By on August 13, 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

One of the most recent “truisms” kicked around regarding the automotive industry is that there are very few “bad” cars and trucks.

In other words, no matter what vehicle you buy, it’s likely to perform its intended purpose well, offer decent reliability, and not be too punishing to drive.

The flip side is that if almost every vehicle is “good,” then for one to stand out from its competitors, it needs to be even better.

That’s the problem Chevrolet faces with its redesigned 2019 Silverado. Being good won’t be enough, not in a segment in which the Ram 1500 garners accolades from keyboard warriors like myself for its interior design and the F-150 remains wildly popular (and just offered customers a diesel variant).

Not to mention that Chevrolet faces competition from within its own company – the higher-dollar GMC Sierra is all-new, too, and first drives take place later this month.

(Full disclosure: Chevrolet flew me to Jackson, Wyoming to allow me to drive the new Silverado. The company put me up in a nice ranch cabin (and left snacks), fed me several great meals, and offered plenty of local brews. Chevy provided off-road and trailering demos. Chevy also offered a hat – at least I think, as I did not take it).

The highlights of the new Silverado include a diet that shed up to 450 pounds, eight trim choices, and six engine and transmission combinations – including an upcoming diesel. We had our crack at 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s; no diesel was on hand to test just yet.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Other available engines include a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 4.3-liter V6, two 5.3-liter V8s, a 6.2-liter V8, and the soon-to-market 3.0-liter inline-six turbo diesel. The 4.3 makes 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque and pairs to a six-speed automatic. The 2.7 makes 310/348 and pairs with an eight-speed auto, while both 5.3s make 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft, but one mates to a six-speed automatic and the other to an eight-speed. They have different fuel-management systems, as well, and one has stop/start tech.

The 6.2-liter makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, and pairs to a 10-speed automatic. It has stop/start, as does the 2.7 and the diesel, which will mate to a 10-speed automatic and hit the market in early 2019.

All of the gas engines come with either active fuel management or dynamic fuel management. The dynamic system, which appears on one of the 5.3s and the 6.2, differs from the active system in one key way. The active system uses cylinder deactivation to alternate between eight-cylinder mode and four-cylinder mode. Dynamic is more, well, dynamic – it uses cylinder-deactivation to come up with 17 possible different firing fractions. In other words, the engine can activate only the amount of cylinders needed to meet the torque demanded by the driver.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

I started my day in a 5.3-liter LT Trail Boss, which I found to be pleasant but a tad underpowered. Yes, we were at altitude – somewhere around 7,000 feet above sea level – but even with the 383 lb-ft of torque and a maximum towing capacity of 11,600 pounds, it felt a tad light on guts.

I towed a trailer of about 6,000 pounds and, while the 5.3 was capable of towing it with ease, you still can feel the weight back there. Trailer hooked up or not, the 5.3 feels adequate for around-town needs, but in search of a little more oomph.

The Z71 off-road package on the Trail Boss I drove gave it a decided tough-truck look, but also meant the otherwise smooth suspension occasionally got a little jittery on certain types of pavement. You opt for the off-road gear; you should expect a mild sacrifice in ride. Fortunately, that doesn’t really apply to handling – even with the Z71 package, the Trail Boss was untroubled by on-road corners. Switching to Sport mode does firm up the already well-weighted steering, and the truck makes for a nice highway cruiser in either normal or Sport.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

The 6.2-liter solves a lot of ills. Its torque was noticeable, and the 10-speed wasn’t. Passing was breezier and grades were less taxing. Not to mention that while the 5.3 was smooth, the 6.2 was on another level. If Han Solo is smooth, he’s got nothing on Lando Calrissian. That’s how it is here. It’s just a powertrain that does its business pleasantly.

It also rates a 1 mpg higher city mpg number from the EPA, so there’s that.

Few expect great fuel efficiency from full-size trucks, and the EPA numbers on the window stickers bear that out, but my drive partner and I saw good numbers from the trip computer. The caveat being that we were at two-lane highway speeds, gently cruising, for about 80 percent of the drive.

Of the three trucks I drove, the mpg numbers work this way: 15 city/20 highway/17 combined for the LT Trail Boss, 16/22/18 for the LTZ, and 16/20/17 for the High Country. The first two trucks had the 5.3 with dynamic fuel management, while the High Country had the 6.2. All three were four-wheel drive crew cabs.

Truck buyers care as much, if not more, about the cabins than they do the drive dynamics. That’s because for some, their truck is also a place of business; for the rest, they don’t want to give up comfort just because they bought a truck for utility.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

This is where the Silverado falls short. While its design is eye-pleasing, it already feels outdated in comparison to what Ford and Ram offer. The center-stack infotainment screen is small. The LT Trail Boss was plagued by hard plastic (just ask my right knee how it feels after an unfortunate encounter getting into the passenger seat), and while the High Country gets nicer materials, all three trucks had weird mishmashes of materials in places.

