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Soon2BV

GM 5.3 v 6.1L - Experience?

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Soon2BV

I currently have a '14 GMC Sierra 1500 with the 6.2L.  Starting to look for a new truck, and debating the 5.3L v the 6.2L.

I tow my boat (21 LSV) 2 times a year (to the marina, home from the marina), and the travel trailer (6000 lbs loaded) several times a year.  I also tow a tandem trailer for a high school robotics team about 2000 miles a year (about 5000 lbs loaded).  Usually only 2 people in the truck when towing. 

Anyone have experience with the 5.3 and the 6.2?  The 5.3 would be less up front and gets a little better mileage.  The current truck with the 6.2L has no problems at all with the loads above, but i wonder if it is overkill. 

(PS - please don't suggest the Duramx or a Ford or Dodge - ain't gonna happen :) )

 

 

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carguy79ta

I have the 5.3 in a 15 1500.  and also had one in a 14 1500.  I am a GM guy.  except Ram diesels.  good motors decent mileage..better than the ecosuckboost.  I heard the 6.2 actually got better mileage.  it pulls my 4000 lb axis okay.  just ordered a bigger boat 6200lbs so now I have a Ram diesel.

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KeepingupwiththeJones

I tow my 22VLX (4300lbs listed dry weight + 400lbs of lead) with a Yukon and the 5.3. I drag it all over California without issue. Just towed it about 600 miles round trip, averaged 12.3mpg at 65mph.

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Cole2001

What about a Toyota? You didn't rule that one out! Sorry I had too:rofl:

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ahopkinsVTX

I haven't driven them back to back but I think you will be just fine with the 5.3. I'm very impressed with my 2017. One note is they changed the throttle programming in 2017 so it's much better then the 2014-2016. I drove my friends 2014 back with mine and it's a huge difference. I am getting 17.5-18.2mpg city driving too!

That said, the 6.2 is a beast. I might have a hard time going back to the 5.3 lol.

Edited by ahopkinsTXi

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RyanB

The reports I have read usually give the MPG nod to the 6.2 - but at the expense of premium fuel.

I can't help on the 5.3 vs the 6.2, but if you are making the switch, I would hold off until they get the 10 speed transmission in.  I think that is later this year.

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MLBurns

I have owned several of both, personally I won't go back to the 5.3 because I felt like it had to work too hard on the hills pulling loads. When we traded my wife's Yukon Denali in last year she said no to stepping down to the smaller engine after driving one. 

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carguy79ta

what wifey wants wifey gets...makes for a happy life..5.3 is a good motor.  the whole LS family can handle a boatload of boosted horsepower...with stock internals.  if the 5.3 is 'working a little too hard' just step on the gas and don't worry about it.

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jjackkrash

FWIW, I have the new 5.3 GDI engine in my boat and its an awesome engine.  Way better than the older 5.7s, IMO.  The 6.2 obviously is more engine and I would love to have one in the boat, but the 5.3 is no slouch at 355 HP, over 400 pounds of torque, and excellent fuel economy.  

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Soon2BV
On 5/8/2017 at 4:59 PM, RyanB said:

The reports I have read usually give the MPG nod to the 6.2 - but at the expense of premium fuel.

Premium is not required in the 6.2.  I use regular unleaded (87). MPG is great. 

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dlb

I had a 5.3 Burb and now a 6.2 Denali.

Towing the LSV with the 5.3 in flat northern IN wasn't an issue.  Through the hills of KY, that was another story.  Not so fun.

The Denali has a 6 speed which is much better that what the Burb had.  In NC, I would not buy a 5.3.  Actually thinking of a new Denali with the 6.2 and the new 8 speed tranny.

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RyanB
25 minutes ago, Soon2BV said:

Premium is not required in the 6.2.  I use regular unleaded (87). MPG is great. 

The recommended fuel is 93 (or 91 depending on elevation) octane.  My Yukon Denali will ping with anything under 91 octane.

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wdr

Went from a 5.3 in my 2wd Tahoe to a 6.2 and the 8 speed in my 4wd Denali. With 93 I definately get better mileage than my Tahoe did with 93 which i hardly ever bought as I could not really notice a performance difference. Not crazy better mpg, but an observed 1 mpg or better given the same conditions. The 5.3 was more than adequate for pulling my LSV and had I not had the mileage I had on it I would still be driving it. I will say the 6.2 will get it done better in the hills but I rarely see a hill where I live. I am heading out to Dale Hollow Lake next month so that will be the real test. I will say I am not real enamored with the 8 speed. A lot of my issue is probably my old people driving style which the truck seems to adapt too. There have been a few instances you would of thought I was performing a neutral drop in to drive from the rev and driveline clunk of the trans trying to find the right gear at lower speeds. Kind of annoying and embarrassing, otherwise I really like the total package. 

