3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 V8 Engine | 14 Similarities and Differences

GM Motors manufactured both Duramax 3.0 and 5.3l V8 engines.

A 3.0 Duramax is a diesel engine; on the other hand, a 5.3L Duramax V8 is a gasoline engine.

3.0L Duramax engine at first used in Chevrolet Silverado in 2020.

It’s the only diesel engine used in full-size SUVs produced by General Motors.

Since the beginning, the users have been mostly satisfied with the efficiency and performance of both 3.0 Duramax and 5.3L V8 engines.

Let’s discuss the 14 must-know comparisons between Duramax 3.0L and 5.3L V8 engines.

Here is a quick comparison table of 3.0L Duramax and 5.3L V8 engine:

3.0L Duramax Diesel Engine Feature 5.3L V8 Gas Engine
2019 Introduce Year 1999
Aluminum alloy Engine Block Cast iron
Cast aluminum alloy Piston Cast aluminum alloy
16.5:1 Comparison Ratio 16.5:1
Forged steel Crankshaft Cast nodular iron
Powered metal or sintered lobes Camshaft Hollow steel
Aluminum Cylinder Head Cast aluminum
23 mpg/city and 32 mpg/highway Fuel Economy 13 mpg/city and 23 mpg/higway
7.1 seconds 0-60 mph 6.4 seconds
277 hp Horsepower 355 hp
460 lb-ft Torque 383 lb-ft
9,300 pounds Towing Capacity 13,400 pounds
Starts at $28,500 Price (Includes Silverado 1500) Starts at $28,500
5 years or 100,000 miles Basic Warranty 5 years or 60,000 miles

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3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 Specs

3.0L Duramax: This engine was first introduced in 2004 to replace the 5.9L Cummins engine.

3.0L Duramax engine is used in 2021 Chevy Silverado LT, LTZ, RST, and High-Country trim with the above specifications.

5.3L V8 Gas Engine: The 5.3L is a gasoline engine produced in 1999.

5.3L is a V8 engine used in all Silverado trims.

3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 MPG

3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 MPG

3.0L Duramax: 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

5.3L V8 Gas Engine: 13 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

Compared to fuel economy, 3.0 is better than 5.3 Duramax.

3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 0-60

3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 0-60

3.0L Duramax (Chevy Silverado 1500): 0-60 mph can be achieved in 7.1 seconds.

5.3L V8 Gas Engine (Chevy Silverado 1500): 0-60 mph can be achieved in 6.4 seconds.

The 5.3L gas engine is slightly faster than 3.0L Duramax engine.

3.0 Vs 5.3 Duramax Horsepower

3.0L Duramax Engine: 277 horsepower

5.3L V8 Gas Engine: 355 horsepower

A horsepower is a measurement unit of engine power commonly used to describe the power output of engines and motors.

In the case of horsepower, 5.3L performs well than 3.0L Duramax.

3.0 Vs 5.3 Duramax Torque

3.0L Duramax Engine: 460 pound-feet of torque

5.3L V8 Gas Engine: 383 pound-feet of torque

The torque in a Duramax engine is the force that is applied to the crankshaft to rotate it.

The more torque generated, the more power the engine can produce.

Comparison in torque 3.0L is a little bit ahead of 5.3L.

3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 Towing

3.0 Duramax Vs 5.3 Towing

3.0L Duramax: 9,300-pound towing capacity.

5.3L V8 Gas Engine: 13,400-pound towing capacity.

In towing capacity, 5.3L Duramax is more powerful than 3.0L Duramax undoubtedly.

If you tow anything heavy enough, 5.3L is good for that.

But 3.0 diesel provides some advantages when you use the vehicle for towing at altitude.

A gas engine may lose some power when it goes to high altitude, but a diesel engine can recover some of this loss and provide suitable towing ability.  

Engine Block

The engine block and cylinder are significant parts of an engine and are considered to be the backbone of an engine.

3.0 Duramax Engine Block and Cylinder

The 3.0 Duramax block is made of cast aluminum alloy, lighter than cast iron but more robust than aluminum.

The block is more robust than its previous generations.

The block has a deck height of 9.05 inches, and the diameter of the bore is 3.25 inches.

There are 6-cylinder in 3.0 Duramax.

The inline six-cylinder architecture offers efficiency and refinement advantages.

The space in the cylinder is 4.72 inches.

The comparison ratio of 3.0L is 16.5:1.

5.3 V8 Gas Engine Block and Cylinders

The block of 5.3 Duramax is made of gray cast iron.

It is an 8-cylinder engine.

The cylinders are lined with cast iron.

The block gets strength and durability because of the deep skirt design.

The cylinder heads are made of aluminum.

It is a 90-degree V8 design in which a bore is 4.05 inches, and a stroke is 3.90 inches.

The comparison ratio of the engine is 16.5:1, which is the same as a 3.0L engine. 


3.0L and 5.3L, both pistons are made of cast aluminum alloy.

It is designed to withstand the high temperatures and pressures of the combustion chamber.

To improve fuel economy, the engine is coated with low frictional materials.


3.0 Duramax engine: The crankshaft is made of forged steel.

The crankshaft of 3.0 Duramax is small and lighter.