I also had problems connecting my iPhone to the USB in the High Country – it wouldn’t charge, and it kept disconnecting, meaning CarPlay wouldn’t come up. I’ve had this issue in GM vehicles before, but not for several years. At least the wireless cell-phone charger worked.

It’s not all bad inside. HVAC controls are well done, and gauges easy to read. The trip computer/in-gauge display is easy to read and use, providing more information than you may ever need. Rear-seat space is plentiful and generous, and the front seats were comfortable enough that I never tired after a full day of exploring Wyoming, Idaho, and Grand Teton National Park.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

I also dug the storage compartment above the glovebox, the additional cell-phone storage slot on top of the console, and the storage areas ahead of the cupholders. There’s a USB-C hookup, and a power outlet, at the bottom of the center stack.

There are buttons that control various truck functions everywhere, but most are clearly marked and easily reached by the driver. The drive-mode selector is in an odd spot (up and to the left of the steering wheel), but you learn its location quickly.

A few trim bits on our early-production test vehicles seemed not ready for prime time, including some of the plastic near the seat belt in one truck, but again, the trucks I drove were early builds.

The exterior styling is certainly controversial. Not only is it not a huge departure from the previous truck, but the looks have been a subject of debate among the staff. I dig the how the headlights are sort of pinched and divided, but not everyone TTACer agrees with me. The Trail Boss does look better than the rest with the blacked-out grille and wheels – but the trims with chrome or body-color (RST) grilles don’t look ugly to my eye.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

That said, the Ram is, to me at least, the best-looking truck on sale right now, and the F-150 is also more of a looker. The Silverado won’t turn as many heads.

Chevy offers eight trims for Silverado – the base Work Truck (17-inch wheels, blacked-out trim, vinyl or cloth trim, 7-inch infotainment screen), Custom (adds 20-inch wheels, LED taillamps, and available dual exhaust), Custom Trail Boss (2-inch lift, Z71 package with locking rear diff, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and off-road rubber), LT (chrome trim, LED headlamps, 8-inch touchscreen, available leather seats), RST (street appearance package, body-color trim, LED lights all around (including fog lamps), up to 22-inch wheels), LT Trail Boss (adds Z71 package), LTZ (lots of chrome exterior trim, heated power-folding mirrors, standard leather seats), and High Country (unique grille with two-tone chrome and bronze, power tailgate, body-color accents).

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

As mentioned before, I got my mitts on a LT Trail Boss, a LTZ, and a High Country. The LTZ and High Country are what Chevy considers its loaded models, with the LT Trail Boss expected to be a volume seller, along with the LT and RST.

Available or standard features present on the trucks I drove included Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, heated seats, heated and cooled seats, rear-view camera, power tailgate, hill descent control, heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, second-row USB ports, power sliding rear window, satellite radio, premium audio, wi-fi hotspot, front and rear park assist, side blind-zone alert with rear cross-traffic alert, head-up display, forward-collision alert, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, rear camera mirror, low-speed forward automatic braking, front pedestrian braking, and following-distance indicator.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

I’m jumbling up the options mix intentionally – the build and price tool isn’t yet live on Chevy’s site as I write this, and Chevy didn’t provide us with a spreadsheet listing exactly what features are or aren’t available with each trim.

Nor did we get pricing info for all trims, but I can tell you the Trail Boss I drove started at $48,300 before options (including dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, second-row USB, satellite radio, premium audio, and 20-inch wheels) with a final price of $54,095 (including $1,495 in fees). The LTZ started at $48,700 and totaled out at $54,730 with the key options being rear heated seats and basic safety aids (park assist, blind-spot alert). The High Country, meanwhile, started at $56,300 and with features such as head-up display, surround camera, and advanced safety aids like forward-collision warning, cost $65,655.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Informal conversations I had and overheard suggest that most, if not all, of the safety aids will be available in the lower trims.

I can tell you engine and trim pairings, however – the 4.3 comes standard in the WT, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss trims, with the 5.3/six-speed combo optional. The LT and RST see a standard four-banger, with options including the 5.3/eight-speed or the upcoming diesel. Meanwhile, the LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country all come standard with the 5.3/eight-speed and the 6.2 as an option. The diesel will be available on the LTZ and High Country, but not the LT Trail Boss.

One neat feature is the available trailer-camera feature – drivers can use the system’s cameras and sensors to monitor trailer placement and operation, although some extra purchases (such as tire-pressure monitoring sensors) will need to be made. I inquired about a trailer-mounted rear-view camera to eliminate blind spots, and was told it may be coming in the future, though nothing is ever certain.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

My words above may seem a bit harsh towards the Silverado, but if a truck fit my lifestyle and budget, I’d have no qualms about stepping into a Silverado each day. At least not until I looked over at a Ram or Ford.

