GM 2.7 Turbo Engine Problems: Are They Really Justified?

GM 2.7 turbo engine

If you’re considering the GMC Sierra or Chevrolet Silverado for your next vehicle purchase, you’ll encounter the option of the 2.7 L turbo engine, also known as the GM L3B engine.

The idea of a compact turbocharged engine in a hefty truck might strike you as unusual, yet intriguing.

However, there have been reported issues with the GM 2.7 turbo engine, such as subpar fuel efficiency, timing belt malfunctions, and head gasket breakdowns.

Additionally, a number of owners have raised concerns about its lack of power.

Yet, even with these challenges, the 2.7 L turbo engine isn’t entirely a poor choice. Continue reading to discover its merits…

Vehicle Model Years Transmission Power Torque
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2019 – 2024 8-Speed Hydra-Matic MQE 310 hp @ 5600 RPM 348-430 lb-ft
GMC Sierra 1500 2019 – 2024 8-Speed Hydra-Matic MQE 310 hp @ 5600 RPM 348-430 lb-ft
Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury 2020 – 2024 10-Speed Hydra-Matic MQA 310 hp @ 5500 RPM 350 lb-ft
Cadillac CT4-V 2020 – 2024 10-Speed Hydra-Matic MQA 325 hp @ 5500 RPM 380 lb-ft
Chevrolet Colorado (Turbo Plus) 2024 – present 8-Speed Hydra-Matic 8L80 MFC 310 hp @ 5600 RPM 391 lb-ft
Chevrolet Colorado (High Output) 2024 – present 8-Speed Hydra-Matic 8L80 MFC 310 hp @ 5600 RPM 430 lb-ft
GMC Canyon (High Output) 2024 – present 8-Speed Hydra-Matic 8L80 MFC 310 hp @ 5600 RPM 430 lb-ft

Personal Insight

GMC Sierra

Navigating the world of truck engines can be a daunting task, especially with the myriad of options available. A close friend of mine recently faced this very dilemma when considering the GMC Sierra for his next purchase.

He was particularly drawn to the 2.7 L turbo engine, the GM L3B. The idea of having a compact turbocharged engine in such a robust truck was both novel and appealing to him.

Over a weekend barbecue, he shared his excitement about this engine, citing its compact nature as a potential game-changer in fuel efficiency.

However, after a few months of ownership, his enthusiasm waned. He began to echo the sentiments of many other owners, particularly regarding the engine’s fuel efficiency.

He had hoped to get close to the projected 23 miles per gallon but found himself averaging around 19 mpg. This was especially frustrating for him as he often drives long distances for work.

Despite these challenges, he doesn’t regret his purchase entirely. He appreciates the engine’s reliability and believes it’s a solid choice for those who prioritize this aspect. However, he often muses that had he been more informed, he might have made a different choice.

Issues with the GM 2.7 Turbo Engine

The initial three concerns I’ll highlight aren’t directly related to the engine’s mechanics, which speaks volumes about its reliability. It’s rare for me to pen an article on vehicle issues with such a limited list of specific problems. Without further ado, let’s delve into them:

Fuel Efficiency Concerns 

2024 Chevy Silverado 2.7 Turbo Fuel Economy

Many find the GM 2.7 turbo engine’s subpar fuel economy quite unexpected, given its relatively small displacement. GM had projected an average fuel consumption of 23 miles per gallon, encompassing both urban and freeway driving. However, the reality for most owners seems to hover around 19 mpg.

This figure becomes even more concerning when juxtaposed with competitors. Take, for instance, the Ford F150 2WD Diesel, which boasts 25 miles per gallon. The Lexus RX 450h AWD Hybrid outperforms both, registering an impressive 30 miles per gallon.

If you’re someone who covers significant distances, it might be worth reconsidering your engine choice or perhaps looking at a different vehicle altogether.

Limited Horsepower 

A recurring grievance associated with the GM 2.7 turbo is its underwhelming horsepower. This criticism, to me, seems a bit peculiar, given that its below-average horsepower isn’t exactly undisclosed information.

It appears that many purchasers opt for the 2.7 L turbo in hopes of superior fuel efficiency. However, when they discover that the engine doesn’t deliver the promised fuel economy figures by GM, they often feel they’ve erred in selecting a less potent engine. This sentiment likely fuels the prevalent complaints about its horsepower.

To put things into perspective, the 2.7 L turbo churns out 310 horsepower at 5600RPM. While this might sound substantial, it sometimes falls short for bulkier, full-sized trucks.

Scarce Availability 

2.7L Engine Scarce

A frequent lament I encounter regarding the 2.7 L turbo engine is its limited availability. This, too, strikes me as an unusual grievance, especially when juxtaposed with the prevalent complaints about its lackluster power and fuel efficiency.

