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The Best From Chevy in 2020

Reviewing the 2020 Chevy Lineup

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison front 3/4 view

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 yet again come perilously close to the above-mentioned threshold. At 2,065,879 units, Chevrolet found itself in third place among the best-selling car brands in the U.S. that year, behind Toyota in second and Ford in first.

2018 has been even less kind towards the bow-tie brand as their figures slumped even closer to the 2 million mark. Chevrolet has delivered exactly 2,036,023 vehicles to the U.S. customers in 2018.

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. For now, the first quarter of 2019 is finally showing some promise.

Model by model breakdowns showcase that the biggest “loser” in 2018 was the Sonic whose sales had decreased almost 32 percent compared to full year 2017. The Sonic was followed by  the Impala, Camaro, and Corvette – all three with around a 25 percent decrease in sales during the same period. They’re closely followed by the Malibu, Cruze, and Bolt EV which all lost around 22 percent. This particularly displeasing list is rounded off with the soon-to-be-discontinued Volt whose sales downturn amounted to 10 percent compared to 2017.

At the opposite end, the Colorado pickup, Traverse, and Express van recorded a growth of 19.3, 18.6, and 17.5 percent respectively. The smaller Equinox and Trax follow with 14.5 and 13.4 percent, while remainder of the pack exhibits a single-digit increase.

Let’s now take a look at what might be a bright future for the GM volume brand without forgetting some past Chevy models that probably deserved better.

What’s Hot in the New 2020 Chevrolet Lineup

05. 2020 Corvette Stingray (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 Corvette’s evolution has finally happened for MY 2020, almost a quarter of a century after Zora Arkus-Duntov’s death.

The mid-engined Corvette’s arrival also coincides with the next-gen C8 model’s debut. Actually, the entire C8 Corvette range has switched to the mid-engined layout and is dubbed Stingray. 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 differ quite a bit from their front-engined predecessors if gazed at from a profile. Otherwise, they sport the expected front and rear ends. Prices start from just under $60,000, but easily work their way to much higher price tags. The mid-engined ‘Vette’s official debut from July 18, 2019 in New York at a charity event honoring firefighters and first responders that perished during the 9/11 attacks still doesn’t give us all the necessary info.

Apart from obviously being stuffed behind the driver, the mid-engined Corvette’s powertrain develops 490 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of twist – courtesy of a 6.2L V8 dubbed LT2. Thanks to it, the mid-engined ‘Vette clocks a quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds, beating the previous generation models with ease. Order it with the optional $5,000 Z51 package and you’ll get 495 hp alongside an electronic limited-slip rear differential, more aggressive brakes, and summer tires. Transmission duties are entrusted to a modern Tremec 8-speed auto which is a very first such gearbox for the ‘Vette.

Further down the line, Chevy is expected to add more potent powertrains and new badges to their mid-engined offspring. A 700 or even 800-horsepower mid-engined Corvette Z06, for instance, shouldn’t catch us off guard. 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.

For now, it would seem that the entire allocation intended for model year 2020 has already been sold out according to GM design chief Michael Simcoe.

Mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

 

 

04. 2020 Tahoe

The full-size body-on-frame lines of SUVs across the GM range are in for a major overhaul during 2020 and Chevy Tahoe is one among many. The sixth-generation Tahoe doesn’t diverge from what’s been its essence since day one. It remains 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 outgoing model’s live rear unit. This new setup should also help the next-gen Tahoe offer even more room at the back – both for passengers and cargo.

The GM T1XX platform, which underpins the next-gen Chevy Tahoe, will be shared across the full-size GM range including its GMC and Cadillac counterparts (Yukon and Escalade). Prices start from around $50,000 and go all the way up to $74,000 prior to extras for the range-topping High Country models.

The outgoing models were only available with thirsty 5.3L and 6.2L EcoTec3 V8s which remain the core duo of the next-gen lineup as well. They’re good enough for either 355 horsepower or 420 horsepower respectively. Both are now paired with a contemporary 10-speed automatic transmission

New for 2020 is an optional 3.0L turbo-diesel inline-six engine which packs 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. It too comes with a modern automatic transmission, and either standard rear or optional all-wheel drive.

Interestingly, Chevrolet dubs the new car a 2021 model which goes on sale during mid-2020.

Chevrolet Tahoe front 3/4 view

 

03. 2020 Suburban

The full-size, extended-wheelbase Suburban SUV has also undergone a major makeover in 2020. It too shares its underpinnings with the Silverado and is evolving accordingly.

Much like the smaller Tahoe which we’ve just covered, the Suburban also gets a new independent rear suspension in hopes of achieving 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 also underpin the Suburban – much like the remainder of the GM full-size body-on-frame range.

Design-wise, the all-new twelfth-generation Suburban remains generally intact despite donning the all-new front and rear fascias. There’s very little GM can do with its hulking boxy frame. Prices 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 twelfth-generation Chevrolet Suburban retains its 5.3L V8 engine that features in the new Silverado as well. It’s able to provide 355 ponies and 383 pound-feet of rotational force in both rear and all-wheel-drive setups. Transmission duties have been entrusted to a new 10-speed automatic gearbox.

There’s also an all-new RST package which includes a more potent 6.2L V8 powertrain that cranks up 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of twist. However, the RST-fitted Suburbans aren’t expected to be available at launch. Unlike the Tahoe which did receive a fuel-efficient diesel option, the Suburban carries along without it. Both SUVs are arriving to dealerships during mid-2020.

