America's second best selling full-size pickup, the Silverado 1500, was all-new starting with 2007 model year. Along with its heavy-duty siblings, the 2500HD and 3500HD, the Silverado 1500 has since received a minor cosmetic upgrade as well as a number of mechanical changes to make it more potent and capable pickup.
Based on the GMT900 platform, Chevrolet's latest full-size pickup is available in a number of configurations. Body styles range from regular cab to crew cab and engine options are extensive with a total of six different engines.
The base engine comes in the form of a 4.3-liter V6 that is rated at 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with fuel efficiency of 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Next in line is a 4.8-liter V8 good for 304 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque and efficiency of 14/19 mpg.
From there, GM has a pair of 5.3-liter V8s, both E85 capable and rated at 315 horsepower, but one uses an iron block and generates 335 lb-ft of torque, while the other has a lighter aluminum block and achieves 338 lb-ft of torque. Both are rated at 15/21 mpg, while on optional XFE (extra fuel economy) package adds one extra highway mpg.
The big dog in the lineup arrives in the form of a 6.2-liter V8 good for 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque, but is only available on crew- and extended cab models. It returns 13/19 mpg.
The 4.3-liter and 4.8-liter engines are backed by the Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmissions. The Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed transmission is paired with the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter mills.
The maximum trailering package combines a heavy-duty 9.5-inch rear axle, locking differential, heavy-duty cooling system and other enhanced features to enable a maximum towing capacity of 10,700 pounds (4,853 kg) on extended cab models.
An integrated trailer brake controller is available on all models. It is integrated with the ABS system, and provides immediate and measured brake force signaling to electric-controlled trailer brake systems. There is no requirement for external and/or aftermarket brake control systems. The brake controller switch is conveniently mounted on the lower-left section of the instrument panel.
Silverado is offered with five suspension systems, each tailored to suit specific driving requirements: Z83 - Delivers a solid, smooth ride with monotube front shocks and twin-tube rear shocks, Z85 - Designed for enhanced handling and trailer towing, with monotube front and rear shocks, Z71 - Delivers enhanced off-road capability; features specific monotube front and rear shocks, Z60 - Designed for maximum street performance and offered with 20-inch wheels, as well as monotube front and rear shocks and NHT is designed for maximum towing capacity; it includes monotube rear shocks, 17-inch wheels and off-road tires, and high-capacity rear springs.
Silverado features two interiors to meet the diverse needs of customers. The WT, LS and LT trim levels feature the "pure pickup" interior and the LTZ trim level features the luxury-inspired interior that is similar to Chevrolet's full-size utilities.
WT, LS and LT trim levels feature larger controls and door handles that are easier to use with gloves. A large-capacity, double glove box is part of the instrument panel. Cloth seats are standard on WT, LS and LT models; leather seating is available on LT models along with a six-way, power-adjustable driver seat. A lockable in-seat storage bin is built into a new 40/20/40-split bench; it is large enough to store a laptop computer and features a 12-volt power outlet.
LTZ models feature a luxury-inspired interior with a unique instrument panel, door panels, larger-capacity center console that offers 20.1 liters of undivided storage and other distinct trim. Heated, 10-way, power-adjustable leather front seats are standard, along with a Bose speaker system. Crew cab LTZ models add a rear-seat audio system and large glove box that offers approximately five liters of storage capacity.
A stadium-style rear seat with a 60/40-split design and folding center armrest is standard on crew cab models and available on extended cab models. It can be easily folded up with one hand, without using a release handle, to provide an uninterrupted load floor. Alternatively, either section of the split seat can be stowed independently, allowing room for both cargo and a rear-seat passenger.
Rear access doors open 170 degrees for easy entry to the rear seat/storage area of extended cab models. Power-operated rear side windows lower completely into the 170-degree access doors, providing 100-percent openness on LT and LTZ trim vehicles. A power sliding rear window is available on extended cab and crew cab configurations with LT and LTZ trim levels.
Standard safety features include dual front, front side and side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
Aside from its mechanical twin, the GMC Sierra 1500, the Silverado 1500's main competitors are the best-selling Ford F-150, the Toyota Tundra and the Ram 1500.