When it comes to evaluating Chevy trucks, it’s easy to focus on a single category, like capabilities, and decide that the story starts and ends there. The truck becomes known as a capable hauler or a trailer towing powerhouse. That’s great, but what if there’s more to it? In the case of Chevy trucks, and the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 in particular, not only is there way more to the story, but the story continues to unfold. That’s because Chevy never stops innovating and finding new ways to improve the Silverado 1500 line of full-size pickups.
People are using pickup trucks in entirely new ways today. Gone are the days when a pickup had hand-crank windows and uncomfortable bench seating. Today we see more luxury and comfort features crammed into the cabin than ever before. That’s why they’re now weekend family vehicles and cross-country adventure options. Yet the Silverado is still a work truck, through-and-through. Whether it’s appointed with high-end leather seating and the latest infotainment features or humbly sporting vinyl seating and a regular cab two-door body style, the Silverado puts work first and remembers its roots.
So let’s dive deeper into the attributes that keep the Silverado 1500 at the top of buyer’s wish lists year after year. There’s a reason the Silverado 1500 is a good work truck. Actually, there are several reasons. Read on.
Trims and Cab Styles
Perhaps the best news about the new 2020 Silverado 1500 is its lineup of trims because once you decide to go with a Chevy work truck, you’ll want the flexibility of choosing equipment and features. Whether you’re budget driven or motivated by specific features like trailering or having comfortable seating for your crew, Chevy’s eight available trims and three cab style options will get you there.
The WT – or Work Truck – is the base Silverado trim, offering a two-door regular cab body style. Starting at an MSRP of $28,500, it’s nicely equipped with a baseline of equipment that will get the job done without breaking the bank. Other trims include the Custom, the LT, the RST, the Custom Trail Boss, the LTZ, the LT Trail Boss, and the High Country.
Within each, buyers will choose from cab styles – regular, double or crew cab – and two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Some trims, like the Trail Boss, are only available in four-wheel drive. Additionally, bed lengths vary and are usually dependent on the selected cab style. There are three available bed lengths: short, standard, and long. The short bed size measures 69.9-inches, the standard bed is 79.4-inches, and the long bed is 98.1-inches.
Putting it all together, here’s how to mix and match your options: if you choose a crew cab, you will have the option of a short or standard bed. The crew cab is a four-door, six-passenger cab style. The regular bed, two-door option, is a three-passenger max configuration, which is the only body style that can accommodate the long bed. Last but not least, the double cab is only available with a standard bed. You’ll still get seating for six, but it’s a two-door body style, which makes accessing the rear seating a little more challenging.
Powertrain and Capabilities
While configurations and trims are important, performance is the most important piece to consider when looking for a truck. In fact, towing and payload capacity are major considerations when determining which work truck is right for you. If you’re looking for a work truck, you probably already know how it’s going to be used.
Are you towing heavy equipment or hauling building materials? Maybe you have tools to carry to the job site? Whatever the use, it’s important to understand how to configure your truck correctly to get the job done. Engine, transmission, rear axle ratio, and even cab configuration combine to determine capability, fuel economy, and overall ride and handling.
Unless you hate having a lot of choices, Chevy’s packed list of engines and transmissions is going to delight you. The seemingly endless powertrain configurations make it very easy to dial in exactly what you need. What do five engines, three transmissions, and three cab configurations equal? Choices.
Beginning with the base 4.3-liter V6 engine, right out of the gate, the Silverado will churn out 285 hp and a respectable 305 lb-ft of torque. Then there is the 2.7-liter turbo engine that produces 310 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, the 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, and the 6.2-liter V8 with up to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Of course, though, the Silverado has an option for those diesel-loving drivers, a 3.0-liter Duramax that produces 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Overall, with these options, you can get whatever you need out of this truck.
As for trailering, the 2020 Chevy Silverado, when properly configured, has a max available trailering capability of 13,400 lbs. You may not need such robust towing ability, but it’s nice to know that it’s possible. If you’re hauling gear or supplies, the payload capacity becomes critically important. Chevy’s got your back, with 2,250 lbs of max available payload. This is one strong truck, perfect for work.
Technology and Performance Packages
Inside and around the Silverado 1500 are a plethora of add-ons and packages that enhance its work truck performance. Take the Z71 off-road package: choose this add-on and transform your work truck into a highly capable off-roader. You’ll get an off-road suspension, automatic locking rear differential, extra underbody girding, a high-capacity air filter to battle the dust, and special all-terrain tires. Chevy also adds an Autotrac 2-speed transfer case, which allows for easy and seamless shifting between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
The available Drive Mode Selector gives drivers full control over road conditions and the job at hand. Select between several modes, including normal, sport, tow/haul, off-road, terrain, and snow/ice. It works by adjusting traction to maximize performance during a specific task or in a challenging driving situation, such as a snowstorm.
In sport mode, drivers enjoy more road feel because the system dials down the power steering assist, stiffens the suspension, and downshifts more readily to keep the engine responsive. In tow/haul mode, the system utilizes downshifting more frequently to control speed – especially when traveling downhill – and minimize wear on the brakes. It also engages the Trailer Sway Control and Stabilitrak systems to keep the trailer from swaying.
Chevy has also engineered a whole host of trailering technology systems to simplify the process and get you going faster and more safely. The available in-vehicle Advanced Trailering System will actually customize a profile for your specific trailer. The app-based system features a pre-departure checklist and a trailer lighting and tire pressure diagnostic tool with monitoring. When equipped with this package, the Silverado essentially recognizes your trailer as part of itself.
Overall, it’s clear that Chevrolet wants Silverado 1500 buyers to build a work truck that fits their intended use. Chevy understands that pickup truck buyers are not all alike, and because these fully capable trucks can achieve such high numbers in towing and payload, you can rest assured that you’ll find your sweet spot somewhere along the spectrum of options and configurations. Thanks to continual updates over the years, this generation’s Silverado 1500 is class-leading and technologically-equipped for even the toughest jobs.