What’s Hot and What’s Not in the 2020 Chevy Lineup
What to Buy and What to Stay Away From When it Comes to Chevrolet in 2020
Published November 15, 2018
GM’s volume brand is back on the path of success after a few turbulent post-recession years which saw their total U.S. sales drop below the 2 million unit threshold for the first time in decades. After exhibiting an almost 3 percent loss compared to 2016, the bow-tie brand’s 2017 U.S. sales have come perilously close to the above-mentioned threshold. At 2,065,879 units, Chevrolet finds itself in third place among the best-selling car brands in the U.S. behind Toyota in second and Ford in first. The 2020 Chevrolet lineup will be bolstered by at least one exciting new addition and a number of facelifted or fully redesigned models in order to reverse the negative sales trend which started back in 2015.
The negative trend in question has carried over into 2018 as well, thanks to a poor third quarter during which GM has recorded a loss of 11.1 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
Chevrolet’s sales themselves have decreased by 11.4 percent and fallen from 547,310 units sold during the third quarter of 2017 to 485,019 vehicles marketed during the Summer of 2018. Thanks to the solid first and second quarters, however, the bow-tie brand was able to somewhat absorb this unexpected blow with the year-to-date change in sales amounting to -0.8 percent. In rough figures, that’s 1,516,192 units sold during the first nine months of 2017 compared to 1,504,038 cars marketed during the same period in 2018.
For comparison, GM’s sales as a whole have decreased by 1.2 percent after the first three quarters.
Model by model breakdowns showcase that the biggest “losers” were the Cruze, Camaro, and Sonic – all three with around a 26 percent decrease in sales year-to-date by October 2018. They’re closely followed by the Malibu and Corvette which lost almost 24 percent and a little bit over 21 percent respectively, while the Bolt EV’s sales decreased by 17.5 percent. This particularly displeasing list is rounded off with the Volt and Impala which both lost over 13 percent sales compared to 2017.
At the opposite end, the Spark has exhibited a growth of 33 percent after the first nine months and close to 52 percent during the third quarter of 2018 alone. The mini car is followed by the Colorado pickup with a growth of 26 percent right through September 2018. The Traverse follows with close to 20.5 percent increase, the Suburban with 16.5 percent, the Tahoe with exactly 15 percent, the Trax with almost 12.5 percent, and the Equinox with 10 percent. Even the Express van is exhibiting a 9 percent growth in 2018 despite a slow third quarter during which its sales have actually decreased by 6 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
Let’s now take a look at what might be a bright future for the GM volume brand.
What’s Hot in the New 2020 Chevrolet Lineup
06. 2020 Corvette (mid-engined)
The mid-engined Corvette has officially been removed from the rumor mill section of automotive news which it virtually occupied for the better part of the last five decades or so. The long-awaited next step in the Corvette’s evolution is finally happening in 2020, almost a quarter of a century after Zora Arkus-Duntov’s death. The mid-engined Corvette’s arrival will also coincide with the next-gen C8 model’s debut. Likely to be reserved for the range-topping spot, the mid-engined ‘Vette is supposed to provide performance to match and a corresponding price tag as well. Don’t expect it to become a fully-fledged supercar, though, as the archetype American sports car is bound to remain what it is – engine behind the cabin or not. Visually, though, the mid-engined models will differ quite a bit from their front-engined siblings if looked at from the profile. Otherwise, they’ll sport the same front and very similar rear ends. Prices are still subject to discussion at this early stage as estimates range from around $70,000 to as much as $170,000. We’ll likely know more come Spring time 2019.
Apart from obviously being stuffed behind the driver, we still don’t know much about the mid-engined Corvette’s powertrain. At this moment, a version of the 6.2L LT1 V8 looks like the best bet. It should be more than capable of providing north of 500 horsepower which is right up the Corvette’s alley. Transmission duties will likely be entrusted to a modern Tremec 8-speed auto, but don’t chalk the manual off just yet. Let’s not forget the last iteration went so far as to offer a 7-speed manual transmission for enthusiasts. Further down the line, Chevy is expected to add more potent powertrains and new badges to their mid-engined offspring. A 700 or 800-horsepower mid-engined Corvette Z06, for instance, shouldn’t surprise us. However, that exact, or similar examples are still far down the road. So is a potential hybrid Corvette which could put the illustrious nameplate in a basket with some true hypercars.
