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2020 GMC SIERRA 1500’s DURAMAX? TURBO-DIESEL ENGINE EARNS SPOT ON WARDSAUTO’S 2020 LIST OF 10 BEST ENGINES & PROPULSION SYSTEMS

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The 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I-6 engine has been named to the 2020 Wards 10 Best Engines & Propulsion Systems list, receiving high praise for its best-in-class diesel horsepower?, as well as its efficiency and smooth driving experience.

This engine, available on the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500, was one of three diesel powertrains in consideration. Entries are judged by WardsAuto editors who look to recognize innovation and engineering excellence in new powertrains available to the U.S. market. After careful review and testing of all three, WardsAuto reported the 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I-6 engine was the unanimous pick.

The judges, who tested the engine in a 2020 Sierra 1500 Crew Cab, remarked that the 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel stood out with its smooth, responsive and quiet driving experience. In their opinion, the engine is well suited to different driving situations, from stop-and-go traffic to giving power on demand. 

The 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel is an efficient engine, offering up to an EPA-estimated 30 MPG highway? with features like start/stop technology (with disable switch) and an engine block made of a lightweight cast aluminum alloy, providing a 25 percent savings in mass over a comparable cast iron engine block. 

The Active Thermal Management system helps the engine run more efficiently. It controls engine coolant in a manner that helps heat components that need to be warmed up quickly. Once warmed, the system will pinpoint temperature levels at different locations on the engine to help give optimum combustion. 

WardsAuto editors noted the best-in-class 277 diesel horsepower? outpaces rival diesel engines in capability. High horsepower was achieved in part through a common-rail fuel injection system that adds to its smooth and refined performance. Another recognition they gave is its ability to generate 460 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm, offering truck owners excellent power. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel has been rated to pull 9,100 lbs?.

“The 3.0L Duramax was designed to be a ‘no excuses’ engine option that offers excellent fuel efficiency, great low-end torque and smooth responsive operation,” said John Barta, assistant chief engineer and a member of the team at General Motors that is behind the powertrain. “We delivered on those targets with outstanding fuel economy, best-in-class 277 horsepower? and great throttle response.”

Finding it a great choice as a daily driver, high scores were given on the engine’s quiet and calm nature, refuting the perception of loud, grumbling diesels. This quiet driving experience is owing in part to its inline-six architecture, which makes this engine the first-ever I-6 turbo-diesel for GMC’s full-size light-duty truck.

“The inline six is a naturally balanced engine,” Barta said. “The result is we don’t need balance shafts and the engine only has one set of overhead cams (compared to two sets in a V6). Fewer parts mean less weight and friction and enhanced efficiency. It’s a win-win design that offers fuel economy and smooth operation.” 

The 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel is available on the 2020 Sierra 1500 SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4 and Denali trims. For more information, visit the Sierra 1500 page.

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  • Class is half-ton pickup segment.

  • Requires available 3.0L Turbo Diesel engine. EPA est. 23 city/30 hwy mpg (2WD).

  • Excludes other GM vehicles.

  • Canyon’s 7700-lb rating requires 2WD Crew Cab model with available Duramax 2.8L I-4 Diesel engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • Requires 4WD Double Cab with available 6.2L V8 and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Regular Cab DRW Long Box 2WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Seating for 9 requires SLE with front bench seat.

  • Requires available Duramax Diesel engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Crew Cab DRW Long Box 4WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 9,600-lb rating requires a 2500 or 3500 Regular wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo’s 10,000-lb rating requires? the available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package.? Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual.? The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 8,940-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle and trailer combination, including the weight of driver, passengers, fuel, optional equipment and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

  • Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Canyon’s 7000-lb rating requires available trailering package and 3.6L V-6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra's 12,500-lb rating requires Sierra Double Cab or Crew Cab Short box 2wd with 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine and NHT Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Sierra Denali's 9,300-lb rating requires 2wd. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 Wheel Base with 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo's 10,000-lb rating requires 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped, includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Requires 2WD Crew Cab DRW equipped with 6.6L Duramax Diesel and fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch. Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Starting at price for base Sierra HD. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Regular Cab DRW Long Box 2WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges. Bed/Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers shown. Requires crossbars or Thule Rack Solution. Non-GM warranty. Warranty by Thule?. See dealer for more information.

  • Available. Requires 2.0L Turbocharged gas engine.

  • Terrain's 3,500-lb rating requires available 2.0L Turbocharged gas engine and available trailering equipment. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires available 3.6L V6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Yukon’s 8,500-lb rating requires short wheelbase 2wd with 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine and HD Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 9,006-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

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