BUSINESS HEADLINES

Sharp redesign sets Silverado apart

By Roy J. Eaton | Published Saturday, September 8, 2018

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Silverado

2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss

If you want to turn heads in Wise County “pickup country,” spend some time behind the wheel of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss four-wheel drive pickup.

I had that experience recently thanks to Carey Williams, executive manager of James Wood Motors in Decatur. The all white truck with a black leather interior was a beauty.

Pickup buyers are the most loyal of any new vehicle buyers, and while the Ford F-150 holds the “best seller” honors nationwide, the Chevrolet Silverado and its sibling the GMC Sierra have been sales champions in Wise County for years.

The 2019 Silverado I spent some time with was powered by the venerable 5.3 liter V8 engine that developed 326 horsepower. It was mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission that provided an average 17 miles-per-gallon.

The new Silverado is a looker. I had stopped for some fuel, and a man driving a Lexus walked over and wanted to check it out. He said he owned a 2017 GMC Denali HD pickup. I assured him he was “in style” for another year or two before GM redesigned its heavy-duty pickups.

The MSRP on the dark tinted windows showed a “bottom line” of $57,465. The LT Trail Boss is the mid-line of 2019 Chevrolet pickups that include a half-dozen models from the basic work truck to the LTZ and High Country models.

Those higher trim levels also offer a 6.2 liter V8 engine with 420 horsepower mated to a 10-speed transmission. That combination provides up to 12,200 pounds towing capacity. At the other end of the six-engine offerings is a new for 2019 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine. It will be interesting to see if many pickup buyers go for this.

But who would have thought 20 years ago that pickup buyers would pick the Ford EcoBoost V6 – now the top selling engine in Ford pickups, so I may be wrong about the GM 2.7 liter four cylinder.

Standard on the 5.3 liter and 6.2 liter V8s is a system called “Dynamic Fuel Management” that uses, according to Chevrolet, an “industry first 17-cylinder modes” to “optimize efficiency and power.”

Analysts say that system improves mileage by about 6 percent.

The Silverado LT Trail Boss is meant to be used off-road as well as on the highway. It has a 2-inch lifted suspension to smooth the ride over rough country, and there is an underbody skid plate to protect vital power train parts.

The Trail Boss 4×4 comes with a high and low speed transfer case for tough going in bad weather or rural work sites. Standard on the package are 18-inch wheels with Goodyear off road tires. On the test vehicle, they were high gloss black, which provided a sharp contrast with the bright white paint but matched perfectly the “tri-fold” bed cover and black leather interior with a 10-way power drivers seat.

The new 2019 Chevrolet pickup is amazingly quiet, in fact quieter than my 2017 GMC Yukon Denali. One national reviewer said the vehicle “drove more like a luxury sedan than a truck.”

The only criticism I have seen about the truck came from Automotive News where writer Mike Wayland said the interior was a little old fashioned when compared with the 2019 Ram half-ton pickup. He criticized the column mounted gear shift and small in-dash screen compared to the very large screen in the Ram and the modern shift dial in the console.

But if pickup buyers like the “familiar,” then the interior of the Silverado will be a nice upgrade from the 2018 Chevrolet. On the outside it’s all new and turned heads in the Wise County parking lots where I took it.

James Wood Motors in Decatur also has several 2019 GMC Sierra half-ton pickups in stock, and both Chevrolet and GMC should comfortably keep the General Motors trucks a major contender for buyers in Wise County.

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