Is the Redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Different Enough?

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By Richard Truesdell

Nothing in the automotive universe is more quintessentially American than a full-size pickup truck. The market is a hyper-competitive battlefield between Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Ram (Toyota and Nissan are smaller niche players). This puts additional pressure on designers and engineers at each brand when introducing an all-new pickup, which is what the Chevrolet team faced when it introduced the all-new 2019 Silverado 1500.

Related: Ready for the Revolution: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 First Drive

One of the criticisms leveled at the last-generation Chevy half ton was that it wasn't sufficiently different from the truck it replaced. And that's a dilemma when redesigning an iconic truck: It needs to be all-new while still showing a clear lineage to the previous generation.

So, when I had the opportunity to get up close with the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, I jumped at it. The drive day started at the historic Barker Hanger at California's Santa Monica Airport. The former hangar now serves as an event venue. Seven new 2019 Silverados in various trim levels were lined up ala a Chevrolet "Real People" commercial. Our test 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country was equipped with the Z71 Off-Road Equipment Package that includes Rancho twin-tube shocks, electronic hill descent control, two-speed transfer case, skid plates, heavy-duty air filter, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, dual exhausts on V-8-equipped models.

Here are the key takeaways from my drive.

Exterior

The visual changes to the exterior of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, dominated by the all-new front grille with functional air curtains. The bodywork is more sculpted than before, giving the truck a more refined look. The bed is 7 inches wider increasing payload capacity and giving the popular crew cab a welcome 3 inches of additional rear-seat legroom. The 2019 trucks weigh up to 450 pounds less than the previous versions due to increased use of lightweight, high-strength materials; that provides a small improvement in fuel economy over the 2018 models.

The 2019 Silverado 1500 can be had in eight trim levels: Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country. Six engines provide an array of permutations. I thought the High Country was well-trimmed, but it falls a bit short of the top trim levels offered by Ford and especially Ram. That might be due in part to sister division GMC offering an even more luxurious truck in the form of its Sierra Denali models.

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Improvements in fuel economy come from new engines and new technology that improves efficiency across the board. A new turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four-cylinder with stop-start technology becomes the new standard engine for LT and RST trims with an all-new light-duty 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder coming later in 2019. Most noteworthy is Dynamic Fuel Management for the popular 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8s. DFM allows the truck to run on one to eight cylinders; it's the next step up from Active Fuel Management, which employs operation of four or eight cylinders. DFM uses 17 different cylinder deactivation modes to maximize efficiency and mileage, making determinations up to 80 times per second. The biggest 6.2-liter V-8 is being offered with a new 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed with Ford.

So how does that affect fuel economy? The two-wheel-drive 2019 Silverado 1500 with the 5.3-liter V-8 and eight-speed transmission gets an EPA-estimated 17/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined; that's a 1 mpg improvement across the board over the 2018. The four-wheel-drive 2019 equipped with 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed transmission sees a 1 mpg city improvement over the 2018 equipped with the same engine and the eight-speed transmission. Opting for a turbocharged four-cylinder Silverado 1500 — the first half-ton truck to offer a turbo four — nets 20/23/21 for 2WD and 19/22/20 for 4WD, according to the EPA.

Updated Interior

The interiors of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 have been extensively updated. For those whose priority is towing capability, the new Silverado offers improved tech that simplifies hooking up a trailer. The available Advanced Trailering Package includes the Hitch Guidance with Hitch View that uses up to four cameras and the myChevrolet Trailering App (displayed on your smartphone or the Silverado's multimedia screen) and turns a two-person operation into a one-person job. The app also provides a comprehensive step-by-step checklist.

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Maximum towing capacity for the 6.2-liter V-8 with DFM High Country I drove was 12,000 pounds (up 5 percent over 2018), while the max payload capacity for a 4x2 regular cab with the turbo four is 2,500 pounds (an 11 percent improvement over 2018).

Improved safety played a big part of the 2019 redesign, with Chevrolet adding several active safety features including a standard rear camera mirror and available head-up display, surround-vision view, safety alert driver's seat, lane change alert and lane keep assist with lane departure warning, low-speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane change alert with blind side alert and rear cross-traffic alert.

