Driven: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Review
  • Car Review

Driven: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Review

By Chris Teague | October 26, 2020

Autolist rating: 3/5

But would we buy it?

Probably, but cross-shop too.

Price range:

$31,290 to $54,595, including destination but before options.

Key takeaways

  • The Silverado was completely redesigned for the 2019 model year and tweaked for 2020.
  • The Trail Boss trim is Chevy’s off-road answer to the Ram Rebel and Ford Raptor.
  • The Silverado’s interior still feels like a basic workhorse model, even at higher trim levels.
  • The 6.2-liter V-8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission are more widely available across the model line for 2020.
  • There are several powertrain, cab, and bed combinations.

More Photos

See more 2020 Chevrolet Silverado photos here.


What is it?

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The Chevrolet Silverado has been part of the three-way American truck race for decades, but recently Chevy had been lagging behind its rivals Ford and Ram in the tech and capability department. Chevy’s 2019 overhaul brought several much-needed updates to the Silverado line, including a more sophisticated powertrain lineup, more advanced driver aids and entertainment options, and new styling.

The new model is bigger but lighter than its predecessor and takes advantage of a new Dynamic Fuel Management system that can use up to 17 different modes and shut down up to six cylinders in the process to save fuel. The Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 are very closely related, as the GMCs uses the same platform and underpinnings but adds some features, capabilities, amenities, and a higher price.

The Silverado is aimed at truck buyers that want a full-size workhorse truck without a sky-high price tag. The lineup includes multiple drivetrain, cab, bed, and trim level combinations, which means there is a truck for nearly every buyer.

Chevy’s powertrain offerings include a 310-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a 4.3-liter V-6 with 285 horsepower, a 5.3-liter V-8 with 355 hp, a 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 horsepower, and a 3.0-liter inline-six Diesel engine that makes 277 horsepower.

On top of the expansive powertrain lineup, the Chevy Silverado is offered in several trims: Work Truck (WT), Custom, Custom Trail Boss (package), LT, RST, LT Trail Boss (package), LTZ, and High Country.

Trail Boss models have off-road-focused upgrades that include things like a lift kit, knobby tires, and blacked-out trim pieces.

Cab options include a single cab, double cab, and a crew cab, while the bed can be ordered in short or long bed configurations.


What’s good

TLDR: Multiple trim and powertrain choices, a solid starting price, and comfortable interior.

Powertrains: The Silverado’s powertrain lineup is broad enough to satisfy any driver, and there’s even a four-cylinder engine available – an oddity in the full-size truck world. Active Fuel Management improves fuel economy for the V-6 and V-8 gas engines, while a diesel option is available for people that need to tow. We tested several, including the diesel -- the one we’d recommend the most.

Pricing: The Silverado’s pricing tops out at just over $60,000, which, although high, is less than what Ram and Ford’s high-end pickups can hit. At the bottom end of Chevy’s spectrum, budget buyers can get out of the door with a Silverado for just over $30,000.

Comfortable: The Silverado’s workhorse roots show through in many parts of its interior, but the truck’s soft leather and well-padded seats more than make up for it. Head and legroom are generous in both the front and rear seats, and the cabin is surprisingly quiet. Even with the larger off-road tires that come on the Trail Boss models, all but the worst road noises are filtered out.


What’s bad

TLDR: The 2020 Silverado has budget-feeling interior materials and design, obstructed visibility, and relaxed acceleration.

Interior: Despite the fact that it’s got many upscale features and advanced tech, even the higher trim levels of the Silverado have cheap materials that would be more at home in the basic Work Truck trim. Buttons, knobs, and controls are soft to the touch and feel wobbly, while there’s hard plastic in places where a little padding would be great. Plus, amenities like the small-ish touchscreen and dashboard layout already feel outdated when compared to rivals from Ford and Ram.

Visibility: The Silverado’s imposing stance looks great from the outside, but inside it makes visibility a challenge. The hood’s long, flat surface makes it difficult to see what’s immediately in front of the truck, which can be stressful for shorter drivers. The large B-pillar and high waistline also impede side visibility.

Relaxed Acceleration: Even with the most-powerful 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood, the Silverado just doesn’t feel lively under hard acceleration. There’s a great noise and lots of drama, but the truck isn’t moving all that fast after all of the theater.


5 stars of execution:

Safety Features? YES

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Though we’re disappointed that they’re mostly optional, the available safety features for the Silverado are numerous.

Options packages can be added that include front and rear parking assist, lane change alerts with blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alerts. A Driver Alert Package II brings forward-collision alerts, lane-keep assist, lane departure warnings, automatic emergency braking, auto high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.

The 2020 Silverado 1500 received “Good” ratings in most IIHS testing categories, but it only earned a “Marginal” in the passenger-side small overlap tests. The truck’s headlights were also rated poorly, and the child seat ease of use was rated “Marginal.”

Value? No

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The Silverado may not be as refined as the other American trucks, but it’s got a more reasonable price tag to go with that shortfall.

