What is it? Turning 100 years old is kind of a big deal – especially for the Chevrolet Silverado. After more than a century, and a teaser just last month, GM has taken the wraps off the latest, 2019 Siverado a few days ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show kickoff in Detroit.
Why does it matter? The Silverado is Chevrolet’s bread-and-butter truck, and the redesign takes a competitive, strong-selling truck – a good thing, in other words – and makes it even better. The new Silverado’s body is 40 kilograms lighter than the outgoing truck, thanks to the use of mixed materials throughout the body and chassis. It doesn’t go big on either aluminum or steel; the truck’s swing panels – doors, hood and tailgate – are made from aluminum, while fixed panels – bed, roof and fenders – are steel, for instance. Like the body, the Silverado’s fully boxed steel frame is 40 kilograms lighter and 10 per cent stiffer, thanks to the use of – you guessed it – high-strength steel.
So, it’s clear the Silverado isn’t chasing after the Ford F-150 by embracing aluminum. Instead, Chevy is going for choice. The truck is available with three powertrains for 2019 – either a 5.3 or 6.2-litre V8, and a 3.0-litre Duramax turbodiesel inline-six. Power, fuel economy, towing and payload specs haven’t been announced just yet, but we do know the 6.2L V8 and diesel models will make use of GM’s – and, ironically enough, Ford’s – new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Moreover, the 2019 Silverado will launch in eight trim levels, divided into three tiers. The High Value models occupy the lower end of the lineup; the Work Truck trim serves as the base, while the Silverado Custom and Custom Trailboss add a bit more flash while maintaining a semblance of usability. The High Value tier includes volume sellers, such as the LT, RST and LT Trailboss, while the LTZ and High Country sit at the top end, or High Feature, end of the lineup. The sport-oriented Trailboss and performance-oriented RST, incidentally, are new trims for 2019.
The interior design was also strongly influenced by customer feedback. Because truck owners use their vehicles for both hauling cargo and transporting people, customers’ top priorities were more comfortable seating, more interior cargo storage and more functional, easy-to-use controls.
Inside, the Silverado is more functional than the truck it replaces. Crew-cab models offer a touch more legroom front and rear, as well as a smorgasbord of bins, cubbies, cargo tie-downs and storage trays. Materials are a bit more upscale than before, and the connectivity options you’d expect – Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, on-board WiFi, etc. – are available. Certain trims see a class-first power liftgate, too.
When is it coming? Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but the 2019 Silverado will appear in U.S. and Canadian dealers around September of this year. As for the GMC Sierra, that’s also coming later this year.
Should you buy it? Put simply, Canadians love their pickups. With the F-150’s recent updates and a new Ram on the horizon, the segment is certainly competitive. We’re still waiting for final specifications – in this segment, power, towing and payload are everything – but right now, Chevrolet seems to have brought its a-game.