Towing Ability

During the drive event, each Silverado was hooked up to a trailer bearing a Polaris all-terrain vehicle, a combination that weighed 6,000 pounds. Leaving Barker Hanger, we negotiated tight Santa Monica streets on our way to the more traffic-friendly lanes of the Pacific Coast Highway on our way to Calamigos Ranch in the Malibu foothills overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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The real test was running up Kanan Dunes Road from the PCH and guess what? My driving companion and I could hardly tell the 6,000-pound trailer was behind us. Going downhill, we did feel a small sense of push, but the brakes were more than up to the task. Chevrolet representatives told us the brakes are identical to those on a Chevrolet Silverado 2500. So, despite the larger size of the 2019 Silverado 1500, it has that elusive quality of driving "small," even when towing a trailer. Another nice touch: Chevrolet now puts a truck-specific label on the driver's door that provides that particular truck's maximum towing capacity, maximum payload, gross vehicle weight rating, gross combined weight rating, gross rear axle weight rating, maximum tongue weight and curb weight. That's everything you need to know to tow and haul safely.

Final Thoughts

In my all-too-short test drive to Malibu and back, I came away favorably impressed. It seems that Chevrolet stuck with refining the basics, responding to feedback from its customers, especially with regard to the half ton's trailer-towing abilities. The combination of the auto parking brake assist, stored trailer profiles, an industry-exclusive trailer theft alarm, trailer-tire temperature and pressure sensors, the towing label and a trailer light test accessed through the myChevrolet Trailering App are class-leading.

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The 2019 Silverado 1500 looks clean and modern, and is instantly identifiable as a Chevrolet. Its improved interior approaches the class-leading Ram 1500 in many ways, while the variety of trim levels and cab configuration approaches those offered by the Ford F-Series.

Bottom line? The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 looks and feels new and fresh. In the hyper-competitive full-size pickup category, this is critical, but I wish they would have gone further. Most people understand brand loyalty is big among pickup owners, even to the degree that Nissan and Toyota have found it difficult to attract Ford, Ram, Chevrolet and GMC owners away from their favorites. So, Chevrolet may have trouble attracting owners of other brands because many of the changes to the 2019 model are simply evolutionary and that may not be enough for a large number of buyers to jump ship. That said, we like the focus on making towing easier and safer and that could attract a few Ford and Ram buyers if towing is their biggest purchase consideration. We'll see.

Cars.com photos by Richard Truesdell

 

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Comments

I'll take the High Country. Thank you!

this is what the most popular trucks in the future will look like---except you can buy one TODAY at your local Chevy dealer

Just remember GM is closing U.S. factories and some foreign ones in Canada, they could care less about the American worker!

GM is closing U.S. factories and some foreign ones in Canada, they could care less about the American worker!
Posted by: oxi | Jan 19, 2019

@Oxi

If you owned 5 homes and your accountant said you can only afford 3, you'd have to make some arrangements or you'd risk losing everything.

That's the challenge facing all the automakers today. The whole world's business environment is over-capacity in auto assembly operations.

The auto execs have known this for many years, and now they're starting to cut back. It won't be painless but it has to be done.

Filly ROUND fender openings to match.... round tires..

Filly ROUND fender openings to match.... round tires..


Posted by: supercrew02 | Jan 19, 2019 3:51:32 PM


They're not round, they are elongated ovals. Ford does the filly round fender openings to match the..... round tires

@oxi - is right GM could care less about the overpaid under worked staff with the fat pension. We should look to ford to set the example....

https://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2018/12/05/ford-ceo-hackett-talks-layoffs-report-workforce.html

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/ford/2019/01/10/ford-announces-belt-tightening-europe/2534466002/

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/ford-stops-making-cars/


@ Jimbo....

“ @oxi - is right GM could care less about the overpaid under worked staff with the fat pension. We should look to ford to set the example.... “

What does Ford have to do with the article topic? That’s right, nothing. You’re just a whiny, butt hurt GM loser shil who can’t handle the truth do you deflect.