Yes, styling doesn’t matter to everyone. Some truck buyers work on loyalty – they bought the last Silverado, and they’ll buy this one, and that’s that. Other truck buyers themselves about a certain spec, such as fuel economy or towing capacity. Speaking of, the Ram’s max towing capacity is 550 pounds greater, while the F-150 bests both – truck buyers often have specific factors in mind when signing on the dotted line.

Should you choose the Silverado, you’ll get a solid truck that does most things well, but doesn’t stand out in an extremely competitive segment. The Silverado is good, even very good, but that may not be enough.

[Images © 2018 Tim Healey/TTAC and Chevrolet]

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99 Comments on “2019 Chevrolet Silverado First Drive – Good, but Good Enough?...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Why keep the 6 speed around? Isn’t this now the only GM product using the 6 speed RWD/4×4 auto combo?

    The Colorado/Canyon have moved on to the 8 speed, Camaro now uses the 10 speed only… just make the GMT platforms 8-speed and 10 speed only. I’ve always heard that more variation just makes a vehicle more expensive to produce.

    Too bad the TRIPOWER wasn’t there. I think it will be time for revenge commercials from the manufacturer that GM loved to make fun of for things like “man-steps” and the materials that their truck beds were made of.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      I’d guess this is a plant capacity issue, with the transition down the road to eliminate 6 speeds. Not everybody can re-tool as fast as the Musketeers.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        They likely had supplier contracts in place for the six speed as well that they have to honor. Ram has/had the same arrangement in place where 4-5 years after the 8 speed ZF first became available, the 6 speed was still available in a limited number of trims/configurations.

        For most buyers the six speed is fine for daily driving.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      The six-speed is proven, it’s paid for, and it doesn’t stifle the V8 soundtrack as Ford’s ten-speed tends to do.

      That said, we live in a spreadsheet world where these qualities won’t be enough to keep it around forever. Soon it will require at least 15 gears to be considered even remotely fabulous.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Cost/Price leader.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        for those who have the GM 8/10 speeds, does it still have a tranny fluid dipstick? One of the things(aside from a regular column shift) that became missing on the ZF 8 speed was that dipstick, ostensibly because the unit is sealed and needs no regular inspection by the owner(!).

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      The biggest question is what are the available axle ratios, the last trucks options sucked. 3:27 is not meant in a work truck and made the 5.3 feel like a V6.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Note that Ford is also still offering a 6 speed on the F-150 for 3.3 base engine buyers. Cost and capacity are mainly the cause.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I’m tempted to go body color on the grill, only blacking out certain portions, rather than either chrome or fully blacked out.

    Will be buying a new truck myself within weeks… probably have to order and then take it to a skin shop for detailing.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    Has GM ever really solved the AFM issues with the 5.3?

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Judging by how many o2014-2018 owners I know with 5.3 engines i would say it seems so. Some have well over 100K with no issues at all.

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        That’s good to hear. Maybe in a few years a used Suburban will look more appealing to me. I miss my ’99 badly but I can’t talk myself into rolling the dice on a high mileage ’10-’12 given the AFM issues.

    • 0 avatar

      Apparently not. See: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/has-gm-solved-there-issues-with-active-fuel-management/123031/page1/

      From a GM Tech:

      “I haven’t seen where it is restricted to certain years, it happened all across the GMT-800 platform, even after the 2010 fix that an earlier poster mentioned but I have never heard off. It’s honestly not that common on the GMT-800s though. Our dealership sees maybe one a month tops. The pistons/rings/timing chains issue on the GM 2.4L Ecotec is far worse (We see 3-4 a week) and nobody talks about that one.

      The new body style 2014+ trucks have more issues with the AFM. They like to break valvesprings. A lot. Like, as low as 5000 miles. And the bearings also tend to fall out of the rocker arms into the engine. And even when the system works, it causes ungodly driveline vibrations when it goes into V4 that customers complain about and GM buys the truck back. And that’s normal.”

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        Yikes. So maybe the only solution is to buy new and deactivate the AFM on day one.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors (GM) sends all’owners love you long time with engines and parts made proudly in Wuhan, Hubei Province!

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        i’m calling BS on that last comment about “ungodly driveline vibrations when it goes into V4.” In 2015, I test-drove at least 3 trucks with either the 5.3 or 6.2 engine, all of which had cylinder deactivation. I ultimately bought a 2015 6.2 (the 4th truck I have driven personally), which now has over 71,000 miles. None of them showed this behavior. in fact, the changeover between 4 and 8 cylinder operation is barely perceptible. Nor did any of the various tests of these trucks by pickuptrucks.com and others mention this.

        I hope this mechanic didn’t send his complaining customer away with a “that’s just the way they are” comment when the customer’s real problem was likely an alignment/tire wear/tire balancing problem.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t think Ford has much to worry about.

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    Interesting that GM has gone flat out with styling after Dodge and the Ranger toned it back this year. Since it’s more conservative in construction I suppose they have to compensate somehow.

    I’m on the side that thinks it’s a good looking truck. Can’t wait to get tailgated by a rusted-out WT trim with one headlight out in 10 years time!

