What’s new with Chevy trucks for 2020
Chevy has been busy with 2020 Silverados. A new inline aluminum 6 cylinder 3.0L diesel is in the 1500 and the all new 2020 Silverado Heavy Duty. New 10-speeds in light and heavy duty diesels should help fuel mileage and keep them in the torque power band. We don’t have MPG numbers for the 2020 Silverado 1500 with the new 3.0L yet. Big news is this new diesel is the same price as the powerful 6.2L gas engine. As an inline 6 cylinder diesel, it resembles diesel engines in tractors and semi trucks. Torque peak is at 1500 RPMs giving it potential towing trailers. Horsepower is 277, torque is 460 producing max trailer towing capacity of 9,300 pounds with 3.73 axle ratio. GM’s 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission allows the new diesel to stay in its power range with closer gear ratios. As in the Chevy Colorado diesel, the tow/haul and exhaust brake activate together with one button. This makes the new 3.0L 1500 the only half-ton diesel with exhaust brakes. Water charge air cooler (intercooler) on top of engine, turbo, low pressure EGR and DPF at the back of engine have more efficient shorter plumbing. And finally, a DEF gauge lets you know when you’re going to be out. As with all Duramax diesels, the 3.0L is quiet. The 3.0L diesel is all GM with no help from Isuzu as the 6.7L Duramax history started with.
All new Silverado Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 have some major changes. Four more gears, towing 12,500 pounds and more trailer weight. It also sports a dramatic change in looks, size and towing ability. Three inch gooseneck balls are here to stay for towing 30k plus trailers, like they’ve used in Australia for decades. Heads Up Display in the High Country model keeps your eyes on the windshield and seeing important information from the dash. As a larger truck with 5 inches more wheel base, the shortbed or (standard bed) is 6’10” also longer.
Wider, longer and taller Heavy Duty has 3 inch more rear seat leg room, 5 inch longer wheelbase. Hood scoop for the diesel is still functional, hood scoop on gas engine trucks is fake. It has an aluminum hood and tailgate for weight savings. The diesel block heater plug is in the front bumper for a factory look. Automatic engaging 4×4, first in the segment, only one in heavy duties along with 4×4 hi and 4×4 low. It’s been available in half-ton (1500) trucks for years.
The new 6.6L gas engine, with direct injection and still push rod design has 401 horses, 464 pound-foot-torque, which replaced the 6.0L gas V-8. But no 10-speed auto transmission, the same dependable 6-speed auto with some improvements. The new gas engine can tow 18% more than last year’s engine.
The new 6.6L Duramax Diesel has same horse and torque as last year with 445 horsepower 910 pound-foot-torque. New for 2020, the diesel engine will restart and cool off if needed. The Duramax Diesel/Allison combination costs almost $9,890. With the new Allison 10-speed transmission, four more gears is the big news. It has a chain-driven PTO that is ready to use without adding a gear box. Rear axle ratio changed from the 3.73 that Duramax was born with in 2001, to the more common in GM trucks, 3.42. This should work with the lower first gear now in the new Allison 10-speed. It’s remarkable how the same diesel power ratings as last year can now tow over 30k trailers all the way to 35,500 pounds. Thats 12,500 pounds more trailer capacity than last year’s 23,000 pounds. The 28 inch radiator fan for better cooling, high strength steel frame, upgraded differentials, larger prop shafts, universal joints, new American axles and transfer cases all work together to haul more cattle, hay and bulldozers. It’s class leading at trailering. Brakes and tires are the same size as last year though.
I have towed a 16,000-pound horse trailer in the mountains with the 2020 HD 2500 diesel short bed crew cab. It did well going up to 11,000 feet at 7% grades. The new 10 speed is smooth and even more impressive was going down the mountain. GM has for years improved down hill control using cruise control, tow-haul mode and the exhaust brake together. Now with this 10-speed going down the fast side of the Rockies, just tap on the brake and the truck stays in a 3 mph range without additional braking or cruise control — just tow/haul and exhaust brake. All Silverado HD diesel duallys will tow over 30,000 pounds. The single cab 4×2 dually, can tow 35,500 pounds.
Another improvement is the DEF tank filler cap in the fuel door instead of under the hood as in previous models. The 7-gallon DEF tank is above inside the frame, not hanging low anymore. Most truck brands in the owners manual instruct you to tow 2% less trailer weight per 1,000 foot of altitude. Silverado now claims the same trailer capacity at sea level and mountains, which makes sense as diesels have turbos giving the engines more air.
On Silverado 2020 heavy duty, gooseneck ball placement is now 2 inches behind the differential on short bed trucks (6 foot/10 inches) Long bed (8 foot) has the gooseneck ball 2 inches in front of the differential — a 4 inch difference. To see if we could tell the difference in handling, TFLtruck.com and MrTruck.com maxed out a Silverado 2500 diesel with a 16K trailer and the loaded front axle weight went down 100 pounds. Usually the loaded front axle weight will go up or stay the same. But at max tongue (payload) weight, the truck handled as it should.
Trailering has become very important at Chevrolet. A big tool is the specification sticker in the door frame. Launched last year in the new 1500, the trailering information sticker tells your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, Gross Combined Weight Rating, Rear Axle Weight Rating, max payload, max tongue weight and curb weight. So much better than searching all over the internet to try to see what your truck can tow, just look at the sticker.
New camera system is awesome. Two extra rear bumper plugs for extra cameras, one inside your trailer to monitor cargo and one at the rear of the trailer. Fifteen camera views on mirrors, cab and tailgate can actually give you an unbelievable view through the trailer and more viewing area on each side of the trailer. When you turn on your left blinker, the cameras will show you in the dash center stack monitor the left side of your trailer all the way back and three or four lanes to your left. Same for the right blinker, an extraordinarily view around your trailer that mirrors will never give you. The front camera is also a help with the bigger HD trucks. New single arm power telescoping and folding trailer mirrors for the first time is an improvement. ❖