2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO PICK-UP
The new-for-2019 Silverado follows a pattern that is becoming more common: make the vehicle lighter and larger, and in the case of pickup trucks, make it more capable, too. In this case, the Silverado is up to 450 pounds lighter than it was in 2018, thanks to a 90-pound reduction in frame weight – via use of high-strength steel that’s even stronger than before, and some composites – and a body that weighs 90 pounds less, thanks to more aluminum and stronger high-strength steel. The rest of the gains came from careful attention to detail throughout the truck, including changes to the suspension. While making changes that decrease the truck’s weight, another key goal was to improve ride quality, as well as lowering the noise in what was already one of the quietest half-ton cabins available.
The new truck rides on a wheelbase that’s 3.9 inches longer. example, suspension and frame changes made the truck stiffer, to reduce vibrations, as did use of fully integrated front-end sheet metal all the way to the A-pillar.
Wrapped around the new body is a crisp, attractive design that is still clearly Chevrolet, but a much fresher take on the brand’s century-long truck tradition. Even better, designers have expanded the number of available trim levels to eight, appealing to those who want chrome or those who prefer body color accents, and there are also more off-road-ready options than before.
When the full lineup rolls out, there will be six available engines, a number that includes two versions of the company’s 5.3-liter V8. At this event, only two were available: the updated 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the updated 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8, which also uses the new DFM system and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Active Fuel Management is GM’s cylinder shutoff system that allows a V8 to run on four cylinders when there are lighter load demands. DFM goes a lot farther: instead of having either four or eight active cylinders, this new cylinder deactivation technology has 17 different cylinder patterns. Having that many combinations means there can be a much more precise balance between power needs and fuel economy. While Active Fuel Management still exists on the 285-horsepower, 4.3-liter V6 and 5.3-liter V8 offered in the Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss, DFM is a much newer technology that is used on the new 310-horsepower, 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the 5.3 offered in higher trims, the 6.2-liter engine, and the upcoming 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbodiesel.
The Silverado has an agreeable, easy-driving nature whether you are manoeuvring in smaller parking areas or are on twisting mountain roads. Ride quality is excellent. With the new Silverado’s lighter weight, the engineers could give the truck softer spring rates, which improved the ride. And as far as we can tell, the Silverado is even quieter than it was before.
The range topping Silverado High Country is equipped with the optional 6.2-liter V8 and standard 4-wheel drive. The 6.2-liter engine has a rumbling exhaust note and is more powerful than the 5.3-liter, but it’s not as dramatic a difference as you would think.
Another huge improvement is in the new Silverado’s interior with a wonderfully spacious interior. The crew cab’s middle seat in the second row has a flat floor, making it easier for a third person to sit in the middle. Cloth seats have been treated with antimicrobial dirt repellent, and leather seats have a stain-resistant finish that also resists dye transfers from new jeans.
On the safety front, there’s lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, low-speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, and rear cross traffic alert. There is a variety of cameras to help with parking and trailering (more on that below), and a driver seat that vibrates to warn the driver of a possible hazard, as well as where it’s coming from.
The new Silverado’s infotainment is a different creature than you would find in a car. While there are some elements of it that are familiar, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Silverado comes with a standard 7-inch screen that can be upgraded to an 8-inch touch screen. High Country models have a cool digital screen between the main gauges in the instrument cluster, and all models come with pushbutton start. New for 2019 is the availability of a USB-C port (standard on LT-and-higher models), said to be the future standard.
But the most interesting part of the infotainment system is the towing features. You can get up to four cameras on the truck: one at each side mirror, and one in the rear. That rear camera makes it easier to see how close your hitch receiver is to your trailer as you align the two when hooking up your trailer. If you want to add an accessory camera that mounts to your trailer, Chevrolet replaces the 4-pin connector with a coaxial cable, and you run the cable and mount the camera to your trailer.
Chevrolet didn’t just focus on the Silverado’s towing. Its changes to the materials used throughout the body give the truck a notably larger truck bed. For example, the short bed, the most popular bed length, offers 63 cubic feet of volume, more than the competition. The bed uses a stronger higher-strength steel floor and comes with 12 stronger fixed tie-downs plus nine available movable tie-downs. The corner steps are larger, to better accommodate boots, and for more storage, you can get in-bed storage bins that contour around the wheelwells. You can get four tailgates: standard, standard with lift assist, power lock and release, and a power up/down tailgate.