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    1) Hood needs to be 16″ higher.

    2) Front fascia needs to bigger.

    3) Interior nails it with retro-1998 look in terms of dash materials, overall layout, etc (gotta love the dashplatic and that glovebox and those Harbor Freight off the rack levers and switchgear.

    4) Needs 75% foreign, lowest-possible-bidder parts content, up from current 50%.

    5) That steering wheel is awesome.

    6) Put special edition Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) “Mark of Excellence” chicklet emblems on front quarter panels.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      DW you’d have LOVED the rental Acadia SLE AWD I had last month with the 2.5L NA motor in it. I was shocked to see that apparently people are willing to part with about $33k to buy one of these hateful conveyances.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        What is with all the hate on the 197-200HP 2.5 NA engine these days. I have it in my 2017 Impala and for the most part love it. Plenty of zip from 0-60. Instant low and mid range torque. Smooth as silk at idle. Gets well above the comical 30-31 EPA highway rating using both trip computer and hand calculator. I also have several friends that have this same engine in their 2013-2016 Malibu’s and they also really like them. Are we seriously living in a world where if it doesn’t have a stupid turbo it’s no good?

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Are you really surprised someone wasn’t bowled over by a 2.5L four cylinder in a 4000lb vehicle that can hit $40K sticker?

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Plenty of zip from 0-60.”

          Maybe if you’re coming out of a 307 Parisienne it’s great, but I do not consider an 8.7 second time to qualify as “zip”. More like “not as bad as a Subaru Outback 2.5i”.

          I’m guessing the Acadia 2.5L is even slower.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Actually coming out of a 300 HP 3.6 2013 W-body Impala that I rarely ever used or needed. In part throttle driving it gets right up to 50-60 with no strain and the only time I miss the power is foot to the floor action.

            And I don’t care what one magazine’s 0-60 time was. Another got 8 seconds flat for comparison. And my 2017 now that it has 17,500 miles has loosened up and is putting more power to the ground than when I first got it. Seat of the pants it feels like under 8 seconds which for reference was what a 00-05 Impala with the extra cost 3800 did.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I had a rental 2.5 Impala 2 weeks ago so I have some points of comparison. You’re right, in the Impala the 2.5 is at least well muted and decently behaved, and provides adequate if not thrilling propulsion. I will say it shakes the wheel at idle, made especially noticeable with that awful auto-start stop that jerks the engine back to life.

          In the Acadia, that same engine is a noisy, painful sounding mess. It is a question of NVH isolation, or lack there-of. I didn’t see more than 28 indicated mpg in fairly optimal 60-65mph cruising over flat Central Indiana farm country.

          I know they are somewhat different classes of CUV, but the Edge Titanium 2.0T I just returned after a 9 hour road trip to and from NC may as well have been a Mercedes S-class after that hateful Acadia that I loathed to deal with even after the short 50 minute rural highway drive that I did in it.

    • 0 avatar
      doug-g

      Didn’t you get the word? GM’s crap is as good as everyone else’s crap.

      TTAC: In other words, no matter what vehicle you buy, it’s likely to perform its intended purpose well, offer decent reliability, and not be too punishing to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        pancho & gtem:

        I have been on record here stating great hatred for start/stop and the 4 banger Impala.

        I Rented one in BFLO and put 1000 miles zig zagging thru PA.

        It wasnt that bad. Would nt have been a big deal owning one. (PS- Previous GM Test Driver here. Hyper sensitive to NVH)

        So, lesson learned – I ll hold final judgement until i see one and drive one.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen a couple of the new Silverados in person in the Detroit area recently and I don’t like the styling of the front end. It’s very stubby and makes the whole truck appear smaller somehow. Visually, it looks more like it’s sized like a Colorado, rather than a full-size pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      It’s definitely a love it or hate it design. I for the record hate it, but I think GM’s intention is to sell me a Sierra instead. I don’t think this is a bad strategy. The two trucks will be distinct enough that everyone should be happy with the styling of one or the other who is a potential customer.

    • 0 avatar
      kefkafloyd

      After seeing a few different treatments, the combination of chrome/body color bumper depends heavily on the color of the truck. The white truck shown in this article (with the chrome lower bumper and white colored mid-bumper) looks a lot better to me than the red truck with the blacked out grille. The blackout treatment overemphasizes the notched-in fender panels. The notch is much less distracting on the white-and-chrome truck. But then you get that little hockey stick where the fender and the mid-bumper meet that looks completely incongruous. I see where they were going with it

      Black and chrome will probably be the nicest looking (it’s hard to screw that up) but the squinty lights are an SUV look, not a pickup look.

      • 0 avatar
        James2

        Jalopnik (sorry) has a GIF showing all the different grille treatments. None of them look good to me, imo.

        I still think the hoodline is too tall, giving the impression that the bed lines up below it. Those awful criss-cross bodylines don’t help, either.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Increase in rebates for F150 and Ram1500.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Why? Because this truck pushes no envelope, covers no new ground (4 cylinder excepted, although it isn’t out and the jury is still out on it as well, bastardizing a once respected name doesn’t help), and is generally “meh”?

