If you look around, you’ll probably notice that what you see on the road has changed in the last 10 years or so. You don’t see too many small cars anymore and instead the roads are littered with SUVs and trucks. Americans have an appetite for huge vehicles and it’s no wonder that these are flying off dealer lots at a record pace. We’re going to be focusing on pickup trucks however and while these were primarily used as workhorses back in the days, more and more folks are using them as everyday drivers, family haulers, and adventure vehicles.
With that said, we’re here today with the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 RST and we’re going to see how well this can accommodate a family of four on a short road trip.
Disclaimer: Chevrolet’s PR team provided me with the 2020 Silverado 1500 RST for approximately 4 days along with accommodations at the Hyatt House Naples for me and my family.
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is one of America’s best-selling full-size pickup trucks but faces tough competition from both Ford and Ram. That’s to be expected as these are the top three pickup truck brands who usually trade blows year after year for bragging rights over who has the best truck that year. Anyways, back to the Silverado.
Like with most pickup trucks, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. This is due to the fact that unlike regular cars, trucks come in a wide variety of configurations. Basically it is entirely possible to build a truck that is different and unique from any other truck your buddy might have. The Silverado 1500 alone has four different body configurations, eight different trims, six different engine choices, and a whole host of different colors, packages, options, and accessories to help jazz up and individualize your ride.
Just to get this out of the way, the Chevy Silverado 1500 RST we have on loan is equipped with a 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. We’re talking 277 hp and 460 lbs.-ft of torque, capable of towing 9,300 lbs. Gas mileage is rated at 33 mpg highway and 23 mpg city. This is also the Crew Cab configuration with a short bed so basically we get more interior space for the passengers. This is especially useful if you have a family. As configured, the vehicle loaded to us is listed at $54,385.00.
Common sense would dictate that an SUV would make a better family hauler than a pickup truck would, but with trucks being the #1 segment in America, we set out to see if a truck could be just as good as an SUV.
So what better way to test out how family-friendly a Chevy Silverado 1500 RST would be than to take it on a short road trip. With a full tank of diesel, me, my wife, and two kids set out 103 miles to the lovely city of Naples, FL from Miami.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can be configured in a variety of ways, but I think the RST model is by far the best looking version. Maybe it’s the modder in me, but the Silverado 1500 RST has that custom sport look that just looks so good.
The Silverado 1500 has a front end that that boxy, tough-looking, and huge. However, all the chrome has been deleted and blacked-out, and we get a color-matched grill insert and bumpers. The front Chevy emblem has also been blacked out and all this makes the front end of the Silverado much cleaner and meaner looking. We also get standard LED lights and fog lamps as well.
The rest of the truck also sees chrome delete with color-matched handles and trim as well as a color-matched rear bumper. The truck bed also sees Durabed rail protectors in black along with Chevytec spray-on bedliner. Since we’re on the topic of the truck bed, it also has an industry-first power-up/-down tailgate, LED lighting in the cargo area, and a power plug in the back.
Lastly, we get 20-inch aluminum wheels that not only fill out the huge wheel wells, but are also pretty darn good looking.
Overall, the Chevy Silverado 1500 RST looks very good in this package. I highly suggest opting for a crew-cab and whatever bed size you choose. This just gives you more interior space, which if you have a family, I think is more important than having an overly large truck bed. No matter what configuration you go for, this is the definition of what a truck should look like.
If space is what you need, space is what you got with the Chevy Silverado 1500, especially in the crew cab configuration. I don’t have an exact measurement of the interior volume, but there’s 43-in (front) and 40.1-in (rear) of headroom, 44.5 in (front) and 43.4-in (rear) of legroom, 66-in (front) and 65.2-in (rear) of shoulder room, and 61.2-in (front) and 60.2-in (rear) of hip room. Basically what I’m trying to say here is that you’ll have absolutely no trouble fitting a family of four into this thing.
For the driver and the passenger up front, these are almost first class accommodations. The seats are super comfortable and plush and unlike in smaller passenger cars, you don’t feel like you’re confined to a tiny space. Up front, there’s also tons of storage space, whether it be the double glove boxes, the giant arm rest compartment, the door pockets, or the many cup holders, you’ll never complain about the storage up front.
In the back, the passengers are treated to even more legroom than most SUVs. Let’s first start with the seating. Thanks to the ample headroom, legroom, and shoulder room, it is possible to fit four people in the back, which means there was more than enough room for my two children.
Since we were taking a road trip, we also needed space for our bags and there was no way we were just going to throw it into the truck bed. Well, if you opt for the crew cab, you’ll have a ton of space under the rear seats to store a few bags. There’s also so much legroom that your passengers can give up a little space. Not only that, there’s storage hidden behind the back seat cushions for other items. Like in the front, the door panels have ample pockets for items and that’s plenty of cup holders to go around.
