Trucks & SUVs

Chevy Still Needs to Build a Better Truck, Not a “Better Silverado’

The newly-revamped 2020 Chevy Silverado has finally arrived. It features an enhanced design and improved drivetrain. How does it stack up to its competitors?

Well, according to MotorTrend’s Christian Seabaugh, “Whereas Ford and Ram are focused on how to build a better truck, Chevy seems focused on building a better Silverado.” Here are some things the new Silverado got right, along with a few others the company may still need to work on.

A Chevy SIlverado being assembled at a GM plant.
A new 2020 Chevy Silverado on the assembly line | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The Silverado gets an updated powertrain

The 2020 Silverado comes with either a gas or diesel engine. Both have gotten high marks from MotorTrend, who was especially impressed with the available 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine. This engine produced 310 hp. and 348 lb.-ft. of torque, and can take the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds.

With the 2.7 liter engine, cruising on the highway is a breeze, and the truck handles winding roads with ease. The automatic transmission provides smooth, even shifting in a variety of driving conditions.

Choose the available 3.0 Duramax diesel engine, and you will also notice great handling and performance. At the same time, this engine is much quieter than other diesel motors.

The 3.0 liter Duramax will provide you with great fuel economy, towing, and payload as well. According to guest judge Mark Williams “This is probably the best of the light-duty diesels.”

Towing and handling

The Silverado’s efficient powertrain provides exceptional towing capabilities. Even with a 4,000 lb. trailer attached, the truck was able to go from 0 to 30 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

It took only 14.1 seconds to reach 60 mph. When towing, you should have no trouble maintaining a steady speed, even when going up or down hills.

MotorTrend was also impressed by the Silverado’s suspension. They claimed that the suspension allowed them to navigate winding roads “like a large sedan.”

Road test editor Chris Walton remarked that “I don’t know if I’ve driven a truck that rode that well.” Features editor Scott Evans stated that “It drives beautifully and reverses just as well…” This is some high praise coming from a trusted source.

The Silverado’s interior and features fall flat

One area where the Silverado appeared to come up short was in the interior, which MotorTrend claims “pales against the competition.” They noted that the hard plastic features give the Silverado a rather plain look and that the cloth seats were uncomfortable.

The Silverado also seems to be lacking in technology. For example, the base trim model comes with only one standard USB port and an AM/FM radio. As such, there is not much there in the way of entertainment.

MotorTrend’s editors were unimpressed with what they called a “horrible backup camera” that was characterized by its “grainy screen.” Luckily for Chevy, truck buyers don’t seem to put much stock in interior features.

Off-road struggles

While the Silverado performs well on the highway, it does appear to struggle some when taken off-road. During its test run, drivers had to engage the off-road mode in order to clear obstacles. In off-road mode, the traction control is turned off, in which case the wheels may slip.

2020 Chevy Silverado: the bottom line

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado may have been redesigned; however, it still has a long way to go in order to catch up with its competition. As we previously noted, Car and Driver magazine reported that the 2019 Silverado was “no better than the truck it replaces.”

With the 2020 model, it seems that Chevy has once again chosen to build a better Silverado instead of creating a better truck. This strategy could hurt the company long term.

Overall, the Chevy Silverado is not a bad pickup if you are mainly interested in performance. However, if remaining comfortable is also a top priority, you might be disappointed. Even with its flaws, the Silverado has been rated fifth-best among full-size pickups by Car and Driver, meaning you could still find it a great deal for the money.