Full-Size Pickup Truck Comparison: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado
- Six powertrain choices, including an upcoming diesel
- Whisper-quiet interior
- Largest cargo volume with all bed lengths
- Excellent trailer app and towing checklist
- Pricing starts at $36,095 for Crew Cab | Price yours
New and Greatly Improved
The second-best-selling truck (and vehicle) in America, the Chevrolet Silverado sees some dramatic changes for the 2019 model year. There are plenty of trim levels for shoppers to choose from, with styling cues that are made to please fans of chrome as well as those who prefer body-color or blacked-out accents.
Its all-new frame is both significantly stronger and lighter, and the truck has a wheelbase that’s almost four inches longer than the outgoing model’s. The work that was done to create the new frame, plus other improvements throughout the truck make the already-quiet Silverado even quieter.
Chevrolet has also stepped up its tech game, with the addition of new features that make it easier to tow, a digital rearview mirror that can show you what’s behind your truck when the rear window is blocked, and an available camera that can display what’s behind your trailer.
And there are several new engines for 2019, including a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a turbodiesel, and a new fuel management system for the 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8 engines. With the addition of these new powertrain choices, plus more visual differentiation between each trim level, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is set up to appeal to an even wider range of buyers.
Unloaded, on the Highway
We weren’t able to drive the Silverado’s updated 4.3-liter V6 or the turbodiesel (which is due later in 2019), but we have been impressed with the rest of Chevrolet’s powertrain offerings.
The vehicle we tested was a High Country powered by the optional 6.2-liter V8 engine. With 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, this is the hot rod of the group. Quick acceleration and the onset of plentiful low-end torque make green traffic lights endlessly fun. The 10-speed automatic transmission that backs this engine is a gem. Shifts are quick and we didn’t feel a single clunk or hesitation.
We’ve also driven the Silverado with the 5.3-liter with the new fuel management system and an 8-speed transmission, and the smaller-displacement engine will give you almost as much driving fun, yet you benefit from a lower cost of entry plus better fuel economy – and with the 5.3-liter V8 you can tow up to 12,200 pounds.
Bolstering the fun-to-drive factor, the new platform and suspension changes have made the Silverado feel more accurate on the road and have greatly improved how the truck handles. Ride quality is pleasant, but slightly on the firm side.
The interior is roomy, and the seats had decent side support yet the bottom cushion feels thin. The extra wheelbase translates into more rear-seat legroom, including in the middle seat, and all three rear passengers benefit from a flat floor. We enjoyed how quiet the Silverado’s interior was in the previous generation; for 2019, Chevrolet has added a touch of magic that makes it quieter still.
There have been some updates to the interior for 2019, but the design is very similar to what the cabin looked like before. There were some wood and metal accents on the truck we tested, but for the most part, the interior was black – on the dash, doors, and seats.
But with a simple interior comes excellent ease of use; it may not be flashy, but you can easily reach essential controls and switches while you drive, and the 8-inch touch screen in our truck was easy to work with without creating driver distraction.
Get more driving impressions in our 2019 Chevrolet Silverado First Review
Towing and Hauling
When it comes to carrying payload, the Chevrolet Silverado has features that make it easy to access and secure items. Every Silverado comes with 12 tiedowns, plus nine available movable tiedowns, as well as large corner steps that are built into the rear bumper.
The truck bed itself is made from a tougher high-strength steel, and offers best-in-class volume for gear. There’s also a power up/down tailgate available, which is a nicety that you get used to very quickly. Our round with horse feed and birdseed in the bed showed the Silverado’s payload prowess; the only details we noticed were the suspension compressing more than the other trucks as the seed was loaded in, plus a need to brake a touch earlier when approaching stop signs.
When it comes to getting ready to tow, and when you’re out on the road with a trailer, the Silverado has some cool features that appeal to those at all levels of towing expertise. An app includes a checklist for when you are setting up your truck and trailer. There’s a feature that lets you make sure your trailer’s lights are working as you sit in the cab; you no longer need to ask a buddy to walk around and check them for you. You can even get a tire pressure monitoring system for your trailer’s tires.
It would be nice if the Silverado came with adaptive cruise control and a blind-spot monitor that also covered the trailer, but Chevrolet does offer features that make it easier to see beyond the items filling up the cabin with a digital rearview mirror, and an available auxiliary camera that can show the driver what’s on the road directly behind the trailer.
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is a greatly improved, easygoing, high-quality truck, with cool tow-tech features and a wide variety of trim levels, including the off-road-biased Trail Boss and the topline High Country. This is a strong choice for those who want some hot rod in their pickup, and enjoy the use of a cool app to help with towing.
Another appealing thing about the Silverado is its retained value. Of the three trucks we tested, it offered the best projected 36- and 60-month resale values. When new, prices range from about $30,000 to close to $70,000.
See how the Chevrolet Silverado placed among the top 10 models in the KBB 2019 Best Resale Value Awards.