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2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LD: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information about the all-new, redesigned Chevy Silverado, read no further. This is not that truck. Instead, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LD is a zombie of sorts: it’s the previous-generation Chevy pickup that will survive an extra year and be sold alongside its greatly improved successor. It’s not available in the same number of variations and there’s significantly fewer features to be had. This may seem odd, but it’s actually commonplace when a full-size truck is redesigned. In fact, Ram is doing the exact same thing this year with its Ram 1500 Classic.

So why get a new old truck? Well, the price should be lower, for starters. Not hugely so, but lower nevertheless. This should be particularly helpful for businesses considering the no-frills Work Truck. And second, it’s not like the outgoing Silverado was a dinosaur. There’s still plenty of life in the old girl, and despite being overshadowed by its Ram and Ford competitors in a number of key areas, its capability, usability and drivability all remain strong.

Now, would we still prefer the redesigned truck? Sure, and would give those Ram and Ford competitors strong consideration as well. But if you’re not an early adopter and just want a no-nonsense pickup, there’s definitely a case to be made for saving some bucks with the Silverado LD.

What’s New for 2019?

The Silverado LD is Chevy’s previous-generation 1500 pickup with fewer available engines, body configurations, trim levels and equipment. It will only be produced for 2019.

What We Like

Strong V8 engines with surprisingly good fuel economy; simple no-nonsense interior; comfy front seats; good crash ratings

What We Don’t

Lacks the variety and many improvements of the all-new Silverado; comparatively rough ride; plain interior design with unimpressive materials

How Much?

$34,500-$44,000

Fuel Economy

The Silverado LD offers only one engine: a 5.3-liter V8 that produces 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It returns 15 miles per gallon in the city, 22 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in combined driving with rear-wheel drive (RWD). Four-wheel drive (4WD) reduces highway fuel economy by 1 mpg. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Towing capacity is 9,400 pounds with RWD and 9,200 pounds with 4WD.

Standard Features & Options

Although the Silverado LD is basically the same truck Chevrolet sold for 2018, the possible number of variations has been dramatically reduced. It’s only available with a double (extended) cab, six-passenger seating and a 6.6-foot bed. There are also only four trim levels: Work Truck, Custom, 1LT and 2LT.

Standard equipment on the Work Truck ($34,500) isn’t as sparse as you’d imagine. It includes xenon headlights, 17-in steel wheels, a backup camera, power locks, air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, a USB port, Bluetooth, a 7-in touchscreen and a 6-speaker audio system. The WT Convenience package adds keyless entry, power mirrors and a remote-locking tailgate.

The Custom basically adds those Convenience package niceties plus 20-in alloy wheels, privacy glass and body-colored exterior trim in place of the Work Truck’s many plain black pieces. Its own Convenience package includes a rear window defroster, satellite radio, 4G LTE in-truck Wi-Fi and OnStar emergency communications and services.

The 1LT ($42,700) adds all Convenience equipment plus 17-in alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, interior carpeting, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, extra USB ports, an 8-in touchscreen, HD radio and a CD player. The 2LT ($44,000) is basically the same truck, but with body-colored exterior trim and 18-in wheels.

Unlike other full-size trucks, there are few options available. Among these is the Z71 package that adds a variety of off-roading equipment along with special styling. The Z71 Sport package is essentially a poseur model that has the design flares but swaps out the off-road equipment for parking sensors, assist steps and black-painted wheels. The LT trims can also be upgraded with a trailer-brake controller, a spray-in bedliner, remote ignition, heated front seats and an extra power outlet in package known as either All-Star or Texas Edition depending on where you live.

Safety

Safety equipment is limited in the Silverado LD. You get the expected anti-lock disc brakes, stability control and six airbags, but advanced accident avoidance tech is not available. You’ll have to get the all-new 2019 Silverado for that.

In government crash testing, the Silverado LD received a perfect 5 stars for overall, frontal and side crash protection. The non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it Good ratings in its side, moderate overlap front and roof strength crash tests, but it got only a second-best Acceptable rating in the newer small overlap driver-side front test.

Behind the Wheel

If you’re wondering what you’ll be missing if you opt for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LD instead of the completely redesigned next-generation model, the answer is "quite a bit." The new Silverado has a smoother ride, its steering and handling in general are superior, and its advanced array of engines are more powerful, efficient and sophisticated. We also think the Ford F-150 and the Ram 1500 (be it the all-new version or previous-generation Ram Classic) are better trucks to drive.

That said, the Silverado LD isn’t exactly a farm implement. Compared to past half-ton pickups, it’s certifiably plush. You’re bound to find it supremely quiet and the V8 engine powerful and reasonably efficient, if unfortunately saddled with a squishy, unresponsive throttle pedal. The 6-speed automatic also won’t be as well-suited to towing as the 8- or 10-speed units found in other trucks.

Inside, the Silverado’s design is a bit plain and its cabin materials are unremarkable in light of the greatly improved Ram and Ford competitors. Frankly, however, the same thing could be said for the all-new Silverado that just didn’t change enough from one generation to the next. The LD may not offer Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and some of the other latest tech gizmos, but its feature content isn’t too dissimilar from the new Silverado, nor is its interior space and comfort.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Ram 1500 Classic — Like the Silverado LD, the Classic is the previous-generation Ram 1500 that will be sold this year alongside its completely redesigned successor. The Ram is available in more variations, however, and we think it’s the better overall truck.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado — This is the new and improved Silverado. You can learn all about it in our first drive review as well as our article "2018 vs 2019 Chevrolet Silverado: What’s the Difference?"

2019 Ram 1500 — As solid as its Classic predecessor continues to be, the all-new Ram 1500 really knocks it out of the park with its refined driving manners and plush interior.

2019 Ford F-150 — There’s a reason the F-150 is the best-selling vehicle on the planet. It’s a really solid truck that offers plenty of innovation and capability. No pickup search is complete without considering it.

Used Chevrolet Silverado — Since the LD is just a previous-generation Silverado, you might as well consider a used model since it’s basically the same vehicle. This is particularly true if you desire an upper trim level as the LTZ and High Country aren’t available on the LD.

Autotrader’s Advice

You’d have to be looking at a massive discount on the LD relative to the redesigned Silverado for it to make much sense. The new truck really is better. That said, the 1LT is your best bet as its alloy wheels and extra creature comforts should be appreciated by any owner. At the same time, if you’re buying a Silverado LD for your business, the Work Truck should definitely go above and beyond the call of duty.

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