The root of this scarcity can be traced back to the chip shortages induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hampered the engine’s production. Despite its performance not always meeting expectations, the 2.7 L turbo remains a sought-after choice, and GM has struggled to meet the demand.,

Mechanical Concerns: Timing Belt and Head Gasket

Timing Belt GM 2.7 engine

Setting aside the concerns about fuel efficiency and horsepower, the GM 2.7 L turbo engine has largely demonstrated its reliability. Perhaps its dependability is the reason behind its soaring demand?

It’s a point to ponder. However, based on my investigations, there are a couple of mechanical issues that have been reported by a segment of owners:

  1. Timing Belt Malfunction: This is a crucial component that synchronizes the engine’s operations. A failure can lead to significant engine damage if not addressed promptly.
  2. Head Gasket Failure: The head gasket is vital for maintaining the separation between engine fluids and ensuring optimal pressure. A failure here can result in leaks and compromised engine performance.

Reliability of the GM 2.7 Turbo Engine

Considering that the majority of issues with the 2.7 L turbo engine stem from customer dissatisfaction rather than mechanical faults, I’m reasonably confident in asserting that it’s a highly reliable engine.

However, it’s important to note that this engine is mass-produced by General Motors, a company not renowned for producing flawless products. Therefore, perfection shouldn’t be expected.

To provide better context, I would feel comfortable recommending a truck with this engine to my own mother. Nevertheless, I would certainly inform her about the lower-than-expected fuel economy, as omitting this information would be rather unkind.


It’s challenging to pinpoint an exact lifespan for the GM 2.7 turbo engine, but all available information suggests that, on average, it should enjoy a lengthy existence with regular maintenance. Achieving 200,000 miles should be feasible as long as proper care is taken.

Due to the engine’s added complexity (including a turbocharger and direct-injection), it demands more attentive care and maintenance than conventional naturally-aspirated engines. Neglecting the upkeep of a turbocharged engine can lead to a considerably shortened engine lifespan.

Comparison with Other Engines

As I’ve mentioned earlier, discussing the problems with the 2.7 L turbo engine has been relatively straightforward due to the limited number of issues when compared to other smaller-displacement truck engines.

While it’s challenging to pinpoint the exact reasons for this, factors like production volume could play a role. Here’s how the GM 2.7 L turbo engine stacks up against some competitors:

  1. Ram EcoDiesel: There are approximately five times more reported problems with the Ram EcoDiesel compared to the GM 2.7 L turbo engine.
  2. 3.0 Duramax: While the 3.0 Duramax has fewer problems than the Ram EcoDiesel, it still has more significant issues than the GM 2.7 L turbo.
  3. Ford 2.7 L EcoBoost: Problems with the Ford 2.7 L EcoBoost engine are comparable in severity to those of the GM 2.7 L turbo.
  4. Ford 3.5 L EcoBoost: The Ford 3.5 L EcoBoost engine experiences more problems than both the 2.7 L engines from Ford and GM. This goes to show that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to engine reliability.


Is the GM 2.7 Turbo Engine a good choice for long-distance driving?

If fuel efficiency is a primary concern, it might be worth reconsidering the engine choice or looking at a different vehicle.

How long can I expect the GM 2.7 Turbo Engine to last?

With regular maintenance, achieving 200,000 miles should be feasible.

Why is there dissatisfaction among some owners regarding the engine’s horsepower?

Many purchasers hoped for superior fuel efficiency with the 2.7 L turbo. When the engine didn’t deliver the expected fuel economy, they felt they had chosen a less potent engine, leading to complaints about its horsepower.

What are the primary mechanical components that might require attention?

The timing belt and head gasket are two primary mechanical components that might need attention. A malfunction in the timing belt can lead to significant engine damage, while a head gasket failure can result in leaks and compromised engine performance.

How does the GM 2.7 Turbo Engine’s horsepower compare to other truck engines?

The GM 2.7 Turbo Engine produces 310 horsepower at 5600RPM. While this might seem substantial on paper, it can sometimes feel underwhelming, especially when used in bulkier, full-sized trucks. It’s essential to compare this figure with other truck engines to determine if it meets your power requirements.

Final Words:

The GM 2.7 Turbo Engine presents a blend of advantages and challenges. While it may not be the perfect fit for everyone, especially those prioritizing fuel efficiency or requiring substantial horsepower for heavy-duty tasks, its reliability stands out.

As with any vehicle or engine choice, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons based on individual needs and preferences. If you’re considering the GM 2.7 Turbo Engine, it’s crucial to be informed and set realistic expectations.

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