From appearances alone, it would seem to the casual truck driver that not much has changed with General Motors’ trucks over the years. The 2019 lineup of new Chevy trucks is about to change that. It stems from the confidence you gain when you combine a century of truck building know-how with 7 million miles of testing. There are four new grille designs and a slimmer, modern shaped exterior, but deep-down Chevy has focused on performance for the Silverado. And that’s because Chevrolet knows trucks and even more importantly their truck owners. Owners who care less about aesthetics and more about function. Owners who are more concerned with improvements that effect better tow and haul capabilities for use on job sites and American farms. That’s why Chevy has spent the years not redesigning but building on the legacy of the most dependable, long-lasting full-sized pickups on the road.
Updates and Performance Upgrades
The 2019 Silverado 1500 will be available in 8 trims, six engine/transmission choices, and three body style choices. No other truck matches the Silverado’s powertrain diversity and trim styling options.
Models and trim levels include:
- Work Truck: Features a “CHEVROLET” graphic across the grille and tailgate, blacked-out trim and 17-inch steel wheels. The interior features durable vinyl or cloth seats and a Chevrolet Infotainment system with a 7-inch diagonal color touchscreen
- Custom: Features a body-color styling theme, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, LED signature taillamps and available integrated dual exhaust
- Custom Trail Boss: Adds off-road equipment to the Custom, including a 2-inch suspension lift installed at the factory and the Z71 Off Road Package, with a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires
- LT: Features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille and mirror caps, Chevrolet bowtie in the grille, LED reflector headlamps and signature daytime running lights. The interior features an 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen and available leather appointed seating surfaces
- RST: Offers a street-performance appearance for the LT, with body-color trim, full LED lighting (foglamps, headlamps and taillamps) and up to 22-inch wheels
- LT Trail Boss: Adds off-road equipment to the LT, including a 2-inch suspension lift from the factory and the Z71 Off Road Package, including locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires
- LTZ: Features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille, mirror caps, door handles and hockey-stick beltline as well as power folding and heated outside rearview mirrors. Leather appointed interior trim is standard
- High Country: Features an exclusive front grille design with two-tone chrome and bronze finish, body-color accents plus chrome assist steps from wheel to wheel. It also includes the new power tailgate as standard equipment
How It Drives
Model and trim level aside, the Silverado 1500 performs at its best with the new Dynamic Fuel Management V8 engine under the hood. The all too familiar 285-hp 4.3-liter V6 paired to a six-speed automatic transmission still comes standard on all stock Silverados, though. But Chevy is offering two upgraded powertrain options that should be considered essential: A 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 with an eight-speed automatic pulling 383 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 420-hp 6.2-liter V8 mated to a 10-speed automatic capable of 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Each engine is outfitted with the Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM) system which makes up the essential component for the upgrade. Chevy’s new DFM system allows the Silverado’s engine to run on as few as two and as high as eight cylinders dependent on the driver’s load and demand for torque.
The DFM system simply builds on Chevy’s previous implemented, and still available, Active Fuel Management, which allows V8 engines to use just four cylinders in order to save fuel when carrying lighter loads. The system operates with little to no hiccups with hardly any noticeable changes in feel or ride to the driver. Car and Driver stated in their recent review that, “During a drive of a 5.3-liter Silverado equipped with DFM, we failed to feel any vibrations or change in driving character as the engine shuffled among its 17 available firing orders, even with a calibration tool calling out the changes in real time.” As far as fuel efficiency, Chevy claims a 5 percent improvement with a respectable EPA estimated fuel economy of 16 miles per gallon city and 22 miles per gallon highway. The 6.2 Liter V8 is only made available on the LTZ and High Country while the 5.3 L V8, standard on the LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country, is made available as an upgrade on the LT and RST trim levels. Considering the more available options outside of niche market trims, the 5.3 liter V8 is probably the more affordable and sensible option.
The new Silverado also comes with an available drive mode selector for when the road ahead isn’t always a smooth one. You can easily adjust the performance of your truck based on the conditions of the road with available models including Tour, Sport, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, Terrain, and Snow/Ice. In addition for off-road enthusiasts and jobs that take you over rough terrain, Chevy is offering the Z71 Off-Road Package. You get the off-road capability you need to head off the beaten path with Off-road suspension combined with Rancho shocks, Hill Descent Control, Automatic Locking Rear Differential, Autotrac 2-speed transfer case, Skid plates, Heavy-duty air filter, and All-terrain tires. No matter your lifestyle, the 2019 Silverado 1500 has you covered for work, home, and play.
A Functional Bed You Can Take To Work
Chevy has redesigned the bed of the Silverado to be lighter, larger, and stronger. The truck itself is larger in almost every dimension, including a wheelbase that is up to 3.9 inches longer and an overall length that is 1.6 inches longer. The altered size increases cargo space for all cab lengths by twenty percent and has also added some much needed 1.6 inches of legroom to the interior’s backseat. The new Durabed is made up of a higher-strength steel floor that is roll-formed; the high-strength steel bed floor features a higher-grade steel that has a yield strength increase from 340 to 500 megapascals of pressure for hauling the largest of loads. Overall, the 2019 Silverado 1500 has received higher payload and trailering ratings than most models, including a 14-percent (340 pounds) max payload increase for crew cab models. The Durabed also offers up to 12 fixed tie-downs that have doubled in their strength to 500 pounds of force before bending.
You would think with the redesign increasing the overall size that the Silverado must have put on a few pounds to compensate. But surprisingly, Chevy found a way to put the hardest working truck on a diet, shedding 450 pounds in comparison to the previous model. Chevy used advanced manufacturing and mixed materials to slim down the Silverado while increasing its performance capacity. Mixed materials, like a fully boxed steel frame 88 pounds lighter than its predecessor, offers 10 percent greater torsional rigidity. The Silverado continues to improve on its’ legacy to perform at the highest level: Lighter, Larger, and Stronger.
Technology of Today
An 8-inch touchscreen is positioned in the center console operating with Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 system. The overall image is sharp and the touchscreen response time is quick, allowing for easy use as you toggle between menu options. The Infotainment 3 System controls most of the tech accessories including the Bose audio system, bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Aside from entertainment, the touchscreen is also be used for the advanced trailering technology that tracks the status of your tow and even increases visibility with a rear trailer camera. All efforts to help you remain confident and in control especially when towing.
Don’t Judge a Book
With increased towing and cargo capacity and higher engine performance, the 2019 Silverado 1500 is proof that even a new look can be deceiving since the greatest changes were made under the hood. Why would General Motors bother putting any other new Chevy trucks on the market?