Chevrolet is adding an all-new engine to the 2019 Silverado 1500 lineup. It’s a 2.7L turbocharged I4 that is rated at 310 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm and 348 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm. It’s only available on the mid-grade LT and RST trims, but how does it drive and compare to the competition from Ford and Ram? Let’s get into the details.
2019 Chevy Silverado Turbo
Indeed, this is the first modern full-size truck with a four-cylinder gas engine. The 2.7L turbo is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and a 3.42 rear axle ratio. The truck we tested here is an extended “double” cab 4×4.
This all-new engine is packed full of latest technology. The turbocharger is a dual-volute design, which means it should spool up very quickly. Indeed, this engine’s low-end torque is very evident in around-city driving, but we noticed a little lag right off the line. The engine has plenty passing power, and the 8-speed transmission is eager to shift. This engine produces a unique and relative quiet noise. It’s higher pitched than a raspy V6 or a throaty V8. I walked away wanting more “sound” tuning from this truck. I did not notice the generally fun induction and exhaust noises characteristics of a gas-turbo engine. The overall driving experience is refined and normal.
The entire Turbo Silverado feels much smaller driving around town than its large dimensions suggest. One reason is a relatively light (approximately 5,000 lbs) curb weight of the double cab 4×4 truck. The steering is also pretty light and quick. The driving experience feels more like that of a large crossover (such as a Chevy Traverse). An easy driving experience is a good thing.
Chevrolet provided two competitor trucks for evaluation during this first-drive event. They are Ford F-150 XLT crew cab 2WD with a 3.3L naturally-aspirated V6 and a Ram 1500 Big Horn crew cab 2WD with a 3.6L V6 and an eTorque mild hybrid system.
The pricing ranged from about $40,000 for the Ford, to about $42,000 for the Ram, and on to about $44,000 for the Chevy.
The 3.3L V6 in the F-150 (290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque) is the base engine that is mated to a 6-speed automatic. It revs quickly, but you need to build revs close to redline in order to get maximum oomph. It’s not a quick truck, and it also has a low 5,000 lbs maximum tow rating in this configuration.
The 3.6L V6 in the new Ram 1500 has considerably more horsepower (305 hp), but still not a lot of torque (269 lb-ft). When matched with an electric motor, a small battery, and an 8-speed automatic – it’s a smooth and fairly quick combination. Once again, you have to rev it to over 6,000 rpm to get maximum acceleration, but it felt quicker than the Ford.
Finally, the turbo Silverado felt to be the quickest of these three while pushing approximately the same curb weight around.
Here are all of the 2019 Silverado 1500 maximum towing specs, including the Trail Boss.