All-new Chevy Suburban

 

02. 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 have gone through the same process this year and are finally available as 2020-year models – 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 grows 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 still resemble the half-ton Silverado 1500 – especially on the inside. Exterior does feature a few distinctive details, though, as the next generation of Chevy HD trucks aims to look more robust and menacing than ever before.

The Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD also offer a power tailgate and a number of extra storage spaces all over the place. Prices start from $35,695 for the entry-level Silverado 2500 Work Truck in regular cab/long bed configuration, and work their way to the $62,695 mark for the Silverado 3500 High Country in Crew cab/standard bed configuration. Long bed upgrade is $200 extra.

The big news in the powertrain department is replacement of the long-serving L96 6.0L V8 with a more powerful 6.6L V8 unit which is rated at 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque. A 6.6L Duramax diesel V8 carries over as an option for those in need of a true workhorse truck capable of towing 35,500 pounds.  The oil burner retains 445 ponies and 910 lb-ft of torque but that is soon to change as competitors are already offering 1,000 pound-feet in their installations.

Most units are tied to a six-speed automatic transmission, while those opting for the diesel engine will be rewarded with a new Allison 10-speed automatic unit.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500

01. 2020 Camaro

The sixth-gen Camaro is slowly but steadily heading towards its end and the entire future of the iconic nameplate hangs in the balance. 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 muscle car settles in. If that even happens as Chevrolet brass are reportedly seriously thinking about axing the nameplate in its entirety (again).

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 models the picture. The mentioned facelift had effectively only brought a new grille (much better-looking if I might add), 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 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.

Chevrolet Camaro front 3/4 view

 

What’s Not in the New 2020 Chevrolet Lineup

04. 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, and with no redesign in sight, the full-size sedan is stuck with what it’s got. At least for MY 2020 as GM decided to prolong its suffering for another year. After that, the Impala will disappear altogether.

There are certainly better and definitely younger options out there on the market, and with crossovers taking over, there’s apparently no place for aged full-size cars anymore. 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 have profited from a few more advanced safety features but it’s too late for that now. Most 2020 models slot between $28,000 and $38,000, price-wise, with inventory cleaning likely to reduce the prices further later on.

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 Impala’s size. Not to mention its insane weight, as the full-size Chevy tips the scale 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 is bringing (with it getting axed and all). This won’t be the first time Impala’s been discontinued but considering how things stand at the current market, we might not see it again for quite some time.

Chevrolet Impala front 3/4 view

 

03. 2020 Volt

The compact plug-in hybrid hasn’t got much time left in this world. Chevy has decided to kill its best-selling hybrid car and Volt might soon be replaced with a new electric crossover. This coincides with 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 through 2020 until GM clears the stock. The fun-to-drive plug-in hybrid has had its moments but with an obvious lack of any real future, there is no point in obtaining one anymore.

Moreover, GM has surpassed its 200,000th electric vehicle since 2010 which would renders it 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 has changed for 2020 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 is 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.

Chevrolet Volt front 3/4 view

 

02. 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 Gladiator have made their debuts this year, it’s about time for GM to do something about its Canyonado twins.

A mid-cycle refresh during 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 opposition’s more contemporary arrival. Will that be enough? Our bet is it won’t. Sales are sure to plummet due to segment’s expansion although they’ve actually been exhibiting steady growth in recent years. What’s more, this might only happen for MY 2021 as 2020-year models carry over mostly unchanged yet again.

New for 2020 is an optional Infotainment 3 Premium system with an 8-inch touchscreen display and  a remote-locking liftgate. On the other hand, dreadful safety scores and a lack of any advanced safety gear in entry-levels 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 remains unchanged. The Chevy Colorado is blessed with a variety of choices including a 4-cylinder, V6, and a diesel. A 2.5L 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 largest 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 at some point (not in 2020 though). Other than the 2020 Colorado’s also carry over without previously available 6-speed manuals which have been discontinued.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison front 3/4 view

01. 2020 Blazer

Let’s start off with a disclaimer: “The new Blazer crossover is a vehicle worthy of consideration.” It’s refined, capable, spacious, and powerful. However, it’s definitely not what people had expected from such an iconic nameplate. All of us wanted a truck-based SUV with plenty of off-road potential but instead we got just another crossover.

On top of that, Chevrolet’s flashiest crossover to date is also one of their most expensive offerings. Although the entry-level models start from under $29,000, the range-topping models loaded with features can easily top $50,000 and more.

For that amount of money, the Blazer offers quite a lot of safety and convenience gear. An 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard with every model, while every but the entry-level Blazer L benefits from blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and rear parking sensors. However, the most advanced driving aids are exclusively offered with the top RS and Premier trims.

The modern Blazer crossover offers a choice between a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with 193 horsepower and an optional 3.6L V6 mill with 308 ponies. Both are tied to a contemporary 9-speed automatic gearbox, but only the stronger engine gets to be fitted with the optional all-wheel drive system. The 4-cylinder engine is stuck in front-wheel drive configuration for now.

We can’t really fault the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer for not being overly fuel-efficient as it’s right right up there with the rest of its class with as much as 27 mpg on the highway, and we certainly can’t fault it for not being enthusiastic to drive as it’s one of the best-driving Chevy crossovers out there. We simply expected something different – especially in the wake of Ford Bronco’s and Jeep Gladiator’s return – and Chevy decided not to deliver.

Chevrolet Blazer is not what we'd expected it to be







Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!