Review Update: The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7 is a commuter’s companion

July 11, 2019

Just as drivers are getting used to turbochargers under the hood of a full-size pickup truck, Chevrolet wants us to get onboard with a turbo-4.

Wait, aren’t 4-cylinders for small cars? Not these days.

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 brings new technology, a massive bed, and a turbo-4 to full-size pickup shootout.

The 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 has a TCC rating of 5.6 and wins big with a large bed, easy-to-use infotainment system, and controlled ride. But its new face can look disjointed in some trims, it’s massive, which makes it hard to park, and its interior is lacking the luxurious touches of its rivals.

I spent a week with the turbo-4-powered Silverado 1500 towing a boat, hauling a bed, and running around town to see if four can do, instead of six or eight cylinders. Here’s where it hit and where it missed:

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7T

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7T

Hit: Turbocharged torque. With 348 pound-feet of torque, the truck I had was rated—and willing—to tug up to 6,893 pounds. The turbo-4 has grunt off the line, and it can even chirp the rear tires with around 5,000 pounds of boat hooked behind it. Around town, it’s geared well enough that it never felt underpowered.

Miss: It loses steam. While the turbo-4 has more than enough power for city slugging or accelerating from a stop with a large load hooked to the rear end, it lacks passing power. Zipping around cars requires planning ahead, especially with a trailer.

Hit: Miserly around town. The turbo-4 in the 2019 Chevy Silverado has EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 22 highway, 20 combined, which are decent for a big pickup. Around town, I saw an average of 19.2 mpg according to the on-board trip computer, which means it delivered right on the nose. That’s a few mpg better than a comparable V-8 in the real world, though I’ve seen similar figures with Ford’s larger turbo-6 when I resist digging my right foot into the throttle.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7T

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7T

Miss: It drinks under load. With a 5,000-pound boat behind hooked to the rear end and a queen bed in the bed, the turbo-4 swilled an average of 7.1 mpg. For comparison, I tugged the same load with GM’s 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed in an Escalade and averaged 12.3 mpg. Turbos are fun, but they zap fuel economy.

Hit: Competent transmission. Silverados with the large 6.2-liter V-8 have a 10-speed automatic transmission with hard 1-2 and 2-3 shifts, or can require multiple downshifts for power. The turbo-4 matches far better to its 8-speed automatic transmission with clean shifts and it rarely requires multiple downshifts.

 

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7T

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7T

Miss: It doesn’t sound like a typical pickup. The engine sounds like a typical turbo-4, which would be normal in anything other than a full-size pickup. It’s unexpected to hear a turbo-4 start up under the hood of a full-size pickup and even more bizarre to hear it thrum under at full throttle while entering a highway.

Hit: It whistles. And we don’t mean “Dixie.” If you listen closely you can hear the turbo-4 whistle as it spools. With or without a load on, the whistle can be heard, picking up around 2,700 rpm. It doesn’t matter what vehicle it’s in, hearing the turbo whistle is enough to make this grown adult giggle.

At $49,365 as tested, my 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT double cab was well-equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, spray-in bedliner, wheel well liners, brake controller, leather upholstery, blind-spot monitors, bed-mounted 120-volt outlet, and LED headlights.

For a commuter truck, which is what a lot of these full-size trucks end up being during the work week, the turbo-4 is more than up to the task while also saving at the pump. If the truck is meant to work and haul on a daily basis, it’s hard to justify saving $1,395 instead of buying the 5.3-liter V-8 engine, and that’s before you take the new turbodiesel inline-6 into account if you really want to be efficient. But choice is always better.

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7
Base Price: $27,795
Price as tested: $49,365
EPA fuel economy: 19/22/20
The hits: Enough power, fuel efficient around town, huge bed
The misses: Drinks when working, sounds odd with turbo-4, smaller engine not a value

2019
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