2019 Chevy Silverado First Drive

Courtesy: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Courtesy: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images /

The 2019 Chevy Silverado is here and, though it has some tough competition, it’s the best pickup Chevy’s ever made.

2019 is a big model year for trucks. One of the all-new models for the year is the 2019 Chevy Silverado. Chevy introduced the new 2019 Silverado a while back. Chevy fans swooned over the new truck, but I heard whispers from some automotive colleagues at some of the auto shows that Chevy didn’t do enough to differentiate the Silverado from the competition.

Well, Chevy isn’t about to pack up and go home. The Silverado is big business for the company. In 2017, Chevy sold over 585,000 models, according to GoodCarBadCar.com. That’s a ton of vehicles, and I knew Chevy wasn’t going to let that go to waste. The 2019 Silverado was going to be good, I just wasn’t sure how good.

Chevrolet invited me out the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to drive the latest iteration of its pickup. I spent an entire day with the truck both on the road and off. Here are my initial thoughts on the model.

The Chevy lineup gets some upgrades

2019 chevy Silverado
2019 chevy Silverado /

Let’s start with a high-level view of the Silverado. It’s bigger than it has ever been before. It’s longer, wider, has a longer wheelbase, and a larger interior space and cargo space. Trucks just keep growing, and the Chevy is no exception.

There are eight trims starting with the basic Work Truck and building to the luxurious High Country. In between those trims, Chevy offers a pickup for basically anyone. There are six engine options culminating in a 6.2.liter-V8 that makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.

Interesting engine additions to the lineup include a 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that makes 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline six-cylinder engine. The turbodiesel’s power numbers have not yet been disclosed.

In addition to those details, there’s now an LT Trail Boss off-road truck, tuned to take on any terrain. There’s new trailering technology that brings multiview cameras to the pickup truck’s repertoire.

The Silverado has a new Dynamic Fuel Management system which is an upgraded cylinder deactivation technology. Last but not least it gets all kinds of safety technology, including a surround vision camera, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic braking, and a whole lot more.

On-road driving impressions

2019 Chevy Silverado
2019 Chevy Silverado /

I drove two trim levels of the truck in Wyoming. The first was the 2019 Chevy Silverado LT Trail Boss, which is new for 2019, and the Silverado High Country. The LT Trail Boss came equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 and the High Country had Chevy’s top engine, the 6.2-liter V8. Both came with Chevy’s new Dynamic Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology.

The LT Trail Boss, despite being an off-road pickup, was smooth and civilized on the curvy mountain roads in Wyoming. I thought it would feel a little less composed on the street, but the suspension and chassis tuning were done so well on this model that it’s at home both on the dirt and on the pavement.

The 5.3-liter V8 is plenty strong enough, and the drive modes added a little fun to our road drive. The new 2019 Chevy Silverado can be had with drive modes, including a Sport mode to amp up the drama on a spirited drive. Still, the truck isn’t much of a canyon carver, so I ended up leaving it in Touring drive mode most of the time.

The High Country takes things up a notch in terms of refinement. The suspension is smooth and the chassis taut and strong. The 6.2-liter V8 provides significant thrust both off the line and at speed. The High Country makes you feel like the king of the road, no matter where you are. If you want the absolute best power and handling in a Chevy truck, this is the one to get, though I personally prefer the looks and off-road prowess of the Trail Boss trim.

Off-road driving impressions

In the video shown above, you’ll see the TFL Truck guys romping through the mud. This was the small off-road course I drove in the Trail Boss Version of the new Silverado. The Trail Boss gets a 2-inch lift and Rancho shocks Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires, skid plates and more to handle all the off-road terrain.

The Trail Boss handled the course with ease, never even struggling over obstacles. It rumbled over a pile of logs, cruised down and up steep inclines, and bounced over rocks without issue. The course was short, but it was also pretty technical. Chevy crafted a course that really showed off what the Silverado Trail Boss can do. I think any off-road enthusiast would be more than happy with this pickup.

Final Thoughts

2019 Chevrolet Silverado
2019 Chevrolet Silverado /

The 2019 Chevy Silverado is undoubtedly the best and most advanced pickup truck that Chevrolet has ever produced. It’s larger, better in just about every way, and looks great in various trim levels. I found myself enjoying it’s somewhat atypical front end. Usually, I want my trucks to look kind of boxy, but this model is has a special charm of its own. The same can be said for everything else about it. The Ford and Ram may have a few higher points, but Chevy’s pickup seems better rounded overall.

With the Silverado being such an important vehicle for General Motors and Chevrolet, the truck had better appeal to buyers. Chevy’s PR folks told me that the company is seeing a shift in buyers from cars and crossovers to pickup trucks. The company’s plan is to keep its current customer base and to target those new buyers as they move up to a truck, no matter where they come from.

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It will be interesting to see how the Chevy Silverado fares in terms of sales. Ram and Ford have worthy opponents. That said, the company has made meaningful changes and updates, and it should be a serious winner for the brand and GM as a whole.