Silverado 1500

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  • Anthony Sophinos
    Automotive Editor - November 12, 2018

    2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 OVERVIEW

    Chevrolet once billed itself as "the Heartbeat of America." Though Chevy's marketing department may have moved on to new slogans and catchphrases, the old handle still holds true for the brand's iconic Silverado. Generations of Americans have found comfort and familiarity behind the wheel of the tried-and-true Chevy pickup, whether it was grandpa's old Advance Design, dad's Square Body, or just a high school buddy's beater C/K rig. It's the kind of machine this country was built on, even if more and more pickups nowadays are family-haulers rather than farm implements. The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is fully redesigned with new motors, freshened exterior styling, and an updated interior.

    What's New for 2019

    The Silverado is all new for 2019.

    Choosing Your Chevrolet Silverado 1500

    Modern full-size trucks have become a veritable smorgasbord of choices and options. In the Silverado's case, there's a whopping eight trims and five engines; let's not even broach the various cab and bed choices that are also part of the deal. It's safe to say that if there's a specific combination of truck bits you're looking for, Chevy's probably got you covered.

    Like last year's trucks, buyers have a choice of Regular, Double, and Crew Cab body styles. Regular are available with either an eight-foot or six-foot-six-inch bed; Double Cabs are six-foot-six-inches only; Crew Cabs have the choice between the six-foot-six-inch or a five-foot-eight-inch bed. Certain trims are limited to certain bad styles; for instance, the LTZ and High Country models are only available on Crew Cab trucks, while Work Truck models are destined only for Regular and Double Cabs.

    As for powertrains, well, let's start off with the base 4.3-liter V6. This old six has spent its fair share of time under the hood of Chevy trucks, but it's proven itself admirably – there's a reason so many swear by this big-displacement six. For 2019, the venerable 4.3 offers 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. It's standard in the lower-tier trucks, and unavailable beyond the Custom Trail Boss trim.

    Another familiar face returning for 2019 is the 5.3-liter V8. This year, it's offered in two different configurations: one with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and one with Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM). Both offer the same power output of 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Where they differ is in their fuel delivery and fuel-saving technologies. AFM has been around for some time, and is nothing fancier than cylinder deactivation during moments when the engine is underworked, such as cruising on the highway without a load. DFM, on the other hand, can run in one of 17 different cylinder patterns. Unfortunately, Chevrolet has yet to release how much this new technology helps cut down on fuel consumption – fuel economy for most 2019 Silverado engines are still MIA. It's worth noting that AFM models are hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission, while DFM trucks get an eight-speed gearbox. The 5.3 is available across all eight trims, with lower trims getting the old AFM tech and the higher ones getting DFM.

    The old 6.2-liter V8 also returns, and every one will be built with DFM technology. Power stands at 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, which is unchanged from last year. The transmission is now a 10-speed automatic, one that was – gasp – co-developed with Ford. If you were hoping to get this big-cube motor nestled into a bare-bones Work Truck model, check yourself. Chevy has limited it's availability to only the ritzy High Country and LTZ trims.

    Equally as new and perhaps more ballyhooed than the Silverado is the newly-available inline-six diesel. With a turbocharged 3.0 liters, this Duramax diesel has us anticipating some impressive fuel economy and towing numbers. However, late availability means there's no hard data to support the hype surrounding this motor. Look for more info towards the back half of the model year.

    We do have the stats for the other new 2019 powertrain, though. The 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is the first time a four-cylinder has been dropped into a Silverado in the nameplate's history. Power is rated at a stout 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque, which, if you've been reading carefully, is a good bit more than the standard-issue V6. An eight-speed automatic does the job of shifting gears and AFM tech lets it run on even less than four cylinders during opportune times.

    Take a quick glance at what's offered as optional, and suddenly Santa's list of who's been naughty and nice suddenly doesn't look so intimidatingly long. There's a lot to wade through here – almost too much, frankly. There are, however, a couple packages with widespread availability. The Trailering Package includes a hitch, seven- and four-pin connectors, and hitch guidance. The Max Trailering Package uses a 3.42 rear axle, heavy-duty cooling and heavy-duty springs, and a heavy-duty alternator. Other functional hardware like block heaters and heavy duty batteries are also optional across most, if not all, models.


    There's not a more honest name in the business. The Work Truck is exactly that – the bare-bones work truck of the fleet. It gets 17-inch steel wheels, vinyl or cloth seats, a seven-inch infotainment screen, power windows and locks, single-zone air-conditioning, and not much else. The base engine is the 4.3-liter V6, though it can be upgraded to the AFM 5.3-liter V8. Prices start at $33,695 (all prices include the $1,495 destination charge).

    A few packages are available for the humble W/T to make things less austere. The WT Convenience Package ($1,120) includes remote keyless entry, an EZ lift tailgate with power lock and release, tinted windows, a rear window defogger, cruise control, and power mirrors. The WT Safety Package ($1,140) brings about front and rear park assist, lane change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, chrome bumpers, and mirror caps. It requires the purchase of the Convenience Package. A simply-named Work Truck Package ($175) includes skid plates and a high-capacity air filter.


