2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pickup First Look | Edmunds

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pickup First Look

100 Years of Building Trucks Has Led to This


As of this month, Chevrolet trucks have been part of the American landscape for 100 years. One of the ways General Motors is celebrating this anniversary is by rolling out a fully redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup. In keeping with the gravity of this important milestone, this is no half-baked warmed-over restyle. The truckmaker has gone all out and made numerous transformative changes.

For one, there's a lot more truck. The new Silverado 1500 stands an inch taller at the hood, and the driver's seat and roofline have been raised a like amount. The bed rails stand taller, too. In effect, there's more metal beneath the windows, and that makes for a more beastly truck. Additionally, the crew cab has been lengthened, and the wheelbase on which it sits has been stretched some 3.9 inches. Larger tires measuring 33 inches tall have been fitted to offset the extra visual mass.

But the increased visual mass does not mean actual extra mass. In fact, the new Silverado weighs a staggering 450 pounds less than the one it replaces. For one, a couple of inches have been chopped from the truck's nose and front overhang; the 3.9-inch wheelbase increase only results in 1.6 inches of added overall length. But the real savings come from a greater reliance on high-strength steel (extra strength enables the use of thinner material) and low-mass nonsteel materials. The completely new frame features optimized cross-sectional design and a greater reliance on high-strength steel alloys. The floor of the cab and bed uses high-strength alloys as well. And aluminum is the basis for all of the so-called swing panels: the doors, hood and tailgate.

Those taller box sides produce a deeper box, but GM engineers have also broadened the floor of the box almost 7 inches behind the wheel blisters and ahead of the tailgate. The result is the largest pickup cargo box volume of any full-size truck, no matter which bed length you look at. No less than a dozen fixed tie-downs good for 500 pounds each are present, with provisions for another nine movable ones. Access to the cargo is easier than ever because the corner steps are even deeper and easier to use with steel-toed work boots. And the tailgate can be equipped with a class-exclusive power open-and-close feature. Actual payload figures have not yet been revealed, however.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Powering all this will be the job of six engine-transmission combinations. Chevrolet engineers are only ready to talk about three of them. The 6.2-liter V8 and 5.3-liter V8 engines remain, but both are so heavily revised that the representatives we spoke with referred to them as "all-new." They weren't ready to talk turkey about what was changed or how much power and torque they'll produce. But they did say that both use a revolutionary new cylinder deactivation system that can disable any number of cylinders from just one to as many as seven. We're not sure how they manage this without generating vibrations that can be felt in the cabin, but without going into any details Executive Chief Engineer Tim Herrick assured us this wouldn't be an issue.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The third engine is a diesel, a Silverado 1500 powerplant offering many have been clamoring for. It's a 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine that uses a straight-six layout instead of a V6 arrangement. Tow rating and fuel economy figures have not been released, probably because the engine and transmission calibrations are not yet finalized. But GM hinted that Ford's new diesel F-150 might have something to worry about.

Speaking of transmissions, the 6.2-liter V8 and the 3.0-liter Duramax will both utilize a 10-speed automatic. The basis for this gearbox was jointly developed with Ford, but numerous hardware details and the final calibrations are GM's own. Still, the huge drivability benefits we've already experienced on the F-150 should apply to the new Silverado, as well. The omission of the 5.3-liter V8 from the 10-speed application list suggests it'll use the existing eight-speed, but that's not been confirmed. And the three other powertrains they didn't talk about remain a mystery.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Chevrolet will sell the 2019 Silverado 1500 in no less than seven trim levels sorted into three broad categories. The High Value bucket contains the Work Truck, Custom and Custom Trailboss. The High Volume group includes the LT, the RST and the LT Trailboss. At the High Content end of the spectrum, you'll find the LTZ and High Country. The RST is a new trim, and the new Trailboss is available in two price and content strata: Custom and LT.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The new Trailboss was teased a month ago in Dallas, and now we know something more about it. Both trim levels will ride on the same 2-inch lift and the Z71 package of Rancho off-road-tuned shock absorbers and skid plates. They'll both have a locking rear differential, and each will roll on 18-inch wheels shod with knobby Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires. Their 275/65R18 size is a bit of a mystery, though, because that works out to 32 inches tall — an inch shorter than the 33-inch rubber that props up most other 2019 Silverado pickups.

Inside, the new crew cab provides truly massive legroom. The front-seat figure is listed at 44.5 inches, and there are 43.8 inches in back. Our tallest editor found at least 6 inches of daylight ahead of his knees when seated behind another tall person. This one will be comfortable indeed for all concerned when cruising cross-country.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The driving position seems good and proper, and the straightforward gauges and controls make a lot of sense. We're less keen on the rest of the dash, which rises like a monolith in front of the passenger. The center stack is blunt-faced as well, and the stylists have somehow managed to make the 8-inch touchscreen look small. USB and USB-C inputs are provided, and they feed into a MyLink infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with more detailed information to come later.

We'll know more as time progresses throughout the year. Additional details will surely trickle out as we approach the fall 2018 launch date. There's a lot going on with the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and GM was tight-lipped about much of it here at the unveiling. And it didn't say much about the 2019 GMC Sierra, other than we should expect it to be more different from the Silverado than ever. Stay glued to Edmunds in the coming months as we learn more and eventually take a test drive in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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