Last redesigned for the 1999 model year, Chevrolets full-size pickup truck gets upgraded emissions control systems and some repackaged options for 2002. All models now have a chrome bumper and grille, while extended-cab pickups are now available with an automatic transmission only.
During 2001, Chevrolet added a Crew Cab body style, with four conventional doors, to the light-duty 1500 series. Known as the 1500 HD, the Crew Cab model combines the look of the half-ton LS or LT trims with a three-quarter-ton frame. Equipped with a 300-horsepower V-8 engine, its the only Silverado with a Crew Cab configuration. The 1500 HD has a payload capacity of up to 3,143 pounds, and it can tow as much as 10,300 pounds. Regular half-ton models have a choice of three engines: one V-6 and two different V-8s.
GMCs Sierra pickups are similar, but they are available with Quadrasteer four-wheel steering. Quadrasteer is scheduled to become available for the Silverado during the 2002 model year.
This report covers light-duty versions of the Silverado only, which come in 1500 (half-ton) and 2500 (three-quarter-ton) series. Heavy-duty models are covered separately in the Silverado HD report.
Offered in base, LS and LT trim levels, the Silverado comes in four sizes: regular cab or extended cab, each of which come with either a 6.5- or 8-foot cargo bed. Five wheelbases are available and range from 119 to 157.5 inches. Fleetside (slab-sided) cargo beds are standard, but a Sportside design with a flared rear fender is optional. Front-end styling matches that of Chevrolets Tahoe and Suburban sport utility vehicles, which are built from the same basic design.
All extended-cab Silverados come with four doors. The narrow rear doors open toward the rear and cannot be opened unless the trucks front doors are opened first. The 1500 HD has a Crew Cab configuration with four conventional, front-hinged doors.
The Silverados payloads range from 1,593 to 3,224 pounds, and light-duty models come in gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) from 6,100 to 8,600 pounds. The Z71 offroad package for half-ton 4x4s includes gas shocks, offroad jounce bumpers, specific stabilizer bars, distinctive decals, skid plates and a high-capacity air cleaner.
A cargo bed made of molded composite materials is optional on 1500 short-bed models equipped with four-wheel drive and the Z71 offroad package. Chevrolet says it weighs 50 pounds less than a conventional steel cargo bed, will not rust, and resists dents and scratches better than steel. Options include a bed extender, tubular side steps and a hard or soft tonneau cover.
Regular-cab pickups come with either a three-place bench seat or a pair of bucket seats. All extended-cab models have a three-place rear bench and either two front buckets or a front bench that holds three occupants. The Crew Cab 1500 HD seats six.
Vinyl-upholstered seats are standard in base models, while cloth is optional. GMs OnStar communication system and leather upholstery is standard for the top-end LT trim level, and leather is optional on LS models. Remote keyless entry and cruise control are now supplied in a package for base models, which can also be equipped with an optional CD player. The LS has a standard CD player, while the LT gets a cassette/CD audio system.
Under the Hood
Four engines are available. A 200-hp, 4.3-liter V-6 is the base power plant and is standard on most two-wheel-drive 1500 models. However, most buyers select one of the three available V-8s. The 4.8-liter V-8 produces 270 hp, the 5.3-liter delivers 285 hp and the 6.0-liter V-8 cranks out 300 hp and is standard in the 2500 series and the 1500 HD model. A four-speed-automatic and five-speed-manual transmission are available.
Two types of 4WD are available. Insta-Trac permits shifting in and out of 4WD High on the move through a floor-mounted transfer case. Autotrac sends all of the power to the rear wheels on smooth, dry pavement and automatically transfers power to the front wheels as needed on slippery surfaces. Two-wheel-drive trucks can have electronic traction control, when fitted with V-8 power, as well as an automatic transmission and a locking rear differential.
Antilock brakes and child-restraint top-tether anchors are standard. Dual front airbags include a passenger-side deactivation switch.