In sports, a team can have a great off-season spent improving its roster, generating plenty of positive headlines, but that team can still end up losing if all the other teams got even better. And thus is our metaphor for the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, a truck that’s a whole lot better than the one it replaced last year, but one that falls short when compared to its Ram and Ford competitors.
Now, its strong capability, diverse powertrain lineup and generous infotainment offerings still make the Silverado worthy of lengthy test drives. It’s certainly not a bad choice. Yet, it just doesn’t go far enough in a number of areas — most notably its drab and cheap interior — to generally outdo the other teams’ talents.
What’s new with Silverado for 2020?
The Silverado was completely redesigned last year, and although changes are few for 2020, we do see a dramatic increase in engine availability. Chiefly, the 6.2-liter V8 trickles down the lineup and is now offered on the Custom Trail Boss, LT Trail Boss and RST trim levels. On the other end of the cylinder count, the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can now be had on the Custom trim level as an option (it’s standard on the LT and RST).
Technology has also been upgraded, as the Silverado HD’s new trailering apps and 15-view trailering camera system trickle down to the 1500. The available adaptive cruise control system is also enhanced with a new camera-based sensor.
What’s the Silverado’s interior and in-car technology like?
The Silverado’s cabin is its least compelling and competitive attribute, falling far behind the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 in terms of quality and visually appealing design. Even the range-topping High Country lacks the luxurious touches and ambiance we’ve come to expect in such high-dollar trucks. Although it represents a minor upgrade over the previous Silverado, the segment has improved dramatically to the point that even those looking at a more basically equipped model can now expect more than what the Silverado’s interior provides.
How big is Silverado?
The Silverado 1500 Crew Cab is the biggest one yet, with limo-like sprawl-out space in its back seat aided by a colossal rear door. As expected, the Double Cab’s rear seatback is more upright and less comfortable. Legroom may be class-leading, but it’s still tight behind a tall driver, meaning the Double Cab’s back seat is ultimately best suited for occasional use. At least its front-hinged rear doors are a better setup than the F-150 Super Cab’s annoying clamshells.
What features are available and what’s Silverado’s price?
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is available in regular cab, (extended) Double Cab and Crew Cab styles as well as three bed lengths and two front seating options. There are then eight trim levels: Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country. You can see which engines are available on what trim level in the table above.
The LT additions include LED headlights, auto climate control, extra USB ports, OnStar and 4G LTE WiFi.
The RST is largely an LT with body-colored trim in place of chrome, and a few extra niceties. The LTZ and High Country are the luxury trim levels. Although they certainly slather on the equipment, we’ve found their interiors to not be luxurious enough in look, feel or quality to warrant their lofty price points. They are nowhere close to what you’d get in a Ram 1500 Limited or Ford F-150 Platinum for basically the same money. See the photos below for reference.