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2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Test Drive

The market for full-size trucks is one of the most hotly contested in the automotive world. So it's not surprising to see automakers making frequent changes to keep their trucks competitive. Since its introduction for the 2019 model year, the current Chevy Silverado has been a solid truck, but the interior has lagged behind some competitors.  

That changed late last year when the refreshed 2022 Silverado Limited debuted with an all-new interior. And while Covid and supply chain issues resulted in the carryover 2022 Silverado Limited, I finally got the chance to experience this updated truck after spending a week in the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss.

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2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Exterior

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Test Drive

The 2019 Silverado debuted a design that was polarizing, but this refresh gave the truck a cleaner, bolder face similar to the Tahoe and Suburban.. Up front, the grille is larger, and on LT trim levels and higher, the turn signals have been incorporated into the C-shaped LED running lights. 

The biggest improvement to the Silverado's exterior styling, however, is the single-piece fascia over the metal bumper, which eliminates the awkwardly drooping fender extensions of the previous design. As good as the refreshed exterior looks, the bulging hood, two-inch lift, and blacked-out accents give the truck an aggressive style, which makes the Red Hot paint color a perfect fit. My tester was also equipped with the folding hard tonneau cover ($1,250), innovative Multi-Flex tailgate ($445), and high-clearance side steps ($1,145), which make it easier to climb in, without ruining the breakover angle that's important for off-road driving. 

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2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Interior

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Test Drive

When the current-generation Silverado launched in 2019, it was instantly clear that the truck's key weakness was its interior, and that has definitely changed with this updated cabin. On the LT trim levels and higher (which excludes the WT and Custom models), the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado receives an all-new interior with improved form and function. 

The biggest improvement made to the inside of the Silverado is the redesigned instrument panel. Not only does it have a more appealing layout, but it also features high-tech gadgetry such as the 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with Google built-in compatibility) and 12.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge cluster. In base form, the Silverado LT has a 40/20/40 split-bench front seat, but the optional ($620) bucket seats are more comfortable, and also provide room for a deep center console and a center console shifter. 

The switch to a console shifter doesn't take away from this truck's practicality, as there are still plenty of storage compartments available, including the double glove box, deep center console, and a sizable cubby tucked in behind the infotainment screen. More importantly, this Silverado is still comfortable whether you're heading to the job site or the boat launch. 

Bottom line, the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 finally has the cabin design and technology to be competitive in this segment, and I'm even going far enough to say that the Silverado and GMC Sierra are now class leaders when it comes to the interior.

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2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Powertrain

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Test Drive

While off-road trucks like the Ford F-150 Tremor and RAM 1500 Rebel offer just two engine choices, the current-generation Silverado 1500 launched in 2019 with four engine options, and my tester was equipped with the optional ($2,590) 3.0-liter inline-six Duramax turbodiesel. Output is now up to 305 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque, which represents gains of 10 percent in horsepower and 7.6 percent in torque compared to the previous version. Aside from all that torque, another major advantage of this engine is that it gives the Silverado 1500 excellent fuel economy, as even with four-wheel drive and aggressive tires, it still returns an EPA-rated fuel economy estimate of 21 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

Usually adding mud tires and a lifted suspension will negatively affect the ride quality of a truck, but even with the two-inch lift, Rancho shocks, and 32-inch Goodyear Duratrac M+S tires, that wasn't the case with this diesel-powered Silverado Trail Boss.

On the highway, this truck has a smooth ride with none of the tire and road noise that some off-road trucks experience, and the powerful diesel engine and advanced 10-speed automatic transmission result in impressive off-the-line acceleration. With standard equipment that includes an electronic locking rear differential and plenty of skid plate protection, this truck is meant for off-roading, though, and that's where it truly excels. While the Trail Boss isn't as capable as the Silverado ZR2, my tester handled slick sand and deep, muddy ruts without a problem. 

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2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Safety

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Test Drive

In addition to the styling changes inside and out, the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado is also safer. Because while the pre-update Silverado had a 4-Star crash rating, the refreshed Silverado 1500 earned a full 5-Star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Standard safety equipment on the Silverado LT includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert, and Safety Alert Seat.

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2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Overall

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Test Drive

Although the upgrades came late, the new interior, enhanced Duramax engine, and styling changes have all helped the Silverado 1500 become a class leader. As stated earlier, the LT Z71 Trail Boss is no match for the Silverado ZR2, but all of this equipment comes at a steep discount compared to the mightiest new Silverado. 

The most basic 2023 Silverado starts at $34,895, but opting for the Crew Cab short bed 4x4 (required for the LT Trail Boss) ups the asking price to $47,195. Opting for the diesel engine and the other add-ons equipped on this tester adds up to an as-tested price of $64,780, which represents a good value compared to other niche off-roaders.

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Jeffrey N. Ross | February 17, 2023

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500




Turbocharged 3.0L diesel
305 hp, 495 lb-ft
10-speed automatic


21 / 23 mpg
City / Highway

NHTSA Rating

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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