3.0 Duramax has a shorter stroke than 5.3L.

5.3L V8 Gas Engine: crankshaft is made of cast nodular iron with an undercut and rolled fillets.

Crankshafts of 5.3 Duramax are heavier and larger.

The 5.3L Duramax has a higher compression ratio.


3.0 Duramax engine: made of powered metal or sintered lobes.

The camshaft of this engine is located in the cylinder head.

The camshaft opens and closes the valves, allowing air and fuel to enter the cylinder.

5.3L V8 Gas Engine: made of Hollow steel. The position of the 5.3 camshafts is the same as the 3.0 Duramax engine.

Cylinder Head

3.0 Duramax engine: cylinder head is made of aluminum.

They are designed to provide superior strength and durability.

5.3 V8 Gas Engine: cylinder head of 5.3 Duramax is made of cast aluminum.

The 5.3L cylinder is cathedral-shaped to provide excellent airflow and higher rpm.

5.3 Vs 3.0 Duramax Price

5.3 Vs 3.0 Duramax Price

Price of 3.0L Duramax Engine

 3.0L Duramax engines are mainly used in 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks.

The GMC Sierra 1500 is more expensive in the price range than Silverado 1500.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (entry-level) price MSRP $28,500

The Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country (Top Tier) MSRP is $58,500.

GMC Sierra 1500 (Entry-level) MSRP $29,900

GMC Sierra 1500 Denali (Top Tier) MSRP $63,000

Price of 5.3L V8 Gas Engine

Duramax 5.3L engines are used in Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Suburban, and GMC Sierra 1500.

Starting price of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 MSRP is $28,500, and the final price MSRP is $58,500

Starting price of a Chevrolet Suburban is $53,000, and a Suburban High Country MSRP is $73,500.

3.0 Duramax Vs 3.5 Eco Boost

3.0 Duramax Vs 3.5 Eco Boost

The 3.0L Duramax is a V6 turbodiesel engine produced by General Motors.

On the other hand, the 3.5 Eco boost is a V6 turbocharged gasoline engine produced by Ford.

Both engines are light-duty pickup trucks.

The 3.5 EcoBoost is available in the Ford F-150, while Duramax 3.0 is available in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Both engines provide different benefits to users.

The 3.0 diesel engine offers a high torque output, while the 3.5 gasoline offers a high-power output.

3.0 Duramax provides torque output of around 460 lb-ft, while the 3.5 EcoBoost provides high horsepower, around 356 HP.


5.3 vs 3.0 diesel, both engines are excellent and reliable.

The 3.0 Duramax is a diesel engine, while the 5.3 is a gasoline engine.

3.0 Duramax life expectancy is about 300,000 miles, while 5.3 records 500,000 miles.

But 5.3 Duramax needs more maintenance than 3.0 Duramax.

They both provide a longer service life than an engine should generally have.

As a diesel engine, 3.0L needs less maintenance and is more fuel efficient.

On the other hand, 5.3L give huge power output.

Many users who have used both engines prefer the 3.0 as more reliable than the 5.3 Duramax.

5.3 Vs 3.0 Duramax Which is Better?

 They both are batter in a specific category.

For more power and heavy towing bulky things, 5.3 is better.

5.3L Duramax provides produced more power than 3.0L.

3.0L shines when considering maintenance cost, fuel efficiency, and torque output.

Recently, when fuel price is very high matter in our monthly cost.

In this sense, 3.0L is better than 5.3L Duramax.

The 3.0 provides 23/32 mpg in the city and highway.

Whereas 5.3 provides 15/23 mpg in the city and highway.

5.3L towing capacity is 13,400 pounds; on the contrary, 3.0L towing capacity is 9,300 pounds.


What are the common issues with 3.0 Duramax?

The most common issues with 3.0 Duramax are:

  • Starting problems
  • Injector failure
  • Oil pump issue
  • Faulty fuel pump
  • Exhaust gas recirculation problems.

It is important to note that improper engine maintenance is the main reason for these issues.

Ensure regular maintenance to keep your engine healthy.

What problems do Chevy 5.3 liter engines have?

5.3L engines are mostly reported for these common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Misfiring
  • Coolant loss
  • Faulty intake manifold

How long will a 3.0 Duramax last?

A well maintained Duramax 3.0L engine lasts between 200,000 miles and 300,000 miles.

To achieve the milestone proper maintenance is a main condition.

The 3.0L Duramax maintenance includes:

  • Change engine oil according to the owner’s manual.
  • Ensure regular vehicle service.
  • Do not let the engine idle for long periods.
  • Avoid quick acceleration or brakes.

How long will a 5.3 Chevy engine last?

Chevy 5.3L engine lasts approximately 200,00 miles.

In this sense, if you drive 13,000 miles per year, your engine should last for at least 15 years.

Final Thoughts

5.3 has more horsepower and towing capacity than Duramax 3.0L engine.

Duramax 3.0 is ahead of 5.3l V8 in terms of pricing and fuel economy.

So, we suggest choosing 3.0l if you are short on budget or don’t want to spend more bucks on gas mileage.

Go for 5.3 if you need more horsepower and towing capacity.

Only choose 5.3 if gas mileage is not a big issue for you cause you have to pay almost double bucks on gas if you choose 5.3 over 3.0 Duramax.

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