  • avatar
    Grenade

    All of this is from a Ford fanboy, but I do appreciate the all mighty LS1.

    Glad to see they finally ditched the square fender wells. Hopefully they also fixed the AFM / DOD features of the V8s. They tended to eat valvetrain parts.

    The side profile looks quite good, but moving from there to the 1/4 view on into the front, the Predator jowls aren’t doing it any favors. I also agree with whoever mentioned the front hood looks too short. Perhaps GM is taking advantage of the small nature of the LS line and bringing the cab forward will allow more passenger room.

    At the end of the day, GM has the luxury of designing two visual statements for their full sizers, as they can go more aggressive on the Chevy and then dial it back for the more prestigious GMC. Hopefully the GMC fixes the front end that just doesn’t work along with the lame CHEVROLET stamped tailgate.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    You must be best or lowest cost when you are last to market.
    Taking your review and others into account the Silverado is not best. No Wow! factor here. GM has been the incentive leader in full size trucks more often than not in recent years. Maintaining market share and increasing it is likely to be dependent on incentives with the 2019.

    Remains to be seen if Toyota will be competitive with new Tundra. Ford, GM and RAM have the best full size trucks. No compelling reason to choose a Titan or Tundra.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I don’t understand how the company that consistently made the best looking trucks up until 2002 has released such a succession of poorly designed or outright ugly trucks since.

    The 900s were either awkwardly proportioned or totally bland/mailed in depending on the viewing angle, and the angry face 800s, K2s, and now this are just trying too hard with the front end. Ram has looked good for years, and the 2015+ Fords are not bad either. This thing approaches Civic Type R levels of hideousness and I don’t say that lightly. Oh how I wish I could just buy a brand new GMT400…..

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I agree with you, but I’ll stop at 1998. I don’t think that any of the Silverado’s from ’99 onward have aged well. Some of the GMT-900 Heavy Duties are simply downright hideous to look at. GMC has been a tolerable alternative in the styling department, but I still strongly dislike the interiors.

      I am holding my judgement until I see this new design in person. I’m afraid of the verdict. I don’t really have strong truck loyalties but have recently realized that GM trucks have been off my radar of interest for 20 years. 20 years is a long time. That isn’t good.

      A recent quote from auto writer Peter M. DeLorenzo about the current status of the Chevrolet brand also applies to their trucks:
      “Chevrolet. No marketers have done less with more than the people charged with nurturing one of the most iconic American brands of all time.”

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I have seen this in person at an auto show and my opinion is that it’s just as bad as the photos.

        I agree with you about Chevy being off my truck radar. I had a 97 K2500 and currently have an 02 Avalanche 2500 that I’m about to finally part with. Both bulletproof powertrains, and both killed only by rust. I told myself years back I’d stick with Chevy for as long as I own gas trucks. But between the styling mishaps, the sub par interiors, and the inexplicable powertrain decisions (why no class competitive HD gas engine? Why no 6.2 available with an 8 foot bed?) I just found them to be a distant 3rd when I test drove all the competition. So I’m buying a Ford.

        That quote is sad but it’s hard to argue with.

  • avatar
    RSF

    Just me or does the tailgate shot look like an old S-10? I do like the profile look of the white truck though. I agree that the interior is already dated. No forward thinking went into it like in the Ram. I can’t wait to see the new F150 in a couple years.

  • avatar
    deanst

    It’s sad that GM can spend so much money, and change so many things, and yet come up with a truck that is just so mediocre. Who knew it was so difficult to make an attractive pickup?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      EVERY MONTH IS TRUCK MONTH AT YOUR LOCAL CHEVY DEALER!!!

      These will be marked at 20% to 25% off MSRP no haggle as announced by huge media buys during Chevy’s Chinesium December RED TAG EVENT! as is par for the course.

      Higher MSRP, higher % of Chinesium parts content, same % discounts and garbage product.

      The New RAM literally looks like it’s 4 generstions better and newer than this, inside and out.

      It’s as if the peeps running RAM know what they’re doing and are actual, real product people (hat tip to Ralph Gilles and real product and design professionals like him).

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Deadweight is correct.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The people running (maybe not quite running, but a lot closer than Ford and GM) Ram, and even more so Nissan, actually pick up the phone and listen to aftermarket shops, upfitters and other “truck world” denizens closer to retail customers than their own overstuffed corner offices.

        To get Ford’s attention, you have to be Exxon or BP. To get GMs, you have to be either Ma Bell or a big city or state or federal agency. Which is nice if you want specific, high end functionality, like Live Drive on a pickup (Ford), or a dually chassis narrow and low enough to park in a typical urban structure (GM). But it’s hardly the best way to get a feel for the mood of regular Joe Truck retail buyers, wrt more subjective areas of what a modern pickup should be.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I read an article with GM engineers bragging that they have “thousands” of dollars in cost advantage over ford. Why not put a few bucks into the interior?

