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2019 Chevrolet Silverado Design Critique

December 8th, 2017

Chevrolet surprised us with a reveal of the 2019 Silverado even though we are still a couple weeks away from the North American International Auto Show and it is still only 2017. If there are any surprises with this design it is that the bowtie brand continues to gravitate back toward its milestone 1988-98 truck design. The two tiered grille remains, but the body sides appear to attempt some stylistic connection to the passenger car line within the brand. This is the new Trail Boss trim so it will be interesting to see what variations in the styling are featured among the typical myriad of trim levels.


Grille: The two-tier design returns, as expected. The texture looks an awful lot like the ’99 GMT800 design.

Daylight Opening: B-posts are appropriately blacked out. In past generations this was sometimes overlooked because the regular 2-door cab was designed first, with the quad cabs being an afterthought. The reverse is likely true now. The windowsill height is quite high, as is common in contemporary trucks, but gives a high-shouldered look compared to the Silverado’s 1988 forbear.

Wheel Openings: Curiously rounded off and much less trapezoidal than nearly every generation of Chevy truck before it, this is certainly a departure.

Badging: Front fender and grille bear the Z71 off-road trim package while the rear fenders show off a Trail Boss decal. No doubt Chevy wants customers to understand the off-road nature of this new truck.

Lighting: Triple lights at the top recall the individual elements on the ’88-89 model, likewise the amber turn signals. New is the C-shaped lighting that is bisected by the fender, not unlike the unnatural looking lights on the current Suburban and Tahoe.

Front Bumper: Gloss black is no doubt part of the Trail Boss package. It tucks under the front fenders, a curious design feature, but nonetheless looks coherent.

Exhaust Tips: Tuck neatly and squarely into the rear bumper, a common trend amongst full size trucks that differs from the days of yore when the exhaust pipes were undecorated and unceremoniously made a 90 degree turn towards the curb several inches in front of the bumper.

Rear Bumper: Three convenient and simple steps, originated on the GMT800 Avalanche, are now commonplace on GM trucks.

Tailgate: The Bow Tie logo is nowhere to be seen, replaced by the return of CHEVROLET lettering across the tailgate. Fun fact: the new for 1954 tailgate stamping was used across multiple generations of step-side Chevy trucks all the way through the end of the 1987 model year. Also note this truck has Chevrolet, Silverado, and LT on the tailgate, with Z71 and Trail Boss on the fender. This is one truck that is heavy on nomenclature.

Cab: This lip is likely aero-friendly and mimics the lip on the tailgate.

Side Mirror: The mirror is mounted directly to the door, rather than nestled into this triangular shape at the base of the A-pillar.

Fender: This fender sculpt is becoming somewhat of a Chevy styling signature. Note the variations on the theme shared with the Volt, Cruze, Bolt EV, Spark, Trax, and Equinox. A curious thing to do, as it will be hard to update or keep the various models current with each other compared to, say, a common grille or tail light treatment.

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