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2019 Chevrolet Silverado: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by AutoTrader December 2018

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is an all-new truck, impressively re-engineered from the ground up to be sharper and more comfortable to drive, consume less fuel and provide more space for your passengers and whatever you choose to lug around in the bed. There's also abundant new technology, including advanced safety tech and a helpful multi-camera system that makes towing easier and safer.

Frankly, there's just so much that's new about the new Silverado that for more in-depth information you should read our First Drive Review or watch our video highlighting 9 New or Improved Features.

In short, though, it's a far better truck than the one it replaces. A disappointingly low-rent interior, especially in upper trims, puts it at a disadvantage against its Ram and Ford competitors, but in terms of capability, it's a must-drive.

What's New for 2019?

The Silverado 1500 has been completely redesigned. Read our comparison 2018 vs 2019 Chevy Silverado: What's the Difference? to dig deep into what's changed.

What We Like

Distinctive trim levels; unmatched powertrain offerings; mammoth bed volume; smooth ride and responsive handling; clever towing features

What We Don't

Unattractive interior with comparatively low-rent materials that doesn't improve in upper trim levels

How Much?

$28,300 -- $56,600

Fuel Economy

Get comfy, this is going to take a while. The Work Truck and two Custom trims offer a standard 4.6-liter V6 (285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque) or an optional 5.3-liter V8 (355 hp and 383 lb-ft). Both come standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission and an active fuel management system (AFM) that can shut down half the cylinders to save fuel. The V6's fuel economy was not available at the time of this writing, but the V8's fuel economy ranges from 14 to 15 miles per gallon in the city, 18 to 21 mpg on the highway and 16 to 17 mpg in combined driving depending on rear-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive and trim level.

The LT and RST trims come standard with a 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (310 hp and 348 lb-ft) and an 8-speed automatic. Its fuel economy ranges from 18 to 20 mpg city, 21 to 23 mpg highway and 19 to 21 mpg combined. This may seem like a small advantage, but it could save you hundreds of dollars per year.

Optional on those trims, and standard on the three upper trim levels, is the same 5.3-liter V8 mentioned earlier. However, it's paired to an 8-speed automatic and a more advanced fuel management system (DFM) that features 17 variations of cylinder deactivation. As a result, fuel economy improves, ranging from 16 to 17 mpg city, 22 to 24 mpg highway and 18 to 19 mpg combined.

Optional on the LTZ and the High Country, a 6.2-liter V8 (420 hp and 460 lb-ft) is paired with a 10-speed automatic and DFM. It returns 16 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined.

And finally, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine will be offered in early calendar year 2019. Power and fuel economy were not available at the time of writing.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Silverado is offered in regular, extended and crew cabs, as well as three bed lengths. There are also eight trim levels: Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country. Note that each features their own styling elements, which we explain in-depth in this video.

The Work Truck ($28,300) comes standard with 17-in steel wheels, automatic headlights, a corner bed step, power windows and locks (extended and crew cabs), a rearview camera, a 40/20/40-split front bench with 4-way adjustment, a tilt-only steering wheel, vinyl upholstery and flooring, a 7-in touchscreen, Bluetooth, one USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 6-speaker sound system (2 speaker in regular cab).

The Custom ($34,600) adds 20-in alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, cruise control, cloth upholstery and carpeting.

The Custom Trail Boss ($41,900) adds a 2-in suspension lift, Rancho monotube shocks, special 18-in wheels, Goodyear Duratrac all-terrain tires and a trailering package, plus the otherwise optional Z71 Off-Road package that includes a 2-speed transfer case, automatic locking rear differential, hill descent control and skid plates.

The LT ($36,900) adds to the base Custom equipment 17-in alloy wheels, LED headlights, automatic climate control, two extra USB ports, an 8-in touchscreen, OnStar and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. It also opens the door to a variety of optional packages not available on the lower trims.

The RST ($38,800) is basically an LT with different styling plus 18-in wheels, LED foglights, a power-locking tailgate, keyless ignition and entry and two extra rear USB ports.

