I don’t envy the engineers and designers who endlessly toil on new vehicle development. In a perfect world, these passionate and talented men and women would have all the money and time in the world to do the job right. Instead, they’re beholden to managers and shareholders—those looking out for production schedules and the bottom line. If a new car, truck, or SUV is done right, critics and consumers alike shouldn’t ever notice that it’s been rushed or is missing something. Despite many massive leaps forward for the lineup, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado could’ve perhaps benefited from a little extra time before the talented team behind it had to put its pencils down.
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We had a couple weeks to sample three 2019 Silverado variants, each outfitted with a new-for-2019 Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM) V-8, a crew cab, and short (5-foot-7) bed. Despite the similarities in body style, each truck fits a wildly different niche. Our volume player was an all-wheel-drive Silverado RST equipped with the new 5.3-liter DFM V-8, which makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic. Covering the off-road end of the spectrum was a Silverado LT Trail Boss, which had the same engine and transmission as the Silverado RST but with proper four-wheel drive, a 2-inch suspension lift, and knobby off-road tires. For the increasingly profitable luxury truck segment, we had a Silverado High Country, which was powered by the new DFM 6.2-liter V-8 making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic with four-wheel drive.
There are four Silverado engines we’ve yet to sample: a carryover 4.3-liter V-6 and six-speed auto; the carryover Active Fuel Management (AFM) 5.3-liter V-8, which confusingly makes just as much power as the new version but is paired with a six-speed auto; and a new 310-hp 2.7-liter turbocharged I-4 and 3.0-liter turbodiesel I-6.
Aside from the new DFM V-8s (which, unlike the old AFM V-8s, are capable of running in 17 cylinder configurations versus the AFM’s V-4 mode), the 2019 Silverados benefit from a new platform, body work, and cabin. The Silverado wears its extra 4 inches of length well. Each variant of the Silverado looks distinctive, especially our Trail Boss tester with its blacked-out nose and bright red tow hooks. Even more impressive is the work Chevy did to the back end of the truck. Thanks to new manufacturing techniques, the Silverado’s bed is 7 inches wider (without increasing the truck’s actual width), and cargo volume in the bed expands significantly. Chevy also increased the number of standard tie-downs in the bed—three in each corner for a total of 12—a move we hope other truck makers follow. If for some reason you need more, the Silverado’s bed can also accept optional Gear On tie-downs.
The Silverado is rated to haul up to 2,190 pounds with the 5.3-liter DFM engine or 2,100 pounds with the 6.2-liter engine. It can tow up to 11,600 pounds with the 5.3 or 12,200 pounds with the 6.2. Max payload capacity is 2,500 pounds with the V-6.
At the test track, the new Silverado puts up test numbers competitive with the rival Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. Unsurprisingly, the slowest of our Silverados were our 5.3-liter V-8 testers. The street-going and off-road-ready Silverado RST and Silverado Trail Boss traded blows in our instrumented acceleration tests. The Silverado Trail Boss was quicker to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, needing 6.4 seconds to the RST’s 6.6 seconds, but the Silverado RST caught up by the end of the quarter mile, its 14.9-second run at 94.6 mph just edging out the Trail Boss’ 15.0 seconds at 93.2 mph for the quarter mile.
Both were about neck and neck when we hitched an 8,300-pound trailer to them, too. You can get the full breakdown of all our test numbers in the chart below, but in the most important towing metrics—quarter mile and 45-65-mph passing acceleration—the Silverado Trail Boss was more impressive. It took 20.9 seconds to get down the quarter mile at 67.6 mph and needed 9.5 seconds to accelerate from 45 to 65 mph. The Silverado RST needed 21.2 seconds to clear the quarter mile at 66.7 mph and 9.9 seconds in our 45-65 passing tests.
With an extra 65 horsepower and 77 lb-ft of torque on tap, it’s not surprising that the 6.2-liter-equipped Silverado High Country outperformed the other two Silverados. When equipped with this optional engine, the Silverado High Country accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and runs the quarter in 14.4 seconds at 98.3 mph. With the same 8,300-pound trailer hitched to its bumper, the High Country runs the quarter mile in 19.7 seconds at 71.5 mph and needs just 7.8 seconds in the 45-65 pass tests.
For more view Source: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado First Test: Pencils Down – Motor Trend