Should You Buy a 4-Cylinder Chevy Silverado? We Tried One to Find Out

The 2.7-liter “high output” engine in the truck is new and better, but it’s still a little peculiar.

The Silverado was recently updated by Chevrolet for 2022. The Silverado’s new halo, F-150 Raptor-challenging ZR2 off-road variant is the marquee-grabbing highlight, but one of the other noteworthy upgrades comes with what Chevy calls the “2.7-liter High Output” engine, also known as the turbocharged four-cylinder.

Chevy increased the engine’s torque for 2022 by 20 percent, to a remarkable 430 lb-ft, and made adjustments to the eight-speed automated transmission to make shifting more natural. Do the adjustments make the much criticised engine worthwhile? Chevy gave me the option of taking one for a quick trip in Palm Springs, California, to find out.

4-cylinder trucks are…weird

Four-cylinder engines are not common in body-on-frame trucks. In a full-size truck, only GM offers one; even at the mid-size level, which is smaller, six-cylinder engines are the favoured option. An affordable base engine option for the Colorado and Tacoma is a four-pot. The 2.0-liter engine from the Wrangler is not available from Jeep for the Gladiator. The only vehicle that uses one exclusively is the Ranger.

Four-cylinder engines are not common in body-on-frame trucks. In a full-size truck, only GM offers one; even at the mid-size level, which is smaller, six-cylinder engines are the favoured option. An affordable base engine option for the Colorado and Tacoma is a four-pot. The 2.0-liter engine from the Wrangler is not available from Jeep for the Gladiator. The only vehicle that uses one exclusively is the Ranger.

Is having an inline-four engine in a contemporary full-size truck the quintessential example of how bizarre it is? There is no General Motors PR material about it that uses the term “four-cylinder.”

The Silverado’s 2.7-liter is capable, but it’s no V8

The four-pot is adequate for daily driving. The turbo has a slight lag in engaging, but once it does, the torque is substantial. The engine has more than enough power to allow you to leave the starting line, merge onto the highway, and then pass another vehicle once you are on it. Although the 4×4 version’s 9,000-pound capacity implies it can pull practically everything you might want to, it isn’t the top-draw Silverado for towing.

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