Best and worst car brands of 2018
Ask buyers of the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, 2019 GMC Sierra or 2019 Ram pickups what makes them so cool, and one answer will be the added storage.
From snug, hidden cubbyholes inside the pickups to extended boxes and beds outside, designers did not let an inch of space go to waste. That means these redesigned pickups can haul a lot without ever hitching up a trailer.
"You're using your vehicle as more than just a car, you're putting a lot of things in it and not just going from point A to B. You're living in it," said Ryan Nagode, chief designer for Ram performance car and Dodge interiors.
When it comes to utility, most people think of the bed or the pickup's towing capacity or the ability to drive off-road, Nagode said. But designers didn't want to ignore the utility in the interiors for storage.
"We didn't want any dead air in the cabin," he said. "We utilized every part of it for storage."
Nagode and his team grew the cabin in the redesigned 2019 Ram by 4 inches. Most of that room can be felt in the second row of seats. There, a person can raise the seats and create more flat floor space to easily load and unload large boxes. Ram engineers added some tie-downs on the floor to help hold those items in place during transport.
Ram center console
The 2019 Ram's front-row center console is bigger and offers multiple ways to configure it for daily use compared with the outgoing Ram, which had one configuration and held 23 liters. The console in the 2019 Ram holds up to 39 liters and has 12 configurations, Nagode said.
"We wanted to make sure we can use larger phones or an iPad in the cellphone holder area, and it’s wireless so your phone can be charging," he said. “We have a center console that can be maneuvered so you can put a purse in there, a gallon of milk ... it’s flexible storage so if you want your cup holders there you can have them, or tuck those away and use the console storage.”
Ram secure storage
Given that many people want to store items securely and out of sight, Ram designers put locks on the glove compartments and created two in-floor storage bins in the rear. Those bins are 9 inches deep, 17 inches long and 5 inches wide. In total, they are 5 inches longer than bins in the outgoing model, meaning they can hold a drop hitch. Mopar sells locks for the in-floor bins, Nagode said.
Under the rear seats, Ram offers a flip-out storage area that holds longer, awkward items such as fishing rods, a packed tent, folding chairs or a 4-foot level for contractors, Nagode said.
The well-known RamBox option runs along the bedside of the pickup and continues on in the 2019 model. These are the saddlebag storage units along both sides of the truck between the outside fender and the inner wall. They can be locked and unlocked by a key fob along with all four doors and tailgate.
The boxes, which hold 243 liters each, are only on the 5-foot-7 bed, said Nagode.
"For 2019, we have about 151 liters of storage in the interior – that is about 75 2-liter bottles stacked against a wall," said Nagode. The 2018 Ram had 105 liters of storage, he said, and the 2019 model has "twice the amount of the closest competitor."
That close competitor would be the Ford F-150, the nation's bestseller, which is refreshed for 2019, but not all-new like the Ram, Silverado and Sierra.
General Motors engineers also made the most out of storage in the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra pickups, which GM started rolling out to dealers in August.
"One thing we heard from customers is that they wanted more room for people and for stuff," said Monte Doran, GM spokesman. "All three of our cabs offer 3 inches more of leg room. You are carrying more people and more often than you did 10 years ago. We also have more tie-downs in the trucks. That's a big deal for customers to have convenient points to secure your cargo."
The 2019 pickups have 12 tie-downs, up from eight in the 2018 model.
The added storage was a selling point for Kurt Wagner, who bought a 2019 GMC Sierra Denali in August.
"It has a lot of little compartments for storage," said Wagner. "There is a door inside the back seat to store things, there are two glove compartments, and under the backseat there is more storage that runs the length of the truck."
The glove compartments are stacked on top of each other with locks, Silverado said. The upper glove box holds 2.6-liters of storage and is lockable. The lower glove box holds 6.8 liters, which is larger than the current-generation trucks, in response to customer feedback. It is not lockable.
"We had tier glove compartments with previous generation trucks and it was a favorite for customers," said Doran.
Similar to the Ram's center console, GM offers a functional center console on its Silverado and Sierra. An open storage bin sits in the center console and below the center stack display. It can store a cell phone and is the location of the charge pad if equipped with Wireless Charging.
New on the 2019 model is a 1.9-liter open stowage tray on the IP pad, above the center stack display. It is suitable for phone storage or other small items, Silverado said.
But, oh, is that new console bigger than the one on the 2018 Silverado, said Shane Redinger, salesman at George Matick Chevrolet in Redford, Michigan.
The console on the 2018 model was 4.25 inches deep, compared with a whopping 10.5 inches deep on the 2019, Redinger said.
Silverado said the lighted compartment holds 20.2 liters. The driver can also use small exposed compartments on each side of the floor console by the driver and front passenger seats for umbrellas, cell phones and flashlights.
Because of its depth and side grooves, Wagner hangs his office folders inside of it, he said.
There is a built-in light in the enter console, and for $50 a customer can add a tray organizer accessory to the console, Redinger said.
Also new on the 2019 models is a storage bin underneath the rear seat bottom, Doran said. Fold the rear seat's bottom up and the bin can hold umbrellas, gallons of milk and a trailer hitch, Doran said. You can buy a locking lid for it to protect valuables.
Seat-back storage bins are also a new feature. Wagner uses that to keep his extra clothing for rainy or winter weather, he said.
Chevrolet engineers have created more storage space on the truck's bed compared with the outgoing model and competitor models – that's even in Silverado's smaller variants.
"Our short-box versus the F-150's short-box has 10 cubic feet more in it," said Chevrolet salesman Redinger.
Redinger said the 2019 Silverado's short-box bed at 63 cubic feet is even longer than the standard-box bed on the F-150 and the Ram, which both measure 62 cubic feet.
New this year, GM sells lockable bins that can be attached to the tie-down points in the bed of the truck to offer about 7 cubic feet more of storage for tools or chains.
As Free Press Auto Critic Mark Phelan wrote: "The 2019 Silverado’s bed starts with a foundation of the roll-formed steel Chevrolet has touted in commercials for years, now upgraded for double strength. The bed is about 0.5-inches longer, but cargo space grows nearly 7.0 inches on the sides, thanks to steel bed walls that are scooped out closer to the truck’s outer skin. There’s just a half-inch space between the bed’s inner walls and the pickup’s outer skin."
The sides of the bed rise 1.5-inches higher, the finishing touch for a truck whose short-bed Chevy says will contain 20 percent more than at least one competitor. The ability to carry 4 x 8-foot sheets of plywood goes without question.
Contact Jamie L. LaReau at firstname.lastname@example.org