05. 2020 Tahoe
The full-size body-on-frame lines of SUVs across the GM range are in for a major overhaul for MY 2020 and the Chevy Tahoe is only one among many models. The sixth-generation Tahoe won’t diverge from what’s been its essence since day one. It’ll remain a bulky people and cargo hauler capable of towing a great deal as well. However, there’s one particular change underneath that should help the new Tahoe attain better handling and ride quality. It’s a new independent rear suspension which comes to replace the current model’s live rear unit. This new setup should also help the next-gen Tahoe offer even more room at the back. The GM T1XX platform, which is set to underpin the 2020 Chevy Tahoe, will be shared across the full-size GM range including its GMC and Cadillac counterparts (Yukon and Escalade). Expect the new Tahoe to retain the outgoing model’s prices which range from around $50,000 to $70,000.
The outgoing models are only available with thirsty 5.3L and 6.2L EcoTec3 V8s which should remain the core duo of the next-gen lineup as well. At the moment, they’re good enough for either 355 horsepower or 420 horsepower respectively. We can also expect the two to get updated and offer a bit more firepower from now on. Also, expect a more contemporary 8-speed automatic instead of current 6-speed units, and a 10-speed transmission as an option. Based on the Silverado pickup, the forthcoming Chevrolet Tahoe might also adopt the truck’s 2.7L turbocharged 4-cylinder or even the 3.0L turbo-diesel V6. Either of the two would do wonders for the Tahoe’s dreadful fuel economy figures. Needless to say, both the rear and all-wheel drive options will remain a part of the menu as well. The 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe might not be revolutionary, but its improved driving dynamics and, hopefully, the addition of a fuel-efficient engine option are a huge step in the right direction.
04. 2020 Suburban
The full-size, extended-wheelbase Suburban SUV is also in for a major makeover in 2020. It too shares its underpinnings with the Silverado and we can expect it to evolve accordingly. Much like the smaller Tahoe which we’ve just covered, the Suburban will also get a new independent rear suspension in the hopes of an improved ride and handling. This switch comes after Ford decided to overhaul the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator last year, and give them the same setup. The T1 platform is also set to underpin the Suburban – much like the remainder of the GM full-size body-on-frame range. Design-wise, the 2020 Suburban will remain generally intact despite donning the all-new front and rear fascias. There’s very little GM can do with its hulking boxy frame. Prices should yet again start from just north of $50,000, but fully equipped top grade models will set you back more than $70,000 with ease.
The upcoming twelfth-generation Chevrolet Suburban will retain its 5.3L V8 engine that features in the new Silverado as well. It should be able to provide 355 ponies and 383 pound-feet of rotational force in both rear and all-wheel-drive setups. The most likely candidate for routing that power to the ground is an 8-speed automatic gearbox. A modern 10-speed unit will be available as an option, but likely exclusively with the optional RST package. Apart from a ten-speed gearbox, the RST package also includes a more potent 6.2L V8 powertrain which cranks up 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of twist. However, the RST-fitted Suburbans aren’t expected to be available at launch. The smaller and more efficient powertrain which the Silverado pickup gets is also highly unlikely. The Tahoe might get it, but the Suburban’s extra length and weight are probably too much for a potential turbo four.
03. 2020 Silverado HD 2500 and 3500
The full-size half-ton Silverado got updated for MY 2019 which leaves GM with an ample amount of time to focus on the heavy-duty lineup. The Silverado HD 2500 and 3500 will go through the same process in 2020, together with their GMC Sierra stablemates. As a source of the new T1 platform which underpins all GM full-size body-on-frame products, the pickup will grow in size while saving on weight at the same time thanks to a more widespread use of aluminum. Design-wise, the three-quarter ton and one-ton versions of the truck will resemble the half-ton Silverado 1500 – especially on the inside. Exterior will feature a few distinctive details, though, such as the huge flow-through Chevrolet lettering on a massive grille. The Silverado 2500 and 3500 should also offer a power tailgate and a number of extra storage spaces all over the place. Prices are expected to remain in place, starting from around $35,000 for the entry-level HD 2500 and working their way to around $70,000 for the top-grade HD 3500 with additional room for growth.
