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And the Hits Keep Coming for the Chevy Silverado

AutoInfluence Podcast

 

 

Today on AutoInfluence, we take a look at the 2019 Chevy Silverado, an offering which some are calling the greatest Silverado every made (while others might disagree vehemently).

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the redesigned and re-engineered 2019 Silverado is enjoying a widely-celebrated reception. With praise levied at its exterior design, accessibility, load management options, fuel management system and commitment to weight reduction, there are no shortage of positive assessments. But we’d be painting too rose-colored an image if we didn’t mention that the Silverado has also had to bear the weight of some criticisms, with some calling its interior design ‘dated’ and others less-than-satisfied with the modest hesitation experienced with some of its powertrain options.

And considering the continual one-upmanship enjoyed by Ford and GM, it’s the criticisms that can prove damning, especially when it opens the doors for further redistribution of the truck segment’s proverbial pie. Take the RAM 1500, or Nissan Titan for example. Both provide a perfect indication of how smart design and consistent engineering can garner a stronger foothold in the market, for any truckmaker. So with upstarts nipping at their heels, and Ford taking showing a brief dip in truck sales, does the 2019 Silverado have what it takes to keep Chevy’s #2 spot locked and secure, while lessening its gap with the class-leading F-Series?

In short, yes…with eight trim choices, four cab & bed configurations and six advanced powertrains, it’s hard to argue the compelling nature of the 2019 lineup.

Some have claimed that, aside from a selection of bold new grille designs, the exterior design hasn’t been altered that much but the reduction in squared-off design elements creates a sleeker, more athletic feel. There is, after all, a silent strength in modesty, and if looks could kill, we like the Silverado’s odds due to its sense of on-brand consistency. That said, most of the superficial criticisms had less to do with the exterior and more to do with the cabin experience, with many critiquing a more traditional approach in terms of material choices and overall design.

But it’s under the hood where the Silverado really takes shape, serving up a V6, two V8 a Turbo and turbo-Diesel options to choose from. Wrangling up to 420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque, and boasting Active Fuel Management systems the new Silverado proves to be both effective and efficient. And the availability of Drive Mode Selector ensures that the Silverado’s performance can be adjusted as needed, with the convenience of a dial-turn.

In terms of drivability, the Silverado is well-mannered, offering little in the way of road vibrations  or abrupt shifts. The 450 lb weight reduction from the outgoing model is tangible, eliminating the weighted bounce that one might expect. Even the steering wheel feels properly weighted,

Increasing the sense of intuitive responsiveness which unites the driver and Silverado in near-perfect union. In fact, the ease of driving almost makes one forget just how large the Silverado is. Depending on the configuration, one might enjoy a total of 1.2 inches in additional width, 1.6 inches in length and a bed 7-inches wider than that of the outgoing model. This equates to 2.5-inches in rear-seat legroom making the Silverado more accommodating than ever to passengers. With this in mind, criticism aimed at interior design might be easy to disregard, considering the comfortable accommodations and wealth of storage options made available in seat bottoms and backs.

And if civilian reviews aren’t enough to capture your attention, consider that General Motors’ Defense division has offered up its Silverado ZH2 variant as the newest hydrogen powered vehicles to be employed by the U.S. Army. Offering long range, a low heat signature and the convenience of stationary power sources, hydrogen-powered vehicles are proving to be the military’s favorite. But taking a design as compelling as the 2019 Silverado and infusing it with a rugged, heavy-duty aesthetic makes for a really cool extension to its existing appeal. It’s a side-note at best, but the fact that the military has selected the Silverado over its competitors has to carry some weight in discussion of its ability to get the job done.

It’s hard to say with any kind of confidence that the Silverado has what it takes to unseat the F-150 or retain its lead over the RAM 1500, but its easy to appreciate the effort made. We look forward to see how the 2019 sales numbers look in the ever-evolving truck segment, to see how Chevy (and all of their competitors) fared. Regardless, the hits keep coming for the Silverado, and we mean that in every way imaginable.

This has been AutoInfluence. Thanks for listening.

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