@ TNTGAY

Your spelling skills are nauseating. Get an education

Just remember GM is closing U.S. factories and some foreign ones in Canada, they could care less about the American worker!

Posted by: oxi |
/QUOTE

GM is run by morons who dont have a clue whats popular and what buyers want..

1-These UGLY front grills make me wanna puke and NO way Id buy such goofy looking trucks.

2- GM has only two good cars Camaro and Corvete,,
I'll never buy any of those crumy front wheel drive jellybean like blobs,,
I always want Rear wheel drive and only two doors.

I like the exterior which is something I havn't said about GM trucks in years. It has nice sharp lines with a modern take on the Chevrolet truck look. Now the interior looks dated and GM needs to go back to the drawing board their.

I like the new look, very nice. Only problem is the interior is way to luxurious for a pick up. Jeez, does no one have dirty clothes from working anymore.?

does no one have dirty clothes from working anymore.?
Posted by: Ford for life | Jan 19, 2019

Good question! So many families use the pickup for the wife/kids/in-laws that we lean towards leather, power seats and the rest.

The cloth seats and hard plastic surfaces in my truck are easy to clean and the floor covering looks like brand new with a quick wash/wipe and a tiny spritz of Armor All (just don't get too much armor all on your shoe soles!)

After seeing the new 2019 Ram 1500 interior, this is a big let down.

@Chevrolet builds a better way to see the USA - or who ever you are, kind of rich talking about GM cars. I remember when Ford built cars, now they just give up and run like little girls...lol

But at least the Ford trucks are really hot....

https://wgntv.com/2018/12/22/ford-recalls-874000-pickup-trucks-that-could-catch-fire/

heeeeeheeeee

@dale miller - "After seeing the new 2019 Ram 1500 interior, this is a big let down..."

Really the interior, this is a big let down...lol...who the hell are you Martha Stewart? The problem with these trucks is that they do not cater to working men anymore!

What a load of horse manure.

Ford, GM and FCA all have “ working man “ specific models. Now, those companies don’t solely focus on the farmer, plumber or carpenter.

There’s a pick up for everyone now you clown

Different enough? You guys do realise the F150 design was largely unchanged from 2004 to 2015. Also the 2009 Dodge design was pretty much unchanged from 2009 to 2019 and they are still using the same engines with a completely worthless eletric motor mounted to the front. Not to mention the design of the 2019 Dodge doesn't look much different especially from the A pillar back.

@Chevrolet builds a better way to see the USA - or who ever you are, kind of rich talking about GM cars. I remember when Ford built cars, now they just give up and run like little girls...lol

But at least the Ford trucks are really hot....
heeeeeheeeee
Posted by: papajim | Jan 19, 2019 8:40:35 PM

"After seeing the new 2019 Ram 1500 interior, this is a big let down..."

Really the interior, this is a big let down...lol...who the hell are you Martha Stewart? The problem with these trucks is that they do not cater to working men anymore!
Posted by: papajim | Jan 19, 2019 8:45:53 PM

A fool and a liar uses another fellow's ID. Take a look at what the Bible says about fools and liars. Hint: it isn't good

Not a fan of the chevy exterior looks. That interior does have a cramped look to it. I've never liked that about the chevys. I guess chevy goes for the cozy feel. I feel like it hurts the visibility. Smaller windows and mirrors than other trucks.

Only 1mpg improvement? Pitiful. Reshape it nose to tail. Make it lower in stance and lower the roof. Narrow the body by AT LEAST six inches. Make it more streamlined... get rid of that slab-nosed look and taper it down to a smooth curve. All of these combine should improve economy by no less than 10% (more likely 20%) without having to stick an undersized, under-performing engine under the hood.

Narrow the body by AT LEAST six inches

@Vulpine

Which would accomplish exactly WHAT? Let me guess---fuel economy?

Today's trucks are so much more fuel efficient than previous generations, while improving power and performance. Maybe owning a truck just isn't for you.

I am glad someone likes this truck.

You fanboys crack me up. These companies have zero loyalty to you, yet you clowns jump through hoops to look like idiots cheering them on.
Morons...

