[MUSIC PLAYING] CARLOS LAGO: This is a 2020 Chevy Silverado Trail Boss. And it’s a pretty rad truck. Now, the Silverado was redesigned and all new for 2019. But for 2020, there’s been a couple of updates and changes. In this video, we’re going to talk about what those are, and what you should know, and also review this specific truck. Now for the sake of coming clean, I own a 1972 Chevy C10. That’s the truck that led to this one about 48 years ago.
If that pegs your personal bias meter, you can deal with that now. But for the rest of you, like, comment, subscribe, and visit Edmunds.com to find more information about vehicles like this. Hi, there. Modern trucks are really big, really tall. So Silverados for 2020 now have 6 available engine choices. You start with the base V6. And then there’s, yes, a turbocharged 4-cylinder just like you would get in a compact economy SUV. But it’s got 310 horsepower, that 4-cylinder, which is more than what my C10 made with its 350 V8 back in ’72, so don’t laugh. Now, most Silverados will actually have a 5.3 Liter V8. And that engine comes in a few different flavors. And then, for 2020, Chevy has also introduced the 3 Liter Turbo Diesel Duramax. This, though, is the 6.2 Liter V8. It’s the top dog and probably the most desirable engine out of all the Silverados unless you really are in the diesels. So it’s the top dog, so we should probably first talk about fuel economy. And in this configuration, with the crew cab, shortbread, you get about 17 mpg combined.
And if you line that up against the offerings from Ford and RAM V8 crew cab, short bed, same configurations, four-wheel drive, the few economy is about the same. And that’s kind of surprising, because Chevy’s touted this Silverado as a very fuel-efficient truck. It’s got cylinder deactivation. It’s got stop-start. In fact, there’s like 16 or 17 different patterns of cylinder deactivation that can happen inside these engines. All save fuel. Why isn’t the fuel economy better? Well, it’s because this engine is powerful, 420 horsepower and 460 or 480 pound feet of torque, somewhere around there. And that’s more than what you get out of the comparable V8s in the Ford and the Ram. Ford has a more powerful Twin Turbo V6 in the Raptor, but that’s a different truck. We’re talking about V8s. And also there’s a new F-150 about to be announced.
We’re filming this before that announcement comes out, so all this may change when that news comes out. Now, what you need to remember is that, with that power becomes some additional requirements. And the key thing is, you have to run premium fuel in this engine. The owner’s manual actually recommends, for top performance, that you run 93 octane. If you live in a state, like me, where you don’t have access to 93 octane– the best we get in California and some other states around here is 91– you can do that. Just don’t expect the most power out of this engine. But it’ll be fine. Still worth it. [MUSIC PLAYING] Full size trucks come in a ton of different varieties and configurations. This is the LT Trail Boss, right, which is Chevy’s off road offering. It’s close in terms of capability add price to the Ram Rebel and F-150 FX4 Depending on how you configure it, it’s going to be about $50,000. We have it here as the Crew Cab Short Bed configuration.
Now, what makes it the offroad offering? Well, you get a 2 inch lift kit. You get Rancho shocks. You get skid plates. You get hill descent control. You get a 2 speed transfer case. That’s gives you low range for crawling. And you get an automatic locking rear differential. Now, this truck is black on black because it has the Midnight package. And that gives you black wheels and black paint and black badges, except for the 6.2 liter badge on the hood, because you opted for the engine. And you still want to show that off. Now, as this truck sits here, the MSPR, including destination, is about $60,000. [MUSIC PLAYING] Before we talk about wheels and tires, I want to comment on design. When the Silverado came out in 2019, when this generation of it did, we were all kind of surprised and confused by the design. I’ve got to say, though, in this configuration, this black with the red tow hooks, this has actually kind of grown on me, the way it looks, with this lift, too. Now, wheels and tires, when you get the Trail Boss package, you get the Z71 package, because Chevy option codes are very confusing to understand. Here’s what you need to know.
You get 32 inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs. They’re 275/65-18. This is an on-road off-road dual purpose tire. And the tread blocks are actually pretty meaty. So that’s a nice thing to see on an off-road intended truck. And also, if we were to turn the wheel and look behind here, you would actually see the Rancho shocks, which is pretty neat, because they’re bright red and white and have the word Rancho on them. And when you pay for upgraded hardware, you want to be able to see it when you show it off to your friends. Get your money’s worth. Now, it’s also cool to see, because that 2 inch lift is what gives this truck really generous approach and departure angles. Now, what’s an approach and departure angle? Well, imagine it like this, if you’re approaching a hill that’s at a specific incline, the more aggressive the incline, the more aggressive the angle of that hill, that means that chances are, you’re going to touch the hill with your bumper before you touch it with your tire, unless you have a really high approach angle. And that means this bumper is going to get out of the way and let the tire climb up. I mean, think about it like a line like that.