The LT Trail Boss ($45,900) basically combines the LT's many creature comforts with all the off-roading equipment from the Custom Trail Boss. It shares the RST's handful of extras as well.

The Convenience Package adds dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, back seat storage compartments and a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel to the above three trims. On the LT, it also adds the RST's extra items. Front bucket seats can also be added to it in the RST and LT Trail Boss. The Convenience Package II includes all of the above plus a power-sliding rear window, a better backup camera, and satellite and HD radios.

The LTZ ($43,000) includes the above optional equipment plus power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors. It also opens the door to several packages. The LTZ Convenience Package adds a power tailgate, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats on the crew cab. The LTZ Convenience Package II adds a navigation system, a Bose audio upgrade and wireless smartphone charging.

The High Country ($53,000) adds all of the above plus parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic assist, upgraded digital gauges and a spray-in bedliner. You can add 22-in wheels.

Optional on the top two trims is the Technology package that adds a head-up display, a surround-view camera system and a rear camera mirror. A sunroof is also available.

Safety

Standard equipment includes six airbags and a backup camera. The Safety Package (standard on the LTZ, optional on the Work Truck, RST and both LT trims) adds parking sensors, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic assist. The Safety Package II (optional on the LTZ and the High Country) includes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and low-speed automatic braking and lane-keeping assist.

The new Silverado has not been crash tested by a third party.

Behind the Wheel

We've only had a chance to drive a Silverado with the 5.3-liter and the 6.2-liter V8 engines. Really, the smaller one is more than enough, and easily towed a hefty trailer at elevation in Wyoming. The 6.2-liter V8 is really for those who prefer overkill. Now, despite these capable V8's, we're still intrigued by the new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that bests the base V6's power and manages an excellent 20 mpg combined. Definitely take it for a test drive.

Regardless of engine, throttle response is sharper for 2019 and no longer resorts to a spongy accelerator to coax you into saving fuel. There's even a new "sport" mode that sharpens things further, while also tightening the steering. That too has been improved regardless of setting, and contributes to a truck that feels more solid and confidence-inspiring than the one it replaces. Importantly, the ride has also been greatly improved. Impacts, vibrations and jiggling have been noticeably removed, and while the Silverado still can't match the new Ram 1500 and its coil spring rear suspension, it sure seems to come close.

The same cannot be said inside. Quality-wise, the materials are unremarkable. Aesthetically, the blobby, monolithic dash is ugly. Functionally, it doesn't match cleverer storage solutions in the Ford F-150 or the new 2019 Ram 1500 (Chevrolet's curious, hidden rear-backrest compartments not withstanding). Worse, none of this gets better as you climb the trim ladder as the LTZ and the High Country just aren't as luxurious as the range-topping rival trucks. At least the abundance of infotainment features are easy to use and there are numerous USB ports.

Interior space, however, has improved. The crew cab's back seat is limo like and benefits from huge doors. The bed's walls are also taller and thinner, allowing for more stuff to fit than in any other truck. The power-operated tailgate is a neat touch, too.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Ram 1500 -- Also redesigned for 2019, the Ram's many clever features and knock-out interior are clear contrasts to the Silverado. It can't match the Chevy's powertrain variety, though.

2019 Ford F-150 -- Not to be outdone, the best-selling vehicle on the planet was recently updated itself. It's a well-rounded truck and its turbocharged V6 engines are stout powerplants. Read our Silverado vs F-150 comparison.

2019 GMC Sierra -- The Silverado's twin also gets a redesign this year. You can read about their differences in this comparison.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado LD -- Kind of like the old Silverado better? No worries, GM still sells it this year as the Silverado LD. It's available in far fewer variations, but should save you money.

Autotrader's Advice

We'd stay in the LT, RST and LT Trail Boss range. They're well equipped, reasonably priced and offer the best of the powertrain breed. The LTZ and the High Country just aren't luxurious enough relative their competitors to warrant their hefty price tags.

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado: New Car Review - Autotrader