The big news in the powertrain department is a replacement of the long-serving L96 6.0L V8 with a more powerful 6.6L V8 unit which should be able to produce around 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. A 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel V8 will carry over as an option for those in need of a true workhorse truck capable of towing well-north of 20,000 pounds. Considering the class-leader Ram 3500 trucks can tow more than 30,000 pounds, GM is expected to make the move and rectify the obvious issue. We’ll have to wait for the official figures, however. The engine itself should receive an update to help it develop more than the current 445 ponies and 910 lb-ft of torque. Most units will be tied to a new 9-speed Allison heavy duty automatic transmission, while those opting for entry-level models will make do with an 8-speed unit. More info is soon to follow.
02. 2020 Camaro
The sixth-gen Camaro is slowly but steadily heading toward its end. After the recent facelift – which, by the way, didn’t bring any substantial changes – the iconic pony has only a couple more years before the next generation of the iconic muscle car settles in. Yet, we can’t find it in ourselves to lower the Camaro to the “not cool” part of our list here. Not with the immensely powerful ZL1 and potential Z/28 in the picture. The mentioned facelift only brought a few new exterior color options, a body-colored cross-bar, next-gen infotainment system, and the 1LE Performance Package for turbo four-equipped models. It also added some advanced safety gear like lane departure warning with blind spot alerts. Whether this is enough or not, we’ll let the court of public opinion be the judge. It’s also worth noting that the 1LT package is $405 cheaper than before which – together with its addition to entry-level models – might sway more buyers from now on.
The 2020 Chevrolet Camaro retains its predecessors’ powertrain lineup which ranges from peppy turbocharged 4-cylinders to mind-blowing supercharged V8s. The turbo four in question sports 2.0L in displacement and raises as much as 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The next step on the ladder is a 3.6L V6 which generates 335 ponies and 284 pound-feet. Finally, the conventional Camaro lineup also offers a 6.2L V8 with 455 horsepower and a corresponding amount of rotational force, and comes exclusively with the vaunted SS badge. However, the same engine can also be paired with a massive blower in the Camaro ZL1. That way you get as much as 650 ponies and 650 pound-feet of easily available twist. Knowing GM and taking into account the direction the muscle car scene seems to be heading in, this won’t be everything the 2020 Chevy Camaro will have to offer us in terms of performance. The special Yenko Camaro based on the SS 1LE models can already be had with either 835 or 1,000 horsepower in two different packages available for order straight from select Chevrolet dealerships. The next move is obviously a similar factory model but that’s something we might have to wait for a little bit more.
01. 2020 Trax
Although the subcompact crossover is neither particularly inspiring nor practical, it has its uses in today’s market. Furthermore, the 2020 Trax will be a vanguard model of the second generation with substantial redesigning and re-engineering going around. This should help the next-gen model shake off a number of the shortcomings that are currently plaguing it. Things like the not overly smooth ride, severe lack of power and sub-par fuel economy to name a few. The upcoming Trax is expected to borrow a number of cues already seen on the revived Chevy Blazer like thin headlights and the overall frontal fascia shape. It’s also expected to get a somewhat sharper and larger demeanor. The new Trax will definitely look sportier, but the question remains whether it’ll feel the same way as well?
We highly doubt it, but some improvements to the powertrain department are expected as well. The current 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder will carry over into the next generation but it should also receive a slight bump in ratings that might help with the aforementioned agenda. It currently makes 138 ponies and 148 lb-ft of torque. At the same time, expect the new model to receive a modern 9-speed transmission instead of the current 6-speed unit, which should help with fuel conservation. As before, both front and all-wheel drive will be offered. Prices shouldn’t change much, which leads us to believe the Chevy Trax for MY 2020 will start from around $22,000 or thereabouts. Fully loaded Premier models with all-wheel drive, on the other hand, will sell for more than $30,000.
What’s Not in the New 2020 Chevrolet Lineup
03. 2020 Impala
One of the longest-running Chevrolet nameplates has been neglected for years. Introduced back in 2014, the tenth-generation Impala is still riding basically unchanged since then; with no redesign in sight, the full-size sedan is stuck with what it’s got. In other words, there are better and definitely younger options out there on the market. The Impala is now seriously beginning to show its age from an overall bland design to some outdated interior materials. However, the Chevy Impala still has to be considered a very well-rounded car despite its evident shortcomings. It’s spacious, well-balanced, comfortable, and offers a very good ride for its class. It could profit from a few more advanced safety features but we shouldn’t expect that until the next-gen models arrive. The 2020 Chevrolet Impala won’t be that model. On the other hand, its prices are bound to remain in place considering nothing substantial will be done to the car. Expect most models to slot between $28,000 and $38,000.
