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Published on April 3rd, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown

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GM Tops Ford EcoBoost With More Efficient 5.3 L EcoTec3 Engine

vortec-5.3

GM’s new 2014  GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck comes with a 5.3 liter V8 engine which, according to GM, offers better fuel economy and towing capacity than Ford’s F-150 equipped with the EcoBoost V6.

Ford has invested a lot into their EcoBoost engines, which replace displacement and cylinders with turbochargers. Rated 16 city and 22 highway, the EcoBoost-equipped F-150 has proven popular with consumers, though GM is looking to usurp the throne.

The GM 3.5 L V8 EcoTec3, which was initially announced in December 2012, has now surpassed its fuel economy by one highway MPG, but the city MPG is the same. The EcoBoost engine that the EcoTec is being compared to is the 3.5 L with 365 HP, and 420 foot-pounds of torque, which far exceeds that of the EcoTec3′s 383 foot-pounds. However, the EcoTec engine has 355 horsepower, and can tow 200 pounds more than the Ford, for a total towing capacity of 11,500 pounds.

There are two other new EcoTec3 engines. One is a 4.3 L V6, and the other is a 6.2 L V8. All three engines are matched with six-speed transmissions, and are equipped with direct-fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactiviation, all of which are designed to save fuel. While 23 mpg in a V8 pickup is great, the V6-powered Ram 1500 remains the undisputed mpg king, capable of 25 mpg highway.

Ford is betting consumers won’t mind a downsized engine, so long as it is capable. But the EcoBoost motor comes at a premium price, whereas the GMC Sierra is arguably most cost effective. Consumers have more powerful and fuel efficient pickup options now than they ever did before. But will GM’s new engine pay off? Or will the Ford EcoBoost continue to dominate? And will Ford really up the ante by 3 mpg with their next-gen trucks?

Source: Green Car Congress

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.



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  • bikertrash3531

    Sorry about chevy’s luck but…… if chevy squeezed the extra 37lb/ft of torque and 10 hp out of the 5.3 v8 they would loose that 1mpg maybe more. Also not mentioned is where the Ecoboost 3.5 produces its power compared to the 5.3 bowtie. The EB has over 380lb/ft of torque available at 1700 rpm whereas the 5.3 doesn’t hit that mark, which is peak tq, until 4000 rpm. With the new testing method for towing being implemented in the next couple years I doubt that the 5.3 will be capable of towing 11.5k pounds. Hell the higher tq /hp Ecoboost has a hard time with it’s 11.3k pound rating. Chevy just threw some numbers out there to beat the Ford.

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  • Justin

    Exactly…..high RPM torque is worthless unless its a drag truck….I owned an 08 5.3 Silverado….and towing was hell with only 6000lbs….every little hill it was downshifting into its power band..Did it pull it?? Of course…but the engine let you knew you were towing every minute….it was a great truck and never broke down….but I was getting the feeling that it was being abused….11,500 lbs towing is not possible in the “real world” …My current 2006 F-250 Diesel is only rated to pull 12,500….Where they are getting these figures just boggles my mind….my truck is rated at 560 lb. ft. of torque at 1800 rpm(important number)….and they are rating almost the same tow capacity with a half ton frame and 383 lb. ft….doesn’t make any sense….and please spare me all the negative comments about the 6.0…I know all about it…I’m a mechanic and can take care of it…however if I weren’t I wouldn’t even consider owning a 6.0…

    • jd

      Ecoboost is not what its cracked up to be, MPG is at best ok, you have to get heavy on the pedal if you want the truck to get moving, and who wants a v6 while towing a 6000 lb trailer????

      • Richard Martin

        The ecoboost is an ecobeast. My wife has a 2013 FX4 ecoboost and Her truck is getting an average of 16 MPG with 90% of her driving in town. That’s pretty good for a 4X4 and the ecobeast out pulls my 5.7L 351 ci V8 granted my V8 has 250,000 miles on her. we pull our 10,000 lb camper with her truck and get 13-14 mpg depending on the roads and pulls it with no problem. and as far as getting the ecobeast moving it doesn’t take much even with the camperbut when you do get on the pedal you better hold on. Have a friend who got the chevy 5.3 ecotech and he gets the same mpg empty but 11-12 mpg pulling his boat and acording to him when on cruse the truck is costantly shifting in and out of V8 and V4 mode on the hwy at 70 and he says it strugels to get up hills when he is towing.

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