By on July 27, 2020

No, General Motors hasn’t tapped an army of virus-resistant robot workers from Boston Dynamics to build its bread-and-butter models; rather, the pickups themselves will undergo changes to boost appeal amid potent competition from Detroit rivals.

Sometime next year, The General’s full-sizers will reportedly correct a mistake that held the duo back upon their debut.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on any exterior changes coming to the polarizing Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra siblings. Instead, it’s the inside of the trucks that stand to take on a new look. Lackluster cabins were a weak point when the new-for-2019 trucks arrived, especially when compared to Ram’s equally new 1500.

With Ford now gearing up to ship a new F-150 to dealers, GM can’t afford to leave itself exposed on any flank. Despite their, um, aggressive styling, the Silverado and Sierra boasted cabins that felt like warmed-over retreads of what came before; in high-zoot trims, the ambiance wasn’t on par with the sticker price.

gm

Automotive News is now reporting a looming change first announced by GM Authority late last year — a rumor the publication fleshed out last month. The pickups are due for an interior overhaul next year, AN claims, hinting at a 2022MY introduction. Citing sources in the know, GM Authority said the ’22 Silverado is in line to receive the center stack and console found in the next-generation, 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban. It’s assumed the Sierra will snag choice interior bits from the GMC Yukon.

In the case of GM’s new crop of full-size SUVs, the interiors underwent vast changes, while the exterior saw an evolutionary design update. It’s the opposite of what occurred with GM’s trucks.

It’s expected that the automaker’s HD trucks, new for the 2020 model year, will see similar changes come 2022 or 2023.

[Images: Steph Willems/TTAC, General Motors]

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38 Comments on “Help Is on the Way for GM’s Full-size Trucks...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    And here comes GMs semi-annual game of “catch up”…

    Time for a “Red Tag” sale?

    Truck MONTH at your local Chevy/GMC dealer, anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      ….. GM mantra for the past 30 years. “oh but wait for the next generation / model year, we will fix it and get it right promise promise promise and fix all the problems blah blah blah.” Rinse, wash, repeat…… and when they do fix the problems, they cancel the program.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Nobody at General Motors could have possibly seen these cheap interiors as a problem.

    Ram and Ford just came out of the blue!

    I am constantly amazed at GMs operation. They clearly have the engineering talent to compete with anyone. But they always seem to chop themselves off at the knees. I know there must be cost balance but it’s like they always take it too far.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s been that way for years. They don’t change anything until the parts bins are empty, and their parts bins are huge. It’s not just the trucks, the sedans went decades with the same controls/layouts, with minor changes year to year.

      OTOH, those layouts became very familiar to generations of buyers and led to the older customers buying GM vehicles because they’d become accustomed to them. I’ve had a guy in front of me at the rental desk demanding a GM car when he didn’t get an Impala and they tried to give him an Altima.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Yep — cruise on the turn signal stalk, lights and wipers in the usual spots, and climate and radio controls which were identical across most of the line, all the way up the Sloanian ladder!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, remember when we were talking about GM’s “we’re going to hold the line on price with these new pickups and maximize profits” boast? Now we know how they were going to do it.

    GM CAN do a great interior if it wants to – I saw one of the new Tahoes this weekend, and it was quite impressive inside. Admittedly, this was an uplevel model, but the styling, materials and textures all felt like money.

    The pickups are another matter. They look cheap, and all the switches feel cheap.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Does everyone see what I see in the top photo? Is that a column shifter?

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    I believe the top photo is the “old interior”. It’s very similar to my 2018 Silverado.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      Yes, it’s a column, shifter. GM will never learn. This type of mistake is repeated so often, it is par for the course.

      I thought the new trucks looked bad–I think ALL full-size trucks now look bad, except for the (now) tolerable Ram. That said, the Silverado seems less offensive as I see them on the road. Maybe it will be (to me) like the 2nd gen Audi 5000. THe one everyone raved about. When it came out, I didn’t like it.

      But those interiors…that is where the typical (and misplaced for at least 40 years now), “they’ll buy it because it is a GM car” mentality meets the cost reduction mentality, to give American’s cheap, outdated interiors.

      GM came up with a credible Malibu in 2007. For 2013, they took a victory lap, cheapened it, and the car lost all the hard earned progress GM had made in that segment.

      GM came up with a credible sports car, the Solstice. But they launched it with a manual trans from a truck with awful gear ratios.

      GM came up with a credible small car, the original Cruze. They replaced it with a cheaper car.

