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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 continues Chevrolet’s long line of light-duty pickup trucks, a legacy that stretches back over 100 years. 2019 saw the Silverado roaring into the market with a new platform, new trim levels, new powertrains, new everything. The pickup truck competition is hotter than ever, with new and revised entries in the midsize, full-size and HD categories vying for attention. Chevy has answered with a Silverado lineup with a variety of engine choices, new transmissions, a widened trim palette and incremental improvements in almost every area of the truck. If this is a pickup truck war, Chevrolet is locked and loaded.

What’s New for 2020?

The Silverado brings forward the changes it saw in the 2019 model year: a new platform, a new exterior, a new interior and new engine and transmission choices.

For 2020, a new diesel engine is available on LT, RST, LTZ and High Country models. The Duramax 3.0-liter is a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine with an all-aluminum construction rated at 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, with a redline of 5,100 rpm. Like the 6.2-liter gasoline V8 engines in the Chevy truck lineup, the diesel uses a 10-speed automatic transmission with either rear-wheel drive or available 4-wheel drive.

On the gasoline engine side, the 6.2-liter gasoline V8 engine is now available on Trail Boss and RST models. A Performance Upgrade Package is now available for the Silverado 6.2-liter, adding a performance air intake and cat-back performance exhaust system to raise output to 435 hp and 469 lb-ft of torque.

The expanded towing technologies that were previously introduced on the 2020 Silverado HD will now be available for the 2020 Silverado 1500, including 15 unique camera views, and access to the iN-Command Control System from ASA Electronics to provide trailer controls.

Adaptive Cruise Control is available for the first time in 2020, using a single high-mounted camera behind the rearview mirror to maintain a safe cruising distance from the vehicle ahead. See the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Broad range of powertrain options
  • Full-featured trailering technology
  • Superior ride quality, laden or unladen

What We Don’t

  • Complicated trim level and availability chart makes getting the right combination challenging
  • Maximum towing for the new diesel peaks at 9,300 pounds, less than the competition and less than Silverado with 6.2-liter V8 (13,400 pounds)

How Much?

2020 pricing has not yet been announced, but 2019 prices started at $29,795.

Fuel Economy

2020 EPA figures for the Silverado are not yet available, but we expect them to be close if not the same as 2019 numbers. The 2.7-liter turbo I-4 was rated to achieve up to 20 miles per gallon in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving (RWD) and 19 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined (4WD). The 4.3-liter V6 6AT was rated at 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined (RWD)/15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined (4WD). The 5.3-liter V8 6AT was rated at 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined (RWD)/15 mpg city/19 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined (4WD). The 5.3-liter V8 8AT was rated at 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined (RWD)/16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined (4WD). The 6.2-liter V8 10AT was rated at 16 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined (4WD). Fuel economy for the diesel has not yet been announced.

Standard Features and Options

Seven powertrain options across eight trim levels with regular, extended and crew cabs and three bed lengths, with RWD as standard and 4WD offered as an option.

  • 4.3-liter V6/6-speed AT: Standard on WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss
  • 5.3-liter V8/6-speed AT: Available on WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss
  • 2.7-liter turbo inline-four/8-speed AT: Standard on LT, RST; Available on Custom
  • 5.3-liter V8/8-speed AT: Standard on LTZ, High Country; Available on LT, RST
  • 5.3-liter V8/10-speed AT: Standard on LT Trail Boss; Available on High Country
  • 6.2-liter V8/10-speed AT: Available on Custom Trail Boss, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, High Country
  • 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six/10-speed AT: Available on LT, RST, LTZ, High Country

The WT (Work Truck)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 (two speakers in regular cab).

The Custom adds 20-in alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, cruise control, cloth upholstery and carpeting.

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

The LT comes standard with 17-in alloy wheels, and adds automatic LED headlights, automatic climate control, an 8-in touchscreen, three USB ports, OnStar and 4G LTE Wi-FI and cruise control.

The RST adds 18-in wheels, LED foglights, a power-locking tailgate, keyless ignition and entry and two extra rear USB ports.

The LT Trail Boss builds on the LT’s features with the off-roading equipment from the Custom Trail Boss. It shares the RST’s upgrades as well.

The LTZ adds dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors.

The High Country adds parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic assist, upgraded digital gauges, a power tailgate, ventilated front seats, navigation, a Bose audio upgrade, wireless smartphone charging and a spray-in bedliner.

In late 2019, Chevrolet debuted a new off-road racing version of the Silverado. This racing version of the Silverado started life as a Silverado LT Trail Boss with a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V8 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The truck is competing in a “stock” racing class which may indicate that a genuine Ford Raptor competitor is coming soon from Chevrolet. Changes to the standard Trail Boss model include long travel suspension, front and rear jounce shocks and a set of prototype high-capacity Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers. Other upgrades for the racing version of the Silverado include 35-inch off-road tires and skid plates covering the transfer case, steering gear, rear differential and front underbody. None of these modifications are all that radical and could easily make their way into a top off-road trim of the Silverado by 2021

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes dual-stage front airbags for driver and front passenger, seat-mounted side-impact for driver and front outboard passenger, head-curtain side-impact for front and rear outboard seating positions, the Passenger Sensing System, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation, trailer sway control and hill-start assist, and a rear vision camera. The available Safety Package (standard on High Country) includes front and rear park assist, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, and rear cross-traffic alert. Safety Package II is available on LTZ and High Country, and includes forward collision warning, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, low speed forward automatic braking, front pedestrian braking, IntelliBeam automatic headlamp control, following distance indicator and a safety alert seat. An HD rear vision camera and HD surround vision are available.

Behind the Wheel

Be sure to check the badges on the exterior of the Silverado before you drive. You may not be able to immediately identify the powertrain under the hood by sound or even unladen performance. The new 3.0-liter turbodiesel is so smooth and quiet it could almost pass for a gas engine. The 2.7-liter turbocharged gas engine is surprisingly sprightly and powerful, while the V6 and V8 engines are also composed and collected. If budget allows, the 10-speed automatic transmission, when paired with any engine, is a marvel that makes everything better.

The Silverado’s makeover last year resulted in a truck that is tougher-looking than before, with a new bed, new grille, new hood — new everything, basically. Interior design details get better toward the upper end of the trim levels, but interior comfort is good all the way around. Ride quality is great, and the factory 2-in lift on Trail Boss models adds compelling off-road chops.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 – The Silverado’s General Motors stablemate will also get the 3.0-liter turbodiesel for 2020.

2019 Ram 1500Ram is riding a sales surge with its new generation of production. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 will be available for 2020.

2019 Ford F-150 – Still the sales leader in the pickup truck class, the F-150 is a force to be reckoned with. It can be fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 diesel engine.

2019 Nissan Titan – The Titan may be a little long in the tooth, but it is still worth considering in this tightly-contested class. You have to step up to the Titan HD to get a diesel.

2019 Toyota Tundra – While it lacks the powertrain variety of the domestic trucks, the Tundra has built a loyal following for its durable 4.6-liter and 5.7-liter gasoline V8 engines.

Autotrader’s Advice

If you’re locked in on your pickup truck brand loyalty, nothing that we write here will change your mind. Ford truck people, Ram (or Dodge) truck folks — you be you. If you’re a Chevy truck person, you’re in luck, because this generation of Silverado is the best yet. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offers a broad array of capable, attractive and technologically advanced full-size pickups. Drive a few before buying your next truck. Find a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for sale

To gain access to this information, Autotrader attended an event sponsored by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

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