By on December 19, 2017

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

You can’t quantify beauty. The emotional appeal of a particular vehicle’s styling is no different than that of a Florentine mural or Greek statue, save for, perhaps, the 1958 Edsel. But even that homely dog has its fans.

This past weekend we got our first glimpse of a vehicle destined to ply the roadways in great numbers for years to come: the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, this one a jacked-up, blacked-out Trail Boss variant. Like it or not, it’ll be everywhere.

Beauty remains forever in the eye of the beholder, there’s nothing wrong with stirring up a debate on the merits of a makeover. A little game of vehicular Dud or Stud, if you will.

I’ll bite. The 2019 Silverado’s face haunts my dreams.

It’s hard to describe exactly why I find it so repellant. My own tastes gravitate towards the simple, the flowing, the cohesive. Give me a current-edition Ram 1500 and I’ll stare at it all day. I think the pre-refresh Ford F-150 got it right, too. The right lines mixed with the right proportions.

And then there’s this. It’s a face so tall, it seems the narrow headlights risk violating protected airspace. (It’ll be interesting to see how the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates these peepers, as they seem capable of projecting a beam over the roof of a Chevy Colorado.) Viewed from a glancing angle, the Silverado’s sharp fender crease and bulging wheel arches makes the upper face look pinched. Or maybe it just has a case of the mumps.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss

It’s a jowly, Nixon-esque visage. Not helping matters is a front bumper that’s extremely flush, even though it’s actually no more flush than a 2018 F-150’s. This only accentuates the impression of grille height.

Having said all of this, I don’t think the next-gen Silverado is a hopeless case. There’s little to get upset about once you move past the face (squint and it suddenly becomes much more pleasing), and I applaud the move towards boxy, truck-like styling, complete with well-defined, straight horizontal lines. It wasn’t long ago that cars and trucks were as angular as a marshmallow. Pity the featureless Oval Era.

What say you, Best and Brightest? It isn’t every day we can gaze upon a wholly new domestic pickup and let fly with our opinions (though as luck would have it, we’ll be doing this again very soon with the 2019 Ram 1500).

Do your worst. Is the 2019 Silverado just another pretty face, or is its countenance something only a mother could love?

[Images: General Motors]

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75 Comments on “QOTD: The New Silverado – Matinee Idol or Bride of Frankenstein?...”

  • avatar

    The “blackout” design meme is making its way around the entire auto industry. Aftermarket accessories to convert your vehicle into a “blacked out” custom ride are plentiful, so it’s no wonder the OEMs are going that way. I’ve seen Avalons and Lacrosses with blacked wheels, badges, grilles, etc.

    As far as the headlights, designers have been trying to squeeze every ounce of testosterone out of the pickup truck concept for decades. The lights are, IMO, designed to invoke an armored car / military vehicle vibe where you would have external lights and vision ports partially covered to protect them from damage.

    Regardless, it’s not terrible. Will reserve judgment until the regular non trail-boss Silverado shows up.

  • avatar

    At least the wheel arches are actual arches again. I never liked the rectilinear ones.

  • avatar

    Yeah the wheel arches are odd looking. Otherwise it’s your normal guy-dude-bro truck design. I doubt there is much demand for an understated truck.

  • avatar

    I’d like to see this Silverado in person before making a decision. Right not it looks a little off. Hopefully the GMC version of this truck isn’t so squinty.

  • avatar

    The face is a little subjective ?.. (Frankly , I find the face on my 15 Mustang down right ugly. )

    I don’t like what they did with the fender, that juts into the grill. That panel would be a nightmare to stamp, and rack.

    Agreed..The square wheel wells had to go.

    All and all, its an improvement…I just can’t see this model, making inroads to the F 150 market.

    • 0 avatar

      “I don’t like what they did with the fender, that juts into the grill.”

      Yeah, I don’t either. Makes the front end look like some fat pig’s face. Now, if those intrusions were to lead into the usual Chevy silver or even body color grille bar, that might help.

      I saw a new Camry with its gaping fish mouth grille resprayed in the body color (Ruby Flare Pearl). Maybe I’m just old but to me, that one change was enough to fix Toyota’s design fail.

  • avatar

    If the 6.2L is available on all trim levels and configurations then I don’t care what it looks like.

  • avatar

    A truck is a truck is a truck, but I prefer the looks of the F-150.

