2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup lets you see through trailers — sort of

Fresh off a redesign for the 2019 model year, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 gets a number of small but important updates for 2020. A reshuffle of the powertrain lineup gives Chevy’s bread-and-butter pickup truck a boost in towing capacity, and the Silverado gets more tech features as well.

Many of the changes center around the Silverado’s 6.2-liter V8. It’s the most powerful Silverado engine, and Chevy is adding it to more trim levels for 2020. The big V8 was previously available only on LTZ and High Country models, but it migrates to the RST and off-road-focused LT Trail Boss and Custom Trail Boss trim levels for 2020. That drops the price significantly. The least-expensive 2019 Silverado with a 6.2-liter V8 (a four-wheel drive LTZ Double Cab) started at $50,390. Chevy said a 2020 Custom Trail Boss model with the same engine will start at $43,865 (including the mandatory destination fee).

Expanded availability of the big V8 also helps the Silverado haul more stuff. The combination of a 6.2-liter engine, RST trim level, and four-wheel drive boosts the Silverado’s towing capacity to 13,400 pounds, when properly equipped. That’s a major increase over the 2019 Silverado’s 1,200-pound maximum towing capacity.

Baseline output for the 6.2-liter V8 is unchanged at 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, but Chevy is adding an optional performance exhaust system for 2020 that increases output to 435 hp and 469 lb.-ft. A 10-speed automatic remains the sole transmission option. Chevy will continue to offer other engine options, including a 5.3-liter V8 (which also gets the 10-speed automatic for 2020), 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four, and a 4.3-liter V6. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 will join the lineup for the 2020 model year following a delay.

The 2020 Silverado 1500 also gets more tech features, including the “transparent trailer” system previously seen on the larger 2020 Silverado HD. It uses cameras to let a driver “see” through a trailer while towing.

Like its GMC Sierra 1500 sibling, the Silverado 1500 also gets adaptive cruise control for 2020. The system can bring the Silverado to a complete stop in traffic if necessary, according to Chevy, and is available on the LT, LTZ, and High Country trim levels. Adaptive cruise control is a worthwhile addition, but it also seems like something Chevy should have offered from the start when the redesigned Silverado 1500 debuted for the 2019 model year.

Chevy hasn’t revealed full pricing for the 2020 Silverado 1500. That will be announced closer to the truck’s launch later this year as it does battle with its old rivals — the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.

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