Test Drive: 2019 Chevy Silverado LT 2.7L turbo provides value, fuel economy

Test Drive: 2019 Chevy Silverado LT 2.7L turbo provides value, fuel economy

March 15th, 2019 by Mark Kennedy in Business Around the Region

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT 2.7T has an unconventional four-cylinder engine that makes 310 horsepower.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Leather covered front seats are a $760 option in the 2019 Silverado LT.

Leather covered front seats are a $760 option...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Whether or not you are willing to consider a full-size pickup truck with a four-cylinder engine — albeit a turbocharged four-cylinder with 310 horsepower — might be a function of your age.

Our tester this week is the new-for-2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT double-cab with a 2.7-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. I can see some of you old-timers shaking your heads and saying, "Nope, it just ain't right." A small-displacement engine in such a large truck is indeed nontraditional.


* Model: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT 2.7L Double Cab

* Exterior color: Red Hot

* Interior color: Jet Black

* Engine: 2.7-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder

* Horsepower: 310 horse-power

* Transmission: eight-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 22 mpg highway, 19 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Integrity Chevrolet, Mountain View Chevrolet

* Price (as tested): $49,365

But modern truck-building is about offering buyers a ton of configurations and powertrains. Chevy has been making trucks for 100 years and the new Silverado has benefited from over 3 million miles of testing, so let's stipulate that GM knows what its doing.

Chevy offers several power-trains in the Silverado 1500 including a base V-6, two V-8s, a six-cylinder diesel and the turbo four-cylinder in our tester, which actually has more horsepower than the gas-powered six-cylinder. Car & Driver says the 2.7T-equipped Silverado will launch from 0-60 mpg in just 7.0-seconds, a very respectable time.

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I was two days into a week-long test drive before I peeked at the sticker and discovered the small-displacement power-plant in our Red Hot tester. The point here is that I drove the truck maybe 50 miles and didn't know the difference.

Now, had I tried to tow a 10,000-pound trailer — which is child's-play for the V-8s — there might have been a problem. But, as it was, I was cruising down Highway 27 getting probably 22 miles per gallon of gas, oblivious to the turbo-four under the hood.

Silverados are available locally at Integrity Chevrolet and Mountain View Chevrolet. Late this week both stores had about 50 Silverado 1500s in stock, although not all are 2019s.

WHAT IS IT? The Chevrolet Silverado 4WD LT Double Cab is a five passenger, full-size truck that competes with the Ford F-150 and the RAM 1500.

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The price range for Silverados starts at about $32,000 for a basic work truck, and tops out at $53,000 for High Country trim, before options. Our LT tester with double cab and four-wheel-drive has a base price of $40,200, and about $9,000 worth of options.

WHAT WE LIKED: The Red Hot exterior on our tester is a nice change of pace and stands out in a sea of white and silver pickups. Our tester also manages to offer a nice blend of upscale options — like leather seats, 18-inch bright silver wheels and black assist steps — and still maintain a bottom line of less than $50,000. The center stack flips up to create a bench seat for a possible third, front-row passenger.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: There's a certain austere quality to Silverado interiors that don't match the plush quality of the top-trim RAM pickups. Buyers who spend more than $50,000 on a new truck often want them to feel like a luxury vehicle.

WORTHWHILE OPTIONS: Our LT trim tester seems like a good compromise between available options and value. For example it has such niceties as four-wheel-drive, an 8-inch touch screen, 4G LTE wireless Wifi and a spray-on bed-liner. These are thoughtful options and don't break the bank and should help boost resale value.

BOTTOM LINE: The four-cylinder Silverado won't be the volume leader in the Silverado line-up, but it is a compelling choice for those with modest towing needs — up to 7,000 pounds. The government says it returns 22 mpg highway, a fuel economy rating more like a mid-size SUV than a full-size truck.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.