2019 Chevy Silverado first drive review: Brute suit riot

    When the outgoing Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup bowed for 2014, it was aggressive and it led the half-ton subject in some areas. But it surely did not look or really feel significantly new. The third-generation Silverado wasn’t flashy in look or development — in actual fact, it seemed much like its predecessor. Whether or not that was strategic, or just because a lot of it was developed throughout Normal Motors’ money crunch, the previous mannequin got here throughout as a well-known buddy that was a bit technophobic and a bit too set in its methods.

    This all-new 2019 Silverado 1500 treads an altogether extra aggressive path. It is right here to strut its stuff with a daring new look and gobs of tech — each beneath the hood and within the cabin. And but, after a full day behind the wheel on this newest mannequin, the Silverado looks like it is held on to the essence of what made the previous truck so endearing. 

    If that preamble has you assuming that Chevy has adopted all-aluminum bodywork and a full line of downsized turbo engines like its Ford F-150 nemesis, assume once more. In the event you’re envisioning a hybrid choice or an out there coil spring suspension beneath its rear haunches just like the Ram 1500… effectively, you are mistaken there too. 

    GM hasn’t deserted what labored previously. As an alternative the corporate has taken a witheringly onerous have a look at the Silverado’s genetic make-up and executed substantial and efficient modifications all through. The 2019 Silverado lastly feels just like the brand-new truck that it’s, particularly in higher-end fashions the place its full complement of non-obligatory consolation and security tech is on prepared show.

    That face

    Earlier than I even get on the highway, although, I’ve to debate the Silverado’s new swimsuit. It is… not for everybody. Whereas the previous mannequin seemed like a secure, evolutionary facelift of the previous-generation pickup, this new truck is unlikely to be confused for its forebear. Its bluff, upright new nostril has swagger by the bushelful.

    The way in which the design’s fenders wrap into the face is especially more likely to polarize opinions. These metal fenders jut decisively into the grille, underlining the Silverado’s newly narrowed, glowering headlamps. The protrusions look a bit like anthropomorphized variations of the attention black that soccer gamers put on. Those self same fenders prolong downward, resting over the bumper fascia in uncommon vogue because of built-in air curtains that information currents across the entrance wheels to curb drag. (Regardless of hitting an inch larger, airflow has has improved on the brand new truck by seven %.)

    The solar has clearly set on demure Silverado designs.

    Mike Cutler/Roadshow

    Mixed with the 2019 Silverado’s extra prominently sculpted wheel arches and an extended wheelbase, the visible takeaway is that that is one large pickup. Despite the fact that its general footprint is comparable (it is solely round 1.5 inches longer), the Silverado seems bigger than earlier than, and extra imposing than its Ford and Dodge rivals.

    This Chevy’s look won’t sit comfortably with everybody, however I believe it is going to go over effectively with pickup consumers. In an unsubtle age the place tailgates are emblazoned with billboard-sized model lettering and immediately’s lifted brodozer type has even infiltrated Entire Meals parking tons, it is a look that ought to discover loads of followers. If nothing else, given the Silverado’s ubiquity (Chevy offered almost 600,000 final 12 months), the design’s initially jarring high quality in all probability will not final. 

    That physique

    I discussed the 2019 Silverado 1500’s longer wheelbase, and certainly it is stretched its legs by as much as Three.9 inches. Experience high quality is improved, and thankfully the Silverado’s entrance overhang has been shortened to keep away from making its turning circle bigger, bettering the arrival angle for improved off-roading within the discount. A shorter entrance overhang and reworked steering geometry imply that this longer truck would not necessitate a much bigger turning circle.

    That bodywork is not simply extra intentionally sculpted, it is smarter, too. The Silverado wears aluminum swing panels — its doorways, hood and tailgate are skinned in Al13. The whole truck’s make-up is an impressively optimized mosaic of various grades of high-strength steels and aluminum. Chevy’s engineers have scalpeled away 88 kilos from the bodywork and an additional 88 kilos from the chassis, too.

    After years of manufacturing chubby automobiles, GM lastly accepted the gospel of lightweighting a variety of years in the past, and has since turn into a number one disciple. Chevy says once you evaluate crew-cab V8 fashions, this new rig suggestions the scales at round 450 kilos lower than its predecessor, the results of an exhaustive gram-by-gram evaluation. 

    Elevated use of combined metals, plus aluminum doorways, hood and tailgate contribute to a 450-pound food regimen.


