First Drive: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet has been the second best selling truck in the US for decades, unable to shake the Ford F150 from the top slot for over forty years. But the latest Silverado aims to change that and combined with GMC's Sierra sales, it moving closer to taking the crown away from FoMoCo. 

While the car world is excited about the new Land Rover Defender offering luxury offroading, the LTZ Silverado's starts at $48,700 ($2,200 less than the Rover), seats up to 6, and you get a truck bed. Add the Z71 Offroad Package, the LTZ Convenience Package and the LTZ Plus Package, this Silverado comes in at $59,220 including destination, a bargain when you consider the comparable equipped F150 I built online comes in with an MSRP of $65,545.

When it comes to luxury and comfort the LTZ isn't your grandpa's work truck, the heated and ventilated seats, built-in wi-fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, are nice but the wireless cell phone charging, surround vision cameras, and the Bose premium sound system and the excellent fit and finish are what really make it a nice place to be. Even the passengers in the rear enjoy heated seats as part of the LTZ Plus Package so everyone can enjoy the ride. The comfort can also be felt in the way the truck rides, while I feel the RAM has had the best ride of all the full-size 4X4 trucks I have driven this year, the Silverado is a close second.

The luxury doesn't take away from the truck credentials of the Silverado, at its heart, it's still a hard-working truck. With class-leading cargo space and a 9,600 lbs of towing the Silverado beats the F150, RAM 1500, Tundra, and Titan when comparably equipped. Ford does offer a maximum towing package of 11,500 lbs in a different configuration. I tested it out with a local Home Depot run to pick up a BBQ my sister had ordered, just like when you own a truck, people seek me out when they find out I am testing one. The power tailgate is a fun party trick, but with the counterweight, it is a little unnecessary, also Silverado has decided to not offer a clumsy tailgate step which is a bonus, in my opinion, opting instead to build steps into the ends of the bumper. 

The 5.3-liter Ecotec V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management Cylinder Deactivation Technology helped the full-size Chevy average 17 MPG for the week, just 1 mile shy of the EPA estimated average. It comes it just below the F150's 5.0-iter V8 but better than the 5.7-liter V8 in the Tundra. While it offers plenty of power, the Silverado isn't going to win any drag races, which is fine for do everything truck. With the Z71 package which includes skid plates, hill descent control, offroad shocks, dual exhaust, performance air cleaner, and a two-speed transfer case, the Silverado is a very capable offroad. 

If the luxury of the LTZ isn't what you are looking for, the Silverado has several configurations like the new Custom Trail Boss which comes with a 2" lift and more rugged sporty looks, or the monochromatic styling of the RST with its color-matched bumpers, grill bar, and door handles. If you are shopping for a full-size pickup, Silverado needs to be on your list, and who knows maybe 2020 will be the year they take the crown for the number one selling truck in the USA.