The departure angle is the same for the rear. Now, in the case of this Trail Boss, those figures are actually better than what you get on the F-150 and the Ram. The departure angle is actually the same on the Ram. But it’s still competitive. And that’s impressive, because the Ram Rebel has an air suspension that can raise and lower. And this doesn’t, so that lift gets a lot of that work done mechanically without the need for an air suspension. That’s a really cool thing to have from the factory on your truck. The Silverado, just like the F-150 and the Ram, comes in three bed sizes. And this is the smallest one at 5 foot 8 inches. Of the small bed offerings of all the major pickup trucks, this is actually the biggest by virtue of it being longer and taller than what you get with the small beds on Ram and F-150. Now, that has pros and cons.
Pros, you can fit more stuff. The con is that when the bed gets even taller with the 2 inch lift, it gets harder to throw stuff in. I’m 5 foot 10. The bed is basically up to my shoulder. If you’re shorter than me, that could be a problem. I do like, though, on the back of the Silverado, the tailgate. It’s not fancy folding or anything like that, but it is power release. And you can do that with the key fob and inside the cab, too. That’s really nice and controlled. We can also take a minute to admire the cup holders, right here, very nice. But also, this is really light. That makes it really easy to lift up and put back. Now, as we get back here, we can also talk towing and payload. Chevy touts a max tow rating of the Silverado for about 13,400 pounds and a max payload of 2,250 pounds.
The reason you shouldn’t care too much about those numbers is because getting them requires getting a specific cab, bed, engine, option package, all that stuff. Most trucks won’t actually have those figures. Most Silverados don’t. This particular truck, in this configuration, has the max trailer tow package. And that’s what gives you the trailer hitch and the connectors, right here, which is nice and cleanly integrated. And as this truck is equipped, the max tow rating is 9,300 pounds and the max payload is about 1,500 pounds.
The first thing I noticed when I hopped in this truck was the column shifter. That’s great. I love it. It’s how all automatics should be. The thing you’ll probably notice when you hop in this truck is this center screen. It looks kind of small, doesn’t it? Especially when you compare it to what you get in the Ram, the optional 12 inch screen, which is like– takes up that much space in that truck center stack. This screen just looks small. It’s actually 8 inches, which shouldn’t be too bad. But I think it’s just the way it’s positioned on the dash, which makes it look the way it does. The software behind it works fairly well. I had no trouble with it during my drive. And it also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which I’m plugged into too. And that works flawlessly when you get it all plugged in and set up, ready to go. And in terms of power ports, you’ve got two USB here, USB-C, traditional USB or the older USB right next to that, 12 volt, 110 volt, and then, in the storage bin here, you have two more USB ports and AUX port as well, nice array of things to plug into. And much like the screen being not the most aesthetically pleasing but functional, the interior is pretty much the same way relative to the Ram.
This is a highly functional interior. Everything is laid out in terms of the way you would expect, it just doesn’t have that sense of refinement or polish that you get in the higher end versions of the Rams, the Rams that cost about this kind of money. Storage is totally adequate. You get double glove boxes. You have a big center bin here. But again, versus the Ram, the center console in the Ram is a little bit better thought out, because it’s got trays that slide up and down and back and forth. This just has a deep bin and kind of a shallow bin. And this storage for your phone, right here, that’s not going to contain Arnie. He’ll fall over as soon as I accelerate. Let’s talk about a few things I like about the Silverado though. And that’s when you get heated seats, you can opt to seat back and seat bottom or just seat back. That’s nice. Get a heated steering wheel, too. And I also like the additional controls you get on the back of the steering wheel, volume up and down on this side and, I think track forward and back on the other side. That’s also a thing that, I think, Ram did first. But, hey, if it works, why not do it in this truck too. As we get into the backseat, you see there’s a ton of space back here. It’s really, really spacious in this back seat. For the three adults that you could fit across the back, what are they going to face in terms of comfort and usability? Well, you got two more USB ports here, again, a USB-C and an older type right next to it, 12 volt power outlet right there, two cup holders with a little gap here for stuff, and then, in the center, you’ve got this flip down armrest that has two cup holders and, it looks like, another phone holder. Let’s do another Arnie containment test. Arnie has been contained.
Now, what I like about the storage in this truck is that the seat bottoms on both sides flip up really easily. That’s pretty nice. And they drop down just when you pull it. Makes that storage really easy to access. Though there’s no under floor storage, what you do have on both outboard seat backs is a little container right there that’s definitely not for contraband. Stay safe, kids. Now, these seats don’t recline, but there’s enough space where any average sized adult is going to be plenty comfortable back here. [MUSIC PLAYING] This is not a serious off-road test. What we’re doing is to illustrate the effects that you get in a Trail Boss. I am in low range. I am in first gear. I’ve got stability control off. So we found that the breakover angle is compromised by the running boards. If you want a little bit more space to navigate over obstacles, don’t get running boards, or pull them off. That’s going to give you a little more space.
And over these bumps, right now, what I want to demonstrate is how the rear differential truck works. A rear differential locks the two wheels together, so they spin at the same rate. And a lot of-off road trucks, that is activated manually. You press a button to turn it on. In the Chevy truck– and it’s been like this for a long time– this rear differential automatically locks. You don’t need to hit a button or anything. As soon as it senses slip in one wheel, it starts engaging clutch packs to make sure the two wheels turn at the same speed. And that’s can be good and bad, depending on your preference. On one hand, it takes your input out of it. It just does it automatically. And on the bad side, it takes your input out of it and does it automatically, whether you like it or not. It’s kind of up to you. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now, as we get to the driving section of this review, I’m going to come to a complete stop, because there’s one thing that’s got to be very important with this 6.2 Liter V8 in this truck. And that is acceleration. Full stop. I’m going to stomp it. Let’s see how it feels. [ENGINE REVVING] That feels good.
That sounds good, too, as it should, because when you pay for the engine upgrade, you should be rewarded with the engine upgrade every time you stomp on the gas. And I’ll say, at idle, this engine’s actually fairly quiet, disappointingly so, maybe a little bit. But when you step on the gas to make a pass, when you step on the gas on an on ramp or just at a red light, you get rewarded with that sound. And that’s very delightful. Now, when it comes to other aspects of drivability on this truck, really, the only thing you’ve got to be aware of is the road noise that you get from these tires. When you go towards a more aggressive offroad tire– not that this is the world’s most aggressive offroad tire, but one that has some off-road purpose– you get a little bit of tire noise. And that’s just the name of the game. You can kind of hear it. I don’t know if you can right now through this microphone, but it’s more pronounced than you would get through a normal street tire. But that’s just what happens. Now, drivability, ride comfort, handling response are all fairly well-controlled for this kind of truck. Now, the Ram has a smoother ride, because it has a rear coil spring suspension. These are on leaf springs for a traditional truck set up, but it’s far from uncomfortable. It feels like what you would expect from a truck.
Whereas, the Ram, it feels more like you would expect from a car– an SUV. I don’t know. Something like that. This feels quite nice, though, for a truck. Visibility is also fairly strong even though the dash is tall– the dash is quite tall. And I have the seat as low as it gets. And I could still have a fairly clear view through all the angles that I want to look. That being said, this is still a comfortable and smooth driver. We haven’t talked a lot about the 10-speed automatic, because most of the time, you don’t even notice that it’s there. And that’s exactly what a good transmission should do. 10 speeds sounds like a lot of gears, because it is. The transmission in my C10 is a 4-speed, of which I use probably two gears, three gears maybe, because first is the granny gear, really short gear. 10-speed is a lot to take in. And that doesn’t give you an incredible ratio range. What it gives you are really tightly spaced gear ratios. Downshifting from 10th to 9th gear is so slight, it’s almost imperceptible. What’s nice, though, is when you’re driving casually around town, the shifting isn’t something you notice. I have no idea what gear I’m in right now, when I’m in drive. If I roll in the gas, there’s a downshift. But I have no idea what downshift it was to. That’s nice for driving around town. That’s nice for freeway use, because why do you want to pay attention when you’re just commuting, when you’re just driving for pleasure or out of necessity.
Now, when you put it in manual mode or low mode, you can row through the gears just like you would expect using the column. But why do that when you’re just cruising? Like some other modern trucks, the 4-wheel drive selector in this is interesting. If you haven’t been in one of these trucks recently, let’s give a brief explainer. The truck keys up into 4-wheel drive auto. It doesn’t keep into 2 high. What is 4-wheel drive auto? Well, it’s basically all wheel drive. This truck essentially has a center differential that can control torque split so that it doesn’t start like jerking around when you have it in 4-wheel drive. When you put it in, you still have access to 2 high, 4 high, 4 low. When you put it into those modes, it basically locks that center differential up and acts like a traditional 4-wheel drive system. And it tends to give you the best of both worlds. New, for this year, on the Silverado is adaptive cruise control. But this specific truck doesn’t have it, so can’t really comment on that. Tough, but oh, well. Overall, the drivability in this truck is very strong. The comfort is fairly solid. And I could totally, daily drive this thing, no problem. Just wish it had a more sophisticated exterior camera system for parking.
That’d be nice in Los Angeles. Probably no something that people living in Idaho or Texas need to care about, but, hey, it is what it is. Now, we currently have the Silverado ranked behind the Ram in our full size truck ratings. And that’s because, for the same money, the Ram has, in our minds, a better looking and more functional interior, also a better ride, thanks to its rear coil spring suspension. Now, in the Silverado’s corner, it has a 6.2 Liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission that simply kicks butt. I want that. I want this combination in the Ram. And though this interior isn’t as attractive, and slightly less functional, it’s not bad. It gets the job done. So the question is, if you’re looking at one of these trucks, what is important to you? If you don’t care about interior richness, and you don’t need that extra degree of interior functionality, this truck will certainly get the job done. And when you find the place to use it you get to listen to that V8, which I’m going to do shortly. [ENGINE REVVING] That’s a real good sound.
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