On Thursday the wraps were finally taken off the revamped 2022 Chevrolet Silverado. While this change equates to a refresh only, it includes an interior overhaul that is far beyond a traditional refresh. In fact, this new interior suggests Chevrolet has finally figured out that truck interiors are supposed to be nice.
The last three generations of GM half-ton pickups have stirred controversy regarding their interiors. It started with the GMT-900 trucks that launched in 2007. At the time those interiors were a step forward from the GMT-800’s in terms of modernization, but lacked the pizzazz that was starting to appear inside the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. In an indirect acknowledgement of the truck interiors weakness, the GMC Sierra Denali ended up featuring the SUV interior, which was slightly better.
Enter the K2XX trucks in 2013, which ushered in an all-new architecture and significant modernization of the Silverado and Sierra. Prior to its reveal, it was widely speculated GM would get the truck interiors “right” this time after the GMT-900 drama. It turns out that they missed the mark with this generation as well. While the material quality of the K2XX truck interior was improved, the overall layout and design was not dramatically different from the 900’s. The sea of black plastic, column mounted gear selector and “work truck” feel continued on for another generation. GM continued to assert that truck buyers want a more utilitarian interior design and layout, even though competitive interiors suggested quite the contrary.
Meanwhile, the competition just kept pushing the envelope. The Ford F-150 Platinum interior was featuring real wood trim and a level of style that would be at home in a luxury vehicle during the period. Across town, the Ram 1500 interior continued to step up its game as well with fancy trim levels.
Then 2018 rolls around and it’s time for another new generation of GM half-ton trucks. The T1XX trucks launch with an interior that is quite literally a rehash of the K2XX interior it replaces. The “floating pod” of a center stack design remained intact with more modern switchgear and a larger infotainment display. Like the K2XX trucks, critics slammed this interior for its mundane appearance and continued use of the dated column-mounted shifter. Meanwhile, the Ram 1500 is named one of WardsAuto’s best interiors of 2019 while GM continues towing the line that truck buyers want basic interiors. At this point it seems like GM is so bull-headed with its own supposed customer research that it has forgotten to look at its competitive set.
Now, that’s all changed.
It’s tough to say what finally spurred them to change their ways, but three generations later they have. The 2022 Silverado interior revealed this week is unlike any other over the last 20 years. It looks modern, with flashier materials and a massive new touchscreen display. Oh, and the column shifter is no longer lodged down the throats of 100-percent of Silverado buyers. It’s 2022, but finally that damn shifter is gone in the higher-end Silverado trims with bucket seats.
GM has finally ditched the vertically-focused dash design that’s existed since the K2XX trucks in favor a horizontal theme. This new theme is focused on a new 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen and 12.3-inch gauge cluster display that make the Silverado look right at home in 2022.
“It’s a more contemporary, refined design that elevates the premium nature of the interior,” said Alexandre Scartezini, Chevrolet Truck lead interior designer. “It’s also a more driver-oriented space that’s connected to our performance heritage, with a hint of Corvette influence in its design DNA.”
Chevrolet also notes that higher-end trim levels feature premium materials such as stainless steel speaker grilles and open pore wood trim.
For those of us who have followed GM since the early 2000’s, this 2022 Silverado interior is a bold move. GM has finally figured out that truck buyers forking over $60,000 for a half-ton actually want a flashy interior after all. It’s been twenty years in the making.
This makes us even more excited to see the 2022 GMC Sierra Denali interior. Stay tuned.