Chevy announced details of the 2019 Silverado this week at the Detroit Auto Show. We dug in to learn about some exciting new developments for this flagship truck.
You’d be hard pressed to find a full-size pickup better suited for the adventurer than the forthcoming 2019 Silverado 1500. The truck comes in eight distinct models.
If you’re looking for a one-vehicle quiver that can handle all your adventure gear, get you way off the beaten path, and be comfortable as a daily driver, the new Silverado should be on your list.
Fun fact: This new truck was unveiled Saturday, exactly 100 years after Chevy’s first customer truck delivery in January 1918.
New Silverado Powertrain: Diesel!
The big news is that the Silverado will be available with a new 3.0L inline-6 Duramax turbo-diesel. Chevy mated it to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. While Chevy hasn’t released any numbers yet, you can expect impressive economy and performance out of this new power plant.
More small-diesel options on the market will drive competition, improve fuel economy, and continue to improve usable off-road driving power. This new Silverado 1500 Diesel will join the RAM EcoDiesel, Colorado Duramax, and forthcoming Ford F150 Diesel in being North America’s light truck diesel options.
2019 Silverado: Bigger Is Better?
The new Silverado will be an overall bigger truck. It is noticeably taller in stance, cab, and taller bed wall height. It is 1.6 inches longer overall, with a wheelbase that is 3.9 inches longer. While bigger isn’t always better, in this case the size increases make for a more aggressive-looking truck. It also has more interior and cargo room.
The interior cab volume is where you’re really going to notice the difference, as it offers greatly improved rear legroom and headroom for all passengers.
And because interior gear storage options are always nice, the new Silverado comes through with plentiful options. The 2019 Silverado offers new in-seat cubbies – hidden behind the center rear seat cushions – and a rear underseat storage bin for gear. This means you and your friends will be more comfortable on that next road trip.
Another big improvement will be larger standard tires. The 33-inch tires will roll easier over off-road obstacles. They are more easily aired-down for improved off-road traction. On this vehicle, bigger tires just look proper.
2019 Silverado Is Lighter and Stronger
As with outdoor adventure sports, materials development is pushing performance boundaries. The new Silverado uses a huge mix of materials to create a lighter, stiffer, safer, larger, more durable, and extremely comfortable truck. A fully boxed, high-strength steel frame is all of these things: 88 pounds lighter, 10 percent stiffer, and more durable in every way. Combined, this equates to a safer, higher-performance, and more comfortable ride.
Another way the new Silverado balances performance and value is by mixing materials. Aluminum is used on all swing panels, like the hood, doors, and tailgate, while steel is used in all fixed panels, like the roof, fenders, and bed.
The integrated cabin safety cage utilizes seven different grades of steel to create a cabin structure perfectly tailored for safety and rigidity. These special material blends throughout the truck combine to reduce weight by up to 450 pounds (compared to the current truck) even though it’s bigger.
Improved Truck Box
Carrying your gear and creating a covered sleeping area are integral benefits to buying a pickup for all adventurers. This truck will offer best-in-class cargo box volume, a full 63 cubic feet in the short box. Twelve fixed, and up to nine movable, tie-downs in the bed will make it easy to keep your gear secured. Upgraded steel should make it that much more resistant to abuse.
Larger CornerStep bumper cutouts and a new power up/down tailgate make gear access in the truck bed easier. Sure, a powered tailgate is a bit ridiculous, but in practice it is really convenient, especially with remote key fob activation. Integrated task lighting and a 120-volt power outlet in the bed will make those post-adventure tailgate parties that much more fun.
Chevy will also offer an in-bed accessory that should make a lot of adventurers happy. They offer locking storage bins that perfectly fit over the wheel wells inside the bed on each side. How awesome would it be to have all your pricy, but muddy and smelly, mountain bike bike gear locked away and out of the cab after a long day on ripping single track?
2019 Silverado’s Improved Options
With eight distinct models on offer, there really should be a truck in this lineup that fits your needs. The models are broken up into three categories; High Value, High Volume, and High Feature.
The High Value trucks offer a distinctive black “CHEVROLET” stamped grille and some basic, but durable, steel wheel options. Durable and easy-to-clean vinyl or cloth seats are perfect for transporting kids, the family dog, or your dirty gear after a long day out in the wilderness. Honestly, I like the look of these trucks. They’re the best of the entire lineup, and they offer a great value.
The High Volume trucks are what you’ll see the most on dealer lots. The RST model offers an aggressive “street-performance” look, which has full LED lighting (fog lights, headlights, and taillights), body-color trim, and up to 22-inch wheels.
The truck you’re most likely to find at the local trailhead will be the LT Trailboss. This model is properly set up to tackle off-road adventures. It’s still well-appointed and comfortable as a daily driver. It will have a 2-inch lift, upgraded shocks, a locking rear diff, skid plates, and 18-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch AT tires.
The High Feature trucks will offer a lot of bling, comfort, and high-tech features. These trucks won’t come cheap, but they are sure to impress. The top-of-the-line High Country offers a two-tone grille, loads of color matched accents, chrome assist steps, a new power tailgate, and a ton of other quality luxury touches.
Styling: 2019 Silverado Grows ‘Wings’
Besides the diesel powerplant, 10-speed transmission, and sweet new powered tailgate, you’re sure to hear people talk, and ask questions, about the styling. The first and most noticeable being the front grille and wing-like things down each side of it.
Chevy calls the wing-like things “air curtains.” They act to improve aerodynamics by routing air around the front wheel wells. They are inspired by the latest Camaro and are sure to be a love-it or hate-it styling queue for many.
Aerodynamics is the name of the game with these full-size trucks. Every little bit of improvement can result in fuel economy gains. Along with the new front-end design, tailgate lip design and a new integrated spoiler at the rear edge of the cab help to improve the overall aero efficiency of this truck by 7 percent over the current Silverado. This should translate to better fuel economy and higher performance.
More Info Coming Soon
We’re still holding our breaths a bit in anticipation of actual performance numbers on the new diesel, pricing across the board, and a few as-yet-unannounced engine-transmission combos. We are hopeful for more exciting news out of Chevrolet about this new truck.
You can expect to see the new Silverado 1500 hit dealer lots in the fall. Stay tuned for more about a redesign of Chevy’s HD lineup, as well as comparable GMC models, sometime later this year.