Too many options are held back in packages, especially safety and convenience equipment.

Efficiency? Yes

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The Silverado, in its least efficient form, is rated at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, which is for the 5.3-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Diesel models are capable of reaching up to 29 mpg highway, which matches the competition from Ford and others.

Driving experience? No

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The Silverado’s ride is comfortable but is not as smooth or refined as the Ram 1500.

Acceleration is sluggish, and while speed is not always the biggest priority in full-size pickups, the Silverado feels like it struggles to get up to highway speeds.

V-8-equipped Silverado models can make plenty of noise under hard acceleration, which may not be a desirable trait for some buyers

Execution? Yes

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Chevy could have included a longer list of standard features, but generally the Silverado’s price and packaging work well together.

The trucks’ interior is very comfortable and spacious enough to take the whole family on a road trip, despite flaws with its material quality and design.

The Silverado is a capable truck, and the wide variety of trim and powertrain options should provide something for everyone.

Total Rating: 3 stars


What’s it gonna cost me?

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The base Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck has a starting price of $31,290 after destination and comes with a regular cab, a long bed, a 4.3-liter V-6, a six-speed automatic transmission, a Durabed bedliner, rear-wheel drive, 17-inch wheels and tires, black body trim pieces, cargo tie-downs, a 12-volt two speakers, a 3.5-inch driver information display screen, a seven-inch touchscreen, manual seats, Bluetooth, manual windows and door locks, a manual-tilt steering wheel, a rearview camera, vinyl floor covering, vinyl seats, single-zone climate controls, and a USB port.

Four-wheel drive is a $4,600 option.

The Silverado Custom 2WD starts at $37,615 after destination and comes with a double cab, standard bed, body-colored bumpers, tinted glass, heated power outside mirrors, LED taillamps, six-speaker audio, folding rear seats, carpeted flooring, cruise control, power windows and door locks, rear seat reminders, rear air vents, remote keyless entry, and cloth upholstery.

The Custom Trail Boss starts at $41,095 and comes with a two-inch lift kit, a Z71 Off-Road Package, a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho monotube shocks, hill descent control, and 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.

The Silverado LT 2WD starts at $38,495 after destination and comes standard with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, auto stop/start, a heavy-duty battery, body-colored door handles, chrome front and rear bumpers, LED reflector headlamps, EZ lift/lower tailgate, a 4.2-inch driver information screen, an eight-inch touchscreen, a compass, OnStar, and steering wheel-mounted controls.

The LT Trail Boss comes has a starting price of $50,095 and comes with a two-inch lift kit, a Z71 Off-Road Package, a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho monotube shocks, hill descent control, and 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.

The Silverado RST 2WD starts at $40,395 after destination and comes with 18-inch wheels and tires, black bowtie logos, cargo bed LED lighting, LED fog lamps, LED taillamps, power tailgate release, a 12-volt auxiliary rear power outlet, under-seat storage, keyless open and start, a rear window defogger, remote start, a theft-deterrent system, and USB ports.

The Silverado LTZ 2WD has a starting price of $44,595 after destination and comes with a 5.3-liter Ecotec3 V-8, an eight-speed transmission, an advanced trailering system, an auto-locking rear differential, an integrated trailer brake controller, chrome exterior trim pieces, auto-dimming side mirrors, a trailering package, a 10-way power driver’s seat, Chevy Infotainment 3 Plus with an eight-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate controls, HD radio, an HD rearview camera, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, trailer hitch guidance, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

The Silverado High Country 2WD has a starting MSRP of $54,595 after destination and comes with a dual-outlet exhaust, 20-inch wheels and tires, running boards/assist steps, a Chevytec spray-on bedliner, LED headlights, a power up/down tailgate, an eight-inch digital driver information center, a Bose premium audio system, navigation, front and rear parking assist, front bucket seats, heated rear seats, lane change alerts with blind-spot monitors, a power sliding rear mirror, rear cross-traffic alerts, perforated leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and wireless smartphone charging.

If it were our money, we’d buy the Silverado LTZ. Even after adding four-wheel drive, the truck’s price lands below that of the High Country trim and still comes with plenty of comfort and safety tech.


Also consider:

The Ford F-150 is at the top of many truck shoppers’ minds and is one of the best-selling vehicles of any type in the world. It’s got several available powertrains, including an excellent 3.0-liter Powerstroke diesel. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re shopping for a full-size model.

The Ram 1500 was completely redesigned in 2019 and has won accolades for being one of the smoothest and most luxurious truck on the market today. The Ram’s available 12-inch touchscreen, premium interior materials, and a long list of available safety tech make it a top pick.

The Toyota Tundra is aging, so it can’t compete with the Big Three in many areas (it only just gained Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities). Even so, its 5.7-liter V-8 is nearly bulletproof and the interior is comfortable for the whole family.

The Nissan Titan has comfy seats and a serene cabin, but its ride is busier and harsher than its competition. The Titan also falls short in payload and towing capacity.


More Photos

See more 2020 Chevrolet Silverado photos here.