2020 Silverado 1500 New Car Test Drive
Long known for its solid mix of power and efficiency, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is back with a new diesel engine and optional adaptive cruise control. After last year's redesign, the half-ton, light-duty, full-size pickup truck is longer, wider, taller, and leaner than its predecessor.
Changes for the 2020 model year include the introduction of a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine, while the 6.2-liter V-8 engine is more widely available. Camera-based adaptive cruise control is newly available. So is new trailering technology with up to eight cameras providing 15 distinct views. New trailering mirrors are also available.
Shoppers face a dizzying number of selections to be made, led by five engines and eight trim levels. There's also three cab styles (regular cab, double cab, or crew cab) and three cargo bed lengths (5-foot-8, 6-foot-6, or 8-foot).
The base engine is a 2.7-liter turbo-4 that produces 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Next in line are the familiar 4.3-liter V-6 with 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque and a 5.3-liter V-8 that develops 355 hp and 383 lb-ft, both with a 6-speed automatic. In upper trim levels, the 5.3-liter may have an 8-speed or 10-speed automatic.
Also offered is the big 6.2-liter V-8 that whips up 420 hp and 460 lb-ft, fitted with a 10-speed automatic. Finally, there's the new 3.0-liter turbodiesel that's rated at 277 hp and 460 lb-ft (at only 1,500 rpm).
The Turbo-4 and V-8 powertrains trail the competition, but the diesel stands tall in fuel economy. The 2.7-liter turbo-4 is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city, 23 highway, and 21 combined with rear-wheel drive, or 19/22/20 mpg with four-wheel drive.
The 5.3-liter V-8 checks in at 15/20/17 mpg with the 6-speed transmission, 17/24/20 mpg with the 8-speed unit, or 16/22/19 mpg with the 10-speed and 4WD. Meanwhile, the larger 6.2-liter V-8 returns 16/20/17 mpg with 4WD.
The V-6 achieves 16/21/17 mpg with RWD or 15/20/17 mpg with 4WD, while the turbodiesel checks in at a thrifty 23/33/27 mpg with RWD or 23/29/25 mpg with 4WD.
Crash test results could definitely be better. The NHTSA gave the truck a four-star rating overall, but the IIHS gave it a 'Marginal'? score in the small overlap front passenger test and a 'Poor'? score for the headlights.
Advanced safety features are optional only for more costly models. Standard on the High Country and optional for LT trim and above is a safety package with parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alerts. Higher trims may add a second safety package with forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, and active lane control.
A power-folding tailgate can be operated from the keyfob, outside or inside the cab. Two trailering packages are available, including an advanced version that includes a 15-camera view and adaptive cruise control.
The Chevy Silverado 1500 is available in eight trim levels: WT, Custom, LT, RST, Custom Trail Boss, LTZ, LT Trail Boss, and High COuntry. Prices are for the least-costly configuration and include a $1,595 destination charge.
Intended for fleets, the WT, or Work Truck, trim starts at $29,895. It includes manually-adjustable vinyl seats, a vinyl floor, 17-inch steel wheels, and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The $36,195 Custom steps up to LED taillights, 20-inch alloy wheels, deep-tinted glass, carpeting, cruise control, power locks and windows, remote keyless entry, cloth upholstery, and heated power mirrors.
The LT costs $38,495 and is equipped with a chrome grille bar, chrome bumpers, EZ Lift tailgate and lower assist, steering wheel controls, LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
For a street-performance look, the $40,395 RST trim is available. This model comes with body-color accents, 18-inch wheels, remote start, keyless entry, and push-button start
Next up is the $41,095 Custom Trail Boss. Aimed at off-roading, it comes with four-wheel drive, the Z71 off-road package, including a 2-inch suspension lift, Rancho shocks, a locking rear differential, skid plates, and 18-inch wheels with off-road tires.
Things get into luxury territory with the LTZ, which is priced from $44,595. The LTZ adds 8.0-inch touchscreen, perforated leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, an advanced trailering system, and power-folding and heated side mirrors.
The $50,095 LT Trail Boss is based upon the LT trim but comes with the same off-road upgrades as the Custom Trail Boss.
The High Country trim tops the lineup and starts at $54,895. It builds on the LTZ's equipment and adds navigation, wireless charging, 10-way power front seats, cooled front seats, heated rear outboard seats, 20-inch wheels, and a power up/down tailgate.