Since the Chevy Silverado move from being a trim of the C/K to being its own standard along with model, the engines for the Silverado have been the V6 vs V8. This has always been a long-standing rivalry for fans of the brand.
We will be looking into the merits of each engine, the success benefit with the innovation of the engine and market appeal as some sort of standard about the performance of each engine.
It should be clear though, to anyone who has looked at the catalogue of Silverados that the brand does skew towards the V8.
In short, the Core difference between a V6 and a V8 Silverado is the fact that the v6 is a 6 cylinder and output 285 HP and 305 lb.-ft of Toque whereas the V8 Silverado is a 8 cylinder engine and outputs 355 HP and 383 lb.-ft of torque.
Difference between V6 and V8 Silverado
To be clear the most obvious difference is that the V6 is a 6-cylinder engine while the V8 is an 8 cylinder. The difference worth exploring here is the performance of those engines in the Silverado.
The V6 is a more affordable engine, as its manufacture is more cost-efficient. The engine tends to be lighter and has very good fuel economy compared to its counterpart.
Moreover, the V6 has better handling and stability than the V8. The V8 engine on the other hand is made for power and acceleration hence why it is only prominent in the more heavy-duty Silverados like 2500 and 3500.
The power output from this engine makes it the better choice for haulage and tow trucks. And in the Silverado that translates to both power and luxury. On top of the V6 being the cheap option with comparative carrying capacity, you need also take into account the added cost of maintenance.
Repairs do generally cost more on the V8 and unlike the V6 the V8 tends to have engine issues more often. Depending on the work you plan on getting out of the truck; haulage, towing or light loads require more versatility and performance from the truck. The choice could go either way but decidedly for the more heavy-duty Silverado trucks the V8 makes more and for you light duty 1500 the V6 is viable.
Towing Capacity Differences
Taking as the case study, the 2021 Silverado 1500 and comparing the stats of that vehicle, for the V6 and V8: · 4.3L ECOTEC3 V6: 285 Horsepower; 305 lb.-ft. torque; 7,900 lbs. maximum towing weight.
5.3L ECOTEC3 V8: 355 Horsepower; 383 lb.-ft. torque; 10,900 lbs. maximum towing weight. As is indicative of this case in the 2021 Silverado 1500, light-duty model truck, the V8 engine has a superior towing capacity.
Account for performance as well, the stats here show the V8 would have more power output than the V6 which is another metric worth considering. And due to both engines having AFM (Active Fuel Management) you would find that the difference in fuel efficiency is reduced.
Conclusion on Chevy Silverado V6 vs V8
Both V6 and V8 engine option have their advantages and disadvantages with each unique case and depending on the demands, you have of your Silverado. For the more demanding work, you would need an engine that can pull out all the stops and give as much as you ask of it and that is the V8.
The Silverados V6 with each modern iteration are harder to distinguish from the V8 with turbo V6 producing a fair performance.
Currently, apart from the more demand tasks, you can submit your V8 too, owning a V6 is about the same. Also, though the V8 does have a better resale value than the V6, the thought being, if you’re going for power then get the most powerful.
Thomas is a retired Chevy Auto Technician, Father to two incredible daughters. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help you solve and find reliable information on Chevrolet vehicles.