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2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Drivers' Notes Review | Rough edges [Update]

Chevy's latest pickup is in need of some more refinement

2019 Chevy Silverado Trail Boss
2019 Chevy Silverado Trail Boss / Image Credit: GM
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  • Trim
    LT Trail Boss
  • Engine
    5.3L V8
  • Power
    355 HP / 383 LB-FT
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    Four-Wheel Drive
  • Engine Placement
  • Curb Weight
    5,101 LBS
  • Towing
    9,400 LBS (Max)
  • Seating
  • MPG
    15 City / 20 Highway
  • Warranty
    3 Year / 36,000 Mile
  • Base Price
  • As Tested Price
By now, we've sampled quite a few versions of the new
2019 Chevy Silverado, including a truck with the
new 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four. It's a solid truck overall, though the
Autoblog staff is still split when it comes to some of the details. That said, most of us seem to agree that the off-road focused Trail Boss is the best of the bunch thanks to its upgrades and burly styling.

In addition to the Z71 off-road suspension with a 2-inch factory lift, this truck is loaded with a number of options. The $1,420 convenience package adds USB ports (including type-c), more power outlets, a larger infotainment screen and a Bose sound system. Other options include leather for $985, a spray-on bedliner for $635 and $240 for the trailering package. All in, this crew-cab tester costs $57,285.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Trail Boss certainly has a commanding presence, and the design makes a statement. It's almost overstyled. It takes a little brain recalibration to digest a truck with this many curves and such attitude. I like it. The pictures don't do it justice. The headlights are bigger than they appear and the blacked-out grille is sinister. The newest generation of the Silverado has polarizing style, but I think it's best executed in the Trail Boss.

The truck drove as I expected. I had a great view of the road. It was comfortable. The off-road tuning and huge tires made for a slightly jouncy experience. I didn't find a trail, but I did jump a curb (whoops), which was no problem. I imagine this capability translates well to actual off-road settings.

Other thoughts: Chevy has spruced up the interior for the 2019 Silverado, and it's familiar but fresher. The 5.3-liter Ecotec V8 sounds good, has plenty of power and reminds me why I like traditional V8s. Overall, the new Silverado is solid, and the Trail Boss might be the coolest version.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: This truck is a little rough around the edges, which I suppose is fine for one built for off-road capability. With its two-inch lift and Rancho shocks, the ride is a little choppy, but not uncomfortable. I liked having a commanding view of the road without feeling like I was absolutely towering over everyone (that can be fun, but seems superfluous for daily driving and I'd rather blend in). Steering the thing takes a bit of effort, too. I felt like I had to wrestle it around corners.

The 5.3-liter V8 equipped with GM's Dynamic Fuel Management (which allows for a number of combinations of cylinder deactivation) is plenty potent. It exhibited some weird harmonics, though, under full throttle — a sort of pulsing sonic vibration that added to its rough character. I'm not sure if that's because of the fuel management; I'd have to get into one without it to find out.

I'm not a big fan of this interior, as least in terms of aesthetics. The amount of plastic is oppressive. I found the layout of the various controls off-putting when I was in the Sierra recently, but maybe I've started to get used to it, because it felt a little more intuitive this time around. Some controls on the center stack — including in the touchscreen — are tough to reach. Others, like for the headlights and towing and sport modes to the left of the steering wheel — are hard to see. The gauges, though, are easy to read, and it's nice to be able to choose what information is shown between the speedo and tach on the digital display.

Associate Editor, Joel Stocksdale: I agree with John that the Silverado Trail Boss has some rough edges. The roughest is definitely the standard mud-terrain tires. They're undoubtedly an asset off-road, but the humming of the knobbly treads never ends with them equipped. Unless you're planning on doing serious off-roading frequently, opt for the available all-terrain tires on the larger 20-inch wheels. It's an extra $800, but definitely worth it for better on-road manners.

The other rough edge is the interior design and quality. It's built fine, but it's a big block of boring black plastic. It's not particularly interesting to look at, and it doesn't feel very nice. Fortunately its very ergonomic. Controls are easy to find and use, and I found a very comfortable driving position that felt more car-like than other big pickups.

The ride actually felt fairly compliant to me, but it could have been a result of having just spent some time in the significantly stiffer F-150 Raptor that was here at the same time. And I actually enjoyed the slightly heavy steering. It's a big vehicle, it should have some heft to it. Steering was pretty accurate, too. I also quite like the V8 rumble from under the hood. I probably liked it too much, since I frequently flew off the line at stoplights. I think I sent the wrong message to a modified diesel GMC Sierra on Woodward that was looking to race one night.

You know, I said the tires were the roughest part, but I think it's actually the price. The LT Trail Boss starts just barely under $50,000, and the one we had broke $57,000. For $54,000, you can have a more powerful, more capable F-150 Raptor. Of the two, I'd have to go with a Raptor. But if you can do without the V8 with dynamic fuel management, you can have a Custom Trail Boss in the low $40,000 range, which seems much more reasonable.

Related Video:

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Information

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own — we do not accept sponsored editorial.

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