The Chevrolet Silverado is one of the toughest trucks on the market today and a cornerstone of the bow-tie brand’s diverse lineup. Available in “half-ton” and heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 varieties, there’s a Silverado for nearly every purse and purpose.
And the most popular version on offer is undoubtedly the standard 1500 model, which was totally redesigned from the ground up for model-year 2019. The Silverado HD is similarly new for model year 2020.
New for 2021: Despite the current global scenario, Chevrolet has updated its bread and butter pickup for the 2021 model year. While the changes might not be groundbreaking, the updates will certainly satisfy customers for the time being. For starters Chevy has improved the towing capacity for the 2.7-liter inline-four to 9,300 lbs from 2,500 lbs and the new cab model with the long bed can now tow 9,600 lbs.
For the 2021 Silverado, optioning the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel will now cost $1,500 less than before. That coupled with the addition of the Multi-Flex tailgate is likely the biggest updates to the 2021 model year. Plus, the diesel can now tow 9,500 lbs, 1,500 lbs more than before and according to Chevrolet will still return 33 mpg. There’s new tech too, in the form of trailer length indicator, cargo bed view enhancement mode and jack-knife alert.
Auto emergency braking however is still not standard and requires the Safety Confidence package that also includes forward collision alert with pedestrian alert. Lastly, LTZ and High Country trims in the 2021 Silverado gain wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Currently, the Silverado 1500 is available in no fewer than eight trim levels, from the base Work Truck model to borderline luxurious High Country variants. There’s even an off-road focused Trail Boss version that features a mildly lifted suspension, heavy-duty tires and Rancho monotube shock absorbers, among many other upgrades.
One feather in this truck’s proverbial cap is its all-new cargo box, or Durabed in Chevrolet lingo. With innumerable tie-down points and a reinforced floor, this bed also offers the most storage volume in its class, in some cases significantly more than rival trucks.
The Silverado’s imposing, squared-off front end certainly isn’t for everyone, but it looks appropriately tough, if not quite as elegant as the new Ram 1500. Inside, this Chevy’s cabin should be very familiar to anyone that’s been in a new Silverado at any point in the last decade. The overall layout is fairly simple, with easily accessible controls, a column-mounted shifter and double gloveboxes. Unfortunately, this truck’s interior is not as nice as what’s available in rival models these days, with too much hard plastic, questionable-quality leather, and a somewhat outdated look. At least engineers made the rear seat in crew-cab models more spacious. These rigs also benefit from nifty storage cubbies tucked away in the backrests.
2019 and up Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickups are built in either Fort Wayne, Indiana or Silao, Mexico. 2020 Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 models will be screwed together in Flint, Michigan.
Pros/ Diesel engine should offer best-in-class output, Plenty of powertrains to choose from, Available in a wide variety of models, Most capacious bed in its class, Torque-rich 6.2-liter V8, Drives quiet well
Cons/Not much of an upgrade over previous-generation truck, Interior behind what rival trucks offer, Exterior styling not for everyone, No standout features
Bottom Line/Although the Chevy Silverado is a hard-working truck with great capability, it's not the best in its segment.
Table of contents
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Specs
- 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, 3500 HD Specs
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Fuel Economy
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Safety Rating
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Features
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pricing
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Competitors
- Future Chevrolet Silverado Plans
- 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Review
- 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2.7L Four-Cylinder Turbo Review
- Detailed Specs
- Editor's Verdict
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Specs
Engine: 4.3-liter V6 with Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)
Torque: 305 lb-ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Engine: 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Engine: 5.3-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)
Torque: 383 lb-ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Engine: 5.3-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management (advanced cylinder deactivation)
Torque: 383 lb-ft
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six diesel
Torque: 460 lb-ft
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Engine: 6.2-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management (advanced cylinder deactivation)
Torque: 460 lb-ft
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Available rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
Body Styles: Regular cab, 98.18-inch bed; extended cab, 79.44-inch bed; crew cab, 69.92-inch bed; crew cab, 79.44-inch bed
Seating Capacity: Three to six people
Trims: WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, High Country
Maximum Towing: 12,200 pounds (6.2-liter V8)
Maximum Payload: 2,500 pounds (4.3-liter V6)
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, 3500 HD Specs
Engine: 6.6-liter gasoline V8
Torque: 464 lb-ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Engine: 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8
Torque (pound-feet): 910
Transmission: Allison 10-speed automatic
Silverado 3500 HD Maximum Towing: 35,500 pounds
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Fuel Economy
Given that there are so many variations of the 2019 Silverado 1500, it’s difficult to list all the fuel-economy configurations, but here’s a general idea of how it performs. A two-wheel-drive model with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine is rated at 20 miles per gallon in city driving, 23 on the highway and 21 mpg combined.
