2019 CHEVY SILVERADO Z71 TRAIL BOSS – IT’S ONE RUGGED TRUCK

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Z71 TRAIL BOSS

When the Trail Boss Silverado pulled up in my driveway, I thought to myself did someone order a transformer? Even the most basic Silverado work truck has a strong design with a very serious front fascia. But option up the Z71 Trail Boss and you would think this truck came right out of a scary movie. It has a 2-inch factory lift, 18-inch black wheels, a 2-speed transfer case, and bright red tow hooks in the event you need to help pull someone out of the swamp. There are eight trim choices from your basic work truck, an off-road variant such as the Trail Boss and the LTZ/Highcountry models which focus on a more lux experience. You’re looking at base prices in the low 30s all the way up to the high 50s. Our LT Z71 Trail Boss has a sticker of around 54k, which is becoming pretty average for this segment. There are six different powertrain options which include a turbo 4-cyl with a diesel option coming soon.

RUGGED MUSCULAR DESIGN

The all-new Silverado’s design features really show with the Z71 Trail Boss model. The designers were able to take advantage of this already aggressively styled truck and make it even louder. The black wheels, grill, bowtie, and mirrors are a great accent especially when you select the bright red paint color. In my opinion, red is really the own way to go here. The LED daytime running lights are angled towards the center of the grill while the triple housed LED lights are angled away which adds a unique design contrast. I especially love the rear design, it’s not easy to make a square box look good, but Chevy finally managed to do something a little different. By spelling CHEVY across the back hatch on a raised portion of the tailgate, they were able to add a nice little touch and make it look more visually appealing too.

TRIED & TRUE V-8 ENGINE

The only engine option currently available on the Z71 Trail Boss is the old-fashion 5.3L ECOTEC3 V8 which makes 355 hp @ 5600 rpm and 383 lb-ft of torque @ 4100 rpm. It’s very capable and feels quite powerful when driving with no load. You can even give the rear-wheels a good little squeal at a full power launch. It sounds fantastic too with a deep rumble and growl, there is even a cat-back exhaust option which is sure to make it sound even better. The fuel-economy I experienced was 15.4 City and 18 to 21 highway depending on your speed and driving style. It’s a good solid engine and I ultimately have no complaints. Although Chevy should work towards improving those economy numbers especially since Ford has some very appealing offerings when it comes to efficiency.

NO 10-SPEED IN THIS VARIANT YET

The all-new 10-speed transmission is currently only available in conjunction with the most powerful engine, the 6.2L V-8 and that’s not an option for the Trail Boss. I’m sure we will see some updates along the way, but for now, no 10-speed. We look forward to trying out this all-new gearbox in the future when we review the Sierra Denali.

UPDATED MULTI-MEDIA SYSTEM

The interface hasn’t changed much from the last generation. However, they have made some significant performance enhancements. There is absolutely ZERO lag, touch the screen and you’re there. The slight design changes include a more modern font and crisper graphics. Android and Apple Car Play is available.

JUST A REFRESHED INTERIOR FOR 2019

The focus on the 2019 Silverado was largely on the exterior and under the skin. It’s no surprise to say, they really hit it out of the park with that aspect. But unfortunately, the interior hasn’t gotten as much love. The interior still remains the same with hard dashboard plastics and a basic design language. When compared to the new RAM or existing F-150 I think they fall short on interior quality and design. It’s by no means bad, but they should kick it up a notch in the future.

SOLID UPDATE FOR A SOLID TRUCK

I really love the new direction they are taking the Silverado with a more pronounced design language, additional engine offerings, more towing tech, an all-new transmission. This truck will sell well, there’s no doubt about it.