Best Foot Forward
Chevy puts its best foot forward with the redesigned-from-the-ground-up 2019 Silverado, and GMC with the companion Sierra. In a crowded field that includes high-quality Asian offerings, Silverado boasts some key advancements: an expanded range of eight models and six engine/transmission choices; an increase in almost every exterior and interior dimension; weight reduction up to 450 lbs. by combining high-strength steel, aluminum and composites; and best-in-class cargo capacity, with the short bed holding up to 63 cubic feet. With so much versatility for just about any task or trip, Silverado and Sierra are pocket knives on wheels.
Our tester, a loaded Silverado LTZ Crew Cab in Summit White, was near the top of the range at almost $57,000, although the entry point is closer to half that. For the big money, you get a full suite of luxury and mechanical amenities, all the way down to ventilated seats and a power sliding rear window.
6.2 Liter is Shining Star
But the shining star of this model was its 6.2 liter V-8, a $2,495 option pumping out 420 horsepower and some stump-pulling torque through a 10-speed automatic transmission. If the “6.2 L” letters in chrome on the hood look familiar, that’s because the small-block engine architecture is shared with Corvette. The Silverado focuses on hauling heavy cargo or a trailer up to 12,100 lbs., while the Corvette is tuned for fast throttle response and higher peak horsepower (460).
So this big rig can really deliver a whiff of Corvette-style fun, especially when you dial in one of three engine/steering/suspension settings to Sport mode. Just be sure to bring plenty of gas money. While Chevy highlights its Dynamic Fuel Management system, this Silverado is rated at just 17 city/highway miles per gallon of required 93 octane.
With the LTZ’s smooth acceleration and supple suspension, highway driving is a real treat. So, too, is a plunge into snow or sleet, where you’ll feel more comfortable and snug than the proverbial bug-in-a-rug. Be advised, however, that pockmarked pavement can make the Chevy’s wheels dance a bit.
As expected in a $50,000-plus truck, Silverado’s spacious leather interior was cushy, plump and well-finished in a brown-and-taupe combination that Chevy calls “Gideon/Very Dark Atmosphere.” Dash controls are well-organized, although we’d prefer a console shifter to the column-mounted stalk. The infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay is easy to use and you can add your own smartphone-based navigation. In a nod to old-school style, a cool row of analog gauges decorates the driver’s binnacle.
Plenty of Storage
Around the interior, there are more bins and cubbyholes than you can shake a water bottle at, not to mention a double-decker glove compartment. And in a rear cabin that could easily hold four, we were enamored by the storage units hiding behind the leather seatbacks.
We could go on and on with the Silverado’s attractions, but we wonder who buys this pickup. Is it the prosperous construction business owner, who also wants something good-looking and luxurious? Is it the large family that prefers a rugged outer cargo bed to haul messy ice hockey gear or ATVs?
An Awful Lot to Like
Whatever the use, there’s an awful lot to like with this Chevy. If we really wanted to have our way with it, we’d load up the family and its cargo, tune some Garth Brooks on the Sirius XM, slap on the Ray-Bans and make for New York's George Washington Bridge. Once over the Hudson River, we’d head west for parts unknown. After all, isn’t that what a cool American pickup is really about?
2019 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Crew Cab
Base Price: $50,195
Price as Tested: $56,785
Torque: 460 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
Towing Capacity: 12,100 lbs.