    • 0 avatar

      The answer is in the question, methinks.

      GM since Afred P. Sloan has been in the business of making money, not cars. “Success” there is judged on program profitability and hitting navel-gazing targets–purportedly everyone working on the Pontiac Aztek considered it a rousing success because they hit all their internal milestones and program dates.

      GM trucks have been behind the competition every generation since the GMT400, strikingly conservative and stone deaf when it came to listening to customers.

      Thankfully, they’ve had the good sense to let GM Powertrain be the star of the show. People buy these trucks for their engines and transmissions, and tolerate the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Because the profits from these trucks needs to carry the whole corporation. The cars don’t make money, the green vehicles lose money, so every dollar saved on the pickups goes to support GM’s needy.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “GM engineers bragging that they have “thousands” of dollars in cost advantage over ford”

      That is NOT what I want to be hearing as a buyer.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        I agree it isn’t smart to brag how cheap you can make your cars, but the engineers I expect are talking as much to the financial markets to hype the GM stock price as they are to the enthusiast press and public.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      The funny thing is that “it shows”. haha.

      Its like “To save money, we gave you a crappier truck you won’t like as much! And since we saved $2000 over the truck you really like, we’ll knock $500 off the price!

  • avatar

    Seems odd to host a press junket for non-turbo trucks at 7000′ above sea level, unless you’re *really* trying to skew the product mix towards the 6.2L and LTZ levels.

    RAM 1500: eTorque has been a nightmare to launch. Their product mix was exclusively 5.7L w/o eTorque until recently. Given it’s FCA, reliability on that Rube Goldberg device in particular would give me pause.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Liking the Trail Boss. Skid plates, real ground clearance, no dragging chin, V8. Similar off-pavement capabilities as an SR5 4Runner, and as a 4R owner it warrants consideration. But what strikes me when comparing my hopelessly outdated and cynically overpriced Japanese Jeep is that this brand new Chevy retails for a minimum $12K more yet isn’t significantly quicker (assuming 2016 5.3 + 8spd numbers apply), still gets worse fuel economy despite cylinder shutdown shenanigans, and apparently still doesn’t have an interior that feels like $50K.

    The “Trail Boss” name is a bit juvenile as well. Why does every domestic truck maker need to pander to wannabe cowboys? You’re not a cowboy, you tow a ski boat and candy-a$$ed RV so you can frolic about on the weekends!

    I’m running away now.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      It may retail sticker for $12K more, but after GM rebates and other incentives may undercut the Toyota significantly.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        On volume trims, I have no trouble believing this. I wonder if the Trail Boss will be a bit too niche for such discounts. If you can get it for mid-low 30s that would be quite a vehicle for the price, though still a big galoot for some trails.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          As the article mentions they also have a Custom Trail Boss trim for those who want the off roadness/look but without all the gadgetry and fanciness. That starts around the same price as the 4Runner TRD Pro before the inevitable rebates and discounts.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Hmm, Custom Trail Boss with the 4.3 V6 vs. 4Runner SR5 for similar OTD prices. That would be an interesting comparison. I wonder how well the V6 moves such a large truck in off road config, and whether it’s worth just stepping up to the 5.3 since both engines have DI and cylinder deactivation to think about.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    It seems the trim levels are more complicated than they need to be, even for a vehicle that can be so many things to a diverse set of buyers. It doesn’t seem like the RST trim needs to exist, and what exactly is its calling card. In the big SUVs, it’s been the sporty trim with the optional 6.2, but for 2019 that isn’t exclusive to the RST in the SUVs, and in the Silverado you can’t even get it.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    Can you turn off the stop/ start?

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I believe there is a switch for it, yes. It really was pretty intrusive — but the type of driving we did involved very little idle time. It sometime stayed running during the few times we stopped.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        High elevation often results in less stop/start. Maybe now we know the reason why Chevy choose a high elevation area to showcase the trucks despite choking their power lol.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I want to know how they managed to keep identical MPG ratings for the new DFM 5.3/8 speed in 4X4 configuration compared to 2014/2018 models with the old AFM 5.3/6 speed and lose one highway MPG with the 6.2/10 speed despite losing weight, gaining better aerodynamics, the new skip fire tech and the switch to newer more efficient transmissions.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Someone explain to me why this truck needs to be so tall.

  • avatar
    whynot

    I don’t understand the complete lack of information on this truck (e.g. the lack of a B&P tool on their consumer website) when they are making there way onto dealer lots now. But it is GM so…

    I actually don’t mind the exterior that much but whoever was lead on the interior should be fired. The whole thing just looks cheap, especially the passenger side unless you have a latch fetish. The screen size is actually competitive (matching the F150, only smaller than the Ram), although this is a brand new truck versus one that is several years old, but the vent design around it makes the screen look smaller than it actually is.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I was befuddled, too. Chevy events are well-run, but we didn’t even get a USB, and the media site was light on feature/trim setup. I assume last-minute changes, perhaps.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    Mixed feelings about this truck. 1. Styling is Okay one minute, not the next. I like it being somewhat different, but man that front end is too short and way to rectangular. Just kind of off-putting. Need to see in-person.

