Chevrolet is thinking big with its 2019 Silverado 1500. The manufacturer is fielding a larger lineup, featuring trucks with greater proportions, increased frame strength, more-powerful engines, 10-speed transmissions, increased work capability, and greater cab and cargo space.
The 2019 lineup features eight trim levels, including three new models. These trucks and base pricing include: Work Truck, $29,795; Custom, $36,095; new Custom Trail Boss, $40,995; LT, $38,395; new RST, $40,295; new LT Trail Boss, $47,395; LTZ, $44,495; and High Country, $54,495.
Among the bumper-to-bumper improvements made to the 2019 Chevy model, its bold design stands out. Past-generation Silverado styling has been conservative because Chevy has held the belief that truckers like the predictable signature-Chevy look. Times have changed, said Rich Scheer, Chevrolet trucks exterior design director, and it’s time to give the pickups a more-expressive appearance.
“These are no longer just work trucks. They can do that job, too, but they’re really part of families and they’ve become one of the most comfortable vehicles in the market to own and use,” Scheer said. “It’s work and it’s also lifestyle. I think that attitude has helped us get away from doing just another conservative truck.”
Enlarging the truck was one of the goals. The wheelbase was stretched up to 3.9 inches, resulting in a 1.6-inch length increase, which contributes to greater cab and cargo-box dimensions. Lengthening the cab provides crew cabs 3 inches more rear legroom, adds up to 4 cubic feet of interior volume and changes the truck’s exterior proportions.
Bumping up the dimensions provides designers new opportunities. The windshield and A-pillars are moved about an inch forward, creating a significant change proportionally from the cab’s upper portion and the wheels. Front wheels, which are moved about 4 inches further apart, sit behind shortened overhangs that significantly change the profile appearance.
Truncated front overhangs make it more difficult to manage airflow around the corners, so designers worked with engineers to create a solution that enhances styling. Pockets carved into the bumper corners, called “air curtains,” allow air to come through the front, exit through the wheel openings and flow closely down the body sides.
“When we did that we were able to do a lot of sculpture down the body side,” Scheer said. “We wanted the body side to look muscular and really give off shape.” Most prominent are deeply carved lines that sweep from the headlamps, across the upper fenders and down under the side mirrors.
The most attention-grabbing changes are at the front end, where he said the design has “leapfrogged expectations” of how the next Silverado would look. A styling focal point is the extremely slim headlamps — a design made possible via the use of LED reflectors. The lamps are recessed beneath the hood, cleverly integrated with the grille, grille bar and the side fascia. “The lamps have a little bit of the Camaro snarl to them — a little bit of snark,” said Scheer.
Major upgrades were made at the working end of the truck, with enlarged cargo boxes that up cargo volume by about 20 percent. The key part of the “Durabed” redesign is an outward push of the inside walls to widen space by about 7 inches. Side cavities are created that can be used for extra storage.
New for 2019 is a power up/down tailgate that is standard on High Country and optional on LTZ models. Payload capacity for crew cab models gets a boost of 14 percent or 340 pounds and the towing max is increased by 5 percent.
Muscle for the first Silverados in production is provided by 5.3- and a 6.2-liter V-8 engines. Six engine/transmission combinations eventually will be offered, including an all-new 2.7-liter I-4 turbo and 3.0-liter I-6 turbo-diesel.
The 5.3-liter, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, delivers 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. Its towing max is 11,600 pounds for double-cab 4x2 models, a 400-pound gain over 2018 Silverados. Estimated fuel economy is 17 miles per gallon city and 23 mpg highway.
The 6.2-liter, mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission, is only offered on 4x4 models. It generates 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Towing capacity is 12,200 pounds — up 500 pounds — for a double-cab 4x4 model. Estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.
Both engines gain efficiency via Dynamic Fuel Management. DFM optimizes fuel economy by shutting off any number of cylinders in up to 17 combinations as driving conditions demand.
Chevy reports the new Silverado has a half-second faster 0-60-mph time — a result of more-efficient powertrains and a 450-pound weight reduction by using mixed materials in the body, frame and suspension. Despite being lighter, the frame gains 10 percent torsional stiffness and teams with a revised suspension with a softer spring rate to boost ride quality and driving dynamics. Even the off-road-ready Trail Boss models with 2-inch suspension lifts have a compliant ride.
Improved ride quality, roomier interiors and more-comfortable seats make for a quality passenger experience. The interior redesign has an emphasis on functionality. Controls are easier to use, featuring a Silverado-first engine stop/start button. Storage capacity is increased with an available 24-liter tray under the second-row seat and a pair of 10-liter bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks.
With all of the improvements for 2019, Chevy didn’t want to produce just a next-generation truck, Scheer said. The goal was to create a revolutionary pickup.