Chevrolet Takes 2019 Silverado 1500 to New Level

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Competes with: Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan

Looks like: Has a hint of more rounded Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tundra

Drivetrain: Reengineered 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8s with all-new 10-speed transmission, all-new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, two- and four-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2018

It's hard to keep secrets in Motor City, especially when you want to show off a new vehicle on a world stage. But that's what Chevrolet did when it finally revealed the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at the 2018 North America International Auto Show in Detroit. The new pickup truck is one of the most important vehicles Chevy parent company GM has made in years.

To say the Silverado is important to GM is like saying air is important to humans. It can't be overstated; without the profits from pickup truck sales, the rest of GM's car lineup probably could not exist. That's how important it was for GM engineers and designers to get this truck right. From the looks of it, GM threw every possible improvement at this half ton to create a lighter, stronger, smarter and more efficient pickup. There's a lot to digest, but here are the highlights.


Since Chevy started with a clean sheet of paper, designers could spend a great deal of time in the wind tunnels to map exactly how the truck's new shapes move wind around it. The front end is designed to move air more smoothly and easily over, underneath and around the Silverado. Consequently, the most dramatic detail is the "side gills" (a design solution taken from the current Camaro) that suck and channel air through the gaps and around the front wheel, a typical trouble spot for vehicle with large faces.

Chevy continues to use grille shutters that help push air (when not needed for cooling) up and over the newly restyled hood. The hood itself is taller than before to cover up the windshield wipers (which create turbulent air) and direct air over a re-angled front windshield. Channels in the cab roof move air smoothly over the surface and a rear-cab lip gives the air one last bump so it doesn't get caught at the bed's tailgate. The tailgate has a subtle lip bump on top to move air over the rear of the truck. All these small details add up to a significant improvement to its coefficient of drag.

The other most important aspect to this truck's design is underneath in the form of weight savings. The redesigned, 10 percent stiffer frame is now almost 100 pounds lighter thanks to use of more high-strength steel. In other areas of the truck — due to more aluminum, composites and other stronger, lighter steels — Chevrolet saved as much as 450 pounds when compared to competitors' crew cabs. That's well more than half the weight the 2015 Ford F-150 saved when it was switched to an all-aluminum body. The new Silverado uses much more aluminum in the hood, tailgate and door panels (everything with a hinge), but it still has conventional stamped steel for the curvy over-wheel panels, and, most importantly, in the entire floor of the pickup structure and bed. The floor of the cab and the bed, and the back wall of both are all made from high-strength steel.


Chevrolet is releasing the new Silverado 1500 with a new trim package lineup, segmenting eight new trim levels into high value, high volume and high feature categories. The three value players are the base Work Truck, Custom and the Custom Trailboss, the more economically packaged off-road player (2-inch lift and 33-inch tires).

In the volume models category, Chevy will offer a more stylish and modestly equipped LT that can be upgraded with the street-focused RST Package (body-color trim and 22-inch wheels) and the LT Trailboss that debuted in December at the Texas Motor Speedway.

For the high-feature category, Chevy will offer the familiar LTZ and High Country, which will have more chrome accents, but only the latter will have the industry-first standard power drop down and lift tailgate, activated from both inside the cab or from the key fob.

All Silverado 1500s will have the Chevrolet name stamped on the tailgate, while some of the trim levels will have the classic bow tie in front and others will have the name Chevrolet boldly scrolled across a center bar through the grille.


Subtle improvements and more storage are the hallmark of the interior. The most notable improvement is the repositioned steering wheel. In the previous generation, the steering wheel was positioned slightly off center from the driver's seat, something that received widespread criticism. It's now centered in front of the driver as in other pickups. The Silverado also gets new electronic-assist rack-and-pinion steering that Chevy says delivers more precision and driver comfort.

Other interior improvements include more padding for all seats, longer seat tracks, more legroom for rear passengers (all wheelbases are longer now as well) and more interior storage. The front center console is slightly larger with more elbow padding. Rear passengers get more head- and legroom along with a bigger center armrest, and the new cabin has flatter load floors. The seatbacks of all crew-cab pickups will offer a large, hinged storage box to hold books, small electronics or even extra clothing. Think of it as a personal glove box (back box?) for rear passengers.


Chevrolet spent a great deal of time improving the powertrain lineup for this new-generation Silverado 1500. The entire engine lineup will eventually have a new 10-speed automatic transmission, first available for the 6.2-liter V-8 and the all-new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter straight-six, and eventually for the 5.3-liter V-8. Chevy did not provide horsepower or torque numbers for the diesel, but said it would be the most powerful half-ton diesel in the class. That means it will have at least 450 pounds-feet of torque — the Ram 1500 gets 420 pounds-feet, while the diesel Ford F-150 gets 440 pounds-feet.

