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Expert Reviews 1 of 3
By Mike Levine
June 18, 2009
Vehicle Overview The Chevrolet Silverado shares its GMT900 platform with the GMC Sierra 1500, but there are some styling and interior differences to appeal to shoppers with different tastes.
The Silverado comes in regular, extended and crew cab versions. Standard (6-foot, 6-inch) and long (8-foot) cargo beds are available on regular and extended cabs, while the crew cab gets a short (5-foot, 9-inch) bed. All configurations are available in two- or four-wheel drive.
There are four trim levels: WT, LS, LT and LTZ. The popular Z71 off-road model returns with upgraded shocks, skid plates and special badging. Most V-8 models are rated to tow around 9,000 pounds, but some models manage more than 10,500 pounds with an enhanced trailering package. The Silverado doesn't offer fancy luxury packages, but rather provides an outstanding foundation to tackle tough chores.
New for 2010 GM has dropped the long-running 6.0-liter V-8 engine from the Silverado lineup, leaving only the 6.2-liter V-8 for heavy towing needs. The rest of the Silverado's eight-cylinder lineup benefits from increased availability of its new six-speed transmission. That transmission is now available in regular and extended cab models equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8. The lineup also benefits from the enhancement of the 4.8- and 5.3-liter V-8 engines with variable valve timing for improved emissions and better fuel economy. Those with portable MP3 players can connect and play their music collections through the truck's audio system using a USB input. Standard side curtain and side-impact airbags are safety additions.
Exterior While GM is trying to differentiate the Silverado and Sierra, their common silhouette is hard to overcome, even with unique front fenders, grille, bumpers, headlamps, cargo box and taillamps. There's also still a strong family resemblance with the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban.
Very wide rear-door opening on extended cab models to load passengers, cargo
LT has chrome bumper; LTZ gets body-colored bumper
17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels available
EZ Lift tailgate available
Interior The Silverado offers two distinct interiors. The WT, LS and LT get interiors that are more work-oriented, while the LTZ draws inspiration from the SUV lineup. Besides interior fabrics and colors, the dash layouts are different, and the work trucks have larger controls. The easiest way to tell the difference is that work trucks have two glove boxes and LTZs have one. The Silverado cab is spacious and well-organized. The work trucks come standard with cloth seating; leather is available on the LT. The LTZ gets heated leather seats, wood trim, a Bose sound system and a larger center console. The split-bench rear seat in crew cabs can be folded to expand load space.
Available power-sliding rear window
Available navigation system on LTZ, LT
Integrated trailer brake controls
Under the Hood
195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 with iron block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 260 pounds-feet of torque
302-hp, 4.8-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 305 pounds-feet of torque
Flex-fuel 315-hp (gas) or 326-hp (E85), 5.3-liter V-8 with aluminum block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 338 pounds-feet of torque (gas), 350 pounds-feet of torque (E85)
Flex-fuel 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with aluminum block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block and two valves per cylinder that makes 417 pounds-feet of torque
Four- or six-speed automatic
Safety GM's electronic stability system includes rollover mitigation technology. It's standard on all V-8 models. Roof-mounted side curtain and seat-mounted side-impact airbags are now standard on all half-ton models. GM says its seat belt pretensioners activate during rear-end impacts.