Don’t Sleep on the 2.7L High Output Engine

September 14th, 2022 by

If you’ve paid any attention to the Pick-up truck landscape, or really just the automotive market in general, you’ve noticed that powerplants are going one of three directions: electrified, turbocharged, or diesel. Diesel has been around forever and is still going strong; there’s a good chance you had to weave through a few diesel powered Peterbilt’s on your way to the office this morning (we know you’re reading this on the clock, it’s fine this is being written on the clock. We won’t tell your boss). Diesel is a great option for long-haul highway driving, pulling your boat to the cabin hours away. Electrified/hybrid has been around, but trucks are just now dipping their toes into these waters. As a result, a lot of folks are hesitant to get into one as a main hauler until they see how these fare after a few years of real world road testing. From a cost perspective, the electrified/hybrid models seem like a great idea until you find out they don’t get Prius levels of fuel economy; rather the hybrid system is geared toward pulling achieving maximum torque at lower RPM. This results in towing capacity on par with the big thirsty V8 engines, but from a smaller engine. GMC took this idea and threw a 2.7L Turbocharged inline 4 into a select few of their Sierra 1500 models. A 2.7L engine, in a truck. What can you possibly do with that, pull a real big canoe downhill? Sure, that’s an option, but why stop at a canoe, pull your whole boat; the 2.7L can handle it. No, really!

Can’t fault you for scoffing at a 4 cylinder at first glance. It’s a 4 cylinder, those don’t go in trucks, those are for Civics! But the eggheads leading the engineers over at GMC found a way to over-inflate the numbers on their little 4-banger, but let’s take a cursory glance at what you can do with this engine: 8200 lb towing capacity, 1985 lb payload capacity, 290 hp, and 265 lb-ft of torque. Solid performance for a 4-cylinder, right?

Wrong! Those are the numbers from Ford for their 3.3L V6 engine. They put that in their F-150, one of the most popular trucks for the last what, 30 years? But GMC’s punchy little engine can be powered by the aforementioned 2.7L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine putting out an impressive 9400 lb towing capacity, up to 2150 lb payload capacity, 310 hp, and 430 lb-ft of torque. Find me a canoe that size and I’ll buy you a truck of your choosing with my own dad’s money.

Don’t just blindly go along with the numbers, come drive one and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised at this quiet monster.


2.7L I4 Turbo Engine - Sierra 1500

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