The V-8s that power the new Silverado get an all-new dynamic fuel-management system that will allow flexible cylinder deactivation based on real-time demand. That means the computer controls can select any combination of one to eight cylinders to be used based on the driving situation, giving the owner the ability to save fuel.

Cabs and Beds

Chevrolet showed only crew- and double-cab models during the Detroit reveal. Based on the press conference and photos, it looks like all three cab configurations will available, including a regular cab. GM will continue building the current-generation Silverado while building the 2019, which could mean GM will make the existing model for price-conscious fleet and commercial buyers who would be most interested in regular- and double-cab models. We'll have to wait for details about cab configurations until a later time.


As to the crew cab, Chevy engineers said the wheelbase has been lengthened 4 inches, but due to the redesign of the front and rear overhangs, the overall length of the truck increased by only 1.5 inches. We expect the extra wheelbase length will improve the legroom for rear passengers. The length of the two non-8-foot bed models has grown as well.

The biggest change to the beds is width; the bed is now almost 7 inches wider. That's a big deal. The new Chevy beds have been redesigned to provide a much wider mouth to swallow cargo, meaning that they'll now have the largest volume beds in the class. The beds will have 12 tie-down attachment points, some of which can hold as much as 500 pounds.

Chevrolet did not talk about payload or towing capacities, but you can bet that weight savings would go right into added payload capacity if the gross vehicle weight rating stays the same. As to towing, although it looks like it could also be positively impacted; we'll have to see how that shakes out when Chevy releases more specification information.

During the reveal Chevy also showed some GM Accessories that included a pair of sizable storage boxes that fit over the wheel wells in the bed and still allows for a 4-foot-wide sheet of plywood to fit between the wheel wells. The boxes look similar to the Nissan Titan aftermarket boxes, but they also echo back to the long-gone Chevy Avalanche and slide-in box of current 2018 Silverado 1500 High Country.

Final Thoughts

There's a lot of information to process about this pickup and GM is playing its cards close to the vest as to how it reveals that information. We expect more details about this new truck ahead of its expected fall on-sale date. Pricing also will come closer to the actual on-sale date. Stay tuned.

Manufacturer images; photos by Christian Lantry








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Great write-up Mark! I really like the looks of the new Silverado. Love the look on the outside. Inside, it looks pretty similar to the old one, although much improved. I noticed that they said nothing about the 4.3 V-6, I think this means that it is going away. My guess is, that they use the 3.6 LGX V-6, as the standard engine, since it already has cylinder deactivation, making it easier to outfit it with dynamic skip fire. I am also guessing that they will offer the turbo version of the LGX to compete with Ford's ecoboost. The turbo LGX also has cylinder deactivation hardware, so it should be easier to convert to dynamic skip fire as well. I think GM is going to gain some market share here.

Those bumpers are illegal in Australia and we don't like full-size trucks do this another truck that will fail in Australia.

Wow, GM just can't do interiors right. I was expecting more from them. I am in the market for a new truck and have to say that the GM offerings felt "Cheaper" than the competition even with the High Country and the HD was more medium duty when compared to the Ford and Ram offering.

Ram had the nicest interior hands down and Ford had a ton of tech. I was just hoping for more but still looks cheap.

We will see what Ram has to offer but I am not a fan of the direction GM has decided to go with this new truck. Ugh...I really wanted to like this. :(

There will be a 3.0 liter diesel in my driveway this fall, GM you hit a home run. My guess on hp and tq
5.3. 400hp 400tq
6.2 445 hp 485tq
3.0 250hp 460tq

We’ll see

GM finally opened up a can of whoop #@$.

Enough with the previous failed, square saturated design, by car guy Kevin O'donnell. That thing was a pathetic lazy design!

If the bed is 7 inches wider, does that mean the interior is 7 inches wider along with the wheel width?

I knew they would up the numbers on the diesel just as to out do the F150 diesel.

That dashboard design is a step backwards.

If Ford's wasn't so God awful ugly this would be a deal killer. If RAM comes up with something better (they will), look out!

Can add those Silverado, Ford and Ram dashes are also illegal here, not passing ADR regulations. Australian Design Rules.

I also wonder where the V6 info is.

BAFO, We get it. Everything is illegal in your land. We are not worthy.

With the In line 6 Diesel, this is a home run for GM. The truck looks absolutely awesome. I see a/c vents in rear of console, good job.
With an inline diesel like the 2.8l in my Canyon, this will get a lot of attention from diesel enthusiast ,whom most consider an inline diesel much more efficient and easier to work with than the v6 diesels..

Looks like a Tundra from the side view

I really like the interior, similar, yet upgraded. The overall truck looks really nice. Congrats GM. I want a new truck soon. Maybe 2019 Ranger??? We will see.