  • avatar

    Given the outsized profit margins and American affinity for pickup trucks (many manufacturers literally could not survive absent pickup truck sales/revenue, which essentially means that these manufacturers are again one-trick ponies, as they were in the 1990s and the 2000s), I am extremely interested in

    a) Point of assembly of each of the large and midsize pickups from Ford, General Motors, RAM, Toyota, Nissan, including for each different trim/configuration of the same truck (e.g. some Silverados/Sierras are assembled in Mexico, while others are assembled in Indiana),


    I will take a stab at this and predict (without peeking) that the most “American” pickup trucks in terms of location of assembly, and more importantly, % of domestic parts content, are the following in order of greatest to least:

    1) Ford F Series

    2) RAM

    3) Toyota Tundra

    4) Nissan Titan

    5) Guangzhou-Guadalajara-General Motors Silverado/Sierra Twins

    The Truth About Pickup Trucks should initiate an ongoing series reporting on the issue of origin of assembly and (more importantly) % of U.S.-made parts/components utilized in assembly of such full size pickup trucks.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m pretty sure Tundra is more American by your metrics than the RAM trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      You can find this information here…

      And yes, you have the Tundra too far down the list.

      This chart even has the mid sized trucks in it.

      • 0 avatar


        Just as I suspected, the twin full-size pickups from Guangzhou-Guadalupe Motors, THE SILVERADO & SIERRA have, by far, the most foreign parts content – and this was as of 2015, so it’s inevitably much worse now.

        Buy AMERICAN pickup trucks, which means ANYTHING BUT GM (Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors)!!

    • 0 avatar

      Sigh. Yeah that’s real important.

      I grew up on a farm so I had more than my fill over the years of listening to folks at family gatherings talking shop, which includes a disproportionate amount of complaining about Them Durn Furriners–which I don’t know about the US but here in Canada can include people who are simply in a different PROVINCE–and how they’re dumping their shoddy crap on us, the government isn’t doing enough to force us to buy their output, you get the idea. Mind you, when it comes to talking about the equipment they need to do their work, does anyone care that a huge number of tractors come from one factory in Italy that used to be owned by Fiat? No. Does anyone go out of their way to buy the handful of products made here? Hell to the No. When it comes time to actually put their money where their mouth is, economic nationalism turns out to not be a big priority.

      • 0 avatar

        Like most laws that people advocate for, it’s about making someone else do it.

      • 0 avatar

        Jack Baruth is having his Mexican-made, under 50% U.S. parts content (45%, to be accurate), Chevrolet Silverado custom painted, with a giant “MAGA” scrawled on the tailgate in bold, red letters, along with various anti-Mexico slogans painted elsewhere,

  • avatar

    Looks like something went wrong in the transporter room, and a ’99 Silverado (front) got scrambled with a 2015 F-series (rear)…

    Please DON”T beam me up Scotty till it’s fixed! And get me one of these good-looking trucks

    74-80 Chevy
    87-98 Chevy
    72-90 Dodge
    79-86 Ford

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I’m not a fan, but its not as homely as the current Tahoe/Suburban or the GMT800 Silverado refresh with Avalanche eyebrows. That was one angry/surprised truck.

  • avatar

    To me all trucks look like the Bride of Frankenstein.

  • avatar

    Can we PLEASE get past these black rims????
    I hate them all.

    • 0 avatar

      I saw a car that looked good with black rims once. It was a white car. I think a Porsche. Pretty much all the others look terrible, like someone who washes their car but not the wheels and they’re caked in brake dust.

      I’m not a “bling bling” kind of guy but I think shiny wheels do a lot to elevate the look of a monotone car.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Agreed. Honestly I’m a fan of polished or painted. The whole “murdered out” look needs to go back to the drag strip.

  • avatar

    Well, it’s got a nice caboose. But yeah, I can’t get past that fender crease in the 2nd photo. Too busy….

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I really hate big door/small window, but I guess that ship has sailed.

    Thank you Jeep, for not screwing that one up.

    Other than that, it is a real improvement and definitely has a youthful, military vibe to it.

  • avatar

    The front quarter panel that continues into the grill and has that swoop into the door is the most objectionable part of the truck. Different editions will have different grills, so we’ll have to see how that sorts itself out. I’m more interested in how much differentiation there will be with the GMC versions – is GM the last manufacturer to badge engineer essentially identical vehicles in the same market? – and also if the interior will look appropriate on a $70,000 vehicle.