Nice review! Fantastic looking truck. It's beautiful in person to look at. Fantastic engine choices. GM will sell hundreds of thousands of these trucks in 2019

About time a review where the recognize that interior is improved and nice. It is very nice, surrounded by soft touch materials!

@Don--It is what you call blind loyalty. GM has no loyalty except to its CEO, board, dealers, and maybe the stockholders. GM has a few products that interest me but I am not going to buy a GM just out of loyalty or a sense of obligation. Same with Ford and the rest.

@ don and jeff

I agree with both of you. I've stated this many times. Big corporations only care about themselves. Period!

I buy GM bc they simply last! I want a strong, fast, fuel efficient capable V8, and a truck that will just run. Lastly, to spend as little money after the sell as possible. GM offers that for me and has since 2001 when I purchased my first ZR2.

@Beebe, the GM trucks have almost 44" of ftront leg room, 4 inches more then Ram and 2" more then Ford.

@TNTGMC--I have been overall satisfied with the 3 Chevies that I have owned.

@TNTGMC - hey fake "Ford, GM and FCA all have “ working man “ specific models. Now, those companies don’t solely focus on the farmer, plumber or carpenter..."

That's what pickup are you bonehead working man vehicles. If you want a luxury vehicle get a Mercedes. It's a pansy like you that needs a ball warmer in the truck before he drives it!

Take a look at what the Bible says about fools and liars. Remember what Terrell 12:42 says - "Man who lay girl on hillside is not on the level...."

What is this "lightweight, high-strength materials" Chevy is using? Nah, surely it's not aluminum. Chevy would never admit that Ford once again beat it to the punch. Would they? Well, there's Ram's heated steering wheel. there's on and on and on. By the way, 6,000 lbs is not much of a tow test. I'd be shocked if a full-size truck with that equipment DID notice the weight. Six thousand pounds is laughable to us serious towers.

The 4 cylinder's mpg is a bad joke and little benefit and more reliability concerns for the owner. It seems the only benefit was to GM's bottom line - less parts, quicker and easier to build, and more GM profit. #FAIL

@ ken

The first couple reviews I have read about the new 4 cylinder are very good! They can't believe it's a 4 cylinder, and it was specifically designed for a truck! They have millions of documented hours researching this engine

So how can u say it's got reliability issues when it just arrived in showrooms?
How can you say it's a fail?

Very curious how u know this. Do u own one or have driven one extensively?

@Jeff, you pretty much echoed what I said. Just used more words doing it.

@TNTGUY and @Jeff
What you guys to need to know is I worked for GM, on Chevy Truck side for 25 years. The very last thing they ever gave a damn about was the customer. Think of shiny objects and what fishing lures catch first.
Hell, from 1946 to the late 80's/early 90's every last person who drove their products were nothing but potential crash test dummies who were unpaid.
They don't care if you're happy, they simply want you pacified, quiet and compliant.
You have to remember, these aren't car companies any longer.
They're giant pension plans who happens to build cars and trucks on the side. Don't believe that statement? Go look at their books.

@ken

Agreed that the epa/mpg on the 4 cylinder is a joke. I do think however, that it probably costs significantly more to build than the current 4.3 V-6, which I think is rated for better mpg on the hwy. I can't imagine that the new 4 cylinder is more reliable than the 4.3 either.

Two things come to mind as to why GM put out the new 4 cylinder, one being CAFE MPG, which is the measuring stick for gubmint compliance (I assume that this engine does well on CAFE). Secondly, there have been hints of more to come with this engine...my wild guess is that it will be paired with GM's next generation truck hybrid system, probably within 2 years.

I would be very interested to see why papajim thinks this engine came into being...

@ PapaTROLL

That's what pickup are you bonehead working man vehicles. If you want a luxury vehicle get a Mercedes. It's a pansy like you that needs a ball warmer in the truck before he drives it!


Posted by: papajim | Jan 20, 2019 10:06:35 AM

You’re not a working man. That means your a poser pansy in your gutless 4.8L Silverado.