I'm liking it more and more. Looks good and muscular

I am excited about the new 3.0 inline 6 Diesel. I am wondering is it OHV or DOHC? Remember, the shelved 4.5 V-8 Duramax was DOHC. Also, with dynamic skip fire, perhaps cylinder deactivation will be smooth enough to apply to a diesel engine? I suspect that with dynamic skip fire, we could see up to a 35 mpg rating on the hwy with this engine. Also, with dynamic skip fire, perhaps they could get 80%+ of the city fuel economy benefit of stop/start. I just would not want stop/start in a diesel.

I am excited about the new 3.0 inline 6 Diesel. I am wondering is it OHV or DOHC? Remember, the shelved 4.5 V-8 Duramax was DOHC. Also, with dynamic skip fire, perhaps cylinder deactivation will be smooth enough to apply to a diesel engine? I suspect that with dynamic skip fire, we could see up to a 35 mpg rating on the hwy with this engine. Also, with dynamic skip fire, perhaps they could get 80%+ of the city fuel economy benefit of stop/start. I just would not want stop/start in a diesel.

Beautiful looking truck! I do think they could of done the dash a little different, similar to the 07-13 LTZ, it had the wood grain or carbon fiber finish in it.
This truck will sell!! I just hope one of the transmission choices is a manual!

I did expect a more features than what they added, for example a twin panel moon roof, towing mirrors, 360degree camera, active park assist, cooled rear seats, air suspension a terrain selector for snow, mud, ect also electronic shift similar to the new terrain..

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA more junk on the streets.

Best looking Truck so far. Sierra and Ram are next.

likely a level below the next RAM coming tomorrow! With the CEO supporting amnesty, they can keep all of their damn products!


I noticed that GM didn't refer to the aluminum hood, doors, and tailgate as "Military Grade". At least they aren't trying to serve up that type of Kool-Aid. I find it interesting how the new Ranger's body isn't 100% aluminum like the F-Series. Wonder why?

This is a big improvement from their current truck. I like how they tried to be innovative with storage bins like the RAM has in the back of their crew cab, they even made their version of the RamBox, just not as user friendly as the RamBox. Over all GM finally got creative and tried to be innovative, well done Chevy. I think it is funny they are saying the bed is 7" wider, from the pics I have seen they just pushed the interior walls further in, look how big the wheel wells are. They are much wider than the 2017 trucks.

The interior is a small improvement but it is pretty boring, I have a feeling that the next gen RAM's interior will make this interior look pretty plane, especially with the large vertical screen.

These GM trucks are really nice!!! i am a fan of the older style but i cant complain these new ones look awesome!!! I have always had GM products i did stray a few times and was never happy always went back to GM and could not be happier with them. I have had Impala and Trail blazer SS both were incredible!

Hehehe... good luck trying to put larger tires on, would have to cut the wheel wells or massive suspension adjustment!

Looks like more wanna-be 4x4's out there with 22-24" rims and skinny tires to think they own the pavement with their massive whale of a vehicle!

Who decided to put the start button that low on the dash????

Who decided to put the start button that low on the dash????

Fantastic looking truck. The grill shutters are an awesome feature for aerodynamics!! I wonder though how much of a pain it will be to keep road salt and debris out of here in midwest and upper northeast?? I'm very fickle about my truck being clean and it looks like it could be a pain!

As for the interior, I really like. I love my 17 interior, this is just brought up a notch!! Wish they would have incorporated a larger screen like RAM did.

As for power-train. They better not get rid of the 4.3L for the 3.6L that would be a shame!!!

Overall fantastic truck. Can't wait for a comparison between the big 3

Looks like Ford will still be in second place to GM truck sales for a long time. Great job GM!

Looks like all 3 will have something to offer. Crazy that we will have a diesel in all 3 half tons as well!

This is awful. A Chevyota! What have they done to our truck?
GM please keep your hands off Tahoe/Suburban!

Wow, all new but clearly, still the best looking truck line-up offered. New engine technology to increase efficiency which allows us real truck people to enjoy a real V8 truck engine. Of course a diesel engine for those who want that option. AWESOME JOB GM!

Why 10 stories/videos on the Ram, and 2 each for Silverado/Ranger? Is the Ram 5 times better than the Silverado or Ranger? Of course, now no one will even see the Silverado, since it has all moved to page 2.

Why 10 stories/videos on the Ram, and 2 each for Silverado/Ranger? ...Posted by: Cvijanovich | Jan 15, 2018


The new RAM is feature-rich and the FCA guys did a great job of showing off their new truck at the show, from every indication

Ram pretty much released everything about their truck. GM appears to be feeding information on their new truck piece by piece. Probably their way to keeping interest up until it's ready for sale.

