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- Highs Excellent powertrain choices, stout towing capacities, quiet cabin environment.
- Lows Lacking a truly luxurious model, GMC Sierra 1500 has more innovations, not as refined as the Ram 1500.
- Verdict The Silverado nameplate still deserves respect despite several more desirable rivals.
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 remains one of the most recognizable pickup trucks in the game, with a stylized exterior and tons of customization options. The half-ton Chevrolet offers a smorgasbord of powertrain choices that are highlighted by a fuel-efficient, torque-rich Duramax diesel as well as a quick and power 6.2-liter V-8. While the Silverado doesn't ride as smoothly as it crosstown rival, the Ram 1500, its quiet and comfy cabin will surprise even those who grew up driving trucks. Likewise, its litany of high-tech driver assists such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assists will please parents who use their Silverado for more than just towing or off-roading. Sure, even the priciest model can't compete with more luxurious alternatives, but the 2020 Silverado still has the capability and configurability to satisfy Chevy loyalists.
What's New for 2020?
Even though Chevy introduced an all-new Silverado for 2019, the company gives the pickup numerous enhancements for 2020. The changes are highlighted by making the 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic transmission more widely available across the lineup. The Duramax diesel 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine also finally joins the options list. Elsewhere, the 2020 Silverado gains more driver and towing assists. These include the newly available adaptive cruise control as well as camera technology shared with the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Pickup trucks cater to a wide assortment of prospective buyers due to their sheer flexibility and wide spectrum of features. Still, our ideal version is as capable of hauling construction materials as it is families and their stuff. As such, we'd recommend the mid-level LT model with the 5.3-liter V-8, crew cab, all-wheel drive, and the standard bed length. The latter three options push the starting price to $45,890. To make that investment even more worthwhile, we'd add a few options. The Z71 Off-Road package enhances the truck's looks and its trail capabilities. Likewise, we'd choose the Convenience package, which includes a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, remote start, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more.
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A range of engines—including a V-6, two V-8s, a turbocharged four-cylinder, and a diesel inline-six—means there's a 2020 Silverado 1500 for any job. Of the two V-8s, the 420-hp 6.2-liter is our choice; in our testing, it motivated the Silverado to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds while the smaller 355-hp 5.3-liter needed 6.1 seconds. The 310-hp turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder still offers decent towing capacity but needed 7.0 seconds to hit 60 mph. On the road, the big truck drives smaller than it is; handling is surprisingly agile. Those looking for the most rugged Silverado 1500 will appreciate the Trail Boss model that features a 2.0-inch lift, gnarly tires, and other upgrades that make taking the path less traveled easier and more entertaining.
Towing and Payload Capacity
When properly equipped, the 2020 Silverado 1500 can tow up to 13,400 pounds—1200 more than the strongest outgoing model. Likewise, the Chevy pickup truck can haul more than 2000 pounds of payload in its cargo bed.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Don't expect the Silverado 1500 to save you money at the fuel pump, but some of its various powertrain options are more efficient than others. The optional diesel should be the most economical, with EPA estimates as high as 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. Meanwhile, the gas-fed four-cylinder is rated at 19 mpg city and 22 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. Although the EPA estimates that the 5.3-liter V-8 with all-wheel drive will earn 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, our real-world testing revealed that it was more efficient than the Silverado's smallest engine. The V-8 achieved 21 mpg on our 200-mile highway test route whereas the turbocharged four-banger returned 18 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
From the stripped-down Work Truck model to the downright luxurious High Country, the Silverado can be equipped in a multitude of ways. Base models offer nothing but the essentials, including manually adjustable front seats, manual locks and windows, and vinyl seats. Moving up the range unlocks all sorts of goodies, including a head-up display, ventilated front seats, and wireless smartphone charging. The Silverado also features clever storage cubbies spread throughout the cabin. While the Chevy lacks the innovative multifunction tailgate and carbon-fiber-reinforced cargo bed that's available on the half-ton Sierra, its range of different bed lengths will undoubtedly satisfy traditionalists.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every 2020 Silverado 1500 is equipped with a touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile hotspot. Higher trim levels receive a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen and more desirable features that include a Bose audio system, built-in navigation, wireless smartphone charging, and more.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
The Silverado 1500 earned unspectacular crash-test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Still, the Silverado can be equipped with myriad driver-assistance technology. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevy covers the half-ton Silverado with a competitive warranty that doesn’t quite match the lengthy coverage of the Nissan Titan. However, every Silverado 1500 does get one complimentary scheduled maintenance visit.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for the first visit