  • avatar

    It looks like they got the design in the flesh, decided it was a foot too long and ran it into a wall to shorten it. Either that or one of the designers has a pug at home.

  • avatar

    With the exception of the Ford Raptor, I have never really felt that any pick up truck had visual appeal. Its such a basic upright shape built around a box. Really don’t think it matters. Im sure its possible to make uglier trucks than currently exist, but would be difficult to mess up the styling so badly that it would turn people away from buying what is already a homely vehicle almost by definition.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve always thought the ’72 Chevy was a good looking truck. And – oddball – the Toyota T100 was very purposeful looking with clean lines and just a touch of wheel well bulging.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      Have you seen the Honda Ridgeline? It is a truck with a car front end, and that has actually slowed sales.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    This was why I was in a hurry to get mine.

    The new look does nothing for me and I’d be surprised if the 6.2 will be available in anything other than some kind of weird RST Mudder Cosplay Edition. Same goes for Max Tow. I don’t Chevrolet really wants the dealers to have 6.2 Max Tow trucks — when I bought mine there was just one of them in the whole state.

    • 0 avatar

      GM is annoying.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.



        Maybe it is because I live in the Mountain West but I have not seen a local GM dealer stock a V6 full size truck since G. W. Bush was president.

        Rationalize all of it. 5.3 V8 & 8 speed and 6.0 & 10 speed as only engine/transmission combos. Make either combo available in any trim as long as the person is willing to pay for it.

        You want an LT 6.0 – you should be able to get an LT 6.0.

        • 0 avatar

          There are a lot of V6 Silvys on the lot around here. Both for fleets and as low-price specials. Easier to find a V6 than a 6.2.

          • 0 avatar

            Dealers here don’t stock them.

            Local GMC dealer lists 74 Sierra 1500 in stock. ONE V6 and 6 that are 2wd. 22 base model, 50 SLE trim, the rest SLT or Denali. That’s the shape of the truck market here. Dealer’s been in the same family for 95 years.

    • 0 avatar

      Jack Baruth: “This was why I was in a hurry to get mine.”

      Jack MAGA Baruth was in a mad hurry to get the least American pickup truck sold in the U.S.; the Silverado/Sierra twins have the least amount of American-made parts/components of any full size truck (45% domestic parts content) and, the kicker is that Jack’s Silverado was assembled in Mexico.

      Jack lectures everyone about how he goes out of his way to buy $220 American-made shoes or $110 American-made jeans or higher prices for other American-made goods in the hundreds or low thousands of dollars, but spends (or borrows) $50,000 to buy a foreign-made Silverado that has the lowest American-made parts content of any full sized pickup truck (by a wide margin) sold in the U.S., and is assembled in Mexico.

      Jack Baruth will be rockin’ that Trumpchi before decade’s end!

  • avatar

    The front fender line that dips down kills it. If the line from the back went straight to the headlight, it would be a good looking truck. I get what they were going for, to give it a “pouncing” look. The problem is that will only look good on lifted trucks. The regular stock units will just look stupid. That being said, it’s a huge improvement over the current truck. While on the subject, when cars have that separate crease that goes up and over the rear wheel, that looks terrible too.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      I was thinking something along those lines… See what I did there.

      I also thought that if there was a single line from front to back, it would be too much like the Tahoe/Yukon, so they have to make them stand apart.

  • avatar

    Typical GM to overreact to criticism of being conservative by going too far the other direction.

    I think the front is interesting… but the proportions are off. The height of the bumper and grill, plus small looking wheels/tires with the lift kit make the whole thing look really narrow. The side glass also looks too small for the height of the body. Give FoMoCo credit, the drop down front side windows on the F-Series is a good look.

    The one detail that bugs me most is the character line that comes off the fenders at from the top of the headlights then drops DOWN into the doors and continues rearward below the door handles. It just makes the hood look that much taller.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s as if Ford parented the dropdown front door glass, or the others don’t want to look like copycats, except for Nissan (Titans), but commercial trucks had them first.

      Yes they look sharp, but they also bring the mirrors down, so they don’t block the driver’s (or passenger’s) view, especially the square foot “tow mirrors”. The crown in the road does you no favors either.