Another one of Impala’s issues is its base powertrain. With 197 horsepower on tap, the 2.5L 4-cylinder is simply underpowered for a car of the Impala’s size. Not to mention its insane weight, which clocks in at almost 4,000 pounds. At least the full-sizer comes with an optional 3.6L V6 whose 305 ponies work wonders for the car. Both units, however, are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission which is slowly but steadily becoming a dying breed in the industry. Especially in larger cars, which the Impala certainly is. Although things aren’t rosy for Chevrolet’s full-sizer, the situation at the moment is certainly better than what the future might bring. There are talks of the Impala’s discontinuation (which wouldn’t be its first time), in which case, the 2020-year model might actually be our last chance to snag a Chevy Impala for what could turn into a decade or more given the car’s history.
02. 2020 Volt
The compact plug-in hybrid hasn’t got much time left in this world – at least not in its current 5-door liftback form. More and more rumors suggest that the Volt will soon be replaced with a new electric crossover which coincides with the company’s strategy perfectly. GM is actually planning on introducing as many as 20 new electric models by 2023 which means the Volt’s crossover replacement won’t be more than a drop in the hypothetical ocean of new GM cars. The Chevy Volt itself will soldier on for a few more years with its replacement likely coming in 2021. The fun-to-drive plug-in hybrid has its moments but with an obvious lack of any real future, there is no point in obtaining one anymore. Moreover, GM is mighty close to selling their 200,000th electric vehicle since 2010 which would render them ineligible for future federal incentives. By the time 2020 arrives, this will have already taken place, hence you’d need to pay the full $40,000 for a Volt.
The Volt uses the combined power of a small 1.4L 4-cylinder engine working on the Atkinson cycle and two electric motors for a combined output of 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. An 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 53 miles of electric-only range, while the Volt is capable of returning as much as 106 MPGe according to the EPA. None of this is expected to change for reasons already mentioned above. Charging times vary and take from 13 hours via 120-volt outlets to 4.5 hours if using 240-volt infrastructure. MY 2020 might be your last chance of obtaining the compact plug-in hybrid but you’d have to consider closely whether such a proposition is worthy of consideration.
01. 2020 Colorado
After single-handedly reviving the U.S. mid-size pickup truck market back in 2014, Chevrolet’s smaller truck has simply been left to rest on its laurels. Considering how the Ford Ranger and Jeep Wrangler-based pickup will be making their debuts in 2019 and 2020 respectively, it’s about time for GM to do something about its Canyonado twins. A mid-cycle refresh for MY 2020 is imminent at this point – if not due to the mid-size truck being in its autumn years, then at least in order to appease potential buyers in the wake of more contemporary opposition’s arrival. Will that be enough? Our bet is it won’t. Sales are sure to plummet due to the segment’s expansion although they’ve already been exhibiting steady growth in recent years. As far as actual changes to the facelifted Chevrolet Colorado go, expect a slightly different exterior (possibly in line with the new Silverado) and a slightly more substantial overhaul to the interior. The 2020 Colorado will, however, have to fight its demons even after the proposed overhaul. Dreadful safety scores and a lack of any advanced safety gear are simply unacceptable on the verge of the 21st century’s third decade, and no amount of off-road capability in newly introduced trims will be able to fix that (yes ZR2 Bison, I’m talking about you).
The powertrain lineup is expected to remain unchanged come MY 2020. The Chevy Colorado is blessed with a variety of choices including a 4-cylinder, V6, and a diesel. A 3.5L 4-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque is standard across most of the Colorado range. It’s sufficient enough for most duties a mid-size truck owner could require of it, but it could certainly use some extra power on the highway. That’s why all Crew Cab models get a more powerful 3.6L V6 with 308 ponies and 275 lb-ft of torque. Last but not least, those in need for more torque can always opt for a 2.8L turbo-diesel 4-cylinder with 181 hp and 369 lb-ft. At the moment, only the V6 comes with an 8-speed transmission which is expected to migrate over to the rest of the powertrain range currently utilizing a 6-speed auto by 2020. Other than that, the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado’s underpinnings are expected to carry over mostly unchanged, and so are the mid-size truck’s prices.