@papajim

I was reading ken's comments and I was curious as to why GM would have put this new 4 cylinder engine out. I did speculate as to why on my previous post. What do you think is the reason they put this new engine out?

@ imposter tntgmc

Again, get your own d@mn username!

What do u drive to criticize papa's 4.8L that has been trouble free?

We will wait for you to comment using your own username. Man up butter cup!

Btw....the so called gutless 4.8L beats the comparable 4.6L in all performance categories when comparing years. Do it's not gutless!
Insert foot into mouth

Don't beleive me go to

https://www.zeroto60times.com/body-style/pickup-truck/

@TNTGMC

Agreed that the reviews on the 4 cylinder have been at least reasonably good. I was hoping that the epa/mpg would exceed or at least tie the Ford 2.7 ecoboost. If I were looking for more of a lower rung engine, and I was looking at the GM 4 cylinder, I would be comparing to the Ford ecoboost 2.7. I am hoping that GM has something up their sleeve for enhancements to the 4 cylinder to make it more competitive with Ford's 2.7 ecoboost. I know GM wants people to compare it to Ford's or Rams, NA V-6...but that is not how I would look at it.

Btw....the so called gutless 4.8L beats the comparable 4.6L in all performance categories when comparing years. Do it's not gutless!
Insert foot into mouth

Don't beleive me go to

https://www.zeroto60times.com/body-style/pickup-truck/

Both engines are gutless....just like you

@ Texas 1836

Agreed. Let's wait for a comparison. I bet it does quite well compared to the 2.7L ecoboost. Will it beat it, probably not, and it shouldn't bc it has 2 less cylinders. And wasn't designed to beat it. It was designed as an entry level motor.

I think its very comparable to Rams 3.6l etq system.

In my opinion, it's not needed bc the 5.3L gets good FE and performs quite well. The 5.3L runs same performance as the new 5.7L hemi (via car and driver tests)

PUTC needs to do an entry level comparison
Along with a mid level comparison/high volume seller comparison

@ Texas 1836

Agreed. Let's wait for a comparison. I bet it does quite well compared to the 2.7L ecoboost. Will it beat it, probably not, and it shouldn't bc it has 2 less cylinders. And wasn't designed to beat it. It was designed as an entry level motor.

I think its very comparable to Rams 3.6l etq system.

In my opinion, it's not needed bc the 5.3L gets good FE and performs quite well. The 5.3L runs same performance as the new 5.7L hemi (via car and driver tests)

PUTC needs to do an entry level comparison
Along with a mid level comparison/high volume seller comparison

@ fake papajim

Gutless.!?!..u post under others names

Your so $t@pid, you don't even realize it. Too funny

@ TNTGAY

“ and it shouldn't bc it has 2 less cylinders “

And the 3.5L HO, with 2 less cylinders and close to half the cc’s, beats the snot out of the 6.2L....

Let the excuses flow you splineless twerp

@ TNTGAY

“ and it shouldn't bc it has 2 less cylinders “

And the 3.5L HO, with 2 less cylinders and close to half the cc’s, beats the snot out of the 6.2L....

Let the excuses flow you splineless twerp

@TNTGAY

“ Your so $t@pid, you don't even realize it. Too funny “

This coming from the clown that can’t spell. Now that is funny.

@TNTGAY

Get an education you inbred halfwit

@TNTGAY

Texas1836 is up to a minute now and I wish he’d blurt something unequivocal. He’s neither drunk, nor a frat boy. His shirt, soaked with sweat, clings to a body that has spent twenty-seven too many hours a week at the gym. Texas1836 knees lock stiff, his jeans stretched across his tensed thighs. His face shrinks as if he were watching someone smash kittens with a hammer. It’s a stupid game. Maybe in a few more weeks the fad will pass.

I don’t know why Texas1836 asked me to watch him go through with it this time, and I don’t know why I’m actually doing it. Watching him suffer is like being smashed to death with a hammer myself. At least Texas1836 is asking for it. I know I’m supposed to be rooting for him to hold on for as long as possible, but I just want him to stop. He’s hurting so much and I can’t stand to watch anymore.



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