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2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Overview
At a major event in Texas last December, Chevrolet revealed a brief look at its all-new fourth-generation Silverado 1500 full-size pickup truck, which is scheduled to arrive in showrooms by late 2018 for the 2019 model year. The Silverado is currently the second best-selling truck in the USA behind the Ford F-150, so it has a lot riding on its hefty shoulders as competition between the two powerhouse pickup trucks remains fierce. Chevy has therefore done its best to ensure that the latest Silverado can carry that load.
Stronger, lighter, and more fuel efficient than the previous generation, the 2019 Silverado receives all-new steel and aluminum body panels from bumper to bumper and sits on an all-new platform, which also uses aluminum to lower the truck’s weight. In addition, the updated exterior styling does away with some long-running design cues, which might upset die-hard Silverado fans, but it gives the truck a sleeker, more contemporary appearance that still makes a bold statement.
At first glance, the new Silverado's revised exterior lines and design elements certainly set it apart from previous generations. Gone are the boxy wheel wells, which are replaced by more rounded openings and a more sculpted overall look. Along the sides, a wavy line in its sheet metal stretches rearward from the headlights and runs back along the tops of the doors to the rear wheel wells. A second sideline and indentation extends along the lower doors between the wheels, enhancing the sculpted look. Some reviewers contend that the new lines mirror those on the Chevy Traverse, the Equinox, and even the compact Trax, noting that they will help the Silverado slip through the air with greater ease, saving on fuel costs. These lines also establish a more uniform appearance across the automaker's line of SUVs, trucks, and crossover vehicles.
On the front, a high, nearly horizontal hood leads forward to the tall, vertical front end, which almost resembles a cliff face. The dual-element grille remains deep and throaty with a beefed-up front bumper, and the headlights at the top of the fascia, which lie just under the front lip of the hood, are so thin they're practically nonexistent as part of the design. Early reports say Chevy has opted for LED rather than projector or HID-style lights for the new Silverado. The fog lights are equally small, squeezed into the lower edges of the bumper. In between, C-shaped LED daytime running lights frame a central grille crossbar, and equally-thin LED turn signals are stacked beneath the headlights. The automaker's famous bowtie emblem remains front and center in the grille as a prominent part of the new design, and a large rear window and narrow rear cabin pillars ensure good visibility out of the back while providing plenty of light inside.
The rear end has been similarly redesigned for 2019, featuring a tailgate stamped with the Chevrolet name, shaped vertical taillights, low dual chrome tailpipes, and inset steps in the bumper for access to the truck bed. Chevy continues to use high-strength steel for the bed floor, touting its durability compared to the F-150's aluminum bed. Chevy has also hinted that the truck box will have greater functionality than in previous years, but the company has not provided any specifics as of yet. Other revamped exterior features include streamlined side mirrors and a narrow spoiler at the rear of the cabin roof, jutting out over the back window and outfitted with dual backlights.
At Chevy’s 100th anniversary event for its trucks in December, the automaker showed only a single Silverado LT Trailboss 4x4 trim equipped with a Z71 package, a 4-door crew cab, a lifted suspension factory-raised by 2 inches, and big off-road-capable tires on black 5-spoke wheels. However, company spokespersons promise more engine choices and trims than the previous generations, which already offer as many as 8 trims with up to 6 engine options, 3 cab sizes, 2 box lengths, and either 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. These options do not even include Chevy’s various add-on packages and special editions, giving buyers a near-endless variety of Silverados to choose from. According to Chevy, they want to offer a Silverado designed to fit the needs of just about every potential buyer. If the next-generation Silverado follows the lead of the previous version, its base engine will be an EcoTec3 V6 with upgrades that include a number of available V8, turbocharged, and possibly diesel power trains as well as 6-, 8-, and 10-speed transmissions.
In designing the new Silverado, Chevy ultimately aimed to make the truck lighter and more fuel efficient than the F-150 while ensuring its toughness by using steel in key places, unlike its competitor's all-aluminum body. The designers undoubtedly had a number of other goals in mind as well, including class-leading durability, safety, and towing capacity - all of which were established by the previous generation. Chevy plans to reveal additional information about the fourth-generation Silverado 1500 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A number of other competitive trucks will debut at the same time, including the 2019 Ram 1500 and the 2019 Ford Ranger, ushering in what could become known as the Year of the Truck.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.
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