    That mattress

    If its newfound lightness has you pondering this 1500 is in some way much less succesful, assume once more. Nowhere is that extra evident than in its mattress, which advantages from a clean-sheet overhaul. New stamping strategies and higher-grade metal has enabled a mattress that is not solely stronger, it is seven-inches wider and it is deeper, too. In comparison with final 12 months’s mannequin, the ensuing roll-formed Durabed gives 10 extra cubic ft of house in short- and standard-box guise, and a whopping 14 extra cubes in long-box type. Relying on configuration, the Durabed is round 20 % extra capacious than rivals.

    The Durabed is not simply bigger, it is smarter, too. Its dozen cargo tie-downs are rated to face up to 500 kilos of bending power — twice as strong as earlier than. Plus, there’s out there LED in-bed lighting and a 110/120-volt outlet to energy that large tailgating TV you have been eyeing. Giant, lockable in-bed bins are additionally out there. The coup de grâce? An non-obligatory energy tailgate that not solely lowers, it lifts, as effectively. Sure, that is unnecessarily extravagant, and that is precisely why it’s going to be standard — this market phase is chock filled with overkill.

    The Excessive Nation’s cabin delivers all hat and all cattle.


    The nice indoors

    There are many modifications exterior, however the 1500’s new inside would possibly simply be its largest quality-of-life improve. The outgoing Silverado’s cab was an honest place to spend time, particularly as a result of for many of its life, it was the quietest truck in its class.

    Nevertheless, the previous truck’s cabin had a variety of basic blind spots, together with its lack of a telescoping wheel, or keyless entry and begin. It could sound trivial, nevertheless it’s wonderful how previous a automobile can really feel just by forcing you to push a button on a separate fob to unlock a door — not to mention requiring slotting and twisting a key within the ignition to carry its engine to life.

    GM has remedied these deficiencies, and added higher-quality supplies and modern finishes. There’s additionally new out there tech together with a neatly executed multicolor head-up show, USB-C (and normal USB) ports and so forth. Chevy appears to acknowledge that increasingly individuals are stepping out of luxurious automobiles and climbing into high-end pickups and SUVs, and it is unwilling to sacrifice connectivity and options whereas doing so.

    An eight-inch touchscreen options better-quality graphics and snappier efficiency.


    The Silverado’s new infotainment system combines crisper, extra fashionable graphics and fonts with minimized latency between instructions. Whereas base fashions obtain seven-inch touchscreens, many fashions will function eight-inch items, and the out there navigation system options single-line tackle entry and sharper-looking maps. Apple CarPlay and Android auto are aboard, too. The brand new system is not as visually spectacular because the non-obligatory gargantuan 12-inch vertical Uconnect hub within the Ram, nevertheless it’s lots large.

    It isn’t simply front-seat passengers which might be handled effectively. The Silverado’s aforementioned bigger cab primarily works out to a few inches of added rear-seat leg room on four-door crew cabs (swelling from 40.9 to 43.9 inches). Whether or not you repeatedly ferry backseat passengers or not, that additional ground house will turn out to be useful when it comes time to stash groceries or instruments out of the weather. And talking of stashing, all the cabin has extra stowage house, together with twin gloveboxes and novel second-row seatback storage bins.

    A brand new Trailboss trim provides a two-inch elevate, plus skid plates, knobby tires and different off-road equipment.


    Your method and the freeway

    Whereas most consumers will choose mid-grade fashions reminiscent of Customized and LT, the 2019 Silverado gives a broader array of trims to raised tailor appearances and capabilities to your wants. There is a new RST street-truck mannequin with body-colored detailing and big 22-inch wheels, in addition to the brand new Trailboss. The latter provides a two-inch manufacturing facility elevate atop the Z71 Off-Highway pack, kitting it out with skid plates, Rancho shocks, knobby tires and a burlier look.

    You could acknowledge my check truck’s Excessive Nation badges as a brand new model of the lux’d-up mannequin launched late within the earlier Silverado’s lifecycle. Regardless of crowding its GMC Sierra Denali brethren in rarified air, the Excessive Nation proved to be an enormous success. Unsurprisingly, it returns right here sporting much more chrome frosting and Cowboy Cadillac trappings.

    The brand new Excessive Nation’s trip and dealing with is acceptable for its mission, too. In an old-school meets new-school twist, it makes use of Corvette-derived carbon composite second-stage leaf springs to prop up its stay axle. Doing so sheds an additional 24 kilos whereas permitting engineers to additional dial-in trip high quality and enhance dealing with.

