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The Truck That Makes Towing and Hauling Easy: 2020 Chevy Silverado

A dark grey 2020 Chevy Silverado is towing side by sides on a dirt road.

 

Chevy fully redesigned the Silverado in 2019, but instead of resting on their laurels, Chevy delivers yet more upgrades for 2020. Truck enthusiasts will no doubt be happy to know that diesel options are still available with the V8 engine offerings, and there is no end to the options and trim levels for the 1500. A few special editions exist for those who like the appeal of the extra bling, and Chevy certainly takes its engine options seriously. If tech is important, Chevy integrates it well, but if you want an updated interior, you may need to keep shopping. Still, the 2020 Chevy Silverado deserves a serious look if you plan to buy a truck this year. For trailering or hauling heavy loads, the Silverado has features any truck lover should consider.

The Trims

Chevy makes the Silverado 1500 in eight trim levels: the Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country.

The base trim, or Work Truck, starts at an MSRP of $28,300, and comes standard with the 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine. We’ll circle back to the engines later, but that V6 allows for 7,500 pounds of towing capacity, which is the lowest end of all the trims. Other standard features are steel wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a rear-view camera.

Next in line is the Custom trim, which adds to the Work Truck (WT) trim with LED taillights, 20-inch aluminum wheels, front tow hooks, heated exterior mirrors, and cruise control. You’ll also get upholstered seats, rather than the vinyl in the WT. For the Custom Trail Boss, it comes standard with a two-inch lift on the suspension, is only available with four-wheel drive, and offers both trailering and off-road packages.

Moving up to the LT, the option to choose the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available here. LED headlights, a tailgate damper, and an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen are also standard on this trim. The RST goes the whole-hog with the lights by making the headlights, daytime running lights, taillights, and fog lights LED. You’ll also get 18-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels, the power lock and release tailgate, in-bed lighting, and remote start.

The LT Trail Boss trim gets serious with the 5.3-liter V8 engine, which is offered with dual exhaust. Built on the Custom Trail Boss trim, you have all that standard equipment, plus the trailering and off-road packages. Also available is the 6.2-liter V8 engine, which comes with an auxiliary external transmission oil cooler.

With the LTZ trim, standard features are an HD rear-view camera, heated power-folding exterior mirrors, 18-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels, a heated steering wheel, heated leather front seats, trailer brake controller, a navigation system onboard, two 120-volt power outlets, and dual-zone climate control.

Finally, the High Country maxes out the offerings. With this trim, drivers will enjoy 20-inch wheels, high-intensity LED headlights, curtain LED daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, power up-and-down tailgate, and a spray-on bed liner. You’ll also get wheel-to-wheel assist steps, a Bose audio system, ventilated front seats, heated back seats, wireless phone charging, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring.

As with so many truck models today, Chevy has lots of ways to mix and match packages or options between the trim levels. Three of the trim levels can be ordered as special edition options, like the LT Trail Boss Midnight, the Custom Rally, or the RST Rally. Mostly, these special editions add black paint or details, offer different wheel sizes, and have different engine choices. Certain packages are added for the thrill of having a truck with a more custom look.

A black 2020 Chevy Silverado is towing a black enclosed trailer past pine trees.

Trailering

Starting with the least expensive trim—the Work Truck—with rear-wheel drive, the 4.3-liter engine, a regular cab, and the long bed, the max towing capability is 7,900 pounds, with a max payload of 2,250 pounds. This trim does not offer the advanced trailering package, so this is the least of the available options for any 2020 Silverado. With that said, most of the trims can add trailering packages or options, and Chevy has quite a few tech upgrades that can significantly ease the work involved in towing, loading, and monitoring trailers and loads in the bed.

Before going through the trailering options, Chevy states on their website that max towing capacity for any Silverado is 13,400 pounds, with a max payload of 2,250 pounds. Again, each trim level has a different set of available options, and many can be mixed and matched according to what you plan to do with your truck. The options available for towing tech are fairly comprehensive: trailer sway control, hill-start assist, auto grade braking, trailer theft alert, electric parking brake hook-up assist, and brake gain memory is integrated with the trailer brake controller.

Chevy offers an advanced trailering package that links to their in-vehicle app. The separate myChevrolet app for compatible smartphones lists trailering checklists for pre-departure, provides how-to videos to operate certain features and tech, has trailer light tests to check brake lights and signals prior to driving, and a trailer tire monitor, to name a few of the options. New this year is the syncing feature between the app and the trailering package, which keeps the data entered between the two up-to-date. Other available features are trailering mirrors, a bed-view camera (with the Technology Package), and trailering tech cameras with up to 15 views around the truck and trailer.

Truck bed

Chevy redesigned the truck bed to create more space for cargo and uses rolled steel to make the bed lighter and stronger. Chevy claims best-in-class width and length for either the short or long box, which leads to more cargo space in the bed. Built into the bed is 12 tie-downs welded into each corner (three each), rated for 500 pounds per corner. An additional nine tie-downs can be removed or added for securing more cargo in the bed.

Though the tailgate isn’t quite the exciting innovation offered by GMC, the available power up-and-down tailgate is lowered through several means: the key fob, a button inside the cabin, or the touchpad located on the gate. This tailgate is an option for the Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, and LT trims, while it comes standard on the remaining trims.

Other conveniences available for the truck bed are a 120-volt outlet installed near the tailgate; lighting for the cargo box, hitch, and truck perimeter; and footwells in the corner step, which were redesigned to be larger for work boots. Once again, these are standard on some trims and must be added for others.

The hands free tailgate is shown lowering on a black 2020 Chevy Silverado.

Engines

In order to haul or tow, the right engine will make a difference. Chevy has six engine options for the 2020 Silverado 1500, and the choices are limited to which trim you buy. Beginning with the 4.3-liter V6, it’s combined with the six-speed automatic transmission and is standard on the Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss. Next, the 2.7-liter turbo is paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission, has auto start and stop tech, boasts 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque, and comes standard on the LT and RST trims. This engine is available for the Custom and Work Truck trims.

The 5.3-liter V-8 comes two ways: dynamic fuel management, which is matched with an eight-speed transmission, has auto start and stop tech, and is standard for LT Trail Boss and High Country trims; or the active fuel management, which is offered with a six-speed transmission and is available for WT, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss trims. Both versions deliver 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, but the dynamic version is available additionally for the LT and RST trims.

Filling out the last of the gas engines, the 6.2-liter V8 comes with a 10-speed transmission, and supply 420 hp with 460 lb-ft of torque. This is the engine that offers the maximum towing capacity of 13,400 pounds, and is available on the Custom Trail Boss, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, or High Country trims.

The final engine is the 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel I-6, which is paired up with a 10-speed transmission and offers 277 hp with 460 lb-ft of torque. It also has auto start and stop tech, and has a 9,300-pound towing capacity. To opt for the diesel engine, it is available for the LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country trims.

Remember, when you choose just about any trim level, many of the options can be swapped out for upgrades from other trim levels. Options are wide open, so you can build the truck you need for the trailer or hauling duties you plan to accomplish with your 2020 Silverado. Trucks have never been so easy to drive, load, or trailer!

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