The Silverado is Chevrolet’s most important vehicle, and the 2019 redesign updates its proven formula with unconventional styling and competitive specs.
What is it?
Full-sized pickups are as important to their brands as their owners, if not more. So a redesigned Silverado gets a ton of attention, and expectations are high.
Judging by the Silverado’s steadily increasing sales numbers, buyers are happy with what they see.
Pricing and trims
Clear your day: it’s time to examine the Silverado’s wide array of bodies, engines, and trim levels.
There are eight Silverado trims – Work Truck up to High Country. The tested 4WD LTZ Crew notches one below the top, with a base price of $48,700.
The $2,350 “Z71 Off-Road and Protection Package” includes off-road shocks, hill descent control, skid plates, a high-capacity air cleaner, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires and floor liners, and a “ChevyTec” spray-on bedliner.
The test truck’s 6.2-liter V8 is another $2,495, the LTZ Plus Package (power rear window, heated outboard rear seats, two USB ports, front and rear park assist, etc.) adds $2,350.
The bed had the Assist Step and Tonneau Package ($1,750), and the Cajun Red Tintcoat paint lobbed on another $495. That’s just less than $10K of options. Then, add the $1,495 destination charge and subtract the $1,000 package discount, and you end up with a $58,630 truck.
Big pickups have had an uphill battle with the front small-overlap test, as they have a ton of blank space between the truck-sized engine and wheels. However, this new Silverado got an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top rating for the driver’s side, though the passenger side still stuck at Marginal.
The 2019 Silverado lags in its safety-equipment availability; features like Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Braking are blocked from all trims except LTZ and High Country, which alone have access to the Safety Package II.
Things inch forward with Adaptive Cruise Control as a new option for 2020 Silverados, but it is misguided to exlude active safety from the majority of the Silverado’s trims.
The 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 had no trouble making the 5,000-pound-plus Silverado 4WD LTZ Crew feel strong. Acceleration from a stop is authoritative, with 460 lb-ft of torque providing plenty of grunt.
The ten-speed automatic transmission did surprisingly well on steep city hills – where some multi-gear transmissions can get confused, the Silverado 4WD LTZ Crew’s was satisfyingly deliberate in its gear changes.
Ride and handling
The LTZ’s formidable off-road gear was not utilized in our blacktop explorations.
Of course, that’s how many Z71s will spend their time, and so we can report that the all-terrain items seem to have little impact on the Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew’s overall demeanor, which leans heavily toward the big-American-sedan standard of cushy, low-effort cruising, no matter how rutted the streets.
The Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew’s bucket seats are included with the Z71 Plus Package, and they are broad and soft, with a decent range of adjustments for the driver.
The rear seat is mounted a bit low but has 43.4 cubic feet of legroom, which is more than most cars have in front.
The Z71’s all-weather floor liners are pleasantly styled and offer thorough carpet protection.
The tested Silverado 4WD LTZ Crew’s $1,700 Assist Step and Tonneau Package bring a three-portion bed cover that dressy enough to take to the club.
Payloads for this trim are 1,960 pounds for the longer, 6’6″ bed and climbs to 2,020 for the 5’8″ version. Standard on this truck is the trailer-towing package, which is rated for 12,000 pounds for the longer truck and adds 100 pounds to that for the shorter one.
The assist steps are sturdy and grippy.
The tailgate’s center bezel houses the power release and rear camera.
Infotainment and controls
The Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew’s instrument panel should look familiar to anyone who’s driven a Chevy truck in the last decade or so. Controls are complex, but they’re easily mapped in your head, once you get the hang of them.
The “Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus” system works well, with simple, color-coded graphics and brisk response times. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are there to make snappy your smartphone connection.
A robust rear camera is a must in a beast like the Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew, and the one here has a wide view with a track that conforms to the direction in which you’re steering.
There are power connections aplenty in the Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew, with a three-pronged AC outlet serving underlining the Silverado’s work-truck roots.
There are more charging connections in the rear seat, grouped in with the heated seat controls.
The Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew continues the traditions of full-sized GM pickups, with a comfortable interior, smooth ride, and capacity aplenty.
We did find a few visual niggles we found along the way. The instrument panel, for instance, has nice stitching to jazz things up…
…but the way the panels and materials are gathered together seems random and disjointed.
It’s a similar effect as that of the front fender, which gathers a variety of different materials against a solid line. It’s better done outside than in.
Strong sunlight on the gauges clearly showed the molded-plastic origins of the silver bezel surrounds.
The wood-trim panels look good in photos but are very thin, which is evident particularly on the panels abutting the door pulls.
Otherwise, the Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew seems a success, and it got lots of looks from passersby, some who stopped specifically to study the complex front end. As its growing sales seem to indicate, that kind of interest is resulting in lookers turning into buyers.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Z71 Crew
Base price: $48,700
Price as tested, including $1,495 destination charge: $58,630
6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8: $2,495
Z71 Off Road and Protection Package: $2,345
– Rancho monotube shocks, Electronic Hill Descent Control, two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential, front skid plates and heavy-duty air cleaner
LTZ Plus Package: $2,350
– Bucket seats, Center console, Heated and ventilated front seats, Rear sliding power window, Universal Home Remote, 2 USB ports with auxiliary input, Power up/down tailgate, Rear heated seats
- Comfortable ride
- Smooth powertrain
- Eye-catching styling
- Restricted active safety availibility
- Inelegant details