Aside from the cavernous amounts of space for your family, there’s a good amount of tech and conveniences for everyone who rides in the Silverado. Upfront, you get access to an 8-inch color touchscreen with HD radio and SiriusXM with 360L. You also get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with full access to voice commands with Siri and Google Assistant. Note that you will need to be wired in to make use of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The infotainment itself is okay and fairly easy to use and understand, although it does look a bit dated compared to some other systems I’ve seen. You will need to play with it for a bit to figure things out, but the fact that it is touch makes navigation so much easier. What you will like is the fact that there are also several physical buttons but radio controls, such as volume, tuning, and others. In the armrest, you’ll also find an AUX jack and an SD Card reader to round out the media options.
Of course all that audio entertainment means nothing if your speakers aren’t up to par and this Silverado 1500 is. The one I had came equipped with a BOSE Premium Sound System and I have to say they sounded really good. The audio was crisp and clear and there was a lot of bass you could pump out of these. What that means is that the sound system in this Silverado could handle any genre of music I threw at it and it all sounded really good.
The rest of the center dash is filled with a whole host of other buttons for the AC system, vehicle systems, and more. The one thing I hate is when everything goes too high tech, so I appreciate as many physical buttons as possible where you don’t need to go searching around on the touchscreen.
Other conveniences include a cornucopia of charging options including a USB-C port, and standard USB port, a 12V port, and a 120V outlet. There is also a second set of USB-C and standard USB ports in the armrest. And that’s just the front. In the back, there are plenty of charging options for your rear passengers as well. They also get a USB-C port, a standard USB port, and a 12V port. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of charging ports for everyone.
On a trip, all those charging ports really help, especially with all the phones, tablets, and portable gaming consoles kids use these days. Without a network, however, some of those gadgets are kind of useless if you don’t have anything loaded on them. Luckily, the Chevy Silverado has a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. While my oldest son has network service on his phone, my youngest daughter does not. She uses her devices over Wi-Fi so have this in the Silverado 1500 was a godsend. She was able to chat with her friends, watch streaming videos, and play Roblox online with her friends. This definitely helped her pass the time on our trip. If you travel a lot, this might be something you’ll want to subscribe to.
That’s pretty much it when it comes to technology for you and your passengers. These are what’s most important to buyers right now and will keep you and your passengers happy.
Driving a full-size truck like the Chevy Silverado 1500 RST can be daunting, especially if you’ve never driven anything that large before. The largest vehicle I’ve ever driven was a Nissan Pathfinder and this thing is quite a bit larger. The drive will feel a bit heavier and less nimble than what you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get used to driving it because I sure did. It just takes practice.
What I will say though is your driving position is much higher and you are able to see much more of the road ahead of you as you’ll be able to see over most cars on the road. Not only that, I’m not sure if it’s because of the size, or the larger wheels and tires, but the ride is pretty darn smooth on pavement. The Silverado absorbs every little bump with my passengers barely feeling a thing. This includes giant puddles. This means that on long trips, like the road trip we took, the ride felt smooth as butter and none of my passengers complained about harshness.
Visibility in the Silverado is not too bad either despite its size. I’m not a tall person at all so I did have to raise the seat up a bit so I could see a bit more out the front of the truck. The rest isn’t too bad either as the blind-spot monitors help with switching lanes and the rear camera helps for backing up.
Speaking of which, parking may be an issue for some if you aren’t very good at it. The Silverado is wider and longer than most cars and smaller SUVs so again, you’ll need to practice parking it. I found reverse parking way easier than trying to park head in, but then again, I’ve always reversed parked all my cars. I camera helps tremendously especially with the sensors and parking assists. Of note, you will need to choose your parking spaces wisely as again, this will not fit in compact spaces and don’t be that guy that takes up two spaces.
Lastly, I know we all want to know about power and the 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I6 doesn’t disappoint. This is the first time this engine has appeared in the Silverado 1500 and it’s there for both power and economy. This Silverado configuration had no issues getting up to speed when needed and I had absolutely no issues reaching passing speeds on the highway. Fuel economy was also very good as I was able to drive a good 250 miles or so on my trip with plenty left over after. I didn’t have to fill up once during my entire time with it. This diesel engine to my surprise also doesn’t sound like other diesel trucks and is fairly quiet. On a long trip, noise is not what you want.
While SUVs and crossovers are the king of family haulers, my time with the Chevy Silverado 1500 RST has proven that a truck can work just as well as a primary family vehicle. The combination of roominess, tech, and utility has certainly made me understand why Americans love their trucks so much. They are big, intimidating vehicles, but they’re also fun to drive, but in a different way.
Mainly I enjoyed driving something I wasn’t accustomed to. It felt different and I liked it. I never in a million years thought I’d ever enjoy driving a truck but I honestly did. I mean what kind of car can you drive where one minute you can haul your entire family in it on a road trip, and the next you can go down to Home Depot and lug a giant refrigerator back home in? Not only that, while trucks have the stigma of being gas guzzlers, the Silverado 1500 equipped with the 3L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I6 proves that you can have your cake and eat it too with some pretty impressive gas mileage.
With that said, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 RST can totally be your main vehicle. There’s a reason trucks are the #1 segment in America and being a family hauler is just one of them. All its features, tech, specs, and utility make the Chevy Silverado a tough one to pass up if you’re looking for something with this much versatility.