      GM has arguably the best V8 truck engine, the 6.0. But to get it, you must buy an overpriced truck, vs Ram, which offers their Hemi, which is about just as good, for less money–in a truck with a much better interior.

      I could go on and on….

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        GM replaced the 6.0 with a new 6.6 which was severely trounced by the new Ford 7.3 in a TFL truck Ike Gauntlet test.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          From the context of the rest of his comment I’m guessing he meant the 6.2L offered in the half-ton.

          The big appeal of the old HD 6.0L was that it was a long-time known quantity. It wasn’t a powerhouse but for folks not towing 15K through the Eisenhower tunnel it could handle things. The 6.6L and 7.3L are both pretty new so time will tell on their longevity but the Ford does seem to have a performance edge.

        • 0 avatar
          CaddyDaddy

          Lou, IIRC the Ike Gauntlet test showed the 7.3L gas was about as fast as the Diesels and not far off on the MPG factor. for the 8K premium on the oil burner option yikes.

          yes the 7.3L is an absolute beast, IMO it may be the best V-8 produced by ANY manufacturer at this time.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @CaddyDaddy – I was considering a Tremor with the 7.3. It’s a lot lighter by about 500 lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        tad1251

        Please go on and on. Because with the e-torque helping the HEMI it is not quicker than the the 5.3 nor is if not as efficient and the recommended fuel grade is 89 vs 87 octane. You did not research before spouting off.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I don’t see any shifter in the new interior, is it a dial-a-gear?

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        The new interior (the new Tahoe/Suburban interior that is) uses a push button shifter. You can see them to the left of the center infotainment screen.

        The top photo is the current Silverado interior. Which looks very similar to the last gen interior (honestly worse in my opinion).

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Historical perspective: In the 90’s GM firmly believed that interior design was one of its competitive strengths. (You are welcome to agree or disagree.)

    Current truth: At a ‘typical’ OEM like GM, the vast majority of executives will very rarely [or never] sit in a base-trim or low-trim model, especially as you go down the ladder by carline.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    GM changes the exterior but very little changes to the interior and people dig them.

    Ford barely changes the exterior and adds reclining seats and a new gauge cluster and everyone goes nuts.

    The hypocrisy is astounding

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Yeah, that free market and sales figures…so much hypocrisy. The new interior looks nice, but to this point GM Marketing seems to have been “Step up to the 6.2 and you’ll get a great motor in a truck we have done our best to make sort of tolerable.”

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      I don’t see the hypocrisy in your statements.

      New GM exterior is polarizing and people didn’t like the old interior all that much and they still hate the new (current) interior.

      While with Ford people don’t mind the exterior styling (old/current or new) all that much and the new interior looks like a marked improvement over the old one.

      If people like something they don’t mind if doesn’t change much. When people don’t like something they get annoyed when it is not improved in future iterations. That’s not hypocrisy…that is normal.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        It would be hypocrisy if Ford or Ram released a truck with a crap interior and then complained about Chevy/GM interiors.

        Someone must think Dictionary is his late grammar’s maiden name!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      EBFlex, What people dig the current GMs? There’s been an outcry for GM to fix their GMT interiors since ’13 (while Ram started eating their lunch) and they instead leave it alone and make the exteriors (that were OK) crazy ugly?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Will that mean more sloped hoods and smaller grilles? Maybe some more aerodynamic curves to improve fuel mileage on the highway? How about a smaller size… like… the Colorado being their full-sized model and bringing in something truly smaller–S-10-sized?

    All of the above would make perfect sense but I really don’t expect to see it any time soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Ford is supposed to be releasing a “compact” truck. It will be the “Maverick” of the truck world. LOL

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Vulpine, I don’t get it.. If you want something the size of the Colorado, just get that. No fullsize has ever been the size of the Colorado (helicopter view) since there’s been “fullsize”. So why start now?

      The tall hood and wide/gaping grill is necessary when they offer 1,000 lbs/ft diesel torque (on the platform). Count the layers of radiators/coolers/etc.

      The “jellybean” F-150 had a couple inches lower hood, however it’s pointless on pickups. There’s so much extreme turbulence over/under/behind/etc/etc, that it’s silly (goofy even) to fight it.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @DenverMike: Have I EVER said, “I want something the size of the Colorado”? I have a Colorado and it’s too bloomin’ big for my needs. I don’t need the height, I don’t need the width and I don’t need the length. The Colorado should still be S-10 sized and the Full-sizers should be the size of the current Colorado. I’ve said that all along, if you bother to pay attention and not just knee-jerk another anti-mid-size argument.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yes I get that part. One is too big for you, the other is way too big for you.