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jjackkrash

I am wondering if everyone is talking about the same 5.3l.  When GM went to Gas Direct Injection in '14 or '15 it became a whole different engine.  The pre GDI 5.3L had 35 or so less HP and almost 100 less pounds of torque, and a narrower power band, IIRC.  Likewise after '15 the 6.2 became a real monster.  

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Falko

I have the old 5.3 and rode in a newer truck with the new 5.3 a couple months back. Night and day, night and day....

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ahopkinsVTX
8 hours ago, jjackkrash said:

I am wondering if everyone is talking about the same 5.3l.  When GM went to Gas Direct Injection in '14 or '15 it became a whole different engine.  The pre GDI 5.3L had 35 or so less HP and almost 100 less pounds of torque, and a narrower power band, IIRC.  Likewise after '15 the 6.2 became a real monster.  

 

15 minutes ago, Falko said:

I have the old 5.3 and rode in a newer truck with the new 5.3 a couple months back. Night and day, night and day....

They are not talking about the same engines. Like Falko said, the old (pre 2014 5.3) and new 2014 and older 5.3 is night and day difference. Then it got even better in 2017 because they remapped the throttle. I highly encourage a 2017 5.3 test drive. 6.2 is still going to fit some people better especially towing a large boat, but the new 5.3 is great!

Edited by ahopkinsTXi

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Cap305

If you look at one of the new trucks with the 5.3 MAKE SURE the rear end will handle the load.  A bunch of them came with the 3.08 and that would put you right near the tow rating limit but would have give great MPG.  I went through the same decision process last year and ended up going with a 1500 with the 6.2 and 3.23 rear end.  I couldn't find what I wanted in the Charlotte area (Crew cab, standard bed, black) with a 5.3 and the 3.42 so I ended up ordering it exactly how I wanted.   I'm getting right around 18 MPG per the computer which is more like 17 MPG hand calculated.  You don't NEED to use premium 93 octane fuel BUT the computer will retard the timing and you lose a decent amount of HP if you use 87.  Good luck!

 

p.s. 5.3 DI vs older 5.3 is definitely an apples to oranges argument.  I owned an older 5.3 and it was a gas hog, made a lot of noise for not a ton of grunt, but she did run without issue to well over 200k when I sold her for a decent amount of money.  

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Steve B.

My recommendation, take both trucks(engines) out for a test drive with your boat.  

Steve B.

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Soon2BV
8 hours ago, Steve B. said:

My recommendation, take both trucks(engines) out for a test drive with your boat.  

Steve B.

Well, i would love to do that but the boat and travel trailer are both about 250 miles away. The dealers frown on a 500 mile "test drive" :innocent:

 

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Soon2BV

I drove both tonight on a 5 mile test drive.  One 5.3 with 6 speed, one 6.2 with 8 speed.  Easy to feel a difference in acceleration, but hard to tell how that translates into towing. 

I may see if they have a demonstrator that i could take for a really long drive, or find someone close with a travel trailer similar to mine that i could take for a tow-test. 

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SCMike
20 minutes ago, Soon2BV said:

I drove both tonight on a 5 mile test drive.  One 5.3 with 6 speed, one 6.2 with 8 speed.  Easy to feel a difference in acceleration, but hard to tell how that translates into towing. 

I may see if they have a demonstrator that i could take for a really long drive, or find someone close with a travel trailer similar to mine that i could take for a tow-test. 

I have a 2015 with a 5.3 and 6speed.  Tows my 2017 21vlx no problem on the flats and slight hills, but it works hard on the steep hills.  Looking back I wish I would have spent the $2k more for the 6.2

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NWBU

I had a 2014 CC 4wd 5.3L with the 3.42 axle until a few months ago and it struggled on any decent grade with my boat. I got it before I had a boat so after getting a boat I always wished I'd waited for a 6.2L, but there were few deals to find on those when I was looking. However, for the $, it was a good truck and great on resale.

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RyanB

I think a test drive is a good idea, but I don't think I have every done a test drive where I wasn't required to sign a waiver that included a prohibition of towing with the truck.

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carnold12

Have heard great things about the new 5.3L, but it would take a lot of convincing to go away from the '15+ 6.2L mated to an 8 speed transmission in a GMC Sierra. The 6.2L is a monster; super quite on the highway, but it roars to life when you get into it. Set the cruise and let it eat. Towed my 21' VLX about 150 miles through the Arbuckles in Oklahoma yesterday and averaged just over 12 MPG with cruise at 75 mph. Not towing, highway mpg is closer to 19 or 20. 

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oldjeep
On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 7:44 AM, RyanB said:

I think a test drive is a good idea, but I don't think I have every done a test drive where I wasn't required to sign a waiver that included a prohibition of towing with the truck.

A test drive where you had to sign something?  Here they just toss you the keys

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