    2. Holy Cow that interior is bad. I’m sorry, you can make a simple to use interior look a little more modern. Somehow GM managed to make a 8inch touchsceen look small while Ram has a flagship 12 in screen and Ford’s looks normal. I don’t get it.

    3. If you’re going to engineer this advanced DOD system and it gets worse fuel economy than the 6.2/10 speed, why not hook it up to the 10 speed as well? I think that’s actually embarrassing for GM and surprised they let it happen.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in the new 19 Ram in Rebel, Laramie, and Big Horn trims, and it looks waaay nicer than this. Actually has innovative features like the reclining seat, pano roof, 12 inch screen and it drove luxury car quiet! Certainly, want to spend time in this new Silverado and I’m sure it will do well, but i’m not impressed.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I was shocked how small the touchscreen is. It’s easy to use, and you get used to it, but at first glance, it’s a big step down.

      I will say the Silverado was very quiet at speed.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    GM. Top kek.

  • avatar
    Coolcar2

    I will give Chevy some credit for trying something new for a change, the last two versions were too similar and appeared old even when new. I think the LTZ or High Country trims looks much better in the fascia, the red one appears super tall with all of the monochromatic black trim. I am thinking the smaller hood will give way to better visibility?

    I still don’t understand why people that don’t need a truck buy these beasts. Every time I am in a parking garage and there are pickups of this size sticking way out from their spaces blocking the main isle for driving I curse to myself because I know damn well the beds in these trucks rarely get used and they never see trailer duty either!

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    When you are a third rate level truck maker and the best you can do with a new truck is this, then there is precious little hope you’ll ever “get it”. Right now Ford and Ram are the premiere truck builders and everyone else is fighting for the “also ran” crowd. And since GMC is really a professional grade Chevrolet, then you’d be an idiot to pay a premium for a third rate truck.

    I’m sorry – these new Chevrolets are not compelling in any way – everything about them reeks of settling and not putting in the effort to be a class leader.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I really love the style on this thing. I’m not a truck guy, but IMHO it is fantastic. So count me as a lover.

    Interior is the biggest disappointment. This is not a class known for great interiors (RAM excepted?), and in the photos it looks bad. I can’t imagine the touch/real life experience.

    Still, to me, the big advantage GM has is the engines. You can talk to me all day about how great the Ecoboost is, but I can 100% guarantee you I’d buy a HEMI RAM or one of the LS engined GMs before Ford’s turbo. Of course Ford still has the 5.0, but my take has always been RAM and GM do the better V8.

    They’ll sell just fine here. Though it does sound like maybe the 5.3L needs an upgrade. If there is no real penalty in MPG to get the 6.2L, why even bother with the 5.3L?

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      “They’ll sell just fine here. Though it does sound like maybe the 5.3L needs an upgrade. If there is no real penalty in MPG to get the 6.2L, why even bother with the 5.3L?”

      Because the 5.3L is likely much cheaper to build for GM, so naturally they make the 6.2 next to impossible to actually get.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        But why would the 5.3L be cheaper to build? The construction and technology are the same between the two AFAIK.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          I don’t why that would be the case. I can’t think of any other reason why Chevy wants to restrict the 6.2L so much though, other than possibly protecting GMC. It is stupid and GM fanboys complain about it all the time.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            GM has to have a means to penilize the cheapskates, no other reason for the 5.3 to exist. Except it should be an upgrade for the Colorado/Canyon or ATS base engine.

            The 6.2 should be optional even on base/base stripper GM fullsize pickups. Or their base engine if you ask me. The 8.1 should be the upgrade. It’s not as big as it sounds.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      The touch points were fine in the higher trims, although I banged my knee quite hard on the hard plastic of the LT Trail Boss when getting in. The interior looks OK, but it doesn’t compare to the others, and the touch screen is so small, although you get do get used to it.

      The Silverado is a fine truck on its own, but it seems behind the times compared to Ram and Ford.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    Who do you trust?

    TTAC: Should you choose the Silverado, you’ll get a solid truck that does most things well, but doesn’t stand out in an extremely competitive segment.

    Pickuptrucks.com: The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 looks like it’s going to be a game-changer for Chevy and the class.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      It is a bit concerning that pickuptrucks.com thinks putting the actual vehicles’s capability on a label in the door jam is a new and significant thing…

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      The site that doesn’t depend on pickup truck advertising exclusively?

      • 0 avatar
        doug-g

        Dave M, wouldn’t pickuptrucks.con risk alienating Ford and FCA by making such a statement regarding a GM product? They have a limited pool of advertisers per your statement.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Pickup trucks.com: “this new pickup is…lighter than ever before.”