      Tall mirrors (normal windows) can be a legit “blind spot”. I once rolled up (story time!) to a stop sign, stopped, but with tall tow mirrors, my eyes gave the “all’s clear!” and I was about to gun it, except my ears went “HOLD Up!” It was a kid in the crosswalk ridding a skateboard, except I never saw him until he crossed right in front of the nose of my truck.

      It seems he entered my (slightly blocked) field of vision from the left with the “perfect” time and speed (along the sidewalk on guessing), as I approached slowing, him in my “moving blind spot” and likely entering the crosswalk/intersection presumably with the “right of way”, before I came to a stop and continued on his way as if I “saw him”. Why would he think otherwise?

      I wasn’t expecting a kid riding a skateboard across my path, basically out of nowhere, and combined with (normal) high mirrors, it could’ve been a real tragedy.

      I’m not implying Ford should get some kind of award, but it’s time the other brands of pickups step up by “stepping down”.

  • avatar

    I know I’ll get used to it but right now the look is fugly.

    I remember being in college when the 1996 F150 areo-look was released. I thought it was terrible. By the end of production, I owned one – thought it was quietly handsome.

  • avatar

    A GM truck is neither ugly nor beautiful. It arrives precisely as it is meant to look.

  • avatar

    I’ll keep my 09 Silverado. And my 94.

  • avatar

    Awful, simply awful. That is as busy as the new Camry. Not a fan of the blacked-out look either, that’s almost as cheesy as the 1980s-era color-coded AMGs and Porsches where EVERYTHING was body color, with no bright trim.

    Black wheels look dirty to me…if there are at least bright accents it makes the wheels pop visually.

  • avatar

    This is a very nice. It’s great to see that the second biggest truck manufacturer in the world isn’t adapting Toyota styling.

  • avatar

    That is one truck that is trying too much to look like the Ford. Though, as ugly as it is at least it is better looking than the Ford. I guess fugly trucks are now in vogue.

    Those lights so high are very disturbing. It has gotten to where anyone driving a car at night is going to get permanent blindness from all the big trucks with the lights aimed at the perfect angle for blinding oncoming motorists. Add in the rednecks who love those stupid blue hued lights and I expect to have to wear welding grade shades when driving at night from now on.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. My old Mustang is much lower than today’s sedans, even more so on SUV’s and these tall trucks. When I drive it at night, lights are blinding to the point of being unsafe on two lane roads.

  • avatar

    Even the Bride of Frankenstein was, underneath all the makeup, the pretty Elsa Lanchester. No such luck for the Silverado.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    No one sees the resemblance to the 2003 Silverado?

  • avatar

    I thought my 99 Silverado was the last of the good looking Chevy’s and the right size for me. Worse by the time I hit 100k miles it was costing me too much to maintain as a daily driver. So I got a Audi which was more reliable. I was able to get another 30k on the truck before I moved and didn’t feel it was worth it to haul half way accross the country.

  • avatar

    Am I the only one who thinks this looks like a puffed-out version of the current Tacoma (grille notwithstanding)?

    Based on this version, I like the current truck much better. I reserve the right to change my mind when we see the non-small d!ck trim levels.

  • avatar

    I swear, every picture I see of this I think has been stretched vertically. These trucks are the equivalent of an average looking guy wearing one of those super-hero costumes that has foam padding abs and biceps sewn in. In top spec they have incredible torque and power, are comfortable and filled with interesting features, can’t they just look like a truck and not….this?

  • avatar

    It looks like a fat kid smiling.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge


  • avatar
    Rick T.

    That second picture brings to mind a Spartan war helmet with cheek protectors.”Molon Labe!!!”

  • avatar

    The front end puts me in mind of the Griswold Family Truckster for some reason.

  • avatar

    It is the reverse of the F-150’s lighting style. And the rest of the face is all jacked up and incoherent.

    Hope for a refresh in a couple years to tone it down.

  • avatar

    Well, I got griped at for stating that a $50,000 4 door truck with a 4 foot bed whose floor is about shoulder height of the standard adult male is about as useful as the male breast, on the grounds that a lot of people buy long beds and regular cabs for $25,000. Kind of like saying that because a lot of people buy running shoes and work boots, that makes saying 6″ spike heels are impractical invalid.