Aggressive bold looks...big change.

450lb weight loss without going all costly alum . This will make the GM twins at least as light as the Fords , maybe lighter in some trims.....all while making the truck larger roomier and stronger. Very impressive.

Powertrains are superb.....improve the class leading 6.2 and 5.3 V8's and add a I6 turbo diesel with more power than the competition all teamed up with the 10 spd (and very good 8 spd in the 5.3)

Best bed in the segment with most space , utility and features .

Towing and hauling will be impressive given all this .

Interior is very good but not as nice as new Ram. Happy rear air vents, push button start and centered wheel are now part of the improvements.

Well done.....

Awesome looking truck. Great redesign. Terrible interior to the point that I will not even look at this truck during my next purchase.

The current Silverado interior is OK at best, too high of a dash, and too much black plastic. I fell in love with the Surburban interior, and hoped it would carry over to the new Silverado. I was wrong.

I find it amazing that Chevrolet stated in their 7000 customers questionaire how no body complained about the current interior, so they felt no need to change it. I would ask Chevy why they didn't question 7000 Ram owners over why they chose the Ram instead.

The current Ram's interior is well done, and the 2019 Ram's interior is miles ahead. Ram seems to have spent alot of time and money into the interior, and Chevy phoned it in.


Just curious? Did you look at the Rams interior pics? Its entire council is plastic and all black?? The GM interior has a ton of soft touch materials in it. The current one does as well. Its very easy to navigate as well!
I really like both interiors that each company offered but to say that Rams interior is far better is ???...but we do have our own opinions!

BTW....I agree with the Tahoe interior it is very well laid out but if you sit in a new GM truck and then a GM full size SUV there isn't much difference! Door handles and the 8 inch screen pops up. Other than that they are identical

I hope the HD's will retain the "Chevy" look. Rectangle wheel wells and solid, block design has been a signature look for almost 50 years!
That look, is what has kept traditional buyers, legacy buyers and while this new 1500 will attract a new crowd, the stalwart Chevy buyer is shown the door.

@papajim, thoughts?

GMSRGREAT exclusive.

@papajim, thoughts?
Posted by: Old GM Guy | Jan 16, 2018

@Old GM Guy

I'm not very fascinated with fashion or looks. I'm very focused on value and reliability.

My first Chevy was a 8 year old 1963 Impala four-door back after high school. Drove it hard and it just kept running. Smoked.

My next Chevy was a 5 year old Vega that I bought for $100 if I remember correctly. It didn't run, needed a little work on the cylinder head and a new water pump. Did it all myself (except milling the head) and it all cost me less than $50 bucks. Got 60k miles out of it but it smoked a lot and I had to put a rebuilt Powerglide in it ($200) along the way.

My next Chevy was a 4.3 liter 1988 S10 that I bought new and got almost 200k miles from it. Would have gotten more but it died in a bad wreck. Except for the S10 they were just deals that came my way and most of 'em were practical to care for and ran ok. The S10 was a real stud.

My current Silverado LS Reg Cab has been a champ. Chevy has been good to me.

That is some blind faith, you don't even know about the 3.0, but you will buy it.


The front end kills it.

Lol, all the stuff that is supposedly illegal in Australia.

Isn't like their crash rules are any tougher, they just go out of their way to be buttheads

After having two weeks to kind of get used to the new trucks, I like the exterior of the Silverado best, Ford second, Ram third. For interiors, I like Ram first, Ford second, Silverado third. For the Ram interior though, I really like the lower trim version with the normal size touch screen, can't stand the huge touch screen in upper trim levels, and also, I still don't like the dial transmission shifter. I am thinking that the new GMC might get a different interior this time vs. the Silverado, but I HATE the wheel wells of the 2019 GMC (as well as the current wheel wells).

The aero vents in fenders will be an epic fail for all but city slickers. They'll fill with mud and other debris and rust out faster than the bed sides on current Chevy's. In other words 3 years, not 5. You will be able to drop a 50lb 1950 Snap-On tool box in the bed though!! Why don't these trucks sell again????

Interior looks decent, not as good as Ford IMO, but really interested to see the details on the 3.0 Diesel. Bringing back an I6 may be a selling point as it is the only half ton of offer it. Wish they would have used more aluminum. As a mid-westerner, ive seen all sorts of vehicles start to rust after only 5-6 winters, no matter how they were taken care of. Not sure what the relevance of Australia is here (or anywhere in the automotive world anymore)? For the most part, these trucks aren't sold there, therefore, do not need to comply with their rules. Since Toyota/GM/Ford ceased manufacturing cars in AUS, and they have essentially "0" automotive manufacturing capability, they will soon be at the mercy of accepting whatever junk southeast Asia can produce with it's excess capacity.

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