After years of playing it safe with a more traditional approach, it looks like Chevrolet is finally changing things up for the Silverado 1500. Chevrolet unveiled the new pickup a few weeks ago in Texas at an event celebrating 100 years of Chevy trucks and at the recently completed 2018 Detroit Auto Show. What’s new about the 2019 Chevy Silverado? Several things. The new truck features improved body styling, an off-road trim package, a longer wheelbase, a more functional truck bed, and a greater choice of engine and transmission combinations, including an all-new diesel engine.
The first thing you’ll notice about the 2019 Silverado is the new look. The styling improvements include rounded wheel wells that bulge out from its flanks, new headlight styling, an integrated dual exhaust system, and a sweet, retro-looking tailgate stamped with the word “CHEVROLET.” But the company did more than improve the looks of its new Silverado, they also made it more aerodynamic. Chevy did this by not only incorporating front air curtains that reduce wind drag, but also by adding an integrated spoiler at the rear edge that redirects air onto the tailgate lip. These changes, Chevy says, have resulted in a 7 percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency.
The 2019 Silverado will also be larger and lighter. Not only is the wheelbase of the new truck 3.9 inches longer, but the overall length of the truck has also been increased 1.6 inches. These increases provide more cargo volume and more interior room for all cab lengths. Remarkably, the truck also weighs 450 pounds less. The weight savings, Chevy says, comes from extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes throughout the truck. For example, the body is 88 pounds lighter than previous Silverado’s. All exterior swing panels (doors, hood and tailgate) are made of aluminum, while fixed panels (fenders, roof and bed) are made of steel. The underlying safety cage uses seven different grades of steel, each tailored for the specific application.
The interior of the new Silverado has also been stretched. The crew-cab models will offer an additional 3 inches of rear-seat legroom for an impressive 44.5 inches of front legroom and 43.8 inches of rear legroom. Looking for more in cab storage? The 2019 Silverado has that covered, too, with options that include two 10-liter bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks, as well as a large 24-liter storage tray under the second-row seat that can secure everything from snow chains and tow straps, to fishing rods and tackle boxes.
Numerous improvements were made to the 2019 Silverado’s truck bed as well. Instead of going with carbon-fiber material for the truck bed, as was rumored, Chevy decided to go with a higher-grade steel that is stronger and more durable. The new short box, the company says, will offer an additional 63 cubic feet of cargo volume—up to 20 percent more than the competition. Most of that volume was created by widening the maximum width of the bed floor nearly 7 inches. This increase, Chevy claims, will easily accommodate a 4×8 sheet of plywood flat on the cargo floor. The new truck bed will also feature 12 fixed tie-downs and nine moveable tie-down points for even more cargo flexibility. The new Silverado will also showcase a class-exclusive up/down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob.
The 2019 Silverado will be available with six engine/transmission combinations, including a brand new diesel. Options include new 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with industry-first Dynamic Fuel Management that actively shuts off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, depending on the driver’s immediate needs to optimize fuel economy. The Silverado will also be available with an all-new Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo diesel. Both the 3.0L diesel and 6.2L engines will be paired with a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission as well as start/stop technology to improve fuel economy for optimum performance and efficiency.
The Silverado was already the first pickup to offer 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, wireless phone charging and OnStar safety and security features. For 2019, Chevy claims that these technology features will be improved upon with new safety and convenience options.
Lastly, the 2019 Silverado gets a new Trailboss off-road trim level. This off-road package, Chevy says, won’t be as extensive as Ford’s Raptor, but should still sell well. The option includes a 2-inch body lift and Chevy’s Z71 Off-Road Package that includes a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels, and size-33 Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires. The Trailboss will be one of eight trim options offered by Chevy.
Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on the official payload numbers for the 2019 Silverado. Based upon the 2018 model, however, we expect the maximum payload rating of the 2019 Silverado 1500 to be around 2,500 pounds (this reflects the 450 pound weight savings found in the 2019 model). Options like the new diesel engine and the new Trailboss off-road package will, of course, chip away at this number.
Production of the 2019 Silverado will begin at the Fort Wayne, Indiana assembly plant with customer deliveries expected to begin this fall.