Versions equipped with the 5.3-liter V8, the eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive should return 16, 22 and 18, respectively. A four-wheel drive variant powered by the range-topping 6.2-liter engine matched to the 10-speed gearbox is projected to return 16 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on highway drives, making for a combined rating of 17.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Safety Rating
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 should be very safe in a wide variety of crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested a crew-cab model and it earned “Good” scores in most categories, the highest rating available. This truck was knocked in three areas, though. It only provided “Marginal” protection in the small-overlap test on the passenger-side of the vehicle, the second-lowest score provided by the IIHS. Also, its headlights were rated “Poor” and the child seat anchor ease of use was only “Marginal.” Fortunately, the Silverado 1500 offers “Superior” crash-prevention technology, when equipped with optional features. This is the highest rating available.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Features
General Motors has been building trucks for well more than a century and the latest Chevrolet Silverado is likely the best they’ve ever offered. Engineers employed a mixed-materials strategy when creating this pickup. Rather than going all aluminum like Ford did several years ago with its F-150, Chevrolet opted instead to employ a wide range of metals in its latest truck, from mild steel to press-hardened steel, aluminum to multi-phase ultra-high-strength steel, they strove to put the best material in exactly the place it was needed. The result of this work is a weight loss of up to 450 pounds compared to the previous-generation Silverado.
Providing greater comfort for all passengers, crew-cab models feature three inches of additional back-seat legroom.
Chevrolet has long claimed to build the most dependable, longest-lasting full-sized pickup trucks on the road. Ensuring the 2019 Silverado lives up to that standard, engineers doubled many of their most important testing and validation metrics. In total, this new pickup has endured some 7-million miles of testing, a figure aimed at maximizing durability.
As for features, higher-end models can be equipped with an electronically operated tailgate. It’s the only one in the pickup segment that power opens and closes. In-cab Wi-Fi with 4G LTE connectivity is available, as is support for Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto. Wireless phone charging and OnStar are available, too.
Elevating the new Silverado practically to luxury-car standards are amenities like automatic high beams, a surround-view camera system, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, a rear-view camera system and many other advanced driver-assistance aides. These goodies are all on the options menu.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pricing
Base price for a rear-wheel-drive, regular cab, V6-powered Work Truck model, the most affordable version of the 2019 Silverado 1500, is a little less than $30,000, including $1,595 in destination fees. Go crazy with the options and you can push one of these truck to the $70,000 mark, so be careful if you don’t want to spend a fortune.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Competitors
The Silverado 1500 competes primarily with other rigs from Detroit-based automakers, chiefly the Ford F-Series and pickups offered by FCA’s Ram Truck division, though of course it competes with the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra as well, even if these two models don’t sell in anywhere near as large a volume.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Future Chevrolet Silverado Plans
Given that the Silverado was just redesigned for the 2019 model year, this truck is unlikely to receive any significant changes for the next few years, however, rumor has it GM is working on a quick update of this pickup’s interior in order to address complaints about it feeling less premium than rival trucks. It’s possible an improved cabin could debut in a year or so. The equally new Silverado HD range was just announced in early February. These trucks aren’t slated to go on sale until sometime in the summer.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado Review
By Craig Cole
Video by Ben Sanders
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Brand new for 2019, the totally redesigned Chevrolet Silverado is all about more, except when it isn’t.
