2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive: American workhorse

August 13, 2018

Wyoming is the American ideal for truck buyers. The sky is vast, the mountains big, and people have room to spread out. Any drive can pass by amber waves of grain with purple mountains’ majesty as their backdrop. It’s that beautiful.

Chevrolet has designed the 2019 Silverado not for beauty, but to help Americans get work done. It's now better for the kind of Americans who might mend fences, tow horse trailers, or go to the market for feed. The new truck offers 20 percent more bed volume, up to 5 percent better city fuel economy, a model for every type of customer, and improved driving dynamics. It does it all while dropping as much as 450 pounds and adding new safety, towing, and off-roading technology as well.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

Business-like cabin

From inside, the 2019 Chevy Silverado doesn’t offer the opulence of the new Ram 1500. It’s not as luxurious, its infotainment screen isn’t as big, and the materials aren’t as rich. It's smart, but not dressy.

A deep center console has room for file folders or a laptop computer. The switchgear is easy to locate and operate, with large enough controls for gloved hands. USB ports and 12- and 120-volt outlets are located at the base of the center stack to make it easy to plug in electronics. An integrated trailer brake controller sits next to them for easy access when pulling a heavy load.

MORE:  2019 Chevrolet Silverado priced from $31,290

While some soft-touch materials cover important places—the door tops, the center console, and dash—GM’s reliance on cheap switches drags down top-line models, which can reach $70,000.

Chevy added space for passengers and some intelligent storage features. The rear seat in the Crew Cab adds 2.9 inches of leg room thanks to a longer wheelbase, and the rear seat bottoms smartly fold up for large items storage. Chevy even puts small storage pockets in the rear seatbacks.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive, Wyoming, August 2018

The business end

By making the Silverado’s bed an inch longer and an inch taller, and carving out its inner walls to widen the load floor by almost seven inches, Chevy added 20 percent more volume for the materials needed for mending fences in Wyoming.

Inside the bed, which sticks to steel rather than aluminum, Chevy mounts 12 fixed tie-downs that can withstand 500 pounds of force before bending. Nine movable tie-downs help keep rogue fence posts from rolling around and scraping up that steel bed.

Outside, the convenient corner steps are deeper to give work-booted cowboys a boost up into the bed. A 120-volt power outlet and optional task lighting add utility, too.

In addition to the short bed, the Silverado is offered with 6-foot-8-inch and 8-foot beds.

At the business end of the business end, an aluminum tailgate is lighter and easier to lift. In addition to manual tailgates with and without lift assist, a power up/down tailgate is optional.

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2018
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