Pentastar for daily driving and some truck work too

3574 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  finn5033
After five months and 8,000 miles I thought I would give my own short review of what I have experienced with my Pentastar v6. Most of my use is daily driving, but I also do a fair amount where it needs to have decent power and capability. I have the 1500 CC outdoorsman 4x4, 3.55 gears, 5'7" box, 17 " wheels with HD rear coil springs. I was looking for a truck that would be good for daily driving (90%) with decent gas mileage, but also decent for hauling a boat or camper, four wheeler, wood, dirt etc. in the back at other times. most of what I throw in the box would be less than a thousand pounds. the 1500 with Pentastar/8 sp transmission seemed to fit the bill.

This is what I have experienced:

  • Daily MPG - 40 mile commute each day, varies between 18 and 19 mpg (hand calculated) on rolling hills that are mostly 55 mph roads in Northern Michigan. - EVIC varies between 19 and 20 mpg. Very few stretches of road in this region are flat.
  • Power is good and a feels better than the 10 yr. old Z71 I traded in that had a 5.3 v8 with 3.73 gears. 8 speed tranny probably helps. it's not going to throw you back in the seat if you step on it at 55 mph, but it is a long way from slow.
  • Inside the cab is great, 8.4a Uconnect is very good.
  • Crew cab has a lot of room for the three kids in the back.
  • Towing (rated for 7,150 LB) a 3,000 Lb. boat is no problem. pulling a 6,500 lb.(loaded) camper with three young kids and my wife is ok, but you know the truck is working and you would need a good amount of room if trying to pass someone. Can drive 55 - 60 comfortably though. For weekend camping within a hundred miles of home, it has been fine. Steep hills while towing it will run 4000 rpm and there is not a whole lot of power left but I don't have to keep it at 55 on those hills.
  • Towing mpg - my last camping trip was about 160 miles round trip - EVIC said I averaged 12.1 mpg so actual was probably closer to 11.
  • On a few longer trips of 400 to 500 miles with mostly 55 mph highways, I have averaged about 21 mpg hand calculated which is about .5 mpg higher than the EVIC showed and opposite of my everyday driving where the EVIC has been .5 to 1 mpg higher than hand calculated.
  • Highway/Expressway driving mpg (70 mph speed limit in MI translates to 75 to 80 mph for many) is only about 16 mpg. Between 55 and 65 mph, the EVIC will show my current mpg ranging between 24 to 27 mpg. Above that though, the EVIC mpg starts dropping quickly and at 79 mph where I would usually be at when on the express way, the EVIC stays around 17 mpg. When I drove a full tank of gas on Expressway going to Ohio in the high 70 mph range, I hand calculated that tank of gas at 16.1 mpg.

As of now, I would definitely buy this truck/engine combo again. It has plenty of power for most of my driving conditions and has adequate power when I am hauling or towing.
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I was kind of surprised at the highway numbers too. Being a 4x4 hurts the numbers some and I believe the outdoorsman sits an inch higher than the other trim levels, but I don't know how much that would impact mpg at higher speeds.

I have not had any mechanical issues with the engine or anything else on the truck to this point.
I have the exact same truck and am doing much better with the highway mpg. I have stock size 20" A/T tires on mine. I drive 75 miles round trip to work every day and 75% of that is highway with a 70mph speed limit. I have almost 11,000 miles on my truck now and currently sit at 22.3mpg avg for the life of my truck. I see 22-25 mpg with the cruise at 74mpg. Now wind can have a big effect and knock me down a bit. My EVIC is never more than .5mpg off from my hand calculations.
I think all the hills I go up and down are a lot of why my mpg is lower than a lot of others I see on the forum. The transmission usually shifts down a couple gears before I reach the top. For the highway, not sure what it is with me or my truck, but once I get on an expressway, the EVIC goes way down. My old z71 would barely hit 14 mpg though, so I have bee pretty happy being in the 18 - 19 range.
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