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Silverado 4.8 vs. 5.3?



  • tucsonjwttucsonjwt Posts: 283
    Before you buy a new pickup, why not test drive a basic V6 reg cab Silverado? The base Silverado has a lot of nice features. Unless you plan to tow or haul heavy loads frequently, the V8 won't be necessary for everyday use. I bought the base Silverado long bed with V6, auto, air, cruise, PDL and it's a real bargain - might be a good first purchase, then trade up to a fancier truck when finances allow. I actually noticed no difference between the V6 and the V8s when test driving the trucks, but I do not try to drive my vehicles like race cars. If you tow infrequently, you might consider renting a truck for that purpose. In my opinion, towing is hard on a vehicle, and pickups that have been obviously used for towing are not as easy to sell. Just a few thoughts.
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    what kind of gas mileage are you getting with that V6. Sticker doesn't show any difference, so it may be worth a few extra bucks for the small V8. Haven't driven one with the 4.8, but can only imagine it has more oomph than the 4.3...
  • tucsonjwttucsonjwt Posts: 283
    I have only gone through one tank of gas in the V6 so far - all city driving - 15.6 MPG. I'm sure the highway mileage would be much better - probably 20+. Also, based on other posts here, I expect that city mileage will get up to 17-18 as I log more miles. I only drive this truck on short trips (running errands, shopping, etc.) so it is all stop and go. I have a 2K monte carlo I drive to work. For the kind of driving I do, the extra horses in a V8 would be wasted. I'm sure the V8 would be faster if you jam the accelerator, but my point is that I never do that - racing from traffic light to traffic light isn't my style of driving. On the few trips down the expressway I have made, I found that the V6 was more than adequate to accelerate quickly when necessary for merging, passing, etc. With current incentives, you could buy this truck at or below invoice for about $15,000. This is why I think it is a bargain. I was going to buy a deluxe LT 4WD ext cab because of better resale (about $30K), but decided to buy a Monte Carlo LS and a basic Silverado instead. Got the two cars for $35K. I'll drive the Monte to work, the Silverado for all other trips, have about 5K miles on each vehicle in a year(minimal depreciation), trade both in on new 2001 models or one fancy 2001 pickup. Check back in one year to see if my theory works. By the way, I prefer to drive my base Silverado over the Monte Carlo - both V6 engines but the Silverado has much more pep, better ride, more overall comfort.
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    the 3.1L engine instead of the 3.8L. You make a good point though, start adding the options and watch the price quickly escalate...
  • tucsonjwttucsonjwt Posts: 283
    The Monte Carlo LS I have is a 3.4L V6(180 h.p.) -the Monte Carlo SS is a 3.8L V6(200 h.p.) The Silverado is a 4.3L V6 (200 h.p.) From what I read from other posters, the SS is much quicker with the extra 20 horses. I would have bought an SS but the ride was already way too firm in the LS, and the SS has even stiffer suspension and harder tires - so I went with the LS.
  • I think it's not so much the extra 20 horsepower of the 3.8L as it is the phenomenal low-end torque of that engine that makes it quicker than the 3.4L. Just my opinion.
  • I have a '99 Silverado with the Vortec 4.8L V8. I heard that the '00 4.8L now has 270 horsepower. The '99 I have is rated at 255 HP. Does anyone know if the increase in HP for the '00 is just a computer reprogram? Can I have the '99 chip reprogrammed to increase the HP to 270? Don't know if this belongs here, but any response would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    cam in the engine which increased the horsepower. Don't think you would realize much difference in a performance chip in this new engine from what I've heard, but a K&N filter, cat-back system, etc., should net the results you are looking for...
  • Thanks for the info. I was just wondering.
    The engine has plenty of power for me, I just thought a quick hit for a few extra horses never hurt.
  • I agree with meledtje. The real reason for not buying the 5.3 is that it's only available with the auto. I'd rather do it myself. A number of years ago some friends of mine had two very similar Ford 4x4 pickups which I drove quite a bit. The most important difference in the way they drove was the almost complete lack of engine breaking with automatic as compared to the pickup with the manual. On a steep downhill the manual was much easier to drive and required a lot less use of the brakes.

    If you look at the ~$700 difference between the 4.8 and the 5.3, plus the extra $995 for the auto it would take a long time for the 5.3 to pay for itself even if it got 2-3 more miles per gallon, which I find very hard to believe based on the experience I have had with automatic transmissions in the past.

    I had been thinking about the Avalanche or the F150 Super Crew instead of the Silverado, for the extra interior room, but they are only available with the 5.4/auto or 5.3/auto as far as anyone can tell me. I guess my occasional rear seat passengers are going to have to put up with a couple inches less leg room so I can have a "real" transmission.
  • Nothing wrong with a manual, but before you do too much engine braking, remember that brakes are cheaper than engines.
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    F-150 Supercrew is available with the 4.6L engine. Don't know about manual transmission though...
  • I have a 2wd-ext,cab,sb, 4.8,3.42 with at. With no load and most of the mileage on the interstate at 65 to 70 mph mileage is 21.1 mpg. My worst tank of combination driving has been 17.0 mpg. The 4.8 with an empty truck and no camper is really more power than I can use. At 65mph you have to be careful and not step down to hard because when it goes into passing gear it really jumps..If the truck is going to be used mostly for transportation and not hauling or towing the v-6 should be great.
  • postagepostage Posts: 1
    What is the difference between 3.73 and 4.10 gears? Is one faster than the other? Better gas mileage? I know 4.10 is more for towing, but what are the other differences?
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    engine runs at a higher RPM and thus has more power to pull up hills, etc. 3.73 is most common all around gear ratio good for towing, mileage, etc. You'll get a little worse mileage with 4.10, but not a significat amount worse. I do some moderate towing and the 3.73 have always been fine for me, if you do a lot of towing or want something with a little more gette up I'd get the 4.10, but you have to fill up a little more often...
  • bob332bob332 Posts: 137
    I would go with the 3.42 for the best MPG and it should still have plenty of pulling power with the 5.3 as long as you are not going to be pulling a heavy load across country. Bob
  • meredithmeredith Posts: 577
    The PICKUPS Conference has gotten WAY too big....

    it is unwieldy to manage, and difficult to use for "newbies". There is entirely TOO much topic duplication, so I will be doing some SERIOUS topic consolidation in the next few weeks, getting us down to not more than 2-3 topics per vehicle type, and ultimately down to 200 topics or less.

    THIS weeks consolidation candidates are: F-150's, Silverado's, Dakota's, and Dakota Crew/Quad cabs.

    In that vein, please consolidate this Silverado topic to Chevy Silverado - Continued IX and continue these discussions there.


    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
This discussion has been closed.