    The truck in question is butt ugly and way too damn tall. Give me a 1974 Chevy C-10 with air bags, chromed steel bumpers mounted on shock absorbers, and a modern engine with computerized fuel mixture and ignition control, please. 8 foot bed, and the option to have either a standard or slightly extended cab. Bench seats and a column shifter. 3 speed Turbo Hydramatic 400 or 4 speed trans, please. In other words, a truck actually usable for trucky things, not a “lifestyle and image enhancement device” intended to make me feel like I am a “Young Manly Man Doing Manly Things Outdoors in my Manly Truck, Preferably While Wearing Expensive yet Rugged Manly Outdoor Clothing, From which I Will Soon Go to my Rugged Manly Abode and have Wild Explosive Sex with a Woman (or man?) Who Truly Appreciates The Way My Manly Lifestyle Vehicle makes it Clear That I am Truly a Manly Rugged Man!!!”

    I would rather just have a truck so I can get that load of sod or mulch or firewood or that old greasy engine to its destination and go home and wash up.

  • avatar

    I think it looks quite handsome in these press release renderings. The complex body creases give it some interesting lines and reduce the visual mass of the sheet metal, and the tires appear well-fitted in the fenders and well-sized for off-road use. I like that we’re now well beyond the horrible peak headlight design phase. It has an aggressive face, but it’s subtle.

    Plus, they avoided the ugliest feature of most trucks: excessive plasti-chrome.

    I’d prefer flush tail lights though. I’m not a fan of lights that stick out of the body like growths of foreign bio-matter. As with obnoxious headlight assemblies, we’re definitely past the peak of that phase and I’d like to see it die off completely.

    The actual photos where the tires look like coasters and the sheet metal looks slab-sided aren’t as appealing. It will be interesting to see one in person.

  • avatar
    Jeremiah Mckenna

    A lot of new changes take time for me to warm up to. I think this one looks OK in this trim and hopefully there will be a toned down trim level. I don’t think this is as nice as the current style, although I’m sure it will grow on me.

    Black wheels I can deal with, but would prefer black chromed wheels or shiny chrome.

    As for the grill and bumper, I prefer the same color, or at least the bumper painted the same color as the truck. Like it is now, it looks like you wrecked your truck and haven’t painted the parts yet.

    The headlights have been getting smaller from the 2007-2014 model, since the 2015 added a chrome strip to make it look a little different, and the 2016 changed it all together and made it smaller.

    I also noticed that there are exhaust ports coming through the bumper. Or is that an oblong exhaust tip?

    I don’t see how this looks like the F150 as a few have stated, other than the side window shape. But I do see Brand Recognition with the Colorado.

  • avatar
    Jeremiah Mckenna

    I just saw these pictures…

    The bottom half of the front fender is actually outside of the front grill and bumper. How will that do when driving through brush? Looks like it will be pulled off or at least have a bunch of leaves and branches stuck in between the fender and he grill/bumper.

    Oh, wait a minute, I just saw an up close picture and there are LED’s in that gap.

  • avatar

    I may be in the minority, but I find the current Silverado rather handsome. This? Not so much.

    Of course, I own an F150 and would buy another.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      No, I too find the current form quite nice, and almost bought one but instead bought a ’98 from my Mother-in-law for $1,500 and then she put $1,275 in front end parts, alignment, tires, a few things under the hood as well as a new drivers side window motor. So I got a great deal.

  • avatar

    Looks swollen to me. Like it has some form of inflammation.

    I like the latest F150 better than the pre refresh one. Probably better than the Ram, even. Being, like the rest of the Internet automotive commentariat, a form-follows-function guy, I have to admit it sort of pains me to admit it does look by far the best in STX trim, semi-gaudy 20 inch rims be damned…

    The GM design language works better on the HDs, where the latest Superduty looks like it’s wearing a suit two sizes too small. The Ram is the one with the most cohesive look across the whole spectrum of pickups.

  • avatar

    That grille is 7-layer bean dip left in the refrigerator for a year. Pick one design and stick with it.

    Also, bring the ride height back down to a sane level. Unless you live in a small town with lots of agriculture, nobody really believes you’re doing anything other than commuting to a desk job.

  • avatar
    Tim Healey

    I like it — it’s a good-looking truck. To each their own.

  • avatar

    Well… this is the least ugly of the entire full size lineup for 2018/2019. This entire generation of full size pickups look ridiculous (outside of the special trims like Raptor). Either they have gigantic chrome lips (F150 and Ram), excessive/random grill designs (F150, Ram, Tundra), or curves that just look bad (Titan, Tundra). This is the least offensive of the new batch. What a terrible generation of full size truck styling.

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