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2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Gets Fancy Tailgate, Higher Tow Ratings

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Forget those pumpkin spice lattes, now is the season for tasty options and useful updates on the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. First, the newly optional trick Multi-Flex Tailgate arrives to turn your hard-working Chevy truck into everything from a mobile workspace to a handy seat and step, and useful extension of the cargo bed. Also coming to the 2021 Silverado are features to make towing a little bit easier and safer. After all, Chevy knows rivals like the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 aren’t standing still while truck sales are red hot and about the only things selling faster than, well, all those pumpkin spice lattes.

Swiss Army Knife Tailgate

Let’s start with the new Multi-Flex Tailgate, a feature that should be familiar to truck shoppers, particularly GMC Sierra 1500 owners. Multi-Flex is the Chevy-badged version of the GMC MultiPro Tailgate, which was introduced on the 2019 Sierra 1500. If you’re a fan of MultiPro, you’ll cheer for the Multi-Flex, too.

That’s because it has the same split-folding design that helps turn it into an extension of the cargo bed, a handy step and an impromptu worktable to lay out laptops or blueprints. It’s also a useful seat for tailgate parties and combined with 12 tie-down points, LED lighting and a 120-volt outlet, it turns the Silverado into a Swiss Army knife of trucks. Unlike MultiPro, which was initially reserved for higher trim levels in the GMC Sierra, the Multi-Flex tailgate will be available across the Silverado 1500 range in early 2021.

New Towing Features 

Also arriving in the 2021 Silverado are tech features to make towing simpler, safer and remove guesswork when carefully positioning a trailer. These include the trailer length indicator, which uses a side-mounted camera angle to show the length of the truck and any trailer or recreational vehicle being towed. Overlayed onto the image is a red rectangular area, which is roughly double the length of what’s being towed. During a lane change on the highway, for example, the system allows the driver to quickly see if any vehicles are in the adjacent lane and possibly in the way.

Additional new features include jack-knife alert, rear trailer view with guidelines, trailer angle indicator, cargo bed zoom view and bed hitch guidance to assist with hooking up gooseneck trailers, plus enhancements to the rear side view system. This camera-based system provides a split-screen view of both sides of the truck and trailer, it adjusts the images based on the angle of what’s being towed in relation to the truck. This system isn’t exactly new, but for the first time can be used when the truck is in Reverse, a handy tool to have when positioning a trailer in tight spaces.

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Higher Towing Capacity With Four-Cylinder and 3.0-liter Diesel

Chevy also improved the maximum towing capacity for Silverados powered by the turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder and the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter Duramax six-cylinder. In crew-cab short box and rear-wheel-drive format, the 310-horsepower, turbo-four’s towing capacity jumps by 2,500 pounds to a max of 9,300 pounds. A similar rating is available in a new regular-cab long-box variant that can tow 9,600 pounds and has a payload capacity of 2,280 pounds. The 2.7-liter’s gains are attributed to better-than-expected cooling performance after further testing and validation.

The Silverado with turbo-diesel 3.0-liter Duramax sees nearly every version get a 1,900-pound gain in total towing capacity thanks to better-than-expected rear axle durability. Better still, this engine costs $1,500 dollars less than it did last year — a fact some current Chevy diesel owners might not be too pleased about.    

What Else Is New for 2021?

Chevrolet made a number of changes to standard features and options across the Silverado’s eight main trim levels. The Work Truck, Custom and Custom Trail Boss models now offer automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning and front pedestrian detection as part of the new Safety Confidence option package. The Custom and Custom Trail Boss trims now come standard with the EZ Lift power tailgate, LED cargo bed lighting and remote start.

If you’re looking for a little extra style and swagger, the Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss can be optioned with 20-inch black alloy wheels wrapped by Goodyear Territory MT tires, while the LTZ comes standard with polished 22-inch alloys. Adaptive ride control is available on the range-topping High Country trim fitted with 22-inch wheels, and wireless smartphone charging is standard on the High Country and LTZ, and optional on the LT, LT Trail Boss and RST.

Three new option packages have been added, the All Star Edition Plus, Texas Edition Plus and LTZ Premium Texas Edition. And finally, three new exterior colors — Mosaic Black Metallic, Oxford Brown Metallic and Cherry Red Tintcoat — are available.   

Production of the 2021 kicked off in September, so expect Chevy’s updated Silverado to start rolling into dealerships throughout the fall.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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