Chevrolet Silverado 2019 Review
Chevrolet Silverado 2019 Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes
There’s never been a better time if you’re in the market for off-road pickup truck. Available in a wide range of sizes and prices there something out there to fit just about every need. And now Chevy is providing their own version of go anywhere power with the all new Silverado Trail boss.
So here’s the Silverado primer: the box holds more, thanks to a widening of the bed floor by nearly 7”. The use of mixed metals and advanced manufacturing processes has cut weight – 450 pounds to be exact. And the V8 uses a new version of cylinder deactivation that can shut down any number of pots to optimize fuel economy.
This all-new Silverado is also bigger in virtually every measure than the outgoing model, including an additional 3” in cab length producing enormous rear seat legroom. Plus, it offers the most cargo volume on the market regardless of bed size.
One of Chevy’s goals was to create 8 distinct models, each with a unique personality. They’re divided into three trim levels: High Value, High Volume and High Feature. This new LT Trail Boss is positioned at the top of the High Volume grouping and pairs a 2” suspension lift with the Z71 Off Road Package – now with a real badge of its own. That means this truck clears nearly 11”and includes an automatic locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks and 18” wheels with Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.
If you can’t recognize a Trail Boss by its 2” lift, just look for these red recovery hooks up front; they’re the only Silverados that get them.
These off-road assist steps are an $895 option but don’t skip them; most people are going to need them to climb on in. And though they’re built tough we still removed them before hitting the trail. Out here, with mud, deep water, rocks and shale, the Trail Boss always felt invincible. Just as it is on-road, the suspension does a heroic job of keeping the occupants in a quiet cocoon free of excessive jounce and head sway. The Goodyears have an insatiable appetite for abuse and the push button 4-wheel drive system with a full automatic mode makes transfer case changes easy. Even up this very steep and slippery hill, the Silverado never felt anything but boss. And the hill decent control is the quietest such system I’ve ever tested. These expansive all-weather floor liners with the Z71 logo are the perfect match for a muddy day of 4-wheeling. Driving the Trail Boss in its native habitat just feels right.
On this all-new Silverado, Chevy has created an industry-first trailering label they place right here on the driver’s side door jamb. It helps owners properly calculate their truck’s specific capacities.
12,100 pounds max towing is aided by the optional Advanced Trailering Package, with Hitch Guidance built into the backup cam and a trailer tire pressure and temperature monitoring system. But does it have the super easy Pro Trailer Backup Assist that Ford has? No.
No doubt that this is one of the most impressive trucks I’ve ever driven. With this Silverado, GM has really reclaimed its leadership role in the driving department. More so than ever before, this truck drives with the precision, fluidity and smoothness of a luxury sedan…and that’s in a Trail Boss model! Most impressive are the steering and braking systems – no truck-like mushiness or slop – just dialed-in control. Now as trucks become a one-vehicle solution, Chevy has really delivered with this do-it-all Silverado. Its 2 biggest downsides are 1) its miserable fuel economy and 2) the chore involved with parking it. But this Trail Boss really hits the sweet spot of on-road, off-road, features and pricing. It is a very impressive truck.
The 355 horsepower 5.3-liter V8 produces 383 pound feet of torque and matches beautifully to the 8-speed automatic which includes a Sport mode. It’s quick, it sounds good and it includes auto stop-start to help save gas. But for the week, I haven’t been able to get out of the 14s even though it’s rated at 15mpg city/20mpg highway. There is a lower level Trail Boss model called the Custom that comes standard with a V6 if these numbers scare you.
This is the huge backseat Crew Cab bodystyle with the short bed but other Trail Boss configurations are available. Pricing for this LT model starts at about $50,000. Of course mine is loaded with options like the leather with storage package, adding these hidden compartments and underfloor stuff it spaces, a great sounding Bose stereo with HD radio, GM’s stellar infotainment with all of the modern connectivity features, a high level of safety electronics, and a spray on bedliner for the stronger box with tougher tie downs, power outlet, LED lighting, and bigger corner steps. It also offers the convenience of a power tailgate…pretty cool. Heated seats, heated steering wheel, super quiet and exceedingly on-road friendly, the Trail Boss is right on target. Just keep in mind that these knobby tires do chatter a bit on pavement. $56,790 is where this one lands and that seems like a very fair price. Power folding mirrors and a power passenger seat are really the only things I miss.
Now, keep in mind that the new Ram and updated F-150 are also excellent pickups so this is really one of those rare instances in life where you can’t lose.
But even in a crowd, the Trail Boss rises above.