          The next is way, way too big for you. Should I keep going? Your argument is rather pointless since you’ll never be in the market for a fullsize.

          But eventually we’ll find out the Focus or Fiesta based pickup (or Hyundai trucklette) is too small or too wide or not enough this or that or the other for you.

          Maybe it’s YOU that needs to change/adapt. But what makes you think or feel I’m “anti-midsize”? I would definitely own (at least) one if it wasn’t for fullsize.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Such sarcasm from you, DM, is simply pitiful. I have owned a full-sized truck and it was no larger than the mid-sized truck I now own. And that was a long-bed 1990 F-150, of which you’ve known about for several years. That F-150 also didn’t have a huge, fake, Big-Rig grille and got an easy 19mpg on the highway, over 30 years ago. Their larger size and massive grilles are at least a part of why their economy is so poor, along with all the added weight of turning these things into luxury vehicles.

            Clearly by reducing their size and re-shaping their grilles to something less like a brick wall and more like an aircraft would help them reach 30mpg without such ridiculous gimmicks such as a Diesel engine so leaned out it can’t do any real work! Even the reviewers have had to laugh at that one! Comfortable? Yes. But is it really a truck any more like that? What of these silly 2.3T and 2.7T engines, so tiny that the truck simply doesn’t need that big nose any more… and yet the engine bay is as empty by comparison as the old trucks were with their 196c.i.d.(±) inline 6. Those engines, by the way, work far better in a truck with a much smaller body as well as giving them significantly better fuel economy.

            But in my case and in the case of apparently many other people, even the current mid-sized truck is far too large. If that weren’t true, Ford wouldn’t be working on a significantly smaller truck, now. Simply put, there are a lot of people who want an open-bed vehicle but simply don’t need and don’t want something over 8′ wide, 6’+ tall and nearly 20′ long. When you can fit a family of five plus gear into something about 12′ long, then stretching that to about 15′ long and chopping about two feet of that CUV’s roofline gives you a 5′ bed capable of carrying nearly everything they need while still having a relatively economical daily driver.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @DenverMike: “The tall hood and wide/gaping grill is necessary when they offer 1,000 lbs/ft diesel torque (on the platform). Count the layers of radiators/coolers/etc.”

        — You’re now talking about medium-duty trucks of classes 4 through 6. There is literally no reason for a “light duty” Class 1 through 3, to need such massive torque.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          That’s a different subject. Neither of us need 1,000 lbs/ft of torque, but plenty do, Class 2b and up. Except 12 tons share the platform with up to Class 5 medium dutys.

          Again, what you speak of isn’t worth the trouble. The “jelly bean” F-150 didn’t have better fuel economy than the following F-150 generation that carried over the “jelly bean” drivetrains with zero MPG losses.

          Pickups of all classes are much taller now, and you can blame bigger brakes/wheels, bigger frames, added ground clearance and most buyers are happy with that, totally approve or can live with the trade-off.

          For some things, you can’t go back in time. Call it progress, and if you really hate it enough, there’s old trucks out there for you.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DenverMike: No, DM, they don’t. They got by just fine with 300-500foot-pounds of torque for decades and those numbers didn’t really start rising until roughly 2004, when certain fuel economy standards made it easier to simply avoid them by building bigger than by actually adhering to the restrictions. My ‘little’ mid-sized truck can pull the same weight camper as a ’90’s full-sized F-150, if not heavier. Of course, like those older trucks it will also realize about half the fuel economy while towing that weight, too.

            What you say isn’t worth the trouble is making itself worth the trouble; electric drive is clearly going to offer more torque at a much lower total cost of ownership. No longer will they need to be so large JUST to dodge the emissions laws and they’ll be able to shrink back down to more reasonable sizes. It’s just a matter of time and I’m pretty much betting on a maximum of 20 years before new trucks are back down to their pre-’90s size.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Didn’t GM have to do with GMT800, giving the interiors a major overhaul in design and equipment in 2003? There wasn’t anything inherently bad with the first half GM800 interiors, but they definitely felt and looked like they were designed by Playskool.

    Aesthetically not pleasing, but desirable if you’re using a truck as a — truck.

    The current GM interiors are abysmal.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @APaGttH – Valid points. I always get a laugh out of the “soft touch plastics” complaint made by many journalists. I grew up in pickups that had metal interiors. The dash pad and arm rests were usually padded. The rest was metal or a very stiff plastic.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Given how GM has operated in the past if they ever get these just right they will cancel them the next year.

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