The latest Motown full-size truck to get a ground-up rework, following the comprehensively retooled Ram 1500, which debuted a few months ago and Ford’s aluminum-bodied F-150, which has been on the market since 2015, the bow-tie brand’s popular “half-ton” pickup is loaded with advanced engineering and thoughtful amenities that are sure to delight both commercial customers and commuters alike.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Silverado offers more cargo volume and tie-down points in its bed, has more interior space, more overall length, more wheelbase and it’s more aerodynamic to boot. There are more engine options, more durability, more capability, more luxury and of course more technology. But what there isn’t more of is weight.
A Mixed-Materials Strategy
Much like with the aluminum-intensive Cadillac CT6, Chevy took a measured approach with the new Silverado, rather than betting the farm on one material like a major competitor did (*cough* Ford).
Compared to its forebear, engineers have trimmed up to 450 pounds (204 kg) off this pickup’s waistline by optimizing as many of its systems as they could. From the body alone, they took out 88 pounds (40 kg) by using seven different types of advanced steel. This metallurgical mélange is all about putting the correct amount of the proper material in exactly the spot needed.
Like its body, the Silverado’s brand-new, fully boxed frame has dropped 88 pounds (40 kg) thanks to the extensive use of high-strength steel. Despite this significant weight loss torsional rigidity has increased by 10 percent.
Slashing still more weight, this truck’s swing panels, things like the hood and doors, are made of aluminum. Certain models also feature composite second-stage leaf springs, a move that saves about 12 pounds (5 kg) per side.
Ensuring this weight loss doesn’t translate into a quality decline, engineers doubled many key validation metrics, meaning this is the most rigorously tested vehicle GM has ever built.
Making the Silverado’s weight loss all the more impressive is that it’s grown. Crew-cab models, like the one tested here, are about 1.2 inches (3 cm) wider, 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) taller and 1.7 inches (4.3 cm) longer. Even the wheelbase has grown by 3.9 inches (10 cm).
Takin’ Care of Business
For many customers, a truck bed is where they earn their living, it’s their open-air office. And that’s why Chevrolet focused so much attention on this area of the new Silverado.
Providing a strong foundation, the floor is made from a much more robust grade of steel than before so it better resists dents and punctures. But beyond that, engineers have widened the box by as much as seven inches (17.8 cm), dramatically increasing cargo volume, handy if you routinely carry loose materials like gravel or mulch.
But if you’re hauling furniture or other bulky items instead, they’ve also got you covered. There are up to 21 tie-down points in the 2019 Silverado’s bed, 12 fixed hooks (that are twice as strong as before) and nine movable ones. Additionally, the corner steps in the rear bumper have been made larger to better accommodate steel-toe boots, while four different tailgates are offered including one that powers open or closed at the push of a button.
Six for the Road
Ahead of the firewall, there’s been a similar revolution. When the full Silverado range eventually becomes available, you’ll be able to choose from six different engines. That’s nearly as many as the truck’s eight trim levels!
A 4.3-liter V6 is the first rung of the ladder, offering a stable of 285 horses. Beyond that, a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will also be available, providing a respectable 310 ponies and likely superior fuel economy. Two versions of GM’s venerable 5.3-liter V8 will be on the menu, including one with a new efficiency-boosting technology called Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM), though both brandish the same 355 horsepower. Next, a 3.0-liter inline-six diesel will join the range at a later date. Finally, the top offering is a 6.2-liter small block equipped with DFM. And that’s the one I experienced in the High Country model tested here.
Depending on which engine you opt for, it’s bolted to either a six-, eight- or 10-speed automatic transmission, which could cause a bit of confusion. Keeping things simple, that 6.2-liter V8 is bolted exclusively to the 10-speed gearbox; four-wheel drive is standard.
That Dynamic Fuel Management is a new cylinder-deactivation technology. Rather than shutting down just half the engine’s pots under light loads, DFM enables the powerplant to seamlessly run on anything from two to all eight cylinders. This allows the engine to provide the exact amount of torque needed for each driving situation and nothing more, which saves fuel. DFM can calculate exactly how many cylinders need to fire at a rate of 80 times per second. Best of all, this system totally seamless. When it’s doing its thing you feel nothing, no uncouth vibrations or undesirable droning sounds.