    One notch better than the W/T is the Custom, which runs for $36,095. It offers body-color bumpers, LED taillights, heated and power-adjustable mirrors, and 20-inch wheels as standard. As with the W/T, the 4.3-liter V6 is the default engine and the 5.3-liter V8 with AFM remains optional.

    The Custom Convenience Package ($800) includes remote start, a rear window defogger, LED bed lights, and an EZ power lock and release tailgate. An Infotainment Package ($275) bundles OnStar and SiriusXM radio. A Custom Value Package ($1,470) gives buyers both aforementioned packages along with the Trailering Package.


    The middle child of the Silverado lineup, the LT sits in a sweet spot when it comes to balancing features and price. Prices start at a wallet-friendly $38,395. That money buys standard equipment like chrome bumpers, body-color door handles, LED headlights, a lift-assist tailgate, automatic stop/start, a 4.2-inch driver information display, and an eight-inch color touchscreen. The 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder is standard; the 5.3-liter V8 with DFM is optional.

    The Convenience Package ($2,025) includes a 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, a manual tilt and telescope steering column, two USB ports, the EZ lift tailgate, and bed lighting. The Convenience Package II ($920) comes with a power-sliding rear window, a 120-volt power outlet in both the cab and cabin, an upgraded infotainment software, SiriusXM and HD radio, and an HD rearview camera. The Safety Package ($940) gives the LT technology like front and rear park assist, lane change alert, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.


    Essentially, the RST is an LT with a sport appearance package tacked on. It's priced at $40,295 and comes with the same standard equipment as the LT. Additional standard goodies include the EZ tailgate, full LED lighting, body-color trim and bumpers, and 20-inch wheels. Optional packages mostly mirror that of the LT; notable items specific to the RST include a front console and bucket seats, 22-inch wheels, and a Bose seven-speaker audio system.

    For what's billed as a performance truck, it's a bit surprising that the standard engine is the smallest in displacement – the 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder. If you don't want your big bad truck to come off as just a rhinestone cowboy, the DFM 5.3-liter V8 is available.

    Custom Trail Boss

    The $40,995 Custom Trail Boss packages the same standard features as the Custom, but in a truck more suitable for frolicking in places where pavement is in short supply. The primary benefits of opting for the Trail Boss include a two-inch factory lift, a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, and 18-inch wheels shod in off-road tires. Like the Custom, the Custom Convenience and Infotainment Packages are available, but oddly enough, the Custom Value Package isn't.


    We're almost to the end of the list of Silverado trims, but not quite, with the LTZ that starts at $44,495. Besides the heaping of chrome that comes at no charge, there's also leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and two additional USB ports up front. Performance is provided by the DFM 5.3-liter V8, while the 6.2-liter V8 is optional.

    The LTZ Convenience Package ($1,350) bundles a power tailgate, front bucket seats and console, heated and ventilated front seats, a power sliding rear window, and two USB ports; Crew Cabs also get heated rear seats. The LTZ Convenience Package II ($1,070) includes all of the above along with navigation, Bose audio, and wireless charging. The Safety Package ($940) is again available here, and can be bundled with the Convenience Package in the LTZ Plus Package. The LTZ Premium Package ($6,400) is solely for Crew Cabs and bundles nearly all available LTZ packages. What it doesn't include is the Safety II Package ($745) that adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, a following distance indicator, and safety alert seat, or the Technology Package ($1,875) which comes with a HD surround-view camera, a rear camera mirror, and a head-up display.

    LT Trail Boss

    Just as the Custom Trail Boss is little more than an off-road special of the Custom, so it is with the LT Trail Boss. Mechanical upgrades are the same as those bestowed to the Custom Trail Boss. Cosmetically, black trim, a black Bow Tie emblem, black mirrors, and black 18-inch wheels work to set apart from all other Silverados but the Custom Trail Boss. The list of available packages is unchanged from the LT and RST, and there are no exclusive packages available. An LT Trail Boss rings up for a hefty $49,795. This is the first trim level where the DFM-equipped 5.3-liter V8 is standard. It's the only engine option, though the upcoming diesel may eventually be offered here as well.

    High Country

    Finally, the top of the Silverado pecking order – the High Country, which starts at $54,495. It comes with an exclusive front grille, two-tone chrome-and-bronze accents, body-color trim, chrome assist steps, a power tailgate, the premium Chevrolet 3 infotainment system with navigation, Bose audio, four USB ports, and LED headlights and running lights. As with the LTZ, the base engine is the DFM 5.3-liter V8 and the 6.2-liter V8 is optional.

    The Safety Package II ($745) and Technology Package ($1,625) carry over from the LTZ's pool of options. The High Country Deluxe group ($3,940) bundles the Safety II Package, 22-inch wheels, and a power sunroof, while the High Country Premium Package ($4,685) includes those features but the 22-inch wheels feature five spokes, a dark silver color, and chrome inserts.

    CarsDirect Tip

    The best value in the 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 lineup is in the LT range. It offers a good selection of standard and optional equipment, and the RST and Trail Boss variants can make the truck into a hip boulevardier or butch mud-seeker. Let the contractors get the W/Ts and Customs, and leave the LTZs and High Countries on the lot for someone else to pay for – the LT scratches the truck itch just right for most buyers.

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