A hybrid-powertrain version of the Silverado full-size pickup truck is available to retail customers in select states for the 2005 model year. The "mild" hybrid, with an electric motor that keeps the vehicle running at idle so the gas engine can shut off, is offered on 1500 extended-cab pickups equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8.
Chevrolet also added a high-output 310-horsepower edition of the 5.3-liter V-8 for 2005, which is available on the four-wheel-drive 1500 extended-cab model. A sunroof is offered on extended-cab and Crew Cab Silverados.
A variety of powertrains includes a 4.3-liter V-6, as well as 4.8-liter, 5.3-liter and 6.0-liter V-8s. Heavier-duty models can be equipped with a Duramax diesel V-8 or a big-block 8.1-liter gasoline V-8. GMC's similar Sierra pickup uses comparable powertrains.
The Silverado 1500 provides a half-ton rating, the 2500HD has a three-quarter-ton rating, and the 3500 features a one-ton rating. A 1500HD model is also available; it comes only in Crew Cab form. Whereas the higher-numbered models provide an increased level of hauling and towing capabilities, the lowest-rated model, 1500, offers editions that aren't available in the others, such as the Silverado SS performance truck.
The Silverado SS (Super Sport) model features a high-output 345-hp, 6.0-liter V-8; a high-performance chassis; and 20-inch tires. A lowered ride height and what Chevrolet calls a "trim, aggressive stance" differentiate the SS from other extended-cab short-bed Silverado models.
Quadrasteer four-wheel steering is offered on 1500 extended-cab short-box versions. The electromechanical system turns the truck's rear wheels up to 12 degrees in relation to the front wheels for greatly improved low-speed maneuverability and high-speed stability.
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Offered in base, LS and LT trim levels, the Silverado 1500 comes in four variations in addition to the Crew Cab: regular cab and extended cab, with either a 6.5- or an 8-foot cargo bed. A Work Truck Package, as well as SS and Z71 Silverados, are offered. Four wheelbases, measuring from 119 to 157.5 inches, are available. Fleetside (slab-sided) cargo beds are standard, but a Sportside design with flared rear fenders also is offered.
Extended-cab Silverados have four doors. The narrow, rear-hinged back doors can be opened only after the front doors are open. Crew Cab trucks have four conventional, front-hinged doors.
Silverados with two-wheel drive have front coil springs, while four-wheel-drive versions use torsion bars. A Z71 edition of the 1500 4x4 includes gas shocks, offroad jounce bumpers, specific stabilizer bars, distinctive decals, skid plates and a high-capacity air cleaner.
Silverados feature angular wheel openings and an aero-styled hood. Front tow hooks and fog lamps are recessed into the front bumper, and the front fascia is flush-mounted.
Regular-cab pickups contain either a three-place bench or a pair of bucket seats. Extended-cab models have a three-place rear bench and either two front buckets or a front bench that holds three occupants. Crew Cab trucks carry six people. Cloth, vinyl and premium leather seating surfaces are available. XM Satellite Radio is optional.
Under the Hood
Four engines are available. A 195-hp, 4.3-liter V-6 is standard, but most buyers select one of the V-8s: a 285-hp 4.8-liter or a 295-hp 5.3-liter. A higher-output version of the 5.3-liter V-8 yields 310 hp. The SS version gets a high-output 6.0-liter V-8 that pumps out 345 hp and 380 pounds-feet of torque. Silverados use either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission.
Two four-wheel-drive systems are available. Insta-Trac permits shifting in and out of 4WD-High on the move by using a floor-mounted transfer case. Autotrac sends all the power to the rear wheels on smooth, dry pavement and automatically transfers power to the front wheels on slippery surfaces.
Antilock brakes are standard. Dual front airbags include a passenger-sensing system.
In its basic regular-cab form and with few extras installed, the Silverado 1500 behaves like a serious workhorse. You can expect a traditional pickup-truck experience, which translates to a bouncy ride � especially when the cargo bed is empty. But there's plenty of energy, especially when one of the V-8 engines is installed.
Performance with the automatic transmission is satisfying but hardly seamless, and each shift is noticeable. Handling isn't especially ponderous, as the 1500 maneuvers rather well through urban environments. The fully calibrated instruments are easy to read, and the Silverado runs rather quietly for a truck.�
Late in the 2004 model year, Chevrolet launched a Silverado Hybrid pickup. GMC introduced a closely related Sierra Hybrid. Offered initially to fleet buyers, each became available to retail customers in 2005.
A 14-kilowatt starter-generator permits the Silverado Hybrid to automatically stop and restart its gasoline engine at stoplights or for other temporary halts. The starter-generator also provides regenerative braking while the truck is coasting. Unlike other hybrid models on the market, the electric motor does not actually propel the vehicle.
The 5.3-liter V-8 has the same output ratings as a conventional Silverado's V-8: 295 hp and 335 pounds-feet of torque. Whenever the engine shuts itself off, which occurs as promised, it's difficult to discern that anything unusual has happened. The system also serves as a mobile power-generating station. Four 120-volt power outlets are located under the rear seat and in the pickup bed.
According to EPA estimates, these pickups can achieve 17-18 mpg in the city and 19-21 mpg for highway driving, amounting to a 2-mpg improvement in city driving and zero to 1 mpg on the highway. Back to top�
Offered in a simpler lineup compared to some of the other Silverado versions, the 1500HD comes with a 300-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 and a four-speed-automatic transmission. Rear- and four-wheel-drive versions are available, in LS and LT trim levels.
Only available in Crew Cab form with four conventional, front-hinged doors, the 1500HD can have seating for up to five or six occupants depending on whether bucket seats or a bench are installed in the front. Back to top�
Available in base, LS and upscale LT trim levels, Silverado 2500HD trucks are equipped with a standard 6.0-liter V-8. For additional hauling power, an 8.1-liter gasoline V-8 or a Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 can be installed. Two manual and two automatic transmissions can be installed. These heavy-duty three-quarter-ton 2500HD pickups come in three body styles: regular cab, four-door extended cab and four-door Crew Cab. They also come in plain chassis-cab form, which lacks a cargo box. Standard 16-inch tires mount on eight-bolt wheels.
Chevrolet's 8.1-liter gasoline V-8 generates 330 hp and 450 pounds-feet of torque. A Duramax 6.6-liter direct-injection turbo-diesel V-8 delivers 300 hp and 520 pounds-feet of torque with a manual transmission or 310 hp and 605 pounds-feet when connected to an automatic gearbox. Back to top�
One-ton Silverado 3500 trucks come in base, LS and upscale LT trim levels. A Work Truck model also is available. Powertrain choices are similar to the three-quarter-ton 2500HD series and include a 300-hp V-8; a 330-hp, 8.1-liter gasoline V-8; and a Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 that cranks out 300 hp with a manual transmission or 310 hp when connected to an automatic. Two automatic and two manual transmissions are available. Silverado 3500 pickups come in four body styles: regular cab, four-door extended cab, four-door Crew Cab or plain chassis cab (with no cargo box). The 3500 can be equipped with dual wheels on both sides of the rear axle. Standard 16-inch tires mount on eight-bolt wheels. Back to top