But what does this cutting-edge fuel-saving technology, a significant loss in weight, enhanced aerodynamics and brand-new transmission get you? Unfortunately, only about one mile per gallon in urban driving. The 2019 Silverado tested here stickers at 16 mpg in city driving and 20 on the highway. Combined, it should average 17, exactly the same as a similarly equipped 2018 model.
A Big Disappointment
Matching its advanced new engineering, the 2019 Silverado also brandishes a fresh interior. Thanks to its upsized dimensions, crew-cab models gain an extra three inches of rear-seat legroom, making the aft accommodations absolutely palatial. Another important highlight is push-button start, which is finally offered.
Extra storage cubbies are integrated into the backrests of those rear seats, offering a pair of hidden pockets to stash valuables. The lower cushion also lifts up, revealing extra storage compartments. Making it easier to load items into the back of the cab, the floor is just about flat, so items can slide right in.
Despite these noteworthy improvements, the Silverado’s interior is ultimately a disappointment, even in top-of-the-line High Country trim. The plastics and textures employed are workaday at best, the leather is vinyl-like and even the various switches and knobs feel a bit chintzy. Nothing is egregiously low rent, but this Silverado’s cabin is clear step down from what you get in a similarly equipped Ford or Ram truck. Perhaps engineers spent more of their budget in areas that the customers can’t see, than these rivals did with their latest pickups.
At least partially making up for its lackluster cabin, this new Silverado drives like a dream, providing world-class refinement over practically any road surface.
For starters, the structure feels incredibly rigid, absolutely unyielding, even while traversing war-torn pavement. There are no creaks or judders to cheapen the experience, with the entire rig feeling as if it’s hewn from stone.
Despite having old-fashioned leaf springs and a live-axle at its rear, the Silverado’s ride quality is buttery smooth and free of the jiggles you might expect in a pickup. This is one area it clearly beats the starchy F-150 and might even equal the creamy Ram 1500, which of course offers standard rear coil springs and can be fitted with an adjustable air suspension system.
Steering is likewise precise and nicely weighted. The wheel’s rim could stand to be a bit meatier, but the Silverado feels light on its feet and agile through corners. Surprisingly, despite sitting so high up there’s minimal body roll, even when you push this truck hard. The 2019 Silverado provides a refined ride and well-controlled body motions; what more could you ask for?
Well, how about a smooth powertrain? Luckily, it’s got that, too. GM’s venerable 6.2-liter V8 is quiet, silken and free of drama. Its 10-speed dance partner is also an exemplar of smoothness, never stuttering or slamming, though it does seem reluctant to downshift, preferring to let the engine dig into its deep torque reserve, rather than zip to redline.
Performance is never lacking with this powertrain, though in testing didn’t feel quite as fleet as something with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque should, though in Chevy’s defense, the drive program took place at altitude, about 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) above sea level in the mountains of Wyoming and Idaho, so that could have certainly blunted its performance.
It’s impossible to say without performing instrumented testing, but I suspect a comparable F-150 equipped with the excellent 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 would outrun even this top-tier Silverado. The Ford’s twin-turbochargers help provide buckets of torque from idle to redline and make it immune to altitude sickness; the only downside is it’s nowhere near as aurally pleasing, but then again, neither is the LS as snarly as a Hemi-powered Ram 1500, which offers a muscle-car rumble.
The Verdict: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Review
By far, this is the best Silverado ever. The folks at Chevrolet have done their homework to create an even more capable, refined and useful pickup, a rig that’s sure to give their counterparts in Auburn Hills and Dearborn fits for years to come.
But it’s also a truck without any revolutionary attribute. There’s no “military-grade” aluminum bodywork or adjustable air suspension system to crow about. Instead, the 2019 Silverado befits from a host of smaller innovations spread throughout, a range of features that add up to something just as significant, if not as flashy.
The most affordable Silverado offered (a regular-cab, long-bed model) will set you back about $30,000, though the High Country example tested here checked out for a princely $64,030, including $1,495 in delivery charges.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2.7L Four-Cylinder Turbo Review
By Chad Kirchner
Pickup trucks are supposed to have V8 engines. For the longest time, they did. But as other powertrains became more efficient, V8 engines have been moved to the wayside in many applications in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient engines. That trend has moved to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.
