Why The ’22 Duramax-Powered Silverado 1500’s Max Towing Increase Is A BIG Deal
There are a lot of news items to cover on the ’22 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but the one that isn’t necessarily making all the headlines might be the most important. GM’s diesel-powered half-ton is now officially going to perform up to its full potential thanks to a new max tow package, which allows end-users to pull as much as 13,300 pounds. That’s a 4,000-pound jump over 2021 models and it’s primarily due to the larger rear diff and heavier duty suspension you get when you check the box next to GM’s max tow package. No longer do you have to opt for the 6.2L gasoline V-8 (at the expense of fuel efficiency) in order to enjoy the brand’s heftiest towing capacity.
This is the type of upgrade the 3.0L I-6 Duramax needed. After all, most consumers choose the diesel because—in addition to seeing superior fuel economy—they plan to tow. The LM2 Duramax has always provided highly usable low-end torque (with 95-percent of its 460 lb-ft rating available at just 1,250 rpm), but now it’ll have the towing capacity it deserves. On top of the mechanical upgrades that help make a Duramax-powered Silverado tow two additional tons, new and improved engine and transmission calibrations are said to have been performed to keep both the all-aluminum I-6 and the 10L80 in perfect rhythm, loaded or not. For more on how Chevrolet’s new max tow package is shaking things up in the half-ton truck market, keep scrolling.
The 3.0L Duramax: Unchanged But Still Impressive
To our knowledge, other than cooling advancements, nothing has changed on the 3.0L LM2 code Duramax for the ’22 model year. Even the original 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque ratings go unchanged. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this is a very impressive engine. With its aluminum block and head, block stiffener, iron cylinder sleeves, forged-steel connecting rods, electronically-actuated variable geometry turbocharger and air-to-water intercooler, it is arguably the avant-garde engine of any American made diesel engine. The inline-six common-rail’s 460 lb-ft of torque is available starting at 1,500 rpm and doesn’t let up until 3,000 rpm. That torque curve is about as sweet as it gets for anyone looking to pull a trailer.
Maxing Out The Duramax Option
Everyone knew the Duramax option wasn’t holding the towing capacity down on the Silverado in previous model years, and the inclusion of the max tow package on diesel models for 2022 models proves it. With the max tow package, maximum trailer towing jumps from 9,300 pounds to 13,300 pounds. That doesn’t match the F-150’s class-leading 14,000-pound towing capacity, but if you go with the Ford you can’t do it with a diesel option. Ford axed its 3.0L V-6 Power Stroke program earlier this year…
What Exactly Is GM’s Max Tow Package?
The max tow package adds an additional $1,125 onto a ’22 Silverado’s MSRP, but you do get a lot for the money. For increased carrying capacity and stability, you get heavy-duty leaf springs and an increased gross axle weight rating in the rear of the truck. You also get the G80 automatic locking rear differential with the larger 9.76-inch ring gear (and 3.73:1 gearing) and revised shock absorber tuning up front. Enhanced engine cooling is also part of the deal, along with an integrated trailer brake controller.
How You Get 13,300 LBS Of Towing Capacity
Now for the fine print… You likely can’t have the new 13,300-pound towing capacity in a 4x4 Duramax/Silverado. Instead you’ll probably have to order yours in two-wheel drive form. More specifically, in 2wd double cab, standard bed form. Two-wheel drive, crew cab, short bed models equipped with the max tow package are believed to be rated to tow slightly less, with standard bed length versions towing a tad less than that. Still, 4x4 or not, significantly more towing capacity will be on tap with a properly-equipped ‘22 Silverado.
Vs. Ram’s EcoDiesel
Despite being able to lay claim to a best-in-class diesel torque rating of 480 lb-ft, Ram’s EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500 falls well short of Chevrolet’s new Duramax towing numbers (12,560 pounds vs. 13,300 pounds). With Ford now out of the diesel game in the half-ton realm (and we’re certain that its 3.0L Power Stroke/F-150 combination couldn’t have matched the ’22 Silverado anyway), Chevrolet’s new Duramax-powered Silverado 1500 rules the half-ton diesel roost at the moment.
Vs. Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost
To get Ford’s best-in-class towing capacity of 14,000 pounds, a 4x2 SuperCab or SuperCrew model with the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 and the automaker’s max trailer tow package is required. But while the twin-turbo gasoline powerhouse has plenty of guts, with the non-hybrid engine you won’t see anywhere close to the fuel economy you will with Chevrolet’s Duramax-equipped Silverado, empty or (especially) when towing. If you’re looking for effortless, efficient towing, the I-6 diesel parked under the hood of the Bow Tie gets our vote every time.
Other Improvements For ‘22
As if you weren’t sold on the ’22 Silverado’s newfound towing capability, Chevrolet updated its interior and especially the exterior look of its best-selling pickup. Every trim received a fresh, front fascia and grille, which lowers the headlamps and was intentionally designed to emphasize the Silverado’s newfound strength and stability. As for the 3.0L Duramax, it’s available in LT, RST, LTZ or High Country trim. Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2022.
More From Driving Line
- New to the 3.0L Duramax? You can read up on one of the most advanced diesels in the modern automotive era right here.