Class-leading towing capacity. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 becomes the new king of towing capacity. When properly equipped, the pickup can tow up to 13,400 pounds. That’s more than the Ford F-150, which is rated at 13,200 pounds, and the Ram 1500, which can tow up to 12,750 pounds.
Payload capacity for the Silverado 1500 still lags behind the competition, though. Chevrolet’s full-size truck has a payload capacity of 2,250 pounds. The F-150 is rated at 3,270 pounds, while the Ram 1500 can haul up to 2,300 pounds.
A dizzying number of configurations. The Chevy Silverado 1500 is available in eight different models and has seven different powertrains. Then, there are a plethora of available options and packages. Taking all of these things into consideration, there’s a Silverado 1500 out there that's sure to meet almost any buyer's needs, no matter how specific they may be.
Apart from the entry-level Work Truck trim, the Silverado 1500 is well equipped for the segment. The Work Truck is just what it sounds like, a no-frills option. The Custom, which is one step up from the bottom, comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system, LED taillights, a 3.5-inch driver information center, remote keyless entry, and 20-inch aluminum wheels.
New turbodiesel is fuel economy king. For the 2020 model year, Chevrolet introduced a new 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline six-cylinder engine that shoots to the top when it comes to fuel economy.
While down on power compared to diesel engines in the Ford F-150 and the Ram 1500, the Silverado 1500’s diesel motor wins when it comes to fuel economy. The Chevy earns 27 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA. The Ram 1500 can get up to 26 mpg combined, while the F-150 has a combined rating of 25 mpg.
If the diesel engine isn’t attractive, the Silverado 1500 has a lot of other engines to explore. The quick rundown is that there’s a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 4.3-liter V6, a 5.3-liter V8, and a 6.2-liter V8.
Of those, the top 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque is our favorite. It’s also the king of the hill in the Silverado 1500’s lineup when it comes to towing capacity.
Tech is at the forefront. Chevy has added more safety features to the Silverado 1500, and the pickup has some tech that makes it easier to tow large cargo and drive the large truck. Adaptive cruise control is now available on the truck, as is a high-tech camera system that the Silverado 1500 shares with its heavy-duty siblings.
For consumers that intend to tow large cargo on a regular basis, the new 15-camera system that's borrowed from the larger Silverado HD models provides drivers with a view of nearly every inch of whatever they’re towing. There’s also a nifty transparent trailer feature that helps the driver see through a trailer.
Lagging crash test results. The Silverado didn’t do well in either the NHTSA or IIHS tests. The NHTSA gave the Silverado 1500 a four-star overall safety rating, which trails the F-150 and the Ram 1500, which both earned a five-star overall safety rating.
In the IIHS' tests, the pickup did OK in the crash tests. The truck earned a "Marginal" rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test, and had headlights that were found to be "Poor."
The Silverado 1500 missed out on one of the IIHS' designations. The F-150 also missed out on an award because of its Poor-rated headlights. The Ram 1500 is the only large pickup truck that earns a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the IIHS.
Final thoughts. With the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 leading the way for towing capacity, the pickup’s downfalls are easy to overlook. For years, Chevy has been in second place behind the F-150, but no longer.
Beyond its towing capacity, the Silverado 1500 is offered in a staggering number of configurations, has a comfortable ride, and an intuitive interior.
It may have just been redesigned, but Chevy gave the pickup a face only a mother could love. It’s a polarizing design that could have consumers looking to other options. We applaud the Bowtie brand for taking a chance, but it didn’t pan out in our opinion. The decision to limit active safety features to high-end trims hurt the appeal of the pickup truck, too.
The Ford F-150 is the most popular full-size pickup truck, and it’s easy to see why. It’s just shy of the Silverado 1500’s towing capacity and bests it in payload capacity. It’s also available in the high-performance Raptor trim, which others haven’t been able to match yet.
The Ram 1500 recently took over as the number two option in the pickup segment. It’s the most luxurious truck of the trio and manages to land in the middle in regard to towing and payload capacity. It also has a nifty mild-hybrid system.
Check prices for the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500»