Chevrolet Brings It’s “A” Game Silverado Makeover to the 2019 Pick-Up Truck Showdown
As car-makers scramble for the rich rewards of America’s runaway pick-up truck market, the introduction of the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is a bold gambit in what may be the most significant competitive challenge in automotive history.
Never have the stakes been higher, as more Americans shift from sedans to SUVs and increasingly to pick-up trucks as the new full sized multi-purpose family vehicle.
The traditional dominance of the Ford F-150 in the pick-up realm continues holding, in the face of production ramp-up problems with the newest model a few years back and widespread anecdotal static of reliability issues especially in the HD range vehicles. The RAM 1500 series has become a driving force of profitability for FCA as American buyers choose the newest edition of this pick-up at faster rate than ever.
And of course the estimable market share carved out by Toyota Tundra and the Nissan Titan is now attracting others into the pick-up fray.
But the Chevrolet Silverado, and its glam cousin the GMC Sierra, have shown steady gains, claiming conquest sales nicked from Ford. While the pick-up formula is fairly simple at its core, it is segment that can win with the right sharply focused mission statement.
For example while the F-150 plays follow the leader, the new 2019 RAM 1500 angles for the “traditional pick-up values” crowd with a more straight forward design, pricing and expanded accessorizing portfolio. RAM has mounted a tougher challenge to Chevrolet than many veteran market watchers expected.
For the strikingly modern and authoritative new Silverado the “automotive” aspect of its persona is its marketing advantage. Meeting the challenge of going toe-to-toe with the giants, Chevrolet has chosen the road through suburbia. Though advance photos of the coming Silverado Heavy Duty (HD) cued up for 2020 shows the extreme potential of full frontal visual assault of all that front grill acreage, most of the initial line-up models downplays the “it’s what’s up front that counts” ethic.
For all its brawn and beastly beauty, the new Chevy Silverado emerges as a new generation American family car. Traditional contractor, farm, ranch and small business buyers will be impressed by 20 percent more cargo volume, cool integrated video trailering technology, a high strength steel bed, and the four tailgate variations from manual to power assisted.
For the family audience the improved efficiency from shedding 450 lb. from the previous model and the Dynamic Fuel Management system — featuring 17 fractions over the former Active Fuel Management tech which alternated between just 4 and 8 cylinders – makes the 5.3 V8 and the lower power V6 engine options MPG competitive with big sedans and SUVs.
The Chevrolet MyLink telematics and infotainment system makes a tidy package of Wifi, Bluetooth, Apple Car Play and Android Auto interfaces, and OnStar Navigation, all synced to your personal device carefully stowed away for non-distracted driving.
And when it comes to the driving, the new Chevy Silverado delivers a balance of toughness and comfort on the road that really underlines the suburban domestic appeal.
Handling is sharp and light despite the bulk of the truck. The cabin is quiet, spacious and comfortable even in the lesser adorned trims. Storage inside the passenger area is ample thanks to under the rear seats stow space.
With 8 trim levels, and options from anti-bacterial cloth seats to luxurious leather upholstery in the now enlarged crew cab, the Silverado is spacious, durable and flexible.
This range of trim levels assures Chevy a broad swath of market coverage from the basic Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ to the gentlemanly High Country.
The various trim levels come with engine options from a base 4.3 L V6, 305 horsepower with a 6-speed transmission up to the 420 horsepower 6.2 L V8, 8-speed auto. There’s also a new Duramax 3.0 L Turbo Diesel with a 10 speed trans expected for next year.
Burnishing the Silverado suburban truckster appeal is the recent announcement of a standard 2.7 turbo inline 4 cylinder engine option on LT and RST trims, which has the same cylinder de-activation fuel savings technology as the big V8 and workhorse V6, resulting in a full size pickup running confidently at times on just two cylinders. Paired with the 8-speed automatic transmission the Silverado makes a great case for the 4 cylinder option.
At its normal 310 horsepower output the 4 cylinder Silverado turns in admirable 0 – 60 times under 7 seconds and delivers 20 city and 23 highway EPA mph ratings, and promises cargo load capacity on par with the Ford F150 and RAM 1500 V6 engines.
In addition to strong confident power, prolific towing capabilities and alt-terrain muscle, these drivetrains are endorsed by the Chevy brand scoring high marks for excellent reliability and low cost of ownership in recent years.
And while aesthetes may feign disappointment with the quality of Chevrolet Silverado interior, a Mom schlepping the soccer team and the attendant mess, will be happy for the utilitarian surfaces. And besides for more regal interiors the newest GMC Sierra is sure to satisfy the most pampered posterior!
Just what the modern family is looking for in a vehicle in the $30,000 to $60,000 plus range.