Pickup Truck of the Year Contender: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 #PTOTY19

Pickup Truck of the Year Contender

Dec 5, 2018
Photographers: Robert Guio, Amir Saidi

A Cynical Redesign, but It Has Its Charms

It’s hard not to feel a little bit sorry for Chevrolet. The ’19 Silverado 1500 was sneakily revealed in December 2017 for about 10 seconds before being given the press world’s full attention at the 2018 North American International Auto Show the next month. With ultra-modern exterior styling, a heavily redeveloped powertrain lineup, and more cargo and interior space than ever before, the Silverado 1500 looked like it would absolutely destroy its competition in nearly every way.
But while its exterior is the last word in modernity, when peeking inside we were greeted with a dash design and materials that were better left back in 2009. And, unfortunately, the Chevy isn’t even offered with modern options like adaptive cruise control or a panoramic sunroof.
While we were somewhat disappointed with the Chevy’s interior at first, second, and third impressions, we weren’t dissuaded from giving the ’19 Silverado lineup a fair shot at the 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year. The Bow Tie sent us two trucks: the new-for-’19 LT Trail Boss off-roader and a well-equipped LTZ just one rung down from Chevy’s top-level High Country trim.
In the ensuing year since we got our first peek at the ’19 Silverado, we’ve warmed considerably to its bold, modern styling. A few heritage design cues resurface—twin-element headlamps bisected by a grille bar, for example—but by and large, the truck is all-new in both style and design philosophy. This is a truck for the brave truck owner, one who’s not afraid to embrace the future. That the ’19 Silverado’s crisp new clothes are draped over a squarer, more muscular stance only adds to our appreciation for the truck, particularly in Trail Boss form.
“The aggressive look of the Trail Boss is cool,” wrote one editor. “The lifted suspension, black wheels, knobby tires, and blacked-out bumpers make the truck look sinister.” The same editor compared the Trail Boss favorably to the “bland” Ram Rebel, and he applauded GM for taking a design risk on the truck’s sheetmetal.
Appreciation was also heaped on the 6.2L V-8 found under the hood of our LTZ tester, which dispatched hills, freeway merges, and towing operations with total poise and confidence. In fact, that LTZ featured extremely competitive road manners unladen, with a soft and slushy suspension that absorbed every bump (at the expense of some handling verve). For those who preferred a more buttoned-down driving experience, the Trail Boss seemed a bit stiffer in regular driving, improving confidence in corners. The Trail Boss’ 5.3L V-8 was also regarded as adequate for most driving duties.
However, both LTZ and Trail Boss suffered dynamically when loaded down. The squishy suspension of the LTZ and the off-road shocks of the Trail Boss lost their composure under the weight of a payload, serving up plenty of body roll and stability control intervention in closed-course panic maneuvers. And that 5.3L suffered from its payload and trailer burdens, performing notably less impressively than the 6.2L found in the other three GM products here.
Unfortunately, that slight debit of on-road gentility didn’t return interest off-road. The Trail Boss lacked the buttoned-down control of the Ram Rebel in fast whoops, and we noticed excessive dust and grit making its way past the Chevrolets’ air filters, raising concerns over contaminants getting into the engine. One editor found fault with the Trail Boss, saying he couldn’t tell much of a difference between it and the LTZ in off-road performance.
Back on the positive side of the ledger, the Silverado’s much-ballyhooed high-strength steel construction give it a secure grip on the road, deflecting large potholes with nary a shudder. That same platform allows the suspension to do much of the work off-road as well, and in low-speed maneuvers, both trucks performed admirably in the muck. The stiff and rattle-free structure pays dividends in noise comfort as well, nearly turning the cockpit of the LTZ into a sensory deprivation tank (the LT Trail Boss allowed an acceptable amount of hum from its aggressive tires into the cabin—still impressive).
Ultimately, the ’19 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a fine replacement for its predecessor, offering the same familiar ergonomics (long live column shifters!), a smooth and quiet ride, and one of two available good ol’ American V-8s. Let down by interior quality, a paucity of available luxury features, and some unfortunate suspension tuning, the all-new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a midcycle refresh away from perfection.
WE LIKE: Distinctive styling, competitive platform stiffness, the roar from both the 5.3L V-8 or its 6.2L brother, easy chair ride comfort, familiar secondary controls
WE DON’T LIKE: Dated interior, low-quality plastics, towing and hauling composure, worrisome off-road reliability concerns

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ

Base Price: $48,700
Price As Tested: $58,135
EPA Fuel Econ (City/HWY/Comb): 16/20/17
Engine: 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8
Horsepower: 420 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Accel 0-60 MPH: 6.66 seconds
Quarter-Mile: 15.04 seconds @ 97.77 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 133.36 feet
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 7.32 seconds
Quarter-Mile (Payload): 15.60 seconds @ 93.10 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 130.85 feet
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 13.46 seconds
Quarter-Mile (Towing): 19.92 seconds @ 76.50 mph
Weight: 5,286 pounds
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 16.51/22.67
*1,600 pounds of payload **7,500-pound trailer weight

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss

Base Price: $48,300
Price As Tested: $56,790
EPA Fuel Econ (City/HWY/Comb): 15/20/17
Engine: 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8
Horsepower: 355 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 383 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Accel 0-60 MPH: 7.81 seconds
Quarter-Mile: 15.99 seconds @ 90.87 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 134.43 feet
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 9.25 seconds
Quarter-Mile (Payload): 17.08 seconds @ 85.53 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 136.13 feet
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 15.64 seconds
Quarter-Mile (Towing): 20.84 seconds @ 70.87 mph
Weight: 5,188 pounds
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 14.57/19.39
*1,600 pounds of payload **7,500-pound trailer weight

POPULAR TRUCKS

MOST POPULAR

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS