control and drive 30 miles at 65 mph. I get 25.6 MPG on the Jaguar XF Supercharged in that condition even though the EPA rating is 15/21 MPG. This is a 470 bhp / 4300 lbs car with a blown 5.0L V8. BTW, a Corvette C6 is over 30 mpg in that scenario with it's NA Pushrod 6.2L.

    That said... most of the time you don't get to drive like that. And, most of the time people are lucky to even match EPA numbers much less exceed them.

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    Most cars get above EPA ratings when you put it on cruise control and drive 30 miles at 65 mph. I get 25.6 MPG on the Jaguar XF Supercharged in that condition even though the EPA rating is 15/21 MPG. This is a 470 bhp / 4300 lbs car with a blown 5.0L V8. BTW, a Corvette C6 is over 30 mpg in that scenario with it's NA Pushrod 6.2L.

    That said... most of the time you don't get to drive like that. And, most of the time people are lucky to even match EPA numbers much less exceed them.

    I don't typically drive with a light foot, I almost always use the air-con in the summer, and I never use the Charger's cruise control. My time driving is spent roughly 60 percent of the time on the highway and 40 percent in the city for distances up to 40 miles one way.

    As always, individual results may vary, but I'm still of the opinion the Pentastar V6 has very underrated fuel economy. It's rare that I hear of someone getting poor fuel economy with it.

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    My Local Dodge dealer has 33MPG plastered across the side of some new Rams, i don't get how they can get away with it

    I am sure there is a fine print some place that says this is for the Dodge Dart or some other auto and they are just using the Rams for a street sign considering how big they are.

    It slipped my memory that they had done this before: Using Canadian gallons for MPG ads (i live just north of the border and most people understand MPG better than L/100Km)

    2012 09 03 16.23.04

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    post-12-0-11398200-1371912798_thumb.jpg

    Amazing the prices I got in an email from the local dealership today. Guess it gives great advertising but wish they would just drop the big discounts and sell it on how good the product is as a real life reasonable price.

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    Yep

    33MPG for the pentastar

    29MPG for the 5.7 4X4

    according to my dealer

    I want to see real certified proof as these engines cannot really deliver that MPG in real world driving.

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    Yep

    33MPG for the pentastar

    29MPG for the 5.7 4X4

    according to my dealer

    I want to see real certified proof as these engines cannot really deliver that MPG in real world driving.

    http://gallonstoliters.com/index.php?q=1&from=imp&to=us&result=0.83267384

    one Canadian gallon is equivalent to 1.20095042 US gallons so it will be twenty percent higher numbers in MPG

    So just proving that these are not real world figures and that it does take far more gas to get these miles.

    Like Cubical, these figures are lies and 50% higher than real world numbers of what people are posting.

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    The Vortec V6 was a 50/50 prospect to all who own one, I speak from personal experience, I own a 2003, S10, 4.3. This engine never ceases to embarras me. Since 29,000 miles, stab the throttle and #3 Cylinder misses badly. Merge into traffic and set the cruise ontrol, half a mile later the missing stops it runs fine. The only reason I continue to drive this Vehicle is the 28 MPG or better, all the time, on the freeway and the very large trunk. A huge plus in the SFBA, California. If this new engine over-comes the failings of the Vortec design, I plan to purchase one to replace the engine in my truck. Then, I'll finally have 'Pride in my Ride!'

    I drove a 2010 Dodge Mini-Van in Hawaii, comfortable enough and good power, crappy MPGs.

    I drove a 2012, turbo Ford F150, for three months, while in the job. AMAZING power, crappy MPGs.

    Squires Turbo Systems has a Turbo Module adaptable to my truck, I never bought it because of the motor I currently drive. When I purchase the new Ecotec 4.3, for my Truck, I plan to install the STS Turbo at the same time. That will change the 285 horse motor into a 350+ horse motor. This is the first OR last time I own a GM product. This is the only Chevy I have ever owned, I am 57y.o. I like the mini-truck, hate the motor. I hope GM gets it right this time, I'm tired of 'Missing-out' on Performance!!

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