      Yeah, kind of doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      Um yeah, I think I’ll pass on the fanboy site. Gamechanger? LOL thats a good one. Junk? You bet!

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        THE GAMECHANGER!*

        *The last time I recall this being puked out by the autojournosaurists here was when a then newbie Derek Kreindler referred to the current (and now dated) Ford Fusion as “a Gamechanger,” before even driving (or sitting online, even?) after seeing it at the 2013 NAIAS in Detroit.

        What followed in the hallowed comments section of TTAC was FUN, FUN, FUN!

        A right-good rodgering he did get!

        Pickuptrucks.com = Whoredom cesspool.

        MOARRRRR WHORRRRING FOR MANUFACTURER AD $$$.

  • avatar
    arach

    the ONE version of this truck I’m excited about is the Turbo 4… the rest just seems like same-old-same-old.

    I’m so eager about the turbo 4, i really think it might get me back in a truck again…

    Although I’m sure I’ll be filled with disappointment once it actually releases… but I’ve got my finger crossed with the weight reduction we can get to 25 MPG combined. Then its game on for full size trucks.

    This is the version I’m dying to learn about. I hate having to get a big old engine just because I want a big car.

    I used to love my 4 cylinder GMC sonoma. It wasn’t big enough though, and I need more room!

  • avatar
    dwford

    Well, the good news is that the 20% off discounts will carry on to the 2019s.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I prefer the looks of the white Silverado over the red one. I would like to see this truck in silver. Silver might be the best color for this truck.

  • avatar
    cartime

    If you want a nice car, buy a Ram.
    If you want a nice toy, buy a Ford.
    If you want a nice truck, there’s only Chev.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    How tall was that ugly tree? That thing must have been HUGE!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Agreed! The GMT-900s (2007-2014) were the best looking GM trucks, IMHO. Everything else has been meh.

      The exterior in profile pays some homage to that generation, but the details let it down, inside and out.

      I see the cancer of rimless autodimming inside mirrors which resemble the facial expression of a demented, demonic clown has spread to GM (and looks to be too narrow to see out the entire back window, to boot); they put the OnStar buttons in the overhead console. It just looks weird and cheap.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I don’t see why they’re advertising a weight reduction, that’s the last thing I want to see when buying a new truck. Less trailer control, lose ride quality, weaker components/more expensive components. Forget the looks, telling me it lost weight is my biggest concern.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Also no one has mentioned the major departure in mirror location, no longer being at the windows corner means a lot. I’m very interested in seeing how the 3/4 trucks deal with that for tow mirrors.

  • avatar
    Krivka

    It is probably a good truck, but some people are not looking for good trucks anymore. Most people buying trucks are looking to replace their car or the old truck and do not care about towing, hauling or to be blunt, truck-like attributes, but want a nice environment to while away their daily commute and enough space for their golf clubs, fishing gear, and Costco runs. The problem with this truck is the same problem GM has with the Camaro which is not understanding NEW customer needs. Yeah, they talked to Camaro owners and got a thumbs up on that car, and probably talked to Silverado owners on the truck, but that is like Trump asking the mirror on the wall who is the bestest of them all. The designers/engineers responsible for designing the interior of this vehicle should be fired. I am not joking. It is good enough for a truck, but good enough is not GOOD enough anymore. Same goes for the Camaro. Great platform wasted with a cartoon exterior and a worse interior. I love GM, but holy cow, how can they continue going down this path?

  • avatar
    Reino

    I’ve been in all three domestics in their top trim levels. The fit and finish are all equally luxurious. I would travel in any of them comfortably over a long distance.

    But for everyday driving, nothing beats the Chevy V8 for the glorious symphony of an exhaust note played by your right foot.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    Why do all full size pickups now look like the once-upon-a-time F350/3500 size, and the “small” pickups look like the old full size pickups with S-10 size interiors? I don’t want a big mean and tough looking thing. I want just a plain jane pickup truck to haul stuff for work; it doesn’t have to be aggressive or race a Corvette. Just get me and my tools and materials back and forth in a reliable manner. Keep me warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s hot. Priced like a truck, not a luxo SUV.

    I much prefer the styling and sizing – small, medium, and large – of the “ordinary” pickup trucks of 30 years ago to the rolling monsters now on the dealers’ lots.

  • avatar
    ChevyIIfan

    Tim-
    Did you get a chance to see what the yellow sticker payload numbers on either of these beasts were? The max trailer weight means nothing- payload is going to limit what you can legally tow on any half ton. My 2013 Silverado has a max towing of 9,600, but if I hooked that much weight to it I would be over my payload (at 15% tongue weight) before I even got in it. Just curious if Chevy has finally caught up to Ford, since Ford does make a few F150s with 2,100 lb payload numbers. Most chevy 1/2 tons seem to be in the 1500 lb range, which limits your real life towing capacity to about 6,000- 7,000 lbs (1000 lb tongue weight plus family)


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