    The Excessive Nation’s non-obligatory 6.2-liter V8 delivers 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

    Mike Cutler/Roadshow

    All ate up with motors

    My Excessive Nation tester additionally packed one hell of a V8. 

    Whereas GM will provide the 1500 with the customer’s alternative of a brand new 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder, its ageing four.Three-liter V6 or an up to date 5.Three-liter V8, this Excessive Nation was spec’d with GM’s full-house 6.2-liter V8, that includes a seamless new Dynamic Gasoline Administration cylinder-deactivation system that lets it run on something between every one eight cylinders as demand warrants. 

    At this early drive occasion, trucks with fewer than eight cylinders weren’t out there for testing, and a few gasoline financial system knowledge remains to be pending. Nevertheless, GM claims metropolis mileage figures will climb round 5 % larger on V8 fashions, noting four-wheel-drive 6.2-liter V8 like my check truck is earmarked to get 16 mpg metropolis, 20 freeway and 17 mixed.

    A Three.Zero-liter Duramax diesel may also be supplied quickly.

    Mixed with an unobtrusive new stop-start system and a brand new 10-speed computerized transmission, my tester’s large V8 marshaled all 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque to manage effortlessly with the mountain ascents on my check route in and round Jackson Gap, Wyoming. 

    The Excessive Nation options down-home chrome, and many it.

    Mike Cutler/Roadshow

    When empty, the 6.2-liter makes the Silverado an unlikely rocketship. Even at elevation, acceleration felt like Zero-60 runs would register round six seconds, suggesting low-to-mid fives won’t be out of the query at sea stage.

    My check rig felt equally unperturbed when a 6,000-pound trailer was strapped to its hitch. The Excessive Nation is rated to tow over double that determine, however given the world’s 6,000-plus foot elevation, it nonetheless felt like a formidable efficiency.

    Regardless of having so many choices at its disposal, the 10-speed gearbox hardly ever felt indecisive. I do want it wasn’t essential to drop the column shifter a notch earlier than utilizing the rocker swap to toggle via the ratios. This requirement feels pointless, and it is annoying once you need to shortly name up additional engine braking on descents or preselect a decrease gear forward of a passing maneuver.

    Numerous towing-minded choices make hitching and hauling simpler, together with this digital camera bundle.


    Towing APPetite 

    A brand new Trailering Digital camera Bundle features a Hitch Steerage mode that makes placing Tab A into Slot B simpler, and an non-obligatory wired digital camera might be plunked on the again of the trailer to help in reversing, too. You not want a buddy to confirm that your lights are connected accurately — a check sequence activated by the touchscreen or by way of a MyChevrolet cellphone app makes it a one-person job. 

    Talking of apps, an infotainment app on the non-obligatory Superior Trailering System permits for the creation of various trailer profiles. ATS not solely presets the brake acquire for particular trailers, it retains monitor of mileage, gasoline financial system and transmission temps, too. As soon as you have bought your trailer connected, there’s an choice group that makes use of further sensors to maintain tabs on trailer tire temperatures and pressures for added security.

    One other tech subject the place the previous Silverado lagged rivals was when it comes to each energetic and passive security gear. The brand new mannequin tremendously improves issues. It is out there with ahead collision alert with low-speed computerized emergency brake, lane-keep help and blind-spot alert. Plus, this new truck gives vital technological enhancements in visibility, together with extra highly effective LED lights with computerized excessive beams, an out there surround-view digital camera system and a digital rearview mirror. 

    The massive-dollar Massive Nation is prepared for large journey.

    Mike Cutler/Roadshow

    The (large) backside line

    Sadly, a lot of the energetic security gear stays non-obligatory, even in prime trims. And naturally, none of this expertise comes low cost. Whereas MSRPs on base 2WD Work Vans start a smidge under $30,000, my optioned-up Excessive Nation 4×4 rang up at an eye-watering — however in the end aggressive —  $65,655 together with supply. As one GM exec instructed me, “We’ve got but to seek out the worth ceiling on pickup vans — prospects need extra, however it is going to value extra.”

    The 2019 Silverado 1500 hits streets nationwide starting later this month — and it is secure to say you will see it coming.

    Editors’ observe: Roadshow accepts multiday automobile loans from producers with the intention to present scored editorial opinions. All scored automobile opinions are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nevertheless, for this function, the producer lined journey prices. That is widespread within the auto trade, as it is extra economical to ship journalists to automobiles than to ship automobiles to journalists.

    The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial workforce are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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