Chevy’s new volume models (LT and RST) for 2019 will feature a 2.7L turbocharged engine. But unlike the 2.7L turbo in the Ford F-150, the Chevy’s is actually a turbo four-cylinder. It makes 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque. At it’s best, it can return 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway.
What’s it like driving a four-cylinder half-ton pickup truck?
Thanks to some clever engineering, the turbo four-cylinder in the Silverado accelerates quickly – it makes the run to 60 mph a full second faster than the 4.3L V6 it replaces at 6.8 seconds – and feels responsive.
The engine up front is also lighter, which improves steering feel and feedback. While it’s unfair to say that a full-size pickup drives like a sports car, it is the most balanced Silverado you can currently buy.
Chevrolet tells us that the average pickup truck buyer in this class tows around 5,000 pounds. The Silverado with the small turbo 2.7L tows up to 7,200 pounds and a max payload of 2,280 pounds.
For most people, the 2.7L should be more than enough engine.
Chevy compares this engine to Ram’s V6 eTorque engine and Ford’s base 3.3L V6. In most driving situations around our test loop in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 2.7L four-cylinder outclasses both of them. It has better off-the-line grunt and is also better at overtaking at speed.
Around town, the four-cylinder Chevrolet performs similarly to Ford’s 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine. Even though both engines have the same displacement, the Ford’s is a V6 and is designed as an upgraded engine experience.
On the highway, a Ford 2.7L would pull away from the Silverado – it has more power and torque, after all – but the Chevy’s engine feels solid around town so it’s hard to find much of a difference between that and the upgraded engine.
Chevy customers can spend an extra $1,000 on the LT and RST model and upgrade to the 5.3L V8. It’s nice to see the company still offer the V8 for the customers who might want it and don’t want to spend $60,000 on a pickup truck.
The sweet spot in the new Chevrolet trucks lineup are the models sitting in the $40,000 price point. RST, LT, and Custom all deliver differently designed trucks that come standard with the 2.7L engine.
The test truck we drove was priced at $44,900 and was really well-equipped. It packed a four-door double cab setup with four-wheel drive. Standout features included dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support and heated seats with a heated steering wheel. Also, our LT model included LED headlights, which are often a costly upgrade at this price point.
The Chevy’s fit and finish is on par or exceeds the competitor’s volume models. It’s easy to nitpick luxury trucks with stratospheric price tags, but for models that most customers actually buy, an LT double cab like our test truck is a really nice place to be.
For folks who often look at buying a Ford, I often recommend spending the $995 to upgrade from the base 3.3L V6 to their upgraded turbo engine. It’s worth it in terms of performance and fuel economy.
With the turbo four-cylinder engine in the Chevrolet, I don’t feel as compelled to recommend people upgrade to the V8. Yes, the 5.3L V8 is a good engine and it makes a good noise, but you’ll pay more at the pump and more to equip the truck with the engine.
The Verdict: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7-liter Four-Cylinder Turbo Review
The new Silverado 1500 with the four-cylinder engine doesn’t feel like a penalty box. It doesn’t remind you daily that you didn’t spend the extra money – or couldn’t afford to – on a higher trim truck.
The Silverado four-cylinder will handle all of the day-to-day activities of an average truck buyer. It’ll go to Home Depot without problems. It’ll tow a boat or a side-by-side. It’ll do all of that in a nicely equipped truck that won’t make you go broke buying it. It’s a compelling product that many will enjoy.
|Engine /||4.3L V6 (base engine)|
|Torque /||305 lb-ft|
|Transmission /||Six-speed automatic|
|Drivetrain /||RWD or AWD|
|Seating Capacity /||Three to six people|
Our Final Verdict
The Chevrolet Silverado is a tough but smart truck that’s built to work hard. With clever features to help drivers make the most of their pickup and a wide assortment of engines and configurations to choose from, there is a Silverado that’s suitable for any budget or job. With its aggressive new grille and loud styling, it certainly makes a statement. Although the Silverado isn’t the best truck in its segment, many people flock to the pickup for its versatility and capability.