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Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Which Should You Buy, 2019 or 2020?

chevrolet silverado 1500 rst 2020 01 angle  exterior  front  grey  mountain  snow jpg 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | Cars.com photo by Brian Wong

Most significant changes: New-for-2020 turbo-diesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder now available on LT, RST, LTZ and High Country models; 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic now available on Trail Boss and RST models; 5.3-liter V-8 now paired with 10-speed automatic and standard on LT Trail Boss and available on High Country; 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can be had in Custom trims; trailering tech that debuted on 2020 Silverado 2500/3500 now available on the 1500

Price changes: Base WT starting price increases by $100, but price changes vary depending on powertrain chosen for trim level

On sale: Now

Which should you buy, 2019 or 2020? 2020. With all the new tech and more powertrain options from top to bottom, a 2020 should be the easy choice unless you’re looking for an absolutely bare-bones work truck.

Chevrolet’s Silverado lineup may have slipped to third place in pickup sales for the 2019 calendar year, but the updates offered for the 2020 1500 model may be enough to help the Bow-Tie brand reclaim its usual second-place spot in the truck sales hierarchy.

Related: 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year Nominees

Shop the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 near you

Used
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss
46,256 mi.
$42,144
Used
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Custom Trail Boss
21,348 mi.
$40,998

The most significant powertrain update is the all-new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter baby Duramax as an option for LT, RST, LTZ and High Country trims. We’ve driven the new diesel and like it, even if it may not always be able to meet its EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 23/33/27 mpg city/highway/combined (in 4×2 configuration). We liked it so much, in fact, that the diesel-powered 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel is one of our 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year nominees.

Significant changes have also been made in powertrain availability. Chevy is expanding the number of choices for shoppers who may want more power for their pickup without the more luxurious interiors of the LTZ or High Country trims — or their higher prices — by making the 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed available in the lower Trail Boss and RST trims. Also available for the 6.2-liter is a Performance Upgrade Package ($1,875) that adds a higher-flow air intake and cat-back exhaust and increases horsepower from 420 to 435 and torque from 460 pounds-feet to 469. The 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will also be available on the Custom trim level (it’s standard in the RST and LT). The 5.3-liter V-8 is now paired with the 10-speed automatic as standard equipment on the LT Trail Boss and available as an option on the four-wheel-drive High Country; the 5.3-liter V-8 with an eight-speed is standard on the LTZ and High Country and available on the LT and RST.

Chevrolet’s advanced trailering technology — one of the reasons the 2020 Silverado 2500/3500 is one of our Pickup Truck of the Year nominees for 2020 — is now available for the smaller Silverado 1500, including the “transparent trailer” feature that uses cameras to provide a rear view when trailering as if the trailer weren’t there. Trailering side mirrors, a lower-tech way to make trailering safer and easier, are also available.

The last camera trick Chevy has up its sleeve is the availability of an adaptive cruise control system that uses a camera mounted behind the rearview mirror to keep the truck at a safe following distance. This feature will be available on LT, LTZ and High Country models.

As for pricing, the base 2020 WT trim level starts at $29,895 (all prices include destination) — $100 more than the 2019’s $29,795. But as shoppers go up the trim levels and standard powertrains change (and choices are added), prices between model years could change significantly.

With all the new technology and increased choice for consumers, the 2020 Silverado 1500 is an easy choice over the 2019 — depending on the budget.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Brian Normile
Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and Cars.com in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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