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Chevy’s Silverado – Can I build one for you?

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Chevy’s Silverado – Can I build one for you?

Chevy’s Silverado

Can I build one for you?


Fantasizing about your ideal vehicle is easiest (or – arguably – most difficult) when shopping for a light-duty pickup. With so many variables, it’s hard to calculate – although I’m sure some product team has done the math. Single cab, super cab, crew cab, short bed, medium bed, long bed…those are just some of the options. When you start looking at powertrains, interiors, 2WD vs. 4WD, etc. your head can start to spin. But building the ideal 2020 Chevrolet Silverado truck is a challenge I relish.

I was able to test a Shadow Gray Metallic 2020 Silverado Crewcab RST 4WD that came with a $54,360.00 window sticker.  It was powered by the massive (and remarkably smooth) 420 hp, 6.2 liter Ecotec3 V8 engine.  This big V8 is what truck owners love about owning a truck, because it stirs the senses when you fire it up and it can tow just about anything; no turbocharged engine can make you smile like a big V8.  Mated with a 10-speed transmission, the truck got fairly decent fuel economy numbers of 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.  

The truck I drove had leather seats and a towing package, along with an auto-locking rear differential.  Like the vast majority of pickups sold today, it was also a 4×4, which adds weight as well as cost.  My wife, the true pickup fan in the family, heartily approved.

So here comes the fun part, building my own from scratch.  The base Silverado, with a single cab, long bed, vinyl interior powered by a 285 hp, 4.3-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed transmission comes with an MSRP of $29,895.  This is your basic company fleet truck, designed to kick butt every day and just keep rolling.  Not many of these end up in household garages as the second vehicle.  

I’m choosing a double-cab configuration to start, since I don’t need or want the extra room that a crew cab brings.  A crew cab also adds $3,000 to the sticker and I can still haul passengers in a double cab.  Since I rarely, if ever, expect to go off-roading in my truck, I’m choosing a 2WD trim since opting for a 4WD would add almost $3,500 to the sticker.  I’ve been to numerous off-road events and have conquered some very steep and dusty hills in 2WD, so I see no need for the added expense and weight – and not to mention higher fuel costs.  

Next comes engine choices, where the real dilemma begins.  There was a time when only a V8 engine in a light-duty would do.  But powertrain engineering has given pickup truck owners an amazing array of choices.  There is a 310 hp, 2.7-liter I-4 turbocharged engine that is remarkably peppy and amazes me every time I drive it.  There’s the base 4.3-liter V6 engine, which is more than respectable.  And since I’m a sucker for diesel, I’m tempted to choose the 277 hp, 3.0 liter I-6 turbodiesel, which gets truly astounding fuel economy numbers of 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

But, I’m old-skool and really a sucker for a strong V8.  I like the sound, the raw power and the feel, so I’m opting for the 355 hp, 5.3 liter V8 that adds about $1,500 to the sticker.  I found the 420 hp, 6.2-liter engine fun, but a little over-the-top for my needs and likes.

I like the features offered in the Custom trim, adding another $2,000 to the price.  I’ve no need for leather anything, and Jet Black cloth seats are the only option.  Add the Trailering Package for $395 and I’m set to pull the boat or camper.  My fantasy build is a very affordable $36,590, and I end up with a great truck that works for me and mine.  What’s your 2020 Chevy Silverado look like?

Steve Kursar

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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