In case you had any doubt, Americans love their pickup trucks more than ever. And, the ever-escalating truck wars are now rising to a new level because the recently updated best-selling Ford f-150’s biggest rivals, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado are all new for 2019. We’ve already tested the Ram a few months back, so let’s check out the new Silverado, and see if Ford should be worried!
It says a lot about Chevrolet’s true priorities, when the first highlight of the totally redesigned 2019 Silverado’s press release declares it has the most functional bed of any full-size truck.
Sure, the truck itself is bigger but lighter, more powerful and fuel efficient, shinier and more comfortable; all of that good stuff. But, Chevrolet wants to make sure we all know that they haven’t forgotten that trucks are made to do work, and the easier they make that work for us, the more we tend to like them.
Following in Ford’s footsteps, they’ve used aluminum and other lightweight materials to lower mass, but not quite as extensively. Only the doors, tailgate, and hood are aluminum here; the rest of body panels remain steel.
The frame itself is down a whopping 88-lbs. All told, the new Silverado weighs around 400-lbs. less than its predecessor.
Styling is bolder yet clearly evolutionary, and the front end includes the first aerodynamic fender vents on any truck.
A wide range of powertrain options include 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s, a 4.3-liter V6, and even a new 2.7-liter turbo-4 and 3.0-liter Duramax I6 diesel.
Both V8s feature a new Dynamic Fuel Management system that can shut off any number of cylinders to optimize fuel economy. The numbers for the 6.2-liter are 420–horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque, and it’s where you get the max tow rating of 12,200-lbs.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6.2-liter are mostly unchanged, at 16-City, 20-Highway, and 17-Combined. But, it’s now only available with 4-wheel-drive and a 10-speed automatic.
Chevrolet has divided up your choices into 3-catagories; high value, which includes Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss trims; high volume, comprising LT, RST, and LT Trail Boss trims; while LTZ and High Country make up the high feature segment.
RST and Trail Boss trims are new for this year, and not surprisingly it was the LT Trail Boss that caught our eye. It includes the expected Z71 off-road goodies such as Rancho shocks, skid plates, locking rear differential, 18-inch wheels with Good Year Wrangler Duratrac A/Ts, as well as 2-inches of suspension lift.
Now as for that ultra-functional bed, it really is. Cargo volume is best in class, the floor is made of higher-strength steel, tie downs are stronger than before and there are more of them; there’s even available Rambox-like bed storage and a power tailgate.
We were only able to sample the V8s at the National Press Launch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Both provided more than ample power to quickly eat up the vast spaces we traversed. Unlike before, when you could clearly tell when things shifted to V4 mode, the Dynamic Fuel Management system is virtually undetectable.
But, we’ll get a chance to try out the turbo-4 and diesel powertrains in the coming months.
GM continues to impress us with their ability to isolate occupants from the outside world. The previous Silverado was incredibly quiet; the new one, even more so.
The 10-speed auto is smooth and quick on the upshifts; only fumbling occasionally when figuring out where to land on the downshift.
Being the biggest ½-ton Silverado yet, GM was able to pack plenty of room inside; most noticeable in the back seat of Crew Cab models, where there is now very generous legroom.
Visually, the dash also favors past Silverados. More modern, sure, but nothing to match the giant iPad-like screen available on Ram. Yet looks are deceiving, as we don’t have anywhere near enough time to get into all of the high tech and pragmatic features that are available.
There are 8 trim levels of Silverado to choose from, with a basic Cab Work Truck starting at $29,795. Double cabs start at $33,695; and eventually, you’ll wind up in the High Country at $54,495.
So, you are going to have to pay to play. But, full-size trucks like this 2019 Chevrolet Silverado boast capabilities like never before.
Now, we doubt the new Silverado will take many sales from the F-150, but we predict there will be a dual for #2 spot with Ram.
As for Silverado, whether you’re looking for the next family vehicle, or the proper tool for your job, Chevy has one for you; and you’re going to like it.
Engine: 6.2 liter
Torque: 460 